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The common wisdom is that authors should have social media accounts and that those accounts should be used to promote their books. Maybe your editor has instructed you to start up a Twitter account so that you can spread the word about your novel. Perhaps you read somewhere that Facebook was a surefire way to sell more copies of your self-published masterpiece. While I do agree that having one or more social media accounts can be very beneficial to authors, I feel like there’s a lot of misinformation out there on how to use social networks to promote your work. Too often authors are instructed to start posting to social media with no real guidance as to best practices or what they should be posting and are soon disappointed with the results.

If you’re under the impression that your Twitter account is going to turn your book into a bestseller, well, I have some harsh words of wisdom for you. That probably isn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t mean you should shun all social media and lock yourself away in a garret to write novels no one will ever read. Social media when harnessed correctly can be a powerful tool for authors, and in the detailed post below, I’ll show you some different strategies you can employ to grow your readership and your brand with this technology.

You’ve Discovered a Powerful Tool for Engaging Fans

A lot of authors are told that social media is a useful tool for promoting their books. So, they sign up for an account with one or more social media networks and set about creating a series of posts to promote their books. Essentially they treat it like a sort of virtual bulletin board to promote their stuff so that their social media pages look like a classified advertising page in a newspaper. It’s not a good look, and it can be a big turnoff for potential fans and followers.

This sort of approach to social media is all too common, and it’s born out of a basic misunderstanding about the purpose of social media and its value to authors. I’m going to tell you something that flies in the face of some of the advice you have likely heard elsewhere. Social media is not a useful tool for reaching new readers. (The exception to this rule is that paid advertising on social media sites can be VERY useful for finding new readers.) Look, I’m not saying that readers have not discovered new authors thanks to social media. I personally have discovered new authors whose books I’ve enjoyed thanks to Twitter, but those instances are rare and it is not the main value of social media for authors.

As an author, using social media effectively means understanding its purpose and that’s not to reach new readers but to engage your existing fans. I realize this is going to be tough to hear if you’re just starting out and right now you can count all your fans on one hand and they’re all related to you. But your audience will grow, and as it does your social channels act as a way for you to be accessible to your fans.

Your social media account gives you a chance to show readers the person behind the author. What or how much you choose to share is entirely up to you. It can be as simple as talking about your writing process, what you observe out your office window or sharing pictures of your pets. (I’ll get into some more detailed descriptions of what you should be posting in just a bit.) Yes, of course, when you have exciting book news, you should share it, but your account needs to have more substance than just an unending series of buy-my-book pitches if you want to have success at the social media game.

The key is to remember that your account is not like the bulletin board in the coffee shop where you can tack up your advertising flyers, but instead is an ongoing conversation between you and your followers.

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You’ve Been Invited to a Virtual Dinner Party

Confused about what to post on your social media channels or just trying to come up with a plan of attack for succeeding with your social accounts? It might help if you think about it as a sort of virtual dinner party.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or some other social network, a general rule of thumb is to behave as if you were the guest at a party, a really big party  that never ends. Maybe all of us don’t have the best social skills, but we do more or less know how to act. The guy who spends the whole party pitching his get-rich-quick scheme or endlessly plugging his novel which is the greatest literary masterpiece ever written, is not going to be a popular party attendee. In fact, he’s the guy everyone is going to go out of their way to avoid. So, don’t be him at real parties or virtual ones.

Instead you want to be the sort of party guest who has meaningful and engaging conversations with fellow party-goers. That means your conversations shouldn’t be all one sided. There should be a natural give and take. The topics of these conversations should be things you’re interested in, of course, and also topics that your conversation-mates might find interesting or entertaining.

Having conversations on social media might be a little different than having them in real life, but basic rules of etiquette still apply. Depending on the platform this may mean commenting on the posts of others in a friendly sort of way, sharing posts or replying to those who have commented on your own posts.

Engagement should be your main goal, whether it is “talking” to others who you follow on the platform or “chatting” with those who follow you. If you begin your social media journey with this mindset, you’ll be fine, but if you are looking at it solely as a venture to sell more books, it’s probably not going to go so well.

That said, that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to share news about your upcoming publications, special discounts or giveaways of your books or other information that’s promotional in nature. Just avoid having your timeline be nothing but promo and try to keep your tone natural and conversational as opposed to sounding like a sales pitch.

