The Realities of Social Media and Marketing Books

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Smith Publicity, Inc is the leading book marketing firm in the publishing industry

Effective book promotion is about reaching target audiences with content they find helpful or entertaining, and social media can play a role. If you're an author, much depends on the size and loyalty of your following, which means you can't dive in at the last minute. It takes time to gain followers and build virtual relationships with them. The most direct route to accomplishing both is setting up your accounts long before publishing a book and posting routinely. The sweet spot can be a post a day or at least several per week. Overposting and letting accounts go formant are hazards you want to avoid.

Good social media posts engage your followers and get them to share with others. Unless you're a political writer, avoid controversial topics like politics so that the posts have universal appeal. If you post things that turn some people off, you may not be helping yourself (selling books) in the long run. It's also helpful to plan your posts. You can adjust as things come up, but having a general guide remind you to post the right thing at the optimal time can be helpful. It should appear to fans as though they are spontaneous and conversational. 

When marketing a book, social media can work hand in hand with traditional publicity. You can post links to your coverage, and the size of your following can impress editors and producers. They like to quote and interview authors with substantial followings. In today's competitive world, they want to cross-promote with your audience to expand theirs – it's a mutually beneficial equation. If you're unsure about what to post, start following some other authors and check their social media feeds. You can't copy theirs, but you can be inspired by some of the topics and frequency of their posts.

Veteran book PR people also advise authors that they don't need to be everywhere. In other words, pick two platforms and focus on those accounts. The ones you choose will vary based on your book and personal interests. For example, if you've published a coffee table book with architecture photographs, you'll likely excel on a photo-sharing platform. Other authors may prefer posts that are more about words and writing than imagery. You'll succeed when you're posting authentically and engaging with your fans. It may change over time, and you may find specific posts work better than some others.


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