One of the most dynamic ways to learn is from others who have tried and true methods of success. One of the major points of pain for authors (or any business) can be effectively marketing and promoting your work. Hear us when we say this: THERE IS NO SET PLAN THAT WILL EFFECTIVELY WORK FOR EACH BRAND AND PERSON. However, what you can monitor are patterns and statistics that can work in your favor to help alleviate some of the aches and pains of getting your work out to the world.
One of the most exciting yet gruesome ways to market and promote is through Social Media. Social Media has brought millions of people together instantly and is an effective way to get your work and brand to the masses. However, it still takes some practice and work. This week we bring you some tips from author Jay Light. When it comes to self-marketing and promotion, Jay has proven to have an advantage through tested methods, and he is willing to share those methods with us.
“A day should never go by when you aren’t promoting your book, whether it’s you first book or your latest book.”
Those were the words that my cousin spoke to me on the evening of the day that I released my 1st self-published book titled, “Confessions of a La Soul Girl” in 2015. Writing the book was the easy part of the self-publishing journey (editing and lay out well now that was the headache).
Marketing and Promotion, well now that was the challenge and a learning experience for me at the same time. After all, marketing and promotion is the life line and blood of any product known in and around the world whether it’s Jordan, Apple, Microsoft, or even Facebook.
The only difference is that these companies have a crazy unlimited budget for their marketing and promotional campaigns compared to me and you who have to work with what we have, and much of our marketing and promotion will come from one word: self. Here is how the “self” part comes into the mix. When using the word “self” it basically explains everything without saying anything, because you are doing everything yourself and believe me it never was easy and it never will be.
After successfully self-publishing 3 books (which was not easy by the way) I am here to say that I’ve found a method to market and promote books on social media, did it help me? Yes! Will it help you? Well you won’t know unless you try!
I didn’t read any books, I didn’t attend any high priced lecture or seminar on this stuff, however what I did was do my research online as well as network with many other self-published authors on the subject (more on that later) and these are the methods that helped me get the exposure I needed for my brand as well as my books. I could have charged you for this stuff, but why do that when I could simply just give it away for free?
It is a must and I cannot stress this enough, it is a must that you promote your books on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat etc… it’s where anybody who is anybody is that will see your work. It’s also where you will find your base. Sure it’s easy to get a word of the mouth going about your book, but as I’ve mentioned before we are living in modern age of technology where everybody walks around with a cellphone in their hands.
Visualization is everything! People simply like eye catching stuff, so it’s no surprise that in the day and age when everything is connected to technology (well that is until the machines take over and we are really find ourselves in a real life Terminator movie) from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat and YouTube. It’s all about the visual and what it says to people when they lay their eyes on it, and since we are talking about Books, it all starts with the cover of the books that you are promoting:
(Here are mine)
Your book cover tells people interested in reading your book, what it’s about before they get a chance to flip to the back.
Hash Tags #
Do not let anybody tell anything different, Hash tags are a must when you are promoting you book on social media. It is how people find your book and in many cases, it’s also how they find you!
I recommend that you research the most used hashtags for writers and authors and use those as a way for people to stumble across your stuff while they are searching. You will never know who will see your stuff. It could be a famous actor or actress, a director a head of a movie studio in Hollywood all because you used some hashtags at the end of your post.
So you have a hot cover art for your book and the hash tags to match; now what?
Well if you’re like me, you’re adding a synopsis of your books to your social media post. Your synopsis is basically your elevator pitch of what your book is about and it should be straight down and to the point, for example when people ask me
See! That pitch was straight down to the point, and that’s exactly what your synopsis should read under your social media post. Yet you would be surprised at how many people get this part of the method wrong! Do not be one of those people that post up a book cover with the captions “Available Now!!” “Hot Read!” “Purchase this Book!!”
Don’t Do it! It leaves the reader with nothing to go by, and it leaves your books without an identity basically.
If you’re going to market and promote your book on social media, you had better come correct about it. Sure, it’s easy to just throw up a book cover add a caption and keep it moving. But really, ask yourself, what do you expect to happen here?
Creativity is everything when it comes to marketing and promotion. It’s that jingle from that commercial that you can’t get out of your head, it’s that exploding car commercial that you’ve seen on T.V only a hundred times in one week.
No one says that you have to empty out your bank account to fund crazy and expensive marketing tools. Believe it or not, you can actually do it all for free from your very own smart phone. One of things that people tell me all the time is how creative my marketing is for my books. Here are a few that I created on my own using my smart phone.
