K. D. Dowdall

Pen and Paper

Writer’s Digest, Emily Sweet, Guest Column, March 8, 2017

The changing literary and book publishing landscape makes it difficult for new authors to breakout. A plethora of new distribution formats, especially focused on self-publishing, opens brand new avenues for writers to get noticed, but also makes it incredibly easy to get lost in the sea of content. Unless you have a pre-existing social platform or public profile that extends beyond the world of books, “discoverability” can be a very elusive thing and it can be nearly impossible to get noticed on social media.

The changing literary and book publishing landscape makes it difficult for new authors to breakout. A plethora of new distribution formats, especially focused on self-publishing, opens brand new avenues for writers to get noticed, but also makes it incredibly easy to get lost in the sea of content. Unless you have a pre-existing social platform or public profile that extends beyond the world of books, “discoverability” can be a very elusive thing and it can be nearly impossible to get noticed on social media. That said, there are many ways first-time authors can leverage social media to build their online presence and gain momentum in their careers. Here are my top 10 insights:

  1. Choose the platform that works for you 

Are you Twitter or Instagram? Are you Snapchat or Pinterest? When first starting out, it can be tempting to sign up for every platform under the sun. And while it’s a good idea to at least reserve your handle (preventing someone else from taking it), you probably shouldn’t start posting away everywhere. What platform do you like and feels most instinctual to you? Do you want to share pithy quotes? Then choose Twitter. Are you out of storage space because of all the photos you’ve taken on your phone? Then choose Instagram. Do you have pages and pages of inspiration for your characters? Then put it all on Pinterest and invite your readers to find extra content there.

  1. Make all your social media handles consistent

This may seem intuitive, but it’s important. You want followers to easily find you. And, unfortunately, this can be more difficult than it seems as well, because some handles may already be taken. So, chose one where you can be consistent.

  1. Don’t use the same content across all platforms

It can be tempting to link all of your accounts together and post one thing at one time, but try to resist that temptation. Each social media platform has its own community and set of rules. For one thing, if people follow you on multiple platforms, they’re going to know that you’re just being lazy. And that concern aside, often certain things won’t translate across platforms (tagging, for example, is hard to do when platforms are linked). But most importantly, each platform should have its own voice, which should be developed and honed.

  1. Develop a strong voice

Your content should reflect who you are as a writer. Share ideas and insights that distinguish you from other authors and public figures. Always remember who you’re talking to – your audience and who they consist of – and think about your “brand” (see number 6 for more on branding).

  1. Post consistently

Post consistently and often. At this point, most platforms reward you for activity, i.e., there are algorithms that will naturally boost more popular posts, but consistency helps as well. It will also encourage people to follow and engage with you.

  1. Focus on your brand, but don’t fall into the “ABS” (Always Be Selling) trap

Social media is a chance to get to know and really engage with your readers. If they like your writing, they’ll want to know when your book is coming out… but they want to engage in different ways too. No one likes being asked to buy something every time they see you.

  1. Interact with your followers to get noticed on social media

Don’t forget to go back and comment on comments. This is the whole benefit of social media! You can talk to your followers in real time and build a relationship with them.

  1. Interact with other authors

Authors can be a hugely supportive community. Just as you would reach out to other authors for blurbs, reach out and engage on social media as well.

  1. Make sure all your posts are tagged

Hashtags help drive engagement and help grow your fan base. Tagging helps lead people back to your page that may not have otherwise seen it.

  1. Be careful

It’ seasy to forget that you’re becoming a public figure if you’ve spent most of your life being private. But now simple posts are subject to scrutiny, so just watch your intention and tone. You don’t want something taken out of context, or to turn people off from your writing. All publicity is definitely NOT good publicity.

Emily Sweet is the Executive Director of Brand Development and Client Initiatives at Park Literary & Media. Among other things, she advises PLM clients on how to find their voice on social media, create an online presence, and develop a consistent brand strategy. She’s a former lawyer who now works with Nicholas Sparks, Emily Giffin, Debbie Macomber, Janice Y.K. Lee, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and many others.

