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Social Media for Authors by Lesley Field

It is great to welcome bestselling author Lesley Field to the blog today to offer her insights into using social media as an author. Thank you for your time today, Lesley and for sharing your thoughts on the dark art of authors using social media.


First of all, Val, I would like to thank you for inviting me onto her blog today. I’m going to make this a bit light-hearted in part, so not quite sure what you will think, but here goes...

Social Media!


What can I say about it? First of all, if I’m honest, it’s the bane of my life. You either love social media, or you hate it. I have a love hate relationship with it, so that covers both bases. I know I need to use it but it takes me away from what I want to do, and that is to write. Also there is such a lot of “stuff” out there, even on author/writing sites that have nothing to do with the subject of the site. I use Facebook mainly, I know it’s probably considered the old fashioned way of being on social media, but it works for me. I love my Facebook groups, even though I sometimes have to call a halt to checking everything, if I don’t I’d have to find more hours in the day to get everything done.


What do I use social media for? I use Facebook, for promotion and for interacting with other authors. Being an author, especially an indie author, can be very lonely. You don’t have a publisher contacting you, chasing you for your novel or sending edits to be done. You work on your own, in a room with nobody to bounce things off. That’s where the social media comes in. Sometimes you’ll find a friend on one of your groups asks a question, something that you have been pondering on for some time. That generates a number of replies and you find yourself involved in a discussion which reminds you why you’re an author.


I have two Facebook pages. One is my author page which is solely for information regarding my books, although it’s probably not up to date. My other Facebook page is a more general/personal one, although I do also promote my books on it. I post to tell people what I’ve been doing, post photos, and often have a moan about things that have gone wrong. This year has been more moans than anything and I’m just waiting for midnight on the 31st December 2023 so I can kiss this year goodbye with a slice of Christmas cake and a glass of something bubbly. My one rule for my author pages is to never post anything political which will bring out the trolls, or start and uncomfortable exchange of words.


Now for the serious part of social media. Promoting my books. I have an Excel Worksheet on which is listed in alphabetical order, approximately 36 Facebook Groups which deal with book promotion. As an author who writes in two genre, historical (in and around the Regency period) and contemporary which are set in Canada, I have to be careful where I post as some of my groups are specifically for Historical Romance. In an ideal world I should post on all of my groups at least twice a week. My world is not ideal. I try for once a week, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s when I have to remind myself that if nobody knows my books are out there, then nobody will buy them. I have to be careful though as some of the groups will only allow promotion on certain days, so that has to be watched carefully.

To assist in promoting I have extracts from my books, with the appropriate links, in a separate folder on my desktop. However, I need to select the right section from the book for the extract. It needs to be something that will tease the person reading the post and if I can end the extract with a bit of a cliff-hanger, that’s great. Another way of promoting outside social media is to give talks. I have done talks at the local library and at a local ladies group, both of which I think went well. I’ve also done a couple of live interviews on Radio York. The first one was a bit scary as I had no idea what I was doing. The second one was a blast and I thoroughly enjoyed that. I also did a phone interview with them on another occasion. So there are other ways to promote but you really have to push yourself out there.


The other way to promote outside of social media is by word of mouth and giving small relevant items to people. My hubby has always prepared my business cards and my bookmarks which I hand out to people whenever I have the chance. Christmas time is great as a bookmark slips nicely inside a Christmas card. Since I went independent he has taken over designing my book covers. I always do a posting on my own Facebook page saying a cover reveal for my next book is coming on a certain day, then a short while later will do a second reveal of the blurb for the book. This keeps people interested and hopefully they’ll want to buy the book. When I have a book about to come out, I do try to promote about 3 or 4 times a week. I don’t over promote as I think this could turn the potential reader away as they get “fed up” of seeing the post. That’s only my opinion though and a number of authors will most likely disagree with me.


Although I have about 36 Facebook groups on which I post, I do have some who are special and I promote on them more than on the others. I read Jessica Thompson’s blog which she did for Val, and note that she commented it’s better to concentrate on a few rather than a lot. She has a point and I have started to cut down on my 36. In addition to Facebook I do promote on Twitter and now and again on Goodreads.


Social media does have a downside. Promoting your books can lead to them appearing on Pirate sites. Some of the sites don’t even have the book, but are simply out to get money from members of the public. So there are risks in publicising on social media, and are we authors facing a further risk with AI? Are we at risk of our books being cloned? The life of an author isn’t easy, but the feeling you get when you see your book on Amazon, for Kindle or in print, is so rewarding. All we can do is carry on and hope we don’t fall foul of those out to take away our hard work.


As you will gather, I’m not the best at promoting, but I do what I can. I have to do it otherwise what’s the point of writing and publishing my books. My last book, “My Beloved Captor,” was published in May and is an historical novel. At the moment I’m editing what will be my next release, “A Forbidden Love,” hopefully it will be released before the end of the year. This storyline is somewhat controversial so it will be interesting to see what response I get from my readers.

The Author


Lesley Field was born and grew up on Teesside, in the North East of England She enjoyed riding and reading and later spent most of her working life pursuing personal injury claims on behalf of claimants. When retirement came she kicked off the restraints of the law and discovered her real self. What she discovered or re-discovered was writing something she’d dabbled in when she was in her teens. Although writing contemporary fiction set in Canada, she also writes historical fiction, set in London in and around the Regency period. Using her love of Canada and her enjoyment of horses she brings both to her books.


Lesley is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association coming in through their New Writers Scheme. Having progressed to full membership she is also a member of ROMNA and a member of Promoting Yorkshire Authors.


Happily living on the North Yorkshire coast with her husband she spends her days enjoying life, and writing.

The Links


Facebook

Author Page Lesley Field @lesleyfield2author

Twitter - Lesley Field @lesleyfield2

Amazon Author page link for all books

For details of future releases and more see –

wildmoosepublications.co.uk

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