Social Networking Faux Pas – By Katie Salidas
Nerd, Paranormal Fantasy Author, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids!
Katie Salidas tries to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is one of her many passions, and she hopes that it will bring you hours of entertainment.
You’ve written the bestseller. Spent countless hours perfecting each and every word, agonizing over edits and revisions. Finally, the day comes and you hit that publish button on KDP. Or maybe you have a publisher and this is the release day you have been waiting for.
Indie or Traditional – the label means nothing– you are now a published author.
Take a moment to celebrate that victory because it is awesome!
You finished? Good! Roll up your sleeves because if you think writing the book was hard, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Your precious baby is out in the world. Now you have to market the crap out of your book. And I do mean that. No one is going to buy your precious little gem if you don’t make them aware of its existence.
How do you do that?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
I’m not going to go into all the ways you could develop your marketing plan because that would take a lot more than a simple blog post to cover. You could look up my book, Go Publish Yourself if you have a minute. (See what I did there?) I do talk a lot about setting up marketing plans in those pages.
What I want to talk about is something a little simpler, but extremely important when spreading the word about your latest book.
Using Social Networking with respect.
In the age of social networking you have a potential reach that is limitless. People on the other side of the world can hear your message seconds after you send it. It’s an extremely powerful tool. So, naturally it is the first place people turn to when announcing their new book. They make a post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…
And of course the minute they make that post they want to check their sales numbers. I did say world-wide reach, didn’t I?
But sadly the bar hasn’t moved.
No sales yet.
Panic sets in.
“Maybe the post was missed. Let’s try it again!”
Repeat that cycle with added posts to groups and pages. Maybe you send an email asking people in your friends list to “buy your new book.” Maybe you decide to reach out to your author friends and post a little “announcement” on their page. You know, nudge them in the right direction to either buy your book or share it with their friends.
*A little side note* Never ask someone to buy your book. I don’t care how good of friends you are with them. NEVER! Say it with me, “I will never ask someone to buy my book.”
Eventually, when you’ve repeated the cycle over and over again, Facebook sends that wonderful message saying you’re in time out for spamming.
You’ve heard of Facebook jail, right? Sometimes it’s a day or maybe longer, but once you’ve been labeled a spammer, you are unable to post anything until they let you out. Don’t get put in Facebook jail!
Look. I get it. I’m right there with you in the thick of it, trying to make sure that when a new book comes out, the world knows. But there is a method to the madness that is book marketing. Social Networking is a wonderful tool in your arsenal, but it should be handled professionally.
Let’s break down the purpose of social networking. The first word there is social. You have to be out there interacting with others in the virtual arena. Collecting likes and new friends means nothing if you are not truly engaging with them. You know, being social!
It’s not all about you. It’s about being part of something bigger.
One part of that, is getting out there. Putting yourself out there and make some connections with people. That means posting more than just book announcements. You need to introduce yourself to the world. Who are you? What do you do? What do you find funny?
Fill your wall with interesting things other than your book so people can get to know you as a person. Follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to what you put out there on your wall. The majority of what you post on sites like Facebook or Twitter should be relatable things, and the rest can be book related.
This encourages interaction, and once you make real connections with people, those new friends can become fans too.
It’s not all about you.
Remember this when you start posting new release notices and asking friends to like and share them.
Before you ever think to ask someone to do something for you, ask yourself how recently you interacted with them?
Did you like their cute baby picture?
Offer solidarity on their recent vaguebook post about office drama?
When was the last time you even said, “hi” to them online?
If you haven’t bothered to engage with someone you claim to call a friend on social media, then do not, I repeat DO NOT ask them to do you any favors or expect them to care about your new book.
*A little side note* Facebook is notorious for its algorithm that judges your importance based on interaction. If you’ve posted something and no one seems to be responding to it, chances are, no one saw it. Interaction is key here because if Facebook sees that you are an engaging individual, it tends to nudge your post into the forefront. Keep that in mind. Be active. Be social. Post things every day that get engagement so that when you do post something important, it gets noticed.
Now that we’ve covered being social. Let’s look at the second word, networking.
Networking is connecting with others for a purpose. It could be to expand your tribe on a personal level. Because, let’s face it, we all need our tribe. They keep us sane. They help us deal with the everyday BS by offering solidarity, humor, or sometimes a new perspective. I have a few friends on Facebook I know I can go to for the best memes to brighten up bad days. I’ve never met them in person, but after years of being buddies on Facebook, they are as close to me as anyone I might connect with in person.
On a business level (as published authors, you must look at social networking on both levels), connecting with your peers is crucial to the success of your book . You should be seeking out authors who are having success within your same genre. They’re not simply avenues to use to extend your social reach. These authors can become great mentors. The indie community is wonderfully helpful group. We have all been there. Each of us has started from nothing and learned what it is like out there in the trenches. Through these connections you can learn everything from marketing trends to who the best cover artists are. These are the connections you need to develop. Remember what I said above about building relationships. Be engaging, pay attention to what your friends post and respond to them, be real, and remember it is not all about you.
These connections are not your future fans, but they can help you reach new people. And while they may be willing to share your new release on a tit-for-tat basis, you need to be extra careful to never abuse this relationship.
Do not ask for them to share your work if you have not offered to share theirs.
And, most importantly, do not post your book release on their walls without permission.
Abusing the professional relationship is a surefire way to get yourself blacklisted in the community.
Remember, social networking is an excellent tool. But before you start posting, remember that behind those screens are real people you’re trying to reach. A little common courtesy and tact go a long way.
I hope you found this post helpful. And if you’d like to check out some of my books, please feel free to visit me online. I love making new friends.
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Books by Katie Salidas:
Go Publish Yourself!
The Immortalis Series
Hunters & Prey
Olde Town Pack
Chronicles of the Uprising
Little Werewolf Series
Pretty Little Werewolf
Curious Little Werewolf
Fearless Little Werewolf