I’m seeing a lot of authors killing it with their book launch on social media.
They understand how social media works and they use it effectively.
For example, they know that each social media site has its own personality, so they don’t share the same content across all networks. Each post is tweaked according to the social media platform’s unique needs.
I’m also seeing a lot of book launch mistakes on social media.
This can turn into a real issue for authors making several of them because it can kill their connections quickly.
Here are the three I’m seeing most often, along with suggestions for turning them around.
1. Every single thing you post on every single platform is about your book.
Every. Single. Thing.
I’m interested in your new book. Really, I am. I am all about books and your books in particular.
But I’m connected to you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and all I’m seeing from you is how excited you are that your book will soon be published/is being published today/was just published.
People will tolerate that for a few days, but three weeks of nothing but new book posts is pretty intense.
At first, we might think, “Oh, that’s interesting! I’ll have to check it out.” As we see more and more posts, we start to think, “Is that all you’ve got going on these days?” Eventually, we disconnect from you because of the constant repetition.
During your book launch period, share some of the content you usually share, too, so you’re not a one trick pony.
Maddie Daws, the pen name of best-selling author Sandi Kahn Shelton, is an example of somebody who has this figured out. Her Instagram account has a nice mix of book and everyday life content as she approaches the launch of a book that is part of Amazon’s May “First Reads” program for Prime subscribers.
2. You’re doing what everyone else is doing.
Classic example: The “OMG My First Case of Books Arrived” video post. One I saw recently went on for at least five minutes. That was four minutes and 30 seconds too long.
If you’re doing it because you’re certain that your network truly can’t wait to see you cut open a box of books, then go for it.
But if you’re doing it because everyone else is doing it, don’t. Try something different to capture interest and attention.
Start by asking yourself: “What does my audience need to know about this book?” or “What about this book will excite my readers?”
3. You aren’t helping us help you.
We want to help you let the world know about your wonderful new book, but we’re all pressed for time, ya know?
So, when you ask, “Can you help me spread the word about my book?,” give us the tools we need to do that.
- A short book description so we can describe it accurately
- Sample tweets and Facebook posts
- A few social media graphics we can share
- A link to your book on your preferred retail site or to your list of purchase site options on your website
When my friend Monica Bhide asked me to support her new book, Read. Write. Reflect., she also provided a social media graphic with a pre-publication blurb I had written (see below). This made it easy for me to promote her book on the social networks where I’m active — all I had to do was add some text that reinforced my testimonial, grab an Amazon link, and post with the image.
The more you help us help you, the more we can do to support you.
Everything in moderation
To help keep your network engaged, learn what works on the various platforms you’re using and create custom content on each so there’s less overlap (and network burnout). Then, create a mix of everyday life and book launch posts so what you share isn’t such a dramatic change from your routine when you don’t have a new book.
Finally, remember that everything doesn’t have to happen during the small window of time surrounding publication date. You should be promoting your book as long as it’s available for sale. If you burn out your audience during the launch, you’ll have many fewer connections to promote to later, when it’s just as important.
What’s the one thing you’ve done on social media during a book launch that you think has had the greatest impact?
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