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How to be Too Social

This is so us.
A client wrote for advice on social Media, to be very helpful, he listed all the social media outlets that he would create and maintain.  All of them.  The only outlet he missed was billboards.   
On his behalf, I was horrified.
But also on his behalf, I understood.  As writers and creatives we often look at any project as an all or nothing proposition.   He was firmly in the ALL column.
I don’t necessarily recommend sitting comfortably in the NOTHING column but I do suggest a middle way. 
Before you jump into promoting your book, either for the first time, or to get back in the swim after a few blessed quiet years, here are a few things to consider before diving off the cliff:
Who is your reading audience?
 If you can answer the question, who will benefit or enjoy my book, the easier it will be to promote your book to the right audience.  The irony of marketing is the more focused you are on your audience, the better the sales outcome.
For example, if you wrote a  YA or NY (new adult) book, or a Romance  – Book Tok has been a very successful promotion vehicle for many authors. 
If you wrote a non fiction book –  Linked In can be an effective outlet for promotion.
Match the social  media platform with the book theme, and match the social media with your readers.
What social media do you like?
What are you already on and do you have a following? Start there. Learning a new platform, and building an audience on that platform takes some time.  If you love watching Instagram reels   that may be a good start for your book identity and promotion.   
 Choose wisely
Choose two favorites and one new outlet to focus on for your book promotion.  Stick with those three for six months to a year. 
Building a following and an audience through social media takes time.  And that’s okay.  Your goal is to  to create conversations and maintain relationships with human readers.  
The goal of a social media campaign is to encourage interested people to pause long enough on a post to want to learn more about you and your book.  In your posts,  encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter or visit your web site (where you will encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter).  From both the newsletter and web site you can ask them to buy your book.  Flat out sales directly through social is not as effective as we all hoped.
Build Your Own Following
We own our subscription lists.  We own our web site.  And that’s it.  Social media sites are precarious and susceptible to forces and decisions outside our control.  Platforms are also built on algorithms  that have little to do with how humans think.  Play with the social outlets but always make sure your work is secure on your website and You Tube channels.  Please, make sure your hard work benefits you directly, not only the social platform.
 Run some posts and monitor the responses, if you get 100 hits for a post, that’s enough to try again.  if you run a series of posts and get little response, change it up or try a different platform. Also experiment with and track a platform before paying to boost your posts.  
Other Outlets to help Along  Book Sales
Guest blogs.  Pitch an article to your favorite blog editors or the editors of blogs that cover the subject matter of your book.  
The article or blog or video blog, needs to be about helping the audience, not about selling your book.
This exact same pitch and idea applies to Podcasts.  Help the listener or reader and give them a reason to subscribe to your newsletter.  
Volunteer in your field, give talks or seminars on what you know and what you’ve learned in writing your book.  This can be to your writing peers, or to a group specific to the subject of your book.
And you can always buy an ad on a billboard.   



Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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