Author Etiquette - Social Media Management: During Your Release

by Jennifer 29. September 2017 12:09

Book promotion is often a questionable process for many authors. Caught between promoting too much or not enough, writers often lean too far to one side or the other during critical release times. This leaves potential readers to either turn away from the author or not notice the promotions at all.

 

Last month AIP took a look at Social Media Management: Before Your Release. We looked at:

  • Social media accounts

  • Why you need to start a social media presence

  • Content and how to create it

  • When to promote

  • How often

  • And where to promote.

 

Today, we will look at how to promote your books during your release.

 

For the most part, your during release phase is about one month before and a month or two after the release date. This gives you plenty of time to either promote a pre-order, if you have one, and follows you through the weeks after your release. While your release date is very important, building sales the month before and following up for the next few weeks can help your book stay in a higher visibility tier.

 

Social Media as a Promotion Tool

Social media is a tool just like a pen and paper. It can be used for a variety of things, but for authors, it’s a great tool to connect with readers.

First, if you’ve already been contacting reviewers, guest blogs and interviewers, you’ve been generating content for your next release. Increase the frequency these links appear on your social media streams. Posting different links 3 times a day (morning, noon, and night) increases the visibility of these posts making it more likely a variety of people will click on them.

 

Second, be more visible on social media. Gradually increase the frequency that you post. If you’ve posted a few times a week two months before your release, start posting once a day. If you are unsure about content, you can always look for good writing articles, news about your release, or photos you take with your phone. Even memes that relate to writing can offer some great content. And don’t be afraid to post something that will generate discussion (note: not arguments.) if you have the energy to keep up.

 

Third, be sure to still be a person. Don’t turn your social media feed into a “BUY ME NOW” fest. No more than 20% of your posts should be about promotion. But if you increase your posting frequency, you will automatically have more promotional posts going up.

 

Content

The few weeks leading up to your release is a great place to fill your social media feed with lots of great content. If you are working with a publisher, then ask for some information you can put on your blog. Many are willing to give you some free content.

 

Another way to get content is to open up your blog to other authors. Guest posts on the subject of writing are welcome and attract readers from beyond your fan circle. Pick a theme and start asking who would like to write.

 

Promotion Pages

Even if you aren’t doing a pre-order, you should post your book to different promotional pages at least two weeks before your release date. Although people cannot buy the book yet, they are aware of it. This way when the book launches and the orders are open, readers will be already eager to buy.

 

Fan Groups

Social media is full of fans. Fans of sports, fans of TV shows, and fans of genre and subgenres. These groups are out there for people to share their love of a specific thing. If your writing fits into a fan group and that group allows promotion, go right ahead and post about your work on the page. If they don’t allow promotion, become active in the group. Comment on some posts and post some questions of your own. You’ll attract attention, and hopefully lead new fans to your books.

 

Create a Press Release

While promoting on your feeds is essential, other venues exist. Creating a press release can help you reach more readers. Press releases are used by other venues to announce events. There’s many places on the internet that will post your press release for free but you’ve got to have all of your information together.

 

Writing a press release is fairly simple you just have to remember: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  • You begin with Who you are.

  • What the press release is about.

  • When the preorder is open and/or when the release date is.

  • Where the book is being release at (platforms such as Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc)

  • Why you are contacting them.

If at all possible, include a author photo, cover image, links to your social media streams, website and publisher site.

 

Ask other authors if they know of places that have press releases or Google your own!

 

Blog Tours

Blog tours are another great way to generate excitement and best used in the during your release phase. To do this, you will have to start early by contacting other authors and bloggers but it’s a great way to increase your reach.

 

First, when reaching out to reviewers and other authors explain that you are going to do a blog tour and ask if they’d like to be a part of it. Once you have their response, you can write guest posts and/or answer interview questions. Be sure to include your bio, cover image, author photo and order links when you send your responses back.  Be sure to use those links for content and promotions!

 

Personal Appearances

Although most of what we’ve been dealing with today is online promotion, we do need to add personal appearance and how you can use them to generate more content for your social media streams. Personal appearances can be anything from attending your local writer’s group, a convention, reading or signing opportunity.  While spur of the moment appearances work for some authors, a well planned event is often a better choice.

 

If you are attending a reading or signing, you will want to give your fans enough time to be able to plan on attending. Announcing a few times a week at least two weeks prior to the event is often enough time for fans to arrange their own social schedules if they are in the area. If you are attending a convention, it’s best to announce it as soon as possible and then mention it as the convention date approaches. It’s also a good idea to have a list of appearances somewhere on your website.

 

As your event becomes closer, you will want to mention it more frequently on your social media streams. You might announce what book you will be reading from or if you will have special swag for your attendees. If you are attending a convention you might also want to tag some of the people you will be attending with in your posts.

 

During the event, you can take photos of your attendees, other guests, (with permission!) and generate all sorts of new content.  Encourage fans to take photos of you and the books they purchase. If they put those up on social media and tag you, like and respond! You can post a recap of your experiences on your website or blog. (Positive and negative experiences are welcome.) And while this is promotion, it is disguised as having a great time!

 

Newsletters

Before I forget, the during phase of a release is the prime time to send out newsletters. Newsletters allow you to announce new projects, when pre-orders are open and when you will be attend events.

 

What? You don’t have one?

 

Not to worry. There’s some really simple ways to develop a newsletter.  You can either:

  • Create a spreadsheet with names and emails

  • Create a Google Group

  • Subscribe to a newsletter subscription service

 

The hardest part is getting people to sign up. This is why you need to mention it at least once a week on your social media streams and any time you have a personal appearance. If you have a table or booth, you might have a small computer set up so people can sign up immediately. Or have people write down their information. QR codes can also take people directly to your website from their cell phones.

 

The biggest issue authors have in promoting their books during a release is not wanting to sound like a broke record screaming “BUY ME NOW” to their audience. So instead of promoting your books, generate lots of content by using press releases, a blog tour, personal appearances, and by participating in fan and promotional sites.

 

The key is to be highly visible during your release.

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