“Wow! It must be nice to just sit back and collect royalty checks!” I hear this, shake my head and grin. It doesn’t work like that even if it seems like it to readers. It takes a lot of work. I don’t get to write nearly as much as I would like. (That is the artistic passion.) I spend hours reading about how to publish, promote, market, and sell my work. I spent days just trying to get my first book published on Kindle. (I have gotten better at that and about 17 other platforms). I also likely did everything wrong, and am still doing everything wrong. I shall continue on and learn more.
There are a few things I learned along the way that if I could share with you, might help you understand the misconceptions about social media whether you be an author or a reader. Let’s focus on what I know from my perspective and then you consider your own unique position.
First of all, writers, set up your social media accounts. It sounds easy. I know. But it takes a lot of time. Especially if you aren’t big on using one or more or any of it. It isn’t the same as your basic sit at home while playing on the internet to waste time. Readers just scroll through the feed and click on book ads that interest them, but authors must consider how to craft their social media sites to encourage readers to do that. Readers won’t know your book exists if you don’t advertise it.
The blog and other social media accounts need to linked together and set up as business pages so you can use them to not only stay in contact with your readers but advertise to gain new readers. That aspect is very different from setting up social media connections to simply talk to friends and family. (Be patient. You will not likely get everything done at once, nor make a million dollars overnight.)
Now authors will ask, “Do I really need all of them? I don’t know anything about this one or that one? Is it really important?” My answer is, no. You don’t need all of them. I have five. I may add more eventually. What’s important is having a place to connect with readers. (If social media scares you begin with only one and add more as you get more comfortable. Remember that social media is a connection with the book community writers, readers, editors, publishers, etc… It’s not really the place you sell books.)
Five was where I decided enough was enough, and I had to write. They’re all interlinked with one another, and my blog auto feeds to them. I cross-post information from one social media platform to the others in order to reach the largest audience I can and practice my 7/11 promotional model. Just be sure that whichever ones you are using are ones you are comfortable with and will actually post on. Otherwise, readers will be disappointed and lose interest.
Determine how you will use your social media. I use Youtube as a staging ground for videos that I link to my website and other platforms, so if I don’t have a lot of subscribers there, I’m okay with that. But if Youtube is your main platform because you host a podcast then that same plan might not work well for you. Starting with one social media platform and determining how you intend to use that tool is an important step.
The next question is always, “Which ones are better to have?” Here’s where what I have to say is a personal truth for Ophelia Kee, and you may need to feel around a bit before you decide. I prefer Twitter and Pinterest.
Why those two? I’m simply better at navigating Twitter, and Pinterest is easy to track progress if I run ads. I understand them better. I post pictures to Instagram and Facebook. But Twitter just makes sense to me so I use it more. Youtube is a bit more of a necessity tool. I need a place to stage my book trailers. From there I can link my pins on Pinterest and Tweet about them on Twitter. So by now you likely guessed that if I deleted any social media, it would be Instagram. But I won’t because it’s linked to my Facebook and Tumblr, and although I’m not a great photographer, sometimes the pictures are cool. I also added Tumblr, Linkedin, and TikTok recently as well, but I’m still learning those platforms.
The truth is that Indie authors have to sell themselves. I must show the world what Ophelia Kee has to offer. The internet is an exceptional tool to be able to do that. Social media offers opportunities for visibility that simply didn’t exist twenty years ago. But I do have to work in order to make it work for me. So sit back and collect a royalty check? Yeah, I’m still laughing.
Remember my lack of budget? I spend two hours every day promoting my books on social media for free. I write this blog, I post it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and a bunch of other places. It auto-posts to my author pages and Pinterest. I spend time with my social media accounts to check and reply to my messages from readers too. With my new Website, I will also be able to email my blog posts to my subscribed readers, and that is where the real money is likely made.
These social interactions build relationships with readers who enjoy my work. It’s the added bonus and occasionally some new reader may find me, but if you are counting on free book ads to earn you a six-figure income, I shall laugh harder. If I clear gas money in a month, I’m excited.
Ophelia Kee has to be a real person, with a real-life, and still be accessible to readers. Honestly, it’s good to get questions because that has led to whole book ideas. Social media is the best way to do that, and I still get to be Ophelia Kee and my other monikers.
I also have to actually live too. Food, tea, family, the house, and my elliptical machine, all have to happen everyday. Then I have to craft the book trailers. (I know I’m behind, but I had to learn how to make them first so give me a bit of a break. I’ll catch up. No budget equals time and hard work, right?) I also have to edit, rewrite, format, etc… But I love to write, so I will put up with those things.
I haven’t touched on author pages or paid advertising and promotion. Newsletters are a whole other minefield. This blog was all about social media. But if you wanted to write (work from home) or just needed to be enlightened about how your favorite Indie authors likely spend all that free time you mistakenly believe they have, I hope this helped.
Now, authors if you read this far you are probably hoping I will spill the beans and give out a big secret. So here it is. I get help with some of the book ads from ebooklingo. I’ve also begun posting my books for sale from that platform. I love it. It’s not perfect, but it’s FREE. And it does help spread the word. (No, I don’t get paid to say that.)
Shameless Self Promotion
A lonely CEO with a dark side. An orphan needing safety. A hidden agenda. The only hope lies in Draoithe. Lyons Gate Ghostly Kingdom, Step into the dream, and feel the magic…
#PNR 18+ HEA! NC!
Okay, time to wrap this up and call it quits. When you read please be kind and leave a review. You never know when you’ll make an indie author’s day. Until the next time, enjoy the Lyons Gate Trailer…