One thing I'm frequently asked by new and aspiring authors, is what they can share on social media. Unlike other artists who frequently have visual updates of their work to share, authors are quite different. We hole ourselves up in our offices, hide behind our desks, and type like maniacs for hours upon hours while drinking fifteen cups of coffee a day. But when we're finished, all we have is a boring laptop screen with a collection of thousands upon thousands of words. And our next day's efforts will look exactly the same.
When starting out, it can be difficult to think of ways to engage your social media audience. You want to attract readers who will stick with you through the hundreds of blood-shot, caffeine-charged hours to the moment you release your book and prove to everyone that you weren't wasting all of that time playing World of Warcraft and eating thirty boxes of chocolate. (OK, maybe you really did eat the chocolate, but we can forgive that.)
The key to social media for authors is to think outside of the box. Instead of thinking about your book, think about you. Even if you're a more private person, there are things you can share about yourself outside of that word-covered computer screen. Remember that if people become interested in an author, they also become interested in the book.
What makes you interesting? What are some of your hobbies or little quirks? What are some of your likes or dislikes? The goal is to transform yourself from a phantom behind a computer screen to a real person people can relate to.
Here are seven ideas to get you started:
- Food. Everybody loves food! Did you get something awesome at a restaurant? Are you trying sushi for the first time? Did you just finish your 3rd box of chocolates for the week, and it's only Monday? Take a picture and share it! My Honeybee loves to cook! I frequently share pics of his creations, and there's always a lot of interaction from my followers.
- Pets. People can't get enough of pets. Dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, whatever you have! Share them doing something cute, and you'll gain some great, like-minded followers. I mean, what's better than an animal lover?
- Hobbies. Do you run, play a video game (we're back to that World of Warcraft!) or sport, dance, or paint? Share that passion with your followers! I've engaged some wonderful followers through my ballet posts!
- Entertainment. Talk about your favorite books, movies, musicals, and plays. It's a great way to reach new fans who share similar interests as you.
- Travel. Did you go somewhere? Even if it's just a couple hours away, don't miss out on the opportunity to share your experience and reach some new people!
- Writing Quirks. Everything you post doesn't have to be void of your writing. Do you have any writing eccentricities or bizarre rituals? Share them with your readers! I must, and I mean MUST, sharpen a pencil before I throw it out. Don't judge.
- Writing Inspirations. Where or how did you get your idea for your book? Do you keep a folder with photos that inspired your world or characters? Don't keep them to yourself! It's fun to let people see behind the scenes.
There are many more topics you can share with your followers, but I hope this sparked some ideas and got your social media juices flowing! What are some ideas you have for engaging your readers? Have you shared anything that turned out to be particularly engaging?