How Authors Can Use Social Media

How Authors Can Use Social Media

There’s no debating the power of social media, and in today’s competitive book market, authors would be foolish not to tap into the myriad of opportunities. That said, social media can also be overwhelming, especially for newbies. With so many platforms and trends, it’s hard to keep up—and to know the best place to focus your efforts. Read on to learn about the most popular social media platforms for authors and tips and ideas to promote yourself and your book.

Four Social Platforms for Authors

There are so many ways authors can engage with readers online. However, the four most common social media platforms for writers are:

1. Facebook

Facebook, the original social media platform, is the most widely used and contains the most diverse demographics. So, chances are high that you can find your readership here, even if you write in a niche category. Create an Author Page separate from your personal account for the most professional approach. You can post book updates, events, or anything your followers would find fascinating here.

2. Instagram

Dubbed “the visual platform,” Instagram is a feed of highly-curated images. It isn’t the place for linked articles or overly wordy posts. Its focus is on aesthetics, where pictures and videos reign supreme. A pocket of this social platform is known as Bookstagram, where users post book-related content such as reviews, covers, book stacks, and virtually anything related to reading and publishing. Use the hashtag #bookstagram to search for reviewers you can pitch or simply to help your posts gain traction. Experiment with Reels, which are Instagram’s built-in videos (similar to TikTok).

3. TikTok

One of the newer socials, TikTok is known mainly as the preferred platform for Gen Z—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore here too. Short, catchy, and entertaining videos dominate it. Like Instagram, one division of this growing platform is dedicated to book content—welcome to BookTok! Search the hashtag to discover everything from reviews to rants and raves from readers. Authors can connect with content creators on BookTok who have massive followings. Maybe your book will be the next viral video!

4. Twitter

Authors enjoy Twitter because of the extensive community of writers who use the platform. It’s a great way to connect, stay plugged into the latest industry news, and promote your author brand. The short character limit means that your posts must be concise and to the point, a great way to practice your book’s elevator pitch.

Social Media Tips for Authors

Now that you know a bit about each popular social media platform, you might be ready to jump in head first. But wait—before you start, there are a few important things to remember to tackle social media effectively and strategically.

  • Optimize your posts. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) improves the quality of search results, which means you want to use the best wording in your posts to increase your likelihood of discoverability. What are people looking for? What are key buzzwords? Use these in your captions and as hashtags.
  • Choose the right platform. Being active and engaging on all social media platforms is a good way to spread yourself too thin. Instead, select two (primary and secondary) where you will direct your effort. How to choose? Think about where your ideal readers hang out. Are they 40+? They’ll likely be on Facebook. Are they teens and twenty-somethings? They’re definitely on TikTok. Make the most of your social media strategy by starting narrow and growing over time.
  • Experiment with ads. Warning: Ads are not for the faint of heart. They can be money and time suckers, leaving you more frustrated than anything. However, they can also be highly successful at selling books. The key is to do your research in advance. Watch webinars and instructional videos. Take a free course. Learn all you can about implementing an advertising strategy before you dump money into social ads.
  • Use the 80/20 rule. It’s tempting to dive into social and sell, sell, sell. But that’s a surefire way to turn off your followers. They don’t want your product shoved down their throats. Instead, focus most of your posts on things like education, entertainment, or something you find fun. The other (much smaller) percentage of posts can be promotions for your book.
Author Roger N. Messer J.D. Had Successful Events and Interview

Author Roger N. Messer J.D. Had Successful Events and Interview

Roger Signing Book for Longtime Friend and DWC Member Maryann McBee

Congratulations to Roger N. Messer J.D, author of Tort Wars, for his successful speaking event and book signing at the Democratic Women’s Club of St Lucie County. It was held on August 19, 2023. After the book signing event, he discussed the subject of Constitutional Rights and How Your Vote Matters.

You can also check out his interview on This Week in America here.

Congratulations again, Roger!

