The Internet is a huge boon to today’s writers: it provides places to sell your books, venues for marketing your books, and forums for engaging with your readers and fans. But with so many online platforms available to writers, finding ways to use social media effectively can be a challenge. Here are four tips to help writers navigate the social media landscape.
1. Find Your People
Find online communities that include your would-be colleagues and future readers. Seek out communities of potential readers, too. For instance, if you’re writing a book about raising children, participate in communities of people interested in parenting. It’s a great way to build genuine relationships with readers.
In addition, do what writer Nicole Dieker suggests, and seek out the chance to connect with people who share your beat, or write on the same topics that you do. Are you a music writer? Connect with other music writers. Do you write romance novels? Join a Facebook group of other like-minded novelists. Don’t think of writers who share your interests as your competition—think of them as your co-workers and colleagues. By engaging with them, you’ll gain a better understanding of opportunities available in your field, and you’ll make valuable connections that can help you realize your writing projects.
2. Don’t be Shy—Engage!
Once you’ve found welcoming online groups, don’t just lurk there—engage with people. Contribute to conversations and share your ideas. Comment on other people’s posts and reflect on their questions. Show them that you are a contributor to the community. That kind of genuine engagement will make people see you as a contributor to the community—and it will make them eager to read your work.
3. Promote Yourself, But Not Too Much
This point is key. Don’t flood your social media networks with endless self-promotion. That’s a sure‑fire way to irritate people and turn them off to your writing entirely. Instead, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise by engaging with the community, and only explicitly promote your own work when it’s appropriate. Some online writers groups, for instance, have a weekly “Brag Your Byline” thread where participants post links to their most recent publications. Instead of relentless promoting, let your actions as a community member represent you.
4. Promote Others
One of the best ways to be a valued member of an online literary community is by sharing the work of writers whom you admire—especially new writers who need a signal-boost. And if you promote other writers’ publications, you’ll be more likely to find that they’ll promote your book.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to build genuine connections with writers and readers. For more advice on how to use social media as a writer, check out these tips from bestselling authors.
Looking for more writing help or advice? Contact the team at Kevin Anderson and Associates to find out how we can help you write and publish your book.