The Power of Social Media
by Danika Stone
When you start out as a writer, the first thing on your mind is how to get your book into stores. You spend months writing. You polish your manuscript until it gleams and send it off to agents. If you’re one of the lucky few, it’s selected and your baby launches into stores as you’ve always dreamed. Then what?
The answer is: nothing, if writing is the only thing you’ve done.
There’s an unspoken rule about the publishing world and that’s the power of interaction. As someone who leapfrogged from self-publishing, to small press, to Big Five (All the Feels, Macmillan, 2016), I know the importance of that connection to one’s readers. My 19K Twitter followers – along with countless others on Tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest– are part of my success. You need a voice to share your book, and connecting with the writing community is how you create it.
Here are five hints to help you succeed with social media promotions:
- Choose one main social media venue. No one has enough time to be an expert in everything, so choose the interface you feel most comfortable with and use it. I dabble in a variety of social media, but my hub is Twitter and my follower numbers reflect that.
- Share your writing promotions sparingly. It sounds counter-intuitive, but nothing will lose you followers faster than always posting about your book (no matter how awesome it is.) The readers are there to find out about YOU, so do everyone a favor and share some interesting content.
- Spread the love with other readers / writers / bloggers. A great way to build your social media presence is to help others. If you’ve read a book and loved it – tweet about it! Need someone to beta-read an early draft? Offer that service to others. Because nothing will get you returns faster than genuine interaction.
- Choose the times to PUSH your book. You have a book coming out. Great! Now that you’ve reached a critical mass of followers, it’s time to bring your book out of the shadows. Build a street team of bloggers. Get other writers involved in the release. Then promote for a specific amount of time. If you’ve built real relationships beforehand, this should be an easy transition.
- Lastly, be flexible enough to embrace the (inevitable) change. The internet and social media is one of the most change-worthy elements of a writer’s life. Facebook, the hub of all social interaction a mere ten years ago, is now considered a grandma’s site. You may not be able to be part of all types of social media (see step 1), but you must be flexible enough to take the leap when new ones appear.
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (Edge of Wild, The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
All the Feels
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.
Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.
Indigo Sykes has spent years trying to forget where she came from. She has a degree, a new life, and a quiet existence. Everything she ever wanted… But all of this comes to a screeching halt when an unexpected meeting with computer hacker, Jude Alden, changes her plans. Romance blooms between the mismatched duo, even while entanglements from Indigo’s past threaten to pull the two of them apart.
Dogged by a history of running, Indigo’s hard-won security is shattered when Jude’s illegal activity drags both of them into a dangerous game. As the net of hacking and underworld crime tightens around Jude and Indigo’s dark history is exposed, the two of them must find a way out or risk bringing the consequences down on them both.
Intaglio: The Snake and the Coins
Set against the backdrop of the modern art scene, Intaglio: The Snake and the Coins follows Ava Brooks, art student and graffiti artist, as she begins a wildfire relationship with fellow student, sculptor Cole Thomas. Their sudden connection results in a passionate affair which sparks a series of increasingly vivid dreams. In them, Ava finds herself drawn into a memory of another life: one that she and Cole shared. As each dream brings the memory of her past closer, the two of them must unravel the events that once tore them apart, or risk repeating the same mistakes all over again.
Intaglio: Dragons All the Way Down
Ava Brooks and Cole Thomas share a connection: one forged from the memories of another life. The unraveling web of secrets continues as Ava finds herself caught in a growing conflict between Cole and Kip. In the wake of this, revelations emerge about the death of Cole’s sister, but the dark stories hidden in the Thomas household hint at a life marred tragedy. As each new dream brings this other life closer, Ava and Cole must unravel the events that once tore them apart, or risk repeating the same mistakes all over again.
Thank you so much Danika for being sharing your insights on utilizing social media. We truly appreciate your time and effort put into telling your story and helping future writers.
As always, a huge thank you to all publishing/writing professionals who have, will be, and are participating in this feature. Thank you for helping our future writers.
We hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week, and a safe and happy weekend!