I have been planning this post for a while and am very glad to finally have the time (ability to ignore other commitments) to write it. Every day I get an email or a Goodreads message from one author or another asking me for tips, it's only natural that authors would want to get a bloggers perspective after all, so I decided to write this series for those who are less keen on directly asking for help. If you do have any questions that I don't manage to answer in my tips then just shoot me and email and I will help! My first post in the author tips series centers around the useful and essential invention that is social media.
Social media is your friend!
I'm sorry guys but if you are an author who wants to succeed in the world you need to have some social networking profiles, if you don't have any and still manage to succeed you are the exception rather than the rule. The two platforms I recommend to all authors are Goodreads and Twitter.
They are essential, trust me, and not just one or the other - both. It is vital that you implement Goodreads as an author, the majority of book lovers are on that website which makes it worthwhile anyway but also it acts as a catalog of the worlds books. If your book isn't on there no one will find it. Don't believe me? Google your a book and I guarantee one of the top results will be Goodreads. Many authors believe that having their book on Amazon is enough but that is not true. When I search a book that I'm interested in I don't click the Amazon link, that is for if I want to buy it, I never use Amazon for informational purposes, Goodreads is the way forward for that!
It is not just your book details that should be put on Goodreads though, your author profile is also very important. I personally like to read author bios and they are very useful when I am making up interview questions. If there is nothing or barely anything in your profile then you cannot expect to get anything other than generic questions! Make your profiles personal and relatable, tell us about your hobbies, your influences, even your pets. Be as friendly as possible and, who knows, you may start to get more requests from reviewers - no one wants to email an author who doesn't seem approachable!
Goodreads is not just about information sharing though, it is a bookish community. By participating in conversations, group reads and supporting other authors you are involving yourself in that community and making friends and contacts. I would say the majority of my contacts come from my involvement in Goodreads. I moderate a group on Goodreads called Books, Blogs, Authors and More that's main purpose is to help build this community between, yes you guessed it, readers, bloggers and authors. This may appear to be shameless advertising but I promise you that is not my aim, I aim to provide a support system which is vital for authors like you..
No one gains popularity unless they put themselves out there and social media is the way to do that. The two platforms above are essential but there are a number of others which are also important. Websites and Blogs put all of your information in one place for readers to find which is very useful. Facebook is another platform that can be potentially useful however this one only tends to work well if you already have a large and active fanbase.
I hope you take my advice and it helps you because that is my aim in many of the things I do around here at Confessions of a Bookaholic. Tell me what you thought of this post in the comments and look out for the next installment in my author tips series!
Remember, if you have any questions in the meantime I am always available to answer them via email or Google Hangouts if you prefer.