Social media has been one of the forefront tools for writers to promote their works in these modern times. They don’t have to rely on traditional publishing houses to get their work across to a wide audience. Social media sites have made marketing of books of authors really simple and easy. The digital age has changed the way writers publish and promote their book without even spending much, but just utilizing some inventiveness and effort to reach out to millions of readers worldwide.
Even though there is an abundance of social media platforms, effectively using the proper ones is the right way to promote an author’s book. Here we discuss the top social media platforms to promote books.
One of the biggest and most popular social media platforms, Facebook has been around for more than a decade and has only grown in its popularity over the years. Every who’s who that you might know and people of all generations and age groups are present on Facebook. It is really simple to create a profile here, free of cost, and upload photos, personal information and connect to people across the world, while also being able to create pages or groups, post videos, and even sell items on their marketplace.
Promoting an upcoming book or novel on Facebook has been the new norm for some time now. From creating a group based on the idea of the book to promoting it on various writing groups formed by people, there are innumerable options available. People can use hashtags to generate publicity and attract a specific type of audience for promotion purposes. Fan club pages can also be made to generate hype, with an added opportunity to get a chance to chat with the author or get an exclusive look at the upcoming work.
Another major social media platform, Twitter is a powerful tool for getting heard by a worldwide audience. It’s an effective marketing tool, if used properly. Even if someone is not present on Facebook, they are sure to be on Twitter, as it has the ability to get things on trending very easily. It is really easy to communicate with people on Twitter and anyone is allowed to follow any person of their liking as well as companies, and even “tweet” at them. Users are allowed to share photos, videos, notes, audio files, links and everything in between. It is free to make an account and even easier to gain followers, which might be useful when it comes to promoting.
Twitter can be used to share the title of the book to be published, and since it only allows 280 characters in a tweet, a short sweet title just might catch the audience’s attention. Using of hashtags is one of the most important aspects of using Twitter, since trending posts are shown by the trending hashtags. Effective use of hashtags can contribute to great promotion and allow further spread of the work. Communicating with readers through tweets is always a good idea to know the audience as well as endorse the book that you plan to publish or have already published. Quoting some lines from the book also helps get people familiar with the work. Sharing links and photos of the book is another way to promote on Twitter.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is a type of social media which focuses mainly on the photo and video sharing aspect. It offers a lot of opportunities for promotion through the use of not just images but also live videos, hashtags, stories, comments and followers. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms after Facebook and TikTok. It also allows its users to create pages for products and services and post them simultaneously on Facebook and other platforms.
Instagram can be used effectively for promotion by sharing photos of the book, snippets, cover image, people reading the book and so on. It can also be used to post short looping videos to show the book. Similar to Twitter, hashtags are an important aspect of Instagram. It helps its users to find and connect with whatever they are looking for. This can be used to reach the right audience who might be looking for what you are trying to promote. Gaining a large following can always be helpful as they might be able to help further spread the promotion process. The posts can be boosted too to reach the target audience.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, which helps employers meet their potential employees and people from similar and other areas of work. But it can also be used to promote campaigns, products, services etc. and network with people from all over the world. Although people put it in the category of social media, it is aimed towards being more formal in nature and work-oriented than the casual nature of the other platforms.
LinkedIn can be used proficiently in promoting a book by connecting with the right people, who might be effectively searching for that particular genre. Although it is used for promoting books which are more practical in nature like self-help books, motivational books and so on, this platform can still be utilized for other genres. LinkedIn uses the hashtag feature as well as allowing the posting of not just photos, but videos, links, PDFs, and even associations with other companies. LinkedIn is more useful for the author than for the book itself as the platform is more people-oriented than anything else.
Few honorable mentions,
a. Squarespace/WordPress: Using websites like Squarespace or WordPress to create and design your own author’s website is always a good idea to increase exposure and give a boost in promoting the work. It requires very less time and no training whatsoever, so anyone can just create something in an hour or less. The author website can have anything from book covers to insight into the material for the book. It can also be used for regular blogging as well as communicating with the readers. Another good idea would be subscribing to a newsletter or email signups to personalize messages to the readers and share regular updates.
b. Wattpad/Goodreads: Free story-hosting websites like Wattpad and Goodreads are always a good source to reach out to millions of readers without having to pay for anything. These websites cater to all kinds of genres by providing new user-generated stories and even helps in connecting writers to publishing houses. Authors can participate in communities and interact with other readers and authors as well. It acts similar to blog posts for these websites.
YouTube: The world’s most popular video-hosting website, YouTube can be used a platform to promote a book in the form of a short video about introducing the synopsis of the book, or even a book reading by the author or by some of the fans of the book. A short 30 second-video of the mentions of the book by the readers could do wonders in promoting. Making it shareable also helps it to cross-promote on other social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
The author of this article, Rohan Sarkar is a professional illustrator and is currently pursuing his masters in Toronto, Canada.