by J Seph | Twitter: @jsephwrites
Marketing your self-published book on social media is a requirement in 2022 and beyond. Social media offers the most efficient cost to value ratio because it’s free (mostly; more on that later), and should be a part of any self-publishing marketing plan. We will take a look at some effective methods through which this is accomplished.
Which platform works best for self-publishers? The one you are most comfortable with or can become the most comfortable with the short answer. TikTok is pretty hot right now, but if you’re not into making videos or it doesn’t fit the project you’ve published then it is ok to skip it for now and possibly work it into the plan later as you see fit. Maybe Twitter, which is mostly text-based with multimedia elements, is more suitable; Instagram and Facebook can accomplish similar goals as well. The point is to pick one based on how you see yourself and your work fitting in and run with it. There will be time along the process to add any, all, or none of the other platforms down the road.
You do not have to wait until your book is on the market to get involved or bring awareness to your upcoming work. Share the journey you’re taking on the road to self-publishing. This is a great opportunity to garner interest/awareness, connect with and inspire others who may be interested in self-publishing. Posting engaging content on social media is a great introduction to your audience of both you and your work. If you do not have a substantial following starting out there are ways to go beyond your reach. You can connect with influencers, follow other authors/publishers, and look for opportunities to learn from others who have been down the road of self-publishing before or are actively pursuing similar goals as yourself. A long-term strategy is not just to find customers; the goal is to foster community and engagement, then the sales will follow. The mindset is to cultivate supporters, not necessarily followers.
So what should you actually post on social media? High quality visuals on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter will typically cause the average user to stop scrolling and investigate. A well-crafted article on LinkedIn related to your work or insight on self-publishing in general can be a great way to garner engagement. Create a video on Youtube, Facebook Reels, and/or TikTok to share something about your work. The key is to get familiar with the platform(s) you’re choosing and take note of the types of content that do well. A book cover reveal, followed up with a short-form video book teaser, or maybe just a picture of your favorite writing setting with a caption explaining why it’s your favorite place to write can all be a part of your social media approach. Be creative and authentic to explore what types of content related to your self-published book or you as an author will work best for you.
Your social media approach may be related to your marketing budget via targeted ad campaigns (this is the “more on that later” I spoke of earlier). This is a pro-level investment; if you do not have experience running targeted ad campaigns on the various social media platforms, reach out to or hire someone that does. Paid marketing on social media works differently on each of the various platforms, so make sure you’re spending your marketing budget in an informed manner. Running an ad campaign is worthy of its own independent blog post, but should be something you consider for your self-published book.
Social media, regardless of the specific platform, is a powerful tool for self-publishers. It is a great avenue for connecting with your target audience and garner both initial and sustained interest in your work. For those of you who are using social media as a promotional tool, what successes have you seen? What platform is working best for you? Please leave a comment below that others may find helpful from your expertise.