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If you’re looking for readership and engagement, finishing your book is the first step. These social media marketing tips can help you frame your approach to the process of promoting yourself and your work online.

Rick Snyder is a contributor to the Money Crashers personal finance blog, writing about online publishing, social media, and small business.

If you’ve recently put the finishing touches on your first book, congratulations – it’s a rare accomplishment that not many people can claim. If you thought writing your book was hard, though, brace yourself for the next phase: marketing.

The tremendous changes to the publishing industry have been a double-edged sword: they offer greater opportunities for self-publishing and distribution, but they bring a lot more competition. No book ever sells itself, so you’re going to have to get creative if you want to boost your sales. One way to do it is through effective use of social media. So how do I use social media to promote my book?

Here are six quick social media marketing tips for first-time authors.

1. Create great content

You put in a lot of time and effort to ensure your book is of the highest possible quality, and you’ve got to match that quality and make your social media content stellar. Your audience wants distilled information presented clearly and directly. Since you are now an author, you can claim a degree of expertise in your chosen subject. Use that expertise to make every Facebook post, LinkedIn article, and tweet a high-quality and engaging experience. Provide tips and information your readers won’t find anywhere else, and do it in a concise fashion.

2. Investigate new media

Facebook and Twitter are among the top social media platforms, but that’s not to say you should focus on them to the exclusion of all else. Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine are all good options if you’ve got images or video related to your topic, and Tumblr and Google Plus are excellent content-based social media outlets to consider, as well. Don’t take them all on at once, though. Engage one at a time, with a clear strategy for each, and you can effectively increase your reach.

3. Respond to every comment

Always remember the “social” element of social media. Respond to each and every comment, whether positive or negative. Your goal is to develop a conversation and an ongoing relationship with your followers. Even if you’re simply expressing gratitude for someone taking the time to comment, you’re doing yourself, and your book, a big favor.

4. Connect with other authors

Be sure to connect with authors in the realm of your book’s topic or genre. Respond to some of their posts and start to develop a relationship. You can gain exposure this way, and you never know what a fellow author might be able to assist you with.

5. Track your results

You won’t know whether or not your efforts are successful if you don’t track your progress. Use Google Analytics, a free service, to analyze where your web traffic is coming from on at least a monthly basis. Based on those results, adjust your strategy. If Twitter simply isn’t working for you but StumbleUpon is, put more effort into the latter.

6. Offer an inside look to your book

Social media is an interactive format, meaning you should be trying to get your readers involved. Consider providing a link to your website from your social media accounts where a follower can download an inside look at your actual book – the first chapter, for example. It’s a great move that can ultimately improve your sales.

Social media marketing for writers is serious business, and there’s a good bit of work involved if you’re going to get it right. If you start to develop a solid audience and then make a misstep, you’ve just wasted valuable time and energy. Manage your schedule as best you can, giving you more time to devote to your social media marketing and improve your book sales today.


Twitter for Authors


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About BookBaby

BookBaby has written 281 posts in this blog.

BookBaby makes self-publishing easy: From book printing, eBooks, distribution, cover design, and now editing. Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands realize their publishing goals, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. BookBaby creates and distributes your printed books and eBooks to the largest distribution network, including Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers worldwide.

18 thoughts on “Six Social Media Marketing Tips For First-Time Authors

  1. Patrick C Reidy says:

    Your advisory articles are as ever most valuable.My new book is presently in production and I hope to follow through on those welcome tips

  2. Miles Allen says:

    All good steps. My only constructive comment would be for authors to start creating their social media community six months prior to publication. It takes that long to establish a community (fans) and creates pre-sales…

    1. Bo Demont says:

      Agree Miles… I didn’t do that and I am playing catch-up with my book launch 1/1.

  3. You gave me practical ways to use social media.

  4. rodney burke says:

    so now that you have written this, tell us how to relate it to fiction. On Facebook where do I go to interact with other writers? Where do I go to interact with possible readers? My personal page? How do I get an author’s page on Facebook? no one seems to be able to say the “how”.

    1. Bruce Robb says:

      Do a simple Facebook search – start with the word Fiction – join FB groups and engage

  5. I appreciate your concise message on these recommended steps, Rick.

  6. This is like a mega dream post for anyone who’s interested in social media and looking to succeed.

  7. Shereen says:

    Thank you for the tips and recommendations. I wonder if the same goes to promote a Cookbook that my friends and I put together?

  8. A very informative and concise article, I especially appreciate points 2,3 and 4. Other social media platforms are often overlooked and can be invaluable outreach channels. So important to respond to any comments also which can be a difficult one maintain with a large following.

  9. Jessie Flowers says:

    Mine too, Patrick,
    Great good luck to both of us!

  10. sindhubell says:

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumble upon on a daily basis. It will always be interesting to read articles from other authors and practice something from their websites…

  11. Joseph says:

    I am not an author but as an SEO professional, I have to write adequate content for my site. Your tips are quite significant because I also use Twitter and different blogs to engage with my followers and with other authors. Your tips are like extra oxygen for my occupation and I believe the mentioned strategy will work stupendously for my writing participation which could lead my writing skill more superior than ever.

  12. Tom says:

    The author of this article must not be aware that Google will soon be shutting down Google Plus for individuals.

    1. shadowfals says:

      This article is from 2017.

      Updates: Google+ no longer allows the creation of new profiles, pages, communities or events. Content creators, including writers, have been leaving Tumblr in mass because of recent policy changes and problems with the algorithms. Vine was shut down a while ago. Facebook author accounts interferes with Amazon Kindle reviewers and is known to lie about its ads.

      Investigating social media before committing to a platform is a good idea.

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