One challenge I think many authors face when it comes to social media, is that as a rule authors tend more towards introversion than extroversion. There are plenty of extrovert authors, don’t get me wrong, but there seems to be more introverts who are writers, and so the whole social thing does not come naturally to them. I’m an introvert myself, and dread the idea of real-life dinner party, but I mostly enjoy the virtual ones online, and if you can find a way to enjoy your author social media interactions, then you’ll do just fine.

Aim for Quality Over Quanitity

People can become a little too obsessed with numbers when it comes to social media, even when those numbers are virtually meaningless. I see this often when people focus on “follower counts” and making sure that they have thousands and thousands of followers on their social media accounts.

The follower-obsessed usually achieve their high number follower counts in one of two ways. The first strategy is to follow as many other accounts as possible in the hopes of getting those users to follow them back, and the other strategy is to simply pay for followers. In terms of your success on social media either strategy will have about the same result, which is to say no result at all.

The reason is that either of these strategies usually lead to you amassing a bunch of followers who will have no engagement with your posts. It’s possible some might see these high follower numbers and believe this in an indication that you’re successful, but I think most users are savvy enough to realize your account is little more than a bot account, especially when they take a look at the sort of things you are posting and the sort of engagement on those posts.

Instead of shooting for a follower count goal, it would make more sense to shoot for engagement goals such as how many comments or shares/retweets your posts are receiving. This is a better metric for determining your success on social media.

And to help boost these comments and shares, it helps if your feed also emphasizes quality over quantity. It’s not about how much you post during the day, but how much entertaining, informative or otherwise engaging content you manage to post.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Some Thoughts on Timing

When you post content used to matter a lot more than it does today. Most social media channels have moved away from a feed that strictly shows posts in chronological order relying instead on algorithms to arrange posts in a way that they believe is most beneficial to their readers. That said, most social media sites do allow users to opt out of this format and instead display the feed chronologically, but this is a manual thing that users must do, and a lot don’t bother with it.

Keeping in mind that you are posting to a global audience and that social media sites are relying less and less on a chronological model, finding a sweet spot of a time to post content is not especially necessary these days. Plus it’s important to remember that peak times of day, may not be ideal for someone just getting started out in social media or trying to build their brand because there’s more chance of getting lost in the shuffle. Posting at off-peak times can sometimes work to your advantage.

Scheduling posts is a strategy that some swear by and others abhor. If you struggle with finding the time to manage social media activity or find yourself forgetting to post on a regular basis, it can be a useful tool, but use it with caution.

These days breaking news happens on social media. When a huge event, especially a tragic one happens you will quickly see your social media feed become swamped with everyone talking about the same thing. And this is where having scheduled posts can be especially dangerous. Imagine something terrible has happened such as the crash of a passenger airliner, but a week ago you had set up a series of Tweets to promote your new novel about an aviation disaster. Now, as everyone is expressing grief and condolences on this crashed airplane here comes your tweet about how folks should buy your book about a fictional plane crash. Yeah, that’s not a good look, and it’s one way to guarantee you’re the next victim of cancel culture.

So if you do use post scheduling be sure you can easily and quickly disable those posts should a tragic event occur that will make your promotional post look horribly insensitive.

One more thing to keep in mind with post scheduling. While it does give you a fix it and forget it sort of feeling, it’s important to remember that engagement should still be your goal. So, just because you wrote a post a week earlier, your followers are just seeing it, and you should be ready to respond to their questions and comments when your message goes live.

Different Strategies for Nonfiction vs. Fiction Authors

While some strategies such as emphasizing engagement and using promotional posts sparingly remain the same whether you’re books are nonfiction or fiction, there are likely going to be different approaches you will use in your social media practices if you’re writing nonfiction than if you’re writing fiction.

Now, before I get into that there is one tricky little exception in this nonfiction vs. fiction distinction, and that is highly personal memoirs. If a memoir is at heart a coming of age story, about personal relationships, or otherwise more emotional in nature it will probably make the most sense to promote in in the style of novels. Whereas memoirs that present a personal view of historic events, scientific topics or even geographic places still have enough of factual style to use a nonfiction approach in promotion.

With nonfiction works you want to focus on the topic of your book or books with your social media accounts. Have your written a history book? Your posts can be about interesting historic tidbits. Follow and share posts from museums and other history buffs to help establish your brand. Craft your social media accounts around the topics of your books and make your posts relevant to the sort of people who would like to read books like yours. And yes, you can occasionally make posts that promote your own books.

