Today’s post isn’t necessarily about writing, but it goes hand-in-hand, especially if you’re planning on publishing.
When I first considered publishing, I went back and forth on if I should pursue traditional or not. While traditional has a LOT of benefits, I felt self-publishing fit my needs and life, PLUS there’s a wonderful community of self-published authors that I am a part of.
The thing is, when you self-publish, ALL of the work falls on you. All of it. And as someone who wants her novel to not stand out as “oh, she clearly self-published this for so-and-so reasons”, it meant I had to spend a good deal of money on editors, cover designers, and proofreaders. I also needed to generate an online presence, which is what this post is about!
There will be three main themes (because I love things in threes) and some smaller points under those over-arching themes.
Wherever you choose to post/share your writing, make sure you’re consistent. This is probably the biggest one for me. There was a time on Instagram where I posted every day, and in just a week, I had gained tons of followers and interest. When I share snippets of my novel on Goodreads, it boosts the interest generated around my author profile. Back when I was posting chapters actively on Wattpad, I gained hundreds of followers. So, I say this from experience:
Consistency, in whatever form that takes, REALLY HELPS.
So if you’re trying to push your way into the rather frightening world of social media, remember that consistency is the best way to jump-start your journey.
Find Your Voice
Okay, so this one is definitely more vague than my last one, but trust me, it will make sense! If you’re considering Instagram, a fluidity to your posts can really help! If everything your showing is jumping all over the place with no real focus, than people aren’t going to give your profile more than a second’s thought. If you’re not even sure what the heck you’re doing, than how are others supposed to support you? Some specific tips for this:
- filters (for Instagram)
- a theme (aka, calling your website a book blog)
- find one thing that will set you apart (people should be able to learn quickly what is yours or not)
You may think that people will just randomly find you and then follow. The answer to that is a big nope. Sure, people might accidentally find your account, think it’s cool, and then follow, but you should NOT rely on that to generate interest. You need to interact with other bloggers, Instagrammers, writers, readers, and more.
Now, that can be daunting. I definitely did not interact much (and still don’t) simply because it’s out of my comfort zone. But the thing is, wouldn’t you love it if someone commented or liked a post? Or what if they messaged you something encouraging? It would feel great, right?
A single comment can go a long way. It shows people you care enough about what they’re putting out there, and you know what? It will make them 100% more likely to check out your profile too.
I hope this has helped! These are just general tips and if you’re really serious about building a following, there are a TON of other resources out there. So, remember: be consistent, find your voice, and interact! Below are some of the platforms I’m on and the reasons I find them helpful.
- Goodreads: The best place to get people interested in your novel. The platform is exclusively readers and writers, which is helpful.
- Instagram: There are a lot of bookstagrammers here, so there’s definitely people who will be interested. However, Instagram requires a photo for a post, so you need to make sure everything you’re posting is eye-catching and relevant.
- WordPress: In my opinion, the best website (blog) building platform out there. It’s easy to gain followers, especially with the discover page. If you’re planning an author/book website, I highly recommend!
- Wattpad: While I use this less frequently now, it’s one of the best places to gain feedback on a first draft of your novel. Just know it’s tough to find people interested and you’ll have to put work into it.