There are so many creative marketing ways for you to get your books out there for the world to read, each one more better than the other, and it’s all free and available to you right there on your smart phone.
Now when it comes to everyone’s favorite social media site “Instagram” and promoting your book to the masses, you should know this (and I had to learn this on my own as well.) The number of “Likes” should not be a focal point and here is why:
Sure you can get 25-50 likes on a picture or maybe a promo post of your book, but in actual reality chances are out of the 25 you have to figure 10 percent of those likes come from Spam accounts 5 Come from people in other countriesand the other 10 let’s just say maybe some friends and some family.
And yet your stressing about the number of likes you may or may not be getting, your focal point should never be on the set of numbers because that’s just what they are numbers, your focal point should really be on the people who are actually liking your promo post or pictures, that’s where your base is! Those are the supporters who purchase your books.
Your last name does not end with Kardashian, and you are not going to get a million likes on a simple book promo, accept what you get and be humble; that is the best thing that you can ever do for your pride as well as your ego.
Networking and Engagement
Networking is the most important thing that a Writer/Author should be using his or her social media for, especially if you are trying to get better at what you’re doing. You are on a journey that many either are just starting or have already been on. Many know the answers while others are trying to figure it all out just as you are.
Follow your peers, see what they are doing and learn from them in the process and don’t be afraid to send an inquiring DM. Most writers/authors are multi-talented and have answers for the many questions that you may have. Some even create and design their own books covers, promo materials etc…
It is also very important that you engage with your followers, while I don’t mean that you have to answer every spam account that comments on a post, I’m simply referring to the actual followers that comment about your books or promo material. Remember that these are the people that will spread the word about your book to other people, so it’s best to be humble with your replies. A simple “Thank you” can go a long way, and if you really want to show appreciation you should add “I humbly appreciate it and I humbly appreciate you”. It makes people feel appreciated in return.
Celebrities are not going to promote your book! Do not get gassed up or excited about the potential idea of it. Yes, you will see them promoting everything on their social media pages from waste trainers, flat tummy tea to teeth whitener devices. Know that these people are getting a big fat check from these sponsors every time that they post a picture of a product. You, however, on the other hand, should not try to go this route unless you have some sort of connection. If not, don’t expect a plug or a shout out about your book from your favorite celebrity.
However, I will say this, every once in a while you may get a like or two from your favorite celebrity on your post, and if by some chance they do post a picture holding up your book. Be thankful and humble but don’t gloat! And whatever you do, DO NOT tag these people in every one of your post, you will find yourself on that good old “blocked” list.
Over Promotion is a NO! NO!
There is a such thing as over promoting, and that simply means that you are doing more than you should. People already see your stuff on their timelines whether its Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; they see it. What they do not want to see is the same promo post all over their feed every five minutes on the hour, it will get you a quick unfollow.
Do Not be one of those people! It took me a while before I learned, but I did and this is how you should promote your work. Two times a day Monday -Friday with Saturday and Sunday varying. 8am- 5pm are the times that you are most likely to see a lot of posts on your feed.
8a-10am – is when most people are on their way to work on the train, bus, cab etc… and chances are they are checking their social media
12pm- 3pm that’s the lunch time crowd; it’s when people are sitting at a table eating lunch while browsing their social media
5pm-7pm that’s the time when everyone is heading home from their long day and guess what they are all doing… browsing social media on their phones
These are your power times. This is when you are most likely to reach potential readers and buyers.
In conclusion, we are all on a different journey in our lives with the same goal and that is reaching the success that we each crave in our lives. Believe in yourself. Believe in your Dream. Believe in your brand! You will make plenty of mistakes, and you will learn from those mistakes. Don’t be deterred by setbacks, and always listen to your gut instinct. It will never steer you wrong!
Stay Connected with Jay Light!
Facebook- Author Jay Light
“CONFESSIONS OF A La SOUL GIRL”
“THE RIVALRY: NOW ITS PERSONAL”
ALL SOLD AND AVAILABLE WHEREEVER BOOKS ARE SOLD. AMAZON, KINDLE, NOOK, KOBO, BARNES AND NOBLE BOOK STORE, CREATESPACE.COM
Most writers find out the age old saying is true, "Writing is the easy part" once they become published authors. Yet, there are people and methods to assist you with the not-so-easy portions. Marketing and promotion is tedious, but necessary to every authors' success. Above all, have fun! This is your baby so don't be afraid to show it to the world. As long as you invest in yourself, others will invest in U!
Until next time...