Stacey Kennedy on Social Media
Social media has become the best way to promote your book for free. It is fast becoming the best way to promote your book, period. It’s not so easy though…it takes time, effort and even a little bit of ingenuity. Here’s published author, Stacey Kennedy, on social media:
You have yourself a nice shiny contract! You’re an author. You’ve made it. Now what?
Social media is one of the most important things you can do when you have that first release out. So how do you get your name out there and get a loyalty of readers behind you? There are many ways to do this, and I’m sure others can add to my list—so please do so—but today I’m going to stick to the big two.
I absolutely love Facebook. In fact, I think I might not be able to live without it. But here is one BIG lesson about Facebook: people want to be your friend. Of course they would, right? If you go on Facebook and expect to post promotional stuff, and think you’re going to interest your readers, you’re wrong. Facebook is a social place that people want to chat, share, and get to know you. So connect with readers in your genre, talk to them, and that is the best way to gain more followers.
Big no-no’s on Facebook:
- Never add someone to a group without permission. This will only anger someone and cause them to write something nasty on your wall.
- Do not send excerpts of your work out. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from other authors who promote their work this way. Whenever I get one, I simply delete the email, and remove them from my friends list. So, I’d imagine I’m not alone in this. Post reviews of your work, do a guest blog, an interview to show us how fabulous your book is.
- Never—and I can’t stress this one enough–send out a group email promoting your work. I’ve seen a few times an author get ripped apart for doing this, and it’s horrible to watch, especially when the author didn’t realize that they had made a terrible Facebook mistake. When you add someone to a group email, they will get every email that is sent. Trust me, once one person gets angry because you’ve added them, you’ll receive a lot of the same responses. Do you really want a hundred people to see how angry you’ve made others?
At first, I scratched my head over Twitter. I found it so impersonal and didn’t really understand it. But after I got used to writing in 140 characters or less, which is in no way easy, I found it’s a great way to reach out to a huge following. Not only to readers, but book bloggers (who are great to have on your side). For me, most of who I follow, and follow me, are other authors. But I love that. It’s a great way to hear news going on in the book industry, support my fellow authors, and reach out to their followers as well.
Twitter, though, has one HUGE promotional tool. Hashtags. For example, if you receive a review, you can retweet that review and use the hastag, #paranormalromance, or whatever relates to your book. So, that smashing review of yours will reach every person that follows that hashtag. Pretty darn good promotion!
Big no-no’s on Twitter:
- Complain. Seems simple, right? Sadly, I’ve seen it way too often. The truth of the matter is this, 140 characters are not many words, and what you say can be misunderstood. Plus, I don’t know about y’all, but it gets very old listening to someone rant constantly. I have removed quite a few people I followed for this very reason.
- Diss other authors. Recently, I saw a perfect example of this of when an author posted on Twitter discussing how poorly another author’s grammar was. No names were used, thankfully, but it still leaves a not-so-good impression. Always remember that it’s not only your friends reading your post, but it could very well be your dream agent. Do you really want them to read you talking this way?
- Promote on every tweet. Use Twitter to say something witty, interesting, share news, guest blogs, giveaways—anything like that. But remember to keep your promotion to the minimal. People are on Twitter to read interesting stuff, not be overwhelmed with the same promotion snippets over and over again. While you might think that sending out promotional tweets will gain new followers and make your book look like the best book in the world, it will undoubtedly do the exact opposite, and only annoy those reading it.
All you need to remember is these are “social” places. People want to talk to you and get to know you. Show your “voice” that is found in your stories and be, simply put, interesting! Yes, they’re unbelievable promotional platforms, but use them wisely. And avoid all the “do not do’s” above. The last thing any new author needs is a backlash because they tried to promote their book in the wrong way.
Enjoy Facebook and Twitter! They’re fun places, and a great place to meet new people who love books as much as you do!
Thanks, Stacey! And, readers: what is your social-media pet-peeve?