I am delighted to have one of my favourite authors, Patricia M Osborne to visit the blog today and share her thoughts on how authors can benefit from the use of social media. Thank you for your time and advice, Patricia.
When it comes to marketing my novels on social media, I use Twitter, Facebook and Linked-in. Twitter is my favourite so I will talk about that first. It is important to build a platform, which means interacting.
To get better coverage a tweeter can use hashtags. If a tweeter is an indie writer then a good hashtag to use is IARTG ‘Indie Authors Retweet Group.’ Simply follow to join and they’ll retweet when the hashtag is used.
If a new writer is looking to gain followers then the writing community on Twitter is very supportive and only too happy to help. Just add #writingcommunity in the tweet.
Things you should do.
Add a pinned tweet.
Add a photo – a photograph gets more retweets than text on its own. Keep the tweet spaced out so it is clear for followers to read.
Interact. Make friends.
Create an author page. Some novelists use their Facebook pages like a blog. Personally, I use mine to share posts from other writers or if I have specific news. If launching a book consider creating an event page. This has worked particularly well during the pandemic when writers are unable to conduct ‘face to face’ events. This is tiring though so try and enlist a couple of other authors and it’s good to have giveaways and games to make it a fun evening.
Create a group. By supporting other writers, a novelist will build a bigger platform for themselves.
In absence of Christmas ‘face to face’ events, I joined forces with fellow writer, Anna Maria Shenton, when we opened an online Facebook Xmas hub for a few weeks prior to the big day. This offered writers a chance to increase their network and a platform to sell their books. During this time, I made many new writer friends and discovered books to read that I would not otherwise have come across. Before closing the group, we launched an online Xmas party via the events page. We gave out lots of prizes and other authors joined in and offered giveaways too. A good time was had by all.
This is more business related but a great place if looking for another platform.
I tend to only post on my blog a maximum of once or twice a week in order not to flood my followers with emails. It’s great to alert followers to my news but I also use it for guests’ articles. I offer a Tuesday Guest feature where my guests are invited to write up to five hundred words on anything to do with writing.
My website also offers an online book shop where readers can purchase signed copies of my printed publications at discounted prices plus postage and packaging.
Summing up social media and the novelist, I’d say it is a definite plus. Apart from anything else, it prevents isolation and offers novelists a chance to be in the writers’ world.
Patricia M Osborne is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. She was born in Liverpool but now lives in West Sussex. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).
Patricia writes novels, poetry and short fiction, and has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She has two published novels, House of Grace and The Coal Miner’s Son, and the third in its trilogy, ‘The Granville Legacy’ is to be published March 2021. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Taxus Baccata, and short story, The Montefiore Bride, narrated in prose poetry, were published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2020.
She has a successful blog at Whitewingsbooks.com where she features other writers and poets. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers and as an online poetry tutor with Writers’ Bureau.
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