For more information on Park Literary & Media, as well as the authors they represent, visit parkliterary.com or find them @parkliterarymedia on Instagram and @parkliterary on Twitter.

43 thoughts on “10 Ways First-Time Writers Can Get Noticed on Social Media

  1. aafrias says:

    Love these tips! I agree with all of them. It can take some time to find your voice on social media but the more you use it, the easier it becomes. I’ve also noticed that my linked posts don’t generate much buzz so I’ve been thinking of scrapping those. You just helped confirm that decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aafrias, I have been thinking the same thing. These are some really great tips! Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. aafrias, I agree. I these are great tips and I am now changing my strategy too. Karen:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is an excellent post about writers using social media.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Great advice from Emily Sweet 👍😃

    Like

    1. Chris, I thank you so much for reblogging this great post by Emily Sweet! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stacy, somehow I missed your comment, and it is greatly appreciated. I think they are good tips too. Thank you for commenting! Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Wind Eggs and commented:
    For many writers, social media remains a mystery. They use a platform but they don’t sell books. K. D. Dowdall shares tips on using social media effectively.

    Like

    1. Hello Phillip, than you so much for reblogging this on Wind Eggs! Awesome! 🙂

      Like

    1. Redneck_Goth, Thank you for reblogging! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mhembroff says:

    Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    1. Mhembroff…you are welcome!

      Like

    2. mhembroff, Thank you and your are very welcome! Karen 🙂

      Like

  6. schmidt573 says:

    Reblogged this on What's up wizer and commented:
    Love thus

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Schmidt573, thank you so much for reblogging! I love these tips too! K. D. 🙂

      Like

    2. Hi there, and thank you so very much! I loved them too! Karen 🙂

      Like

    3. Thank you Schmidt, It is a very informative and timely! K.D. 🙂

      Like

    1. Hello,

      Thank you so very much! Greatly appreciated! These tips are worth noting for new writers and not so new writers. Karen 🙂

      Like

    1. Sorry, it is Writer’s Digest, Emily Sweet, Guest Column, March 8, 2017 http://www.writersdigest.com

      Like

  7. johncoyote says:

    Great knowledge shared. I believe we need to network with other writers, artist and musicians. Allow us to grow and reach-out to more people.

    Like

    1. Yes, John. There is so much out there to be shared and we will all be better writers and better people too. Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. johncoyote says:

        You are correct Karen.

        Like

      2. And so are you John, thank you for your very thoughtful and intelligent comments. Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. johncoyote says:

        You are welcome Karen.

        Like

    1. Thank you. Karen 🙂

      Like

    2. Stevie, thank you so much. It certainly has helped me as a writer! KD 🙂

      Like

    1. Hi Sylvia, Thank you and very much appreciated. K. D.

      Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging! K D 🙂

      Like

  8. thanks for sharing.
    Please read my blog related to consistency on http://fireinyoursoul.com/2017/02/24/shine-bright-like-the-sun/ Please follow for more .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fireinyoursoul, thank you for following and I did go to your blog. Please explain more about what consistancy means to you? Thank you, K D 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you 🙂 glad you liked it 🙂

        Like

      2. Consistency for me means the ability to do what we love daily and even after a day’s break we are still on track. This usually happens when we do something we love… This fails when we r doing something that we r infatuated to. Cheers 🙂

        Like

      3. I understand. So, we are talking about people who begin a project they think they would love (infatuated with) and once they begin it, it loses its interesting qualities or it is too hard, too much work, or they don’t think they can rise to the occasion and perform it well and give up too soon? What would you qualify this behavior as being in psychological terms? Would you qualify this as being insecure, lack of confidence in the task at hand, or disenchantment with their object of infatuation? Or, would this be a search to find what fits their talents and objective? However, I think you are trying to help people who consistently begin a project and then abandon it, repeatedly, for many of the reasons you refer to on your blog and that is very helpful. Those pitfalls in human behavior need motivational ques to avoid those pitfalls (fears, anxiety about failure, past failures, low performance skills as a behavior characteristic). I think many of these behaviors come early in life for many reasons and are difficult to change without motivational help. K D 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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