Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my absolute pleasure today to welcome author Chrys Fey who gives wonderful pointers on author promotions despite not being on social media.
Authors don’t need to be on social media if they don’t want to be.
Nowadays, social media can be a drag. There are things we might like about it, but then there are things we probably hate, like the drama, feeling as though we don’t do enough on Facebook or Twitter, or even losing writing time because of keeping social media accounts updated.
Authors, if you hate Twitter, you don’t need to be on Twitter. If you hate Facebook, you don’t need to be on Facebook. I personally like to have at least one form of social media to stay current and have a searchable presence, but that is always up to the individual. And I do advise snagging those accounts on Twitter and/or Facebook to keep people from creating a false account under your name/pseudonym. That way the account is yours, but you don’t have to do a thing on it if you don’t want to, and especially not if you dislike social media or get stressed out about it. What can you do instead?
How an Author Can Promote without Social Media:
- Online Reviews
Online and social media are two different things. You can still take advantage of the online world and not be on social media.
2. Find Book Bloggers and Reviewers
You can do this with a simple Google search. Check out the blogs/websites for reviewers, read their Review Policy, and then send them an email with all the information they request. Following instructions is key.
Reviews are important, so even if you’re not on social media, you can still take advantage of online reviews. And once you have these reviews, you can quote parts of them in the Editorial Reviews section on your book’s Amazon page. You can even put those review quotes on your website, in your press kit, and any kind of printed promo, such as a postcard or brochure. Use them everywhere.
3. Guest Posts
I have never viewed my blog as a social media platform. There is a community there, and people can comment and share your blog posts, but blogs have a very different vibe than say Twitter or Facebook. So, blogging can be a wonderful tool in a writer’s box who hates other social media platforms. On your blog you can create a series of posts related to you book without it being too pushy-salesy. Writing a post about fascinating tidbits you learned while researching your book is a great way to attract interest.
But if you don’t want to create a blog, you can still partially hop into the blogging world by contacting book/author bloggers and asking them if you can offer them a guest post. Write a fascinating guest post about your book, add your book’s blurb, cover art, your bio and links, and then voila! You have a guest post that can attract their visitors.
TIP: Simple book blasts with only the book’s content do next to nothing because they don’t offer value. And every book blogger fills their followers’ feeds with these. Be different. Create a unique post that is less salesy and more informative.
Get on a handful of blogs. One a day for a week or two is great. In this way, you can have a blog tour. It’s virtual, but it’s not social media.
4. Local Libraries
Contact your local libraries. You can go in and talk to the people at the reference desk about doing a discussion there. This works for authors who write adult books as well as authors who write children’s and middle grade books.
5. Local Schools
If you write children’s books, see if you can do readings in the media center or in classrooms. This is your audience. Elementary school teachers love to connect with local authors, and so do kids.
Many elementary schools also hold fests, such as an autumn fest, spring fling, or summer fest. At these fests, there are usually tables. Contact the school(s) months in advance to see if you can get a table for your books at their events.
6. Local Newspapers
If you release a book or do an event locally (at a library or school), contact your local paper. Many newspaper websites list the reporters and contributors. You can directly contact one of them through email. Give them your press kit and all of the details of what you’ll be doing.
Check out your local radio stations or search for podcast opportunities for authors. You can find radio and podcast opportunities on the Radio Locator database, iTunes (under podcasts), and sign up for Radio Guest List for free to receive daily emails for current radio, podcast, and TV opportunities.
8. Go to Book Events/Fairs
Every year there are book events/fairs throughout the country, and a few of them could happen in your state. Even in your city. Signing up to be a featured author at a book event, with a table for the signing open to the public, you have the potential to find new readers. Have promo items, such as bookmarks or postcards, with your book’s information on it and pass them out to every reader who pauses at your table. I also suggest, having a tablet at your table so readers can directly fill out your newsletter’s opt-in form. Include some sort of incentive, such as a giveaway the readers will be entered into if they sign up. When I did this, I got about 50 new sign-ups from one event.
Book events are also great ways to network with other authors. Introduce yourself. Stop at their tables, swap business cards, and wish them luck. By doing this, you could be building a valuable relationship.
9. Join Local Writing Groups
Most libraries have group meetings for writers. Go to your local library and ask the reference desk for information on any writing groups that may meet there. Usually, these groups meet once a month. If you attend the meetings, you could get to know other local writers/authors, which could lead to combined promo opportunities. For example, you and one or two others could do a signing together at a local spot. You never know what could come out of the friendships you build in writing groups.
Host a reading at a coffeeshop, library, or another local spot. Many of the people who go to these places are artistic people. At the least, you entertain them while you read. At the most, you pique their interest and they ask you questions afterward about your book.
11. Farmer’s Market
Many cities and towns have a weekly Farmer’s Market. See if you can get a table for your books. Treat it like a real book event. Have promo items you can hand out to everyone. Whoever stops at your table, try to pull them into a conversation. You could simply ask them what they like to read and follow their answer with a reply of your own. Perhaps they read your genre. Great! Tell them that’s what your offering and pitch them your book.
And if a local opportunity comes your way, say to speak at a luncheon or library, don’t pass it up. Even if you’ve never done it before. There’s no harm in trying, and you just may be pleasantly surprised.
Get creative. Think outside the box. Try anything at least once.
How else can an author promote their book(s) without social media? How much of your time do you spend on social media? Do you buy books you encounter on social media? Have you ever been annoyed by author promotions on social media?
For more information like this check out:
Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. Fey is an editor for Dancing Lemur Press and runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Goodreads book club. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips, or tweet her at @ChrysFey
This post was written for the IWSG. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) every month! Go to the site to see the other participants. In this group we writers share tips, self-doubt, insecurities, and of course, discuss the act of writing. If you’re a writer and a blogger, go join rightaway! The IWSG’s co-hosts this month are Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.