We all want to promote our work and events, and social media offers us lots of opportunities. Here are some things you should avoid.
Don’t be a leech. If another writer is promoting her work, having an event, or doing a cover reveal, don’t hijack the comments to promote your stuff. I am a part of several anthologies, and we’ve had people tag on to our promotions with comments like, “Hey, if you like this, you’ll love my book at this link.” That’s a quick way to offend others and get your comment deleted.
Automatic messages are annoying when you get so many of them. I’m not sure that unsolicited ones are effective. These are canned and impersonal. Be social. Chat and share posts. Don’t depend on an automated email to build your audience or sell books.
Be creative with your social media posts. Show interesting things and your sense of humor. All of your posts shouldn’t be “buy my book” or “like my page.” If you have hobbies, pets, or visit cool places, incorporate those into your posts.
Don’t spend all of your time on your sites marketing your stuff. These platforms are for social interaction. You need to like, comment, and share others’ posts.
We all need beta readers, forewords, reviews, and blurbs. Make sure you have a relationship with other authors before you make requests. You need a peer group that you can seek help from. I’ve had complete strangers from other genres ask for a review or a blurb and then put demands on it. Be polite. You’re asking a favor. Ask for help and make it easy if you want something from somebody. (When they agree, I always send a synopsis and short bio to help them with titles and character names.) Also, give them as much lead time as possible. Everybody has his/her own deadlines.
Authors and bloggers are busy. Don’t ask people out of the blue to read your 200,000 word manuscript unless they extend the offer to you. I love to help other authors, but I have to guard my writing/editing time, too. I joined a critique group and have beta reader partners. We all agree to read and provide feedback on each others’ work. They also understand my genre, so they know the conventions. Find a critique group or partner to exchange manuscripts. Many times, you can participate in writing workshops that include feedback sessions.
if you’re looking for reviews and you’re targeting book bloggers, read their reviews and look at their site. Make sure your book fits the site. Many post genres that they are interested in and their requirements. Some put out calls and other don’t accept unsolicited requests. Follow instructions. You’ll have more success.
Use book events, workshops, and conferences as opportunities to network. If you take pictures or do a post, make sure to tag that person. Also, later if you do want to contact them for some reason, you have a relationship.
What would you add to my list? What are some of your social media pet peeves?