A dozen a day: Social media exercises for writers
This is a guest post by Susan Landis-Steward/ *Please note that Novel Publicity had no idea we'd be included on this list, but we sure are happy to be included among such great company./ If you took piano lessons (or any other instrument, I think) back in the 50s and 60s, you might remember a book of finger exercises called A Dozen a Day. You were supposed to do twelve of them to warm up the fingers and prime the pump for practicing. If you need to get more followers, and make more sales, you need to do your Social Marketing Daily Dozen.
1. Find and follow five new people on Twitter every day. Then send out at least one content laden tweet every day. DO NOT SPAM SALES.
2. Find a blog related to your genre or writing in general and post a comment. Make sure you include your blog link or book link. Follow the blog if you like it. If you have time, step it up a bit and find three or five blogs a day.
3. From Facebook, go to the search bar at the top of the FB page (in the blue part) and search for Networked Blogs. Join. This will cause your blog posts to go directly to your Twitter feed and FB page and will help drive traffic to your blog. This makes at least one tweet a day seamless in that your blog posts will go right to Twitter.
4. Blog. Well, unless you’re in some sort of campaign, carnival, blog tour, challenge, or other blog event, you don’t need to blog daily. Just blog regularly. Or do art. Whatever it is that you do. And put it out there for others to see.
5. Again on Facebook, join Fellow Writers. Check here daily. There are good contacts to be made, and most days there’s something you can do to get more followers or build more traffic. For example, today there is one thread for folks to follow each others’ blogs. Some days it’s FB author pages, some days it’s Twitter. Whatever it is, do it. You need tons of contacts to help you make sales.
6. Also on Fellow Writers, you can find people doing reviews, interviews, and other interesting things. Check them out. If you like what you see, ask to be included. If you like doing reviews yourself, join a blog tour. If you really like it, set yourself up to do reviews on a regular basis. Writers love reviewers. At least most of them do. And you get free books.
7. Use Google to find book reviewers who review the kind of thing you write. Ask them to review your books. If you have writing friends, ask them to do reviews for you and offer to do the same for them. Social means relationships.
8. If you see a blog event (look up the ones in number 4 above) that sounds like fun, sign up. Several of us are doing the A to Z event. There are new ones starting every day, on all sorts of topics or with various activities. C’mon. It’s fun.
9. Join the Independent Authors Network (IAN). You’ll need to have 150 Twitter followers first, but you can do it. I know you can.
10. Join Goodreads or Shelfari and get acquainted. There are all sorts of groups. Pick a few and join. Comment. Relate. Review. Get reviewed. Participate.
11. See if you can find anything useful on the Kindle Boards. Some people swear by them. They confuse me. But a friend told me I should try again so I will.
12. Again on FB, join Novel Publicity. Lots of good pointers, some follower events like the ones in Fellow Writers. Plus, go to Novel Publicity’s website. Emlyn has lots of free information about social marketing and also sells some services. If social marketing is confusing you, she can help.
BONUS: If you belong to SCBWI, MWA, RWA, SinC or other writing organizations, let people know about your books, publisher, cover artist, whatever. Share your expertise. Ask for help. Get SOCIAL.
REMEMBER: It’s about building relationships, not just selling your books. Make new friends. Engage in discussions. Crack a joke. Relate. Trust me. It’s fun.
NOTE: I’ve been putting my money where my mouth is and have been selling books regularly on Amazon, roughly 1 to 2 books a day. All total, I’ve sold about 50 books in two weeks. Not AmandaHocking, but not bad for a beginner and a newbie to social marketing. And I write for a niche market that is only about 5 percent of the population. (I know it’s really closer to10 percent, but I figure at least half of that figure are men who aren’t buying lesbian mysteries.) So it does work.
Susan Landis-Steward is an author and cofounder of Puddletown Publishing Group, a full-service, royalty based e-book publisher. Her first book, Blind Leading the Blind, a lesbian mystery, was just released. She tweets as @susanls and @puddletowngroup and blogs at http://susanlandissteward.wordpress.com andhttp://puddletown.wordpress.com.