Skip to main content

Self Publishing: Mastering Your Social Front

Here are some marketing tips to get you ahead of the game when you're promoting yourself as a published author. I've left the juiciest tip until the end. Read on.

Pick a style. Do you use primary colours or do you use secondary or tertiary colours? Are your graphics dark, are they light? Are they faded or are they harsh? Are you modern or rustic?

Have a look at my Instagram feed for an example:

The answers for me are: tertiary colours, light graphics, faded, and rustic. Partially because that's my natural style, and doing something forced long-term isn't ideal. But partially because my books are set in a medieval setting, and old wood, rusty nails, and faded photos speak of the past.

Edit these graphics from your phone. Get good at lowering and increasing your black point: it's what makes your images more harsh vs. more faded. Toggle the contrast and brightness to, again, make the image more harsh vs. more faded. Play with the shadows to add depth and intrigue, or lessen them to add clarity and make the image more visible.

Find your style and be consistent.

Now. How do I get so many graphics?

Unless you have a knack for photoshop, like I do, you probably won't get quite so many custom ones. If that's the case, you might want to take more photos than get them from the internet.

When I say get them from the internet, that does not mean off of Google Images. Unless you set a filter in Google images to only show you images you can legally use with modification, those images aren't yours to take.

Try websites like Pexels, Unsplash, or Pixabay to get free images