If you write fiction, your approach is usually going to be a little different. If your novel is on a niche topic, then making fun facts posts and sharing posts from experts may work, but be mindful of pigeonholing yourself as that person who always posts about sharks/meteorology/tarot cards/whatever especially if you intend to write other novels that aren’t on the same topic.

In most cases other than occasionally sharing a quote from your book or perhaps the songs you like to listen to while writing, you’ll want to go a bit off topic with your social media posts and give followers a glimpse of the real you, or as much as yourself as you are comfortable sharing.

Personal Accounts vs. Professional Accounts

Each social media site works a little differently in how it allows you to set up accounts. Some, ask that you have one main account with a separate page (or pages) devoted to professional interests. For example on Facebook I have a regular account where I’m friends with assorted relatives, people I went to high school with, etc. I have an author page as well. It’s linked to my main account, but followers of my author page can’t see the stuff I post on my personal account unless I share it with them. Other social media channels allow you to set up different usernames (these usually require separate email addresses) for different pages.

The approach you take with these accounts is entirely up to you, but if you already have an established account with a social media channel and now wish to transition it into an author account you’ll want to make sure nothing you previously shared is too personal or perhaps too offensive. It might make more sense to set up an entirely different account. You can always direct your current followers to follow you at the new account if you’re worried about losing your established audience.

It’s up to you how much personal information you share with your followers. Remember that this is a public space so be mindful of your safety and the safety of others. You should also be mindful of the privacy of friends and relatives if sharing photos or other personal material on one of your public accounts. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of asking permission before posting photos or information that references a friend or a relative.

Politics, Religion and Other Messy Topics

While sharing personal photos or information isn’t likely to offend your followers, the same cannot be said of other topics. Politics, religion and some social issues can be especially controversial and as you know you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

So, should you steer clear of controversial topics entirely? Not necessarily. Just like with sharing personal information, whether or not you share your own political or religious views is something that is entirely up to you. But here’s some things to consider:

  • Does being your authentic self online, mean you should share one or more of these views online? For example, perhaps you actively volunteer with a political organization or are very involved in your church. If many hours are spent each month in these pursuits, to steer clear of such topics might feel a bit disingenuous.
  • Do controversial topics play a key role in your novel? If you’ve written a Christian romance novel or a political thriller, then it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to steer clear of any controversial topics that pertain to your book. And in fact expressing your passion for topics that pertain to your work, may help you to reach new readers.
  • You can change your mind about what opinions you express at any time. You may start off your account avoiding any topics that could offend, but if you feel moved to sound off on a topic it’s okay to change your own policy. That said, because of the immediacy of social media, it’s a good idea to let any strongly emotional posts linger in draft form for an hour or more to see if after a cool-off period you’ve reconsidered your passionate response.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

What to Post

The best rule of thumb when it comes to deciding what to post online is to share things that are relevant to your interests. Most likely you have interests beyond writing so sharing posts that show off these other interests will help your followers see that you’re a well-rounded interesting person.

Do you enjoy traveling? Whether it’s epic vacations or simple day trips sharing photos, or stories of interesting experiences from your trips is a simple way to connect with followers who also have an interest in traveling or just want to be a bit of an armchair traveler.

More of a homebody? Popular culture is always a, well, popular topic. Whether it’s books, movies, TV shows or music sharing your love for your favorite media content is a simple way to connect with others who are also fans. Bonus, if the media you love is in the same genre in which you write or has been an influence on your own work you can also slip in some self promotion.

The internet really, really loves cute animals. So, you can never go wrong with sharing pictures of your pets. Don’t have any of your own, share photos of wildlife or domestic animals you see in your yard or during your travels.

The other thing the internet loves is funny stuff. Have a funny video or a funny story. Sharing it in a post can be a good way to get your post shared, because folks love to brighten the timelines of their own followers with a story that made them smile.

Food is a universal topic. Love to bake? Share snapshots of your latest creations or even recipes. Better at eating food than making it? Posting photos of your meals is a tried and true social media strategy. It might be a bit cliche, but you can have fun with it. The author John Scalzi routinely posts photos of his highly original burritos on Twitter others have gotten some laughs by sharing their “gourmet” meals many of which involve junk food or other food of a less-than-healthy nature.

