When I first began to pursue becoming a published author, I thought the hardest part of the process would be writing and editing the book. Oh, young, naïve Sarah. I was in for quite a rude awakening.
I think many authors would agree with me that creating the book is the fun part. Marketing the book is the part that gives us nightmares.
And when I say “marketing,” I don’t mean going to book events and interacting with readers. We LOVE doing that, even the most introverted of us. No, when I talk about marketing, I’m referring to using the wonders of the World Wide Web to promote our work endlessly on social media with the hopes of capturing the attention of a new reader.
That is a daunting task. As authors, we’re expected to post on social media regularly to “build our base” and “increase brand awareness.” For someone with no background in marketing whatsoever, what does that even mean? Where do we start? I got into writing to share my stories with people, not spend my days figuring out the Instagram algorithm to make a Reel go viral. However, because I’m an author in the 2020s, it’s something that I’ve needed to learn. For today’s post, I’m sharing some content suggestions with you in the hopes of making your journey a bit easier.
Content Creation: Having Something to Post
Content. It’s the crux of any social media interaction. What does an author share? The easy thing would be a post suggesting, “Hey, please buy my book and leave a review.” But as Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander says in Wizard’s First Rule, “Nothing is ever easy.” But there are ways to make this process a bit less taxing on the brain. And it all begins by setting a content routine.
What is a content routine? It’s a daily guide that pre-determines what to post on your socials. Having something to post is most of the battle these days, and a content routine de-mystifies this process. Here’s an example of a weekly social media routine you can use repeatedly:
Monday – #MotivationMonday: Tell your readers what you plan to work on during the week. Give them a peek behind the curtain of your writing world. This has always helped me set writing goals and stick to them. Since I’ve shared them with my readers, I better deliver on these goals!
Tuesday – #TeaserTuesday: This is one of my favorites. Share a snippet of your work-in-progress or latest release with your readers. Did you just write a really juicy scene? Did you introduce a new character into your series? Post a few sentences on social media to increase interest in your work.
Wednesday – It’s the middle of the week! Bring some cheer to timelines with photos of your pet. Pet photos are a gift everyone can enjoy. Besides, our dear pets live rent-free in our homes; they can lend us their cuteness to help us out, right? Pictures of my little pup, Eevee, are often the most commented on. She’s a social media star! Don’t have a pet? Post about your hobby. Do you garden? Do you build model ships? Share something beyond your writing world with readers.
Thursday – With the weekend approaching, this is the perfect time to drop a post about your latest book into your timeline. Take a picture of your book propped against a bookshelf at home. Take a photo of your book next to a coffee mug or candle. Not only is this showcasing your work, but it’s also giving readers a look inside your world. You will not believe how many people will respond with, “I love that mug,” or, “That candle sounds so amazing.” By sharing these personal moments, you’re building a connection with your readers.
Friday – Celebrate your author friends on Friday by giving your readers weekend recommendations. Share a book you’ve recently read, or send a shout-out to an author who’s just released a book. You’re helping others while also helping yourself have content. That’s a win for everyone: you, your author pals, and your readers!
Examples of visual content:
So, now that you have a roadmap of what to post every weekday (because I believe in resting our brains during the weekend), you can begin to incorporate this routine into your daily author tasks because you’ll always have some form of content to share with readers. Just don’t stretch yourself too thin. Many authors believe they must be on every social media platform out there, but I’m here to tell you, no, you don’t. Pick one or two sites you’re comfortable with (or where a majority of your genre’s readers congregate) and devote your time to building an engaged community. You cannot genuinely engage with readers if you’re receiving notifications from ten different sites at all hours of the day. It’s an insurmountable task. Select the platforms you feel the most proficient on and build your presence there. Promote on your website and newsletter where your readers can regularly connect with you, and they will come.
Now armed with your weekly content guide, go forth and market yourself!