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Building a following

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by PageTurner, June 21, 2018.

  1. PageTurner

    PageTurner Member

    How does an unpublished author build a following? I know that social media is important. I've never set up any kind of professional account on any platform and only have a personal account on Facebook. Well, I have Snapchat and Twitter but I never do anything on either of them. So, I'm not super savvy when it comes to social media. Which platforms are the most important? Is a blog a necessity? Is there anything else I should be doing?
     
  2. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    From what I have seen, these days you are selling two things: one is the book and one is yourself.

    Use Facebook for making general announcements, keeping people updated and so on.
    Twitter is for instant chatting, building links and pointing people to your various sites.
    Blogs are always cool for people to get to know you. If they like you, they are likely to read your book and if you are really lucky to everyone else about your book as well.

    Most important thing is to be visible and update them regularly. That doesn't mean you have to do it every day, just on a standard schedule, so people know when they are gonna see something from you.
     
  3. Jackie

    Jackie Member

    I've also seen a lot of indie writers mention that they gained a good support group and/or following from joining various Facebook groups. So that might be something that is worth looking into.

    I don't think blogs are essential but I think they are incredibly helpful so long as you post content regularly. It might be a good idea to stockpile some social media/blog posts before officially starting your account(s). That way you can have fresh content ready to go. I've always found social media to be very time-consuming and this has helped the process.
     
  4. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Blogs may be useful, but they have to be where people can see them. It's not enough to have good content, you also need to promote the blog. Many people use Facebook groups, mention it in the ebooks (yes, promote the blog to promote the ebooks in the ebooks) adverts like google ads or Twitter, or anywhere that you can reach readers. If you can build a community and get fans to talk to other fans, that helps create a virtuous cycle where fans will promote your books and momentum keeps going between titles. It is a lot easy said than done.

    There's a reason many modern authors go onto the speaking/lecturing circuit.
     
  5. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    I guess it pays as well...;)
     
  6. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    Every method, when it comes right down to it, is about getting the books in front of readers who will like them. I would suggest that while a blog is a great tool for concentrating existing readers, it is less effective at acquiring new ones. Reaching new readers would require making them aware of your books, through means like recommendations from existing readers, cross-promotions with similar authors, or good reviews by and in publications targetted at the intended audience.
     
  7. penumbra

    penumbra Member

    I agree with Reader. I don't think that a blog would really help you bring in new readers. Becoming parts of communities - ones like this with avid readers who are passionate about indie authors or ones that pertain to your intended genres/topics - would be a good way to go about introducing your work to people who might be interested in reading your work.
     
  8. luri

    luri Member Scribe

    I think an author website is necessary to build a fan following, where you are a published writer or unpublished writer. Having an author website will improve your online presence. You can link everything from your social pages to author page on publisher's website back to your own website.
     
  9. sliara

    sliara Active Member

    With the popularity of social media sites, you just have to make an effort to put yourself out there and promote yourself. You can build a following by letting readers sample a portion of your work.
     
  10. luri

    luri Member Scribe

    Social media can help you to market yourself as an author, however, having a social site is not enough. You also need a website. The author's website adds credibility to your writing career. You can not only provide a sample of works but also sell your works from your website or link your book published on other platforms.
     
  11. sliara

    sliara Active Member

    True, I just forgot to enumerate the importance of websites to promote your work. It would indeed be easier to have a following when you already have your own website.
     
  12. Lily

    Lily Active Member

    How about giveaways? Doing them via Goodreads costs a hefty sum, but I was browsing Draft2Digital a few days ago and happened to find Prolific Works, a site which allows authors to hold free giveaways.

    Prolific Works has its own mobile reading app and was previously Instafreebie; I'm not familiar with either but PW was listed in the Partners section on the Draft2Digital website.

    There are different membership tiers (free and paid) but the free tier allows authors to hold their own giveaways as well as join group giveaways. If your book is added to a group giveaway with more well-known authors, that could also help.

    Here's the link: Prolific Works
     

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