Pretty much any of your interests is fair game as a post topic. If you’re authentic to yourself and your interests you shouldn’t have to work too hard at determining what to post online.

 What Social Networks Should Authors Use

There is no correct answer to which social media network you should use, and there’s always the possibility that another social media network will come along that will be the most popular thing ever. The best answer is that you should use the social networks that you feel the most comfortable with.

The big three social networks at least at this time are probably Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and while they share some similarities, they each have a different style and ethos.

Facebook is probably the most popular and has been around a long time, but it can have a bit of a stodgy feel to some, and users tend to skew a little bit older. That said, it’s likely the best place for connecting with relatives, friends and old classmates online, all of whom can be powerful allies when it comes to promoting your books. And there are a certain group of Facebook users (generally older) who tend to think of Facebook as THE Internet, as in, it is where they go to seek out information online. So, it’s probably a good idea to have some sort of Facebook presence, even if you’re not a regular user. As an aside, a little bit before my first book came out, I was contacted via a Facebook message from a Hollywood producer who was looking for YA contemporary novels to option for movies and television. Ultimately, my novel did not get optioned, but having a Facebook account allowed that producer to contact me quickly and efficiently using his preferred medium, and these days you never know what someone’s preferred medium will be. I had an easy to find website with a contact page on it, but that’s not how that producer reached out to me.

Twitter’s character limit helps to keep posts short and to the point and tends to be a very of the moment sort of site. Miss logging into Twitter for a day or two and you might not get the preponderance of jokes on what ever the “it” topic of the moment is. Breaking news and humor are both very big on Twitter, and though people do share personal stories and photos on Twitter, there’s much less of that than there is on Facebook. I think users either love or hate Twitter’s fast-paced, punchy style. It can be an excellent tool for connection with readers and fellow authors, and it is my own personal favorite social media site.

Instagram is a visual medium. It’s a place to share photos and images. If you love photography or visual art, it may be the place for you to be. You can (and should) include text with your posts, but the photo is what takes center stage on Instagram. It can be a little bit more difficult to use as a promotional tool than Twitter or Facebook, though because while those sites do allow you to post links (as I keep trying to explain to my Facebook-obsessed parents who have been known to make posts that say stuff like “go to Google and search for XYZ then click on the third result down” rather than just copying and pasting a link) Instagram only allows you to post a single link in your bio. Your posts cannot contain links. So, if you are using Instagram I would recommend also using at least one other social media site.

There are, of course, many more social media sites out there. As an author those that are of interest to you are likely Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. Tumblr was pretty popular for a time, but it has faded a lot in popularity.

Goodreads is the social network for book lovers. It seems like a natural place for authors to congregate, but as it happens its not advised that authors spend much time on Goodreads. That’s because what the site specializes in is book reviews. And Goodreads reviews are known to be pretty brutal. So, while it’s a good idea to have an account on Goodreads and to make sure that your books are listed on Goodreads, you should really avoid looking up reviews of your books on the site. And if you do make the mistake of looking up your own reviews, whatever you do, do not comment on or otherwise engage with the reviewer. Many an author before you has traveled this path, and it has not gone well.

Pinterest is an unusual social media site, in that it’s more like a collection of virtual bulletin boards than a place for you to post what you had for breakfast this morning or your thoughts on the new Taylor Swift album. For an author, you can create a board on Pinterest and “pin” your books to the board. Or you can create book specific boards and pin fashions, destinations, foods, etc. that are relevant to your book. Again, the likelihood that your Pinterest theme board is going to sell any copies of your book are slim but it’s a way for fans to interact with you and can help with building links to your books that can improve their ranking in search engine results.

It’s easy to forget that YouTube is at its core a social media site, but it is. And if you enjoy making your own videos, or wish to connect with your readers via a vlog, YouTube is perfect for helping to grow your brand and your online following. But if you’re camera-shy and don’t have any interest in posting videos, you don’t have to worry that you’re missing out on sales by not having a YouTube account.

LinkedIn is the social media site for professionals. It’s probably more useful for nonfiction authors or if you’re a writer hoping to network with others, either by picking up freelance assignments or making connections with fellow authors. It tends to be a pretty niche network, with its emphasis on business stuff, and you’ll probably sell little to no books there.

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

Do You Still Need a Website?

Could you use a social media page to take the place of having your own website? Probably. I’ve certainly see some businesses that do this, but I would advise against it.

When you are using a social media site, you’re playing in someone else’s sandbox. At any time Facebook, Twitter or Instagram could flag your account for abuse and shut down your account. In some cases it could be because your account got hacked, in which case you should be able to recover it, but it might not be immediate, and there’s always the chance that a social media site could simply shut your account with no explanation.

When you have your own website, you control the content, and it’s nice to be able to have one link that you can use to easily direct potential readers to find out more about your books. This is something that you can easily post on your books in your author bio, on business cards or on bookmarks that you give away at conferences and festivals. Having your own website also means that when someone searches for you on Google, they should see your official website come up at the top of the results.

Using Tags and Hashtags to Your Advantage

Many social media sites use tagging and hashtags as a way for users to communicate effectively and organize posts on particular topics.

A tag is used when you want to get the attention of another user and is usually achieved by using the @ symbol followed by a user name. For example you might be running an ad on Facebook to promote a discounted price on your new book. Someone might comment on the ad with a comment that reads: Hey @JaneSmith this sounds like a book you would like. This is their way of alerting their friend Jane Smith about a special price on a book they think they would enjoy.

There are a variety of reasons to use tags in your social media posts. Keeping with the book theme, you might see a tweet in which someone is looking for recommendations for kids books featuring  bees, and you know of a fellow author who has written a picture book about bees. You might reply to the tweet with the message that they should check out XYZ Bee Book by @XYZauthor. This serves a double purpose of letting the bee book author know that you’ve recommended their book and that there’s a whole thread about recommendations for bee books and it also allows the original poster to easily click on the tag and be taken to the tagged user’s profile which will likely have a link to their website.

I recently looked out my kitchen window and noticed a pair of turkeys in the driveway. I tried taking a photo with my phone and ended up with a pretty good picture of my window screen with a smudgy vaguely turkey-looking shape in the distance. I happen to follow a Twitter user that uses the handle TheIneptBirder whose entertaining account is devoted to people who take terrible pictures of birds. So I posted my window screen/blurry turkey photo to Twitter with an explanation about the phone mishap and used the tag @theineptbirder in it. So, they shared my terrible photo on their own account (which has more users than my own) and my bad photo got a few more likes and interactions than my tweets normally get, and I got to bring a smile to folks faces with my garbage photo.

When used effectively tags are a great way to communicate with other users and make sure information seekers can find what they’re looking for, but you need to take care that you don’t abuse the tagging feature. Nobody appreciates spam tagging.

I tagged the TheIneptBirder in my lousy turkey photo tweet because that’s what they do, but what if instead I posted a tweet promoting a book I had written about how to take better photos and had tagged a bunch of accounts that have something to do with photography. At first glance, this might seem like a good promotion hack, but this is very spammy and is a good way to annoy other users and get them to block your account. If you’re going to tag someone in a promotional sort of post make sure you have their permission to do so first.

In most cases there isn’t any need to tag multiple users in a single post, so if you are, stop first and ask yourself if there’s really a need to do so and if your post is at all spammy in nature.

Another thing you’ll likely come across at some point is book bloggers or other reviewers tagging authors in their reviews. While it’s nice to check in and see an alert that takes you to a good review of your book, it’s a different experience entirely to see you’ve been tagged by a reviewer who absolutely hated your book. I think most reviewers know not to do this, but it does seem that every few weeks or so I see an author on Twitter pleading with book reviewers to not tag authors when posting negative reviews. So, clearly not everyone has gotten the memo.

In short if you’re saying something nice and posting something that would be of interest to a particular user, it’s fine to tag them, but if you’re posting something promotional or that is otherwise not specifically related to another’s account tagging them might come across as spam. If you have something negative to say, a tag probably isn’t necessary.

A hashtag is a little different than tagging a user. Hashtags are used to identify the subject matter of a post. They are created by using a pound or number sign followed by an uninterrupted string of text. It can be a useful way of grouping together posts on emerging news stories, trending topics or different conferences or events. In most cases, you’ll be using an already existing hashtag, but in some cases you might wish to start your own hashtag to brand your content. On many social media networks just as you can follow users you can follow particular hashtags so that you can always see posts related to that subject or interest.

One caveat, if your intention is to start up your own hashtag check to make sure there isn’t an existing one out there. Especially if you’re using some sort of shorthand or initials, you might find that your hashtag is on a subject that isn’t at all related to your own. A group blog I am a member of discovered this the hard way when we tried coming up with a universal hashtag for our Twitter posts but inadvertently picked one that was already in use and which referenced a certain sexual act. Oops!

Hashtags can be a great way to connect with other users with similar interests and following certain hashtags is a great way to see posts that are relevant to your interests. I use Instagram regularly to promote some of the products I sell featuring my digital artwork on print-on-demand sites like Redbubble and Zazzle. I use the hashtags #redbubble and #zazzle when posting products that are available in one of those stores, but I also follow those hashtags to see works from other creators and find new artists to connect with.

Hashtags can be especially helpful for finding information about emerging news stories, and also finding work on relevent topics. Unlike regular tags it’s okay to use hashtags when promoting your work on social media, provided of course they match the subject matter. Don’t use hashtags related to childrens literature for an adult book, but do find and use hashtags that relate to the genre of your book or perhaps the regional setting or other defining characteristics.

When used correctly hashtags can improve the visibility of your posts. They also may help you grow your follower count. Use hashtags that accurately identify your posts and don’t try to jump on a popular hashtag by adding it to your post when it isn’t relevant to your content.

It’s also a good idea to be mindful of what the gist or purpose of a particular hashtag is. Not sure the meaning behind a trending hashtag? Type it into the search bar to see what sort of posts are using it to make sure you aren’t making a faux pas by including it in your own post.


Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Some Strategies for Growing Your Followers

As mentioned before while following as many other users as you can in the hopes that they will follow you back, may increase your number of followers, it probably won’t have an overall positive impact on your social media channel and may end up hurting you if your following behavior makes your account look like a bot or automated program.

Instead aim to increase your follower count by posting meaningful and engaging content. I think most users will agree with me that they make their decision whether or not to follow an account by scrolling through their most recent posts to see if the user posts worthwhile content. If all they see is endless self promotion, they’ll likely stear clear. Be authentic and be interesting and while you can promote your work, make sure you intersperse promotional content with other interesting stuff.

Not all of your content needs to be your own. It’s okay to share (but not plagiarize the posts of others) by using the share or retweet button (what it’s called and where it’s located will vary from site to site.) You can share content that is relevant to books or the sort of books you write or simple stuff you finding interesting or funny.

Comment on and when appropriate tag more popular users if what you have to say is releveant to what they regularly post. This can help to bring your own page or account to the attention of other users who may be interested in the sort of content they post, and may also lead to making some new social media friends.

Using hashtags approporately or participating in social media chat threads is another organic way to find new followers who are interested in the same sort of content that you are.

Above all, be patient. As the saying goes, this is a marthon not a sprint. Chances are it will take you awhile to grow your number of followers. If you’re an impatient person then this may not be a good fit for you. Try not to obsess over your follower numbers and instead seek out the content that you find interesting and engaging.

Keep Your Social Media Usage in Check

Social media can be a great way to connect with readers and fans, but it can also be a huge time waster. Be mindful of how much time you’re spending on social media channels. While it’s true that you may sell some additional copies of your books through your social media promotion, it likely won’t be a top sales source for you unless you are using paid advertising. So, it doesn’t make sound financial sense to spend too much time hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or another social site.

Writers often joke about how they should be writing their novel, but instead are scrolling endlessly through Twitter. It’s funny, but it can also be true. Reading funny posts on Twitter and Facebook is good for a quick break, but if you find it’s seriously cutting into your ability to complete your book you will need to cut down on the amount of time that devote each day to social media.

If you’re struggling to keep your social media usage in check, you can use technology to help manage your time. The browser plugin RescueTime has a number of time management features and helps you to get a grip on social media usage. You can also use built-in features in your phone or mobile device to set limits on the amount of time each day you are permitted to use different sites.

Final Thoughts

If you’re hoping that your social media account is going to be the magical tool that launches your book to the top of the bestseller charts, I have some harsh news for you, that’s probably not going to happen. While there are always stories of folks who have gone viral and achieved huge success due to their social media posts, those tend to be the exceptions and not the rule.

That said social media is a wonderful tool that allows you to connect with your readers and makes the often lonely business of writing a little less lonely when you find fellow users who share your interests and passions. Having a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media account makes it free and easy to interact with your readers. It’s a great tool for helping to build and grow your author brand and can should be fun to use.

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