By Norma Gail
Life gets harder once your book is published. I will admit I thought little beyond seeing my book on store shelves and waiting for the royalty checks. However, life after publication is nothing like I, or probably any other writer in the current day anticipated. Let’s face it, marketing and social media are every author’s headache.
Traditionally published authors must work just as hard as indie authors these days. We need to know what marketing avenues are available, which are most economical for the impact on sales, and which help us reach our audience.
There are hundreds of Facebook pages designed to allow authors to share their books. I joined a lot. With zeal and enthusiasm, I began crafting posts and making memes (or posters) to use in marketing. I worked on marketing and social media every day. The first few days, I saw a bump in my Amazon ranking. After that, nothing I did seemed to make any difference.
I worked so enthusiastically, I landed in Facebook jail. When you sit and copy and paste to various pages too fast, the Facebook police begin to watch you. They think you are a computer. If a box pops up asking you to choose which pictures show a flower or tiger or something, stop. You’re headed for a prison jumpsuit if you continue.
I began writing more and posting less. Unless a Facebook group has 10,000 members or more, it’s a waste of time to post more than once every week or two. You don’t want people to get tired of posts about your book. Take into consideration whether you are posting on a Christian or secular page. I post to both. Christians do not only read Christian fiction and perhaps something about your book will appeal to a non-Christian.
Vary how you post. Make an Excel spreadsheet with lists of quotes to help create new posts for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Update them every few months. Quotes don’t need to be long, about 3-7 words to allow more room for hashtags and descriptions. Unless you’re strapped for time, mix up your quotes and hashtags so you don’t post the same thing everywhere you post.
Research hashtags that apply to your book and keep a running list. Check every few months because new ones appear on a regular basis. For example, go to Twitter, or even Google, and search for #Kindle. Find hashtags specific to your genre. Search for hashtags about sales, giveaways, and days of the week. Use these hashtags when you are doing your social media planning and vary them, especially if posting multiple places in one day. It gets your book on more lists.
Learn to create your own memes. There are a number of websites to help you. Two of the most popular are Canva.com and PicMonkey.com. Have a large selection so you can rotate. Make some posters specific to free Kindle days, sales, and giveaways. Be non-specific when possible so that the meme can be used over and over again.
Try an Amazon Giveaway. They are pretty new, and only added the option to give away Kindle books in February, but they are not expensive. You pay the cost of the number of books you want to giveaway and postage, if you’re giving print books. They ship for you. You might want to alternate them with Goodreads giveaways.
You have more time to write when you have a plan for your marketing and social media. Learn to banish as many of those authorly headaches as possible.
© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman
Norma Gail, author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. Her devotionals have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.