Indie Marketing: How I use social media as an author

There’s a bit of polarity on whether social media ‘actually sells books’ or not, but for me that’s not necessarily the point.

In this post I just want to break down how I currently use social media outlets, and the gain I’ve gotten from each of them.

In 2013, I wrote a similar post on my friend Joy Findlay’s blog, which you can read here if you’re interested:Β joyfindlayauthor.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/zee-southcombe-guest-post.html

Disclaimer: I don’t have huge amounts of followers on social media. For me, it’s about genuine relationships / connections.

Twitter: Writer-to-Writer Networking

Many writers seem to like Twitter, and this is what makes Twitter so good! For me, I’ve been able to develop friendships with other writers and share the ups and downs of writing (and life) with them. We’ve also been able to trade services – like beta reading and reviews – and it’s a great place to read and share useful writing-focused articles.

I may not sell books on Twitter, but without my Tweeps I wouldn’t have anything worth selling!

Summary: Twitter is good for meeting other writers and bartering services.

Google Plus:Β Writers’ Coffeehouse

I admit, the only thing I currently use Google+ for now is the Writers’ Coffeehouse. It was initiated by Amanda Staley as a strictly no-links community, which means it is ONLY discussion and NOT self-promotion (which seems rife on Google+).

There are a good range of people on there, so it’s great to ask questions on and get varied, thoughtful and practical responses.

Summary: On Google Plus, find a good community and share information, experiences and ideas.

Instagram: Process

As I’m a painter / illustrator as well, I share my painting process on Instagram. I’ll also share photos of cups of tea or my journal, and I’ve found it a great way to help my followers become a part of my process.

By seeing how my ideas develop, or ‘a day in the life’ snapshots, people feel involved in the project I am working on. This helps in two ways: firstly, it makes the project feel less solitary, and secondly, it makes people more interested in the finished work.

Summary: Take your fans behind the scenes and involve them in your process with Instagram.

Facebook: Existing Connections & Event Planning

Because Facebook is one of the earlier social networks, a lot of people are on there. I’ve found it’s a good way to tell people who already know me what I’m up to in the writing world. These guys have become my biggest supporters.

Facebook is definitely the easiest place to get details up for an event, and for the host to get a rough idea of numbers. It also means I can post things related to the event here with people who are actually interested.

I’m also in an excellent NZ indie writers’ group, and it’s been uplifting to connect with fellow children’s writers.

Summary: Facebook is great for planning events and sharing your books with existing connections.

How does social media work for you? And if you don’t use social media – why not?

7 thoughts on “Indie Marketing: How I use social media as an author

  1. Hi Zee! Great article! I pretty much use all social media sites for the same purposes. I enjoy meeting and socializing with other writers, authors, bloggers, and readers, and I’ve done this on FB, G+, Tumblr, Goodreads, Tweeter . . . and others. I also like sharing my blog posts and short stories and this has led to interviews, spotlights, and reviews. And I’ve grown my blog and sold a few books along the way. All social media is good. It’s all about which sites you enjoy and feel comfortable with. πŸ˜‰

    Like

    1. Exactly! I guess it does sell books along the way – but again it’s a long term thing πŸ™‚

      And as you’re sharing some of your fiction work, it makes sense that your readers would enjoy your longer works as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, Vashti xx

      Like

  2. I think those are good ways to use social media πŸ™‚ I’m largely ineffective. Twitter is my main hangout mostly because of the awesome writer tweeps on there!

    Like

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