Roger Set Up and Ready to Begin Book Signing Event
Roger speaks live and Via Zoom to the Democratic Womens' Club of St Lucie County on the Subject of Constitutional Rights and How Your Votes Matter Immediately
Roger Signing Book for Mary Sirmons while 2 Other Members Wait for Their Books to be Signed
Our Authors Have a Successful Presentation in Washington DC

Our Authors Have a Successful Presentation in Washington DC

Maryse Larché Mele and Margaret Kevin Krall

Congratulations to our author and co-author, Maryse Larché Mele and Margaret Kevin Krall, of Precedence with a Purpose, for their successful presentation at the Protocol Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association (PDI-POA) Forum! It was held on July 24-27, 2023 in Wasington DC. Prominent speakers included the Chief of Protocol of the United States, Amb Rufus Gifford, and the Chief of Protocol from Canada, Stewart Wheeler. The event included touching experiences like the laying of a wreath from their association at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington Cemetery, a wonderful reception at Blair House, and a performance by a military orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

Peggy said it best when she said, “I feel like I am living someone else’s fake life!”

Congratulations again, ladies!

The Protocol International Training U.S. Fleet Forces Command July 17-19, 2023 group photo
Author signing book
Authors presenting at the forum
laying of a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington Cemetery
The True Cost of “No Cost” Publishing 

The True Cost of “No Cost” Publishing 

It’s no secret that publishing a book costs money, regardless of whether it comes from the author’s pocket or the publisher’s. With so many publishing paths available to authors today, it’s essential to research exactly what your intended service offers. Is the publisher taking on the burden of risk? Is the author expected to pay a fee upfront? Is the agreement clear and transparent? Between professional editing, formatting, cover design, and more, book production costs can add up.

By this point, you may be biting your lip and thinking, “Do I have the budget for this? Isn’t there a way to get my book published without paying?” The answer is yes…but really, no.

Here’s why:

Traditional publishing works under the idea that authors first secure a literary agent, who then pitches the book to publishing houses. The process is slow and uncertain. If your book is sold, the publisher typically pays you an advance (meaning a lump sum of money upfront). This sounds great, right? But wait. Your literary agent will take a cut of that advance (usually 15%), and then you have to earn out your advance in order to receive any royalties on sales. A well-known fact in the publishing industry is that most books do NOT earn out their advance. So that means you won’t see any money from sales.

On the other end of the spectrum is self-publishing (or “indie” publishing), where the author publishes their book without a publisher. Self-publishing is growing in popularity. However, there are pros and cons to consider, primarily the cost. Creating and distributing a professional, high-quality book that can compete with its traditionally-published counterparts isn’t cheap. In this model, authors pay out of pocket for services like editing, formatting, cover design, eBook creation, and audiobook creation, not to mention the critical aspect of marketing. All of this can add up FAST, plus be a headache if you’re not equipped with the skill or time to do so.

Then there’s the middle ground, and that’s where we live. As a hybrid publisher, we share the investment with our authors, finding a mutually beneficial balance. Under our royalty structure, you earn 100% of the profits made by your book until you have earned your entire investment back. Read that again: 100%! But isn’t that the same as self-publishing? Yes, however, we do all the prep work to make your book stand out and be positioned in the market to maximize sales. You won’t have to worry about hiring freelancers or surprise costs popping up. The one-time fee package means that everything is taken care of, so you can enjoy the parts of publishing you love: the writing and the rewards.

Even after you have earned your investment back, Page Publishing is only entitled to 20 cents per book sold. Depending on your book’s price point, your share of a physical book sale (paperback or hardcover) could earn you between $3-$4 per book sold. While eBook sales are often higher due to the low production cost, which means you’ll make even more. Score! You are entitled to 100% of these earnings under our agreement. Those “no-cost” publishing contracts will give you 15-20% or less. The big question becomes: Why provide a publisher with such a big slice of the pie for YOUR work?

Let’s circle back to the important first step of choosing a publishing path. Now that you understand the differences, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages, you can make an objective choice. It’s tempting to go for what’s perceived as the “no-cost” option, but the truth is there’s no such thing. As the old saying goes, nothing in life is free. At some point along the way, there will be costs associated with every publishing choice—some may be more immediate than others, but they’re there all the same. If you compare two similar books—one that went traditional, the other hybrid—the ins and outs of money might look different, but in many cases, end up equaling out. The difference is in the details.

All this to say that publishing choices shouldn’t be made looking through rose-colored glasses. Things at first glance may seem superior, but when you break it all down, you’ll see that there is a massive benefit to choosing a hybrid publisher like Page Publishing, who will bring your book to market in an efficient, qualified way. At the end of the day, there’s always a cost—you just need to decide whether it’s worth it. In our proven publishing model, the answer is yes.