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.

Facebook:

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:

  1. Never add someone to a group without permission. This will only anger someone and cause them to write something nasty on your wall.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Twitter:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?

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Posted on October 31, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I agree with Stacey Kennedy! I’m a major twitter fan and I find it extremely off-putting when someone who promotes their company, industry, or self as a “professional” rants and complains and continues it for many tweets at a time. I think this alienates followers and I personally will follow anyone who may seem interesting or have new things to say about the publishing industry because I always want to learn more, but complaining takes away a person’s credibility. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially with twitter, but important to keep watch on. I also agree that people want to get to know you, they want to interact with you or see or do so with others so they can feel like they know who you are, and if they like who you are as a person, they will happily check out something you wrote or represent. That’s the biggest part of social media.

    On a side note I just stumbled upon this blog and I love it! I love seeing this side of the industry and different examples of publishing and writing and I am impressed! Thank you 🙂

  2. Thanks, Stacey. I found the tips about hastags priceless. I’m new to Twitter and I find it very hard to get people to interact the way they do on Facebook.

  3. Excellent tips. I’ve heard a few agents talk about one topic that you touched on: authors dissing other authors. Specifically, aspiring authors who write book reviews.

    I’ve heard agents say, “When you trash one of my authors, don’t expect me to like your manuscript once you send it in.” Also, that the agenting tribe is a tight nit one so you may be burning bridges by writing critical reviews. One agent went as far to say that you’re either a book blogger or a writer. You can’t be both.

    These did not come from fly-by-night agents. Fairly big names. Would love to hear both your opinions on the icy road of book reviewer who aspires to be a published author one day.

    Thank you again.

    • Good question, Ara.

      I think there are a couple reasons not to do this. One, it’s just plain rude. If anyone hates a book that much to rip it into pieces, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t just put it away and move onto another book. Honest reviews are a great thing. But trashing an author is unnecessary.

      The other reason, it shows off your personality. Will an agent really want to work with someone who goes “on the record” saying nasty things about an author? Especially if it’s their client’s work. I’m thinking…no.

      The key is to always be professional. I’ve seen plenty of reviews where the reviewer didn’t connect with the book, but the review was written in a way that it took the sting out of it. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I had a hard time connecting with the heroine.” Instead of saying, “This heroine is a complete idiot. How did this book get published?”

      I know quite a few book bloggers who also write. They do amazing jobs on their blogs, and are wonderful people. I’m not sure if you can do both, or what’s recommended, but I’ve gained many friends from my connections to book bloggers, and I’d help them out any way I could. But if it’d been a book blogger who trashed me, I might be inclined to tell my fellow authors to avoid this person.

      You see how it could definitely hurt you to be not-so-nice. I’d imagine, though, that if you had a book blog that had a huge following, and you had great ties to the author community, then this wouldn’t be looked upon as a bad thing. In fact, it might even prove your ability to promote yourself, be professional, and gain a following. All things that author’s need to do to get their name out there.

      ~Stacey

  4. Thanks for the tips, Stacey! It’s always good to have a reminder that “these platforms are social”; it’s so easy to get caught up with marketing. Have you (or Lauren) had any experience with Google+ for writers?

    • I’ve heard of Google+, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Twitter and Facebook keep me busy enough! Maybe one day I’ll try it out…but for now, I’m a total Facebook and Twitter junkie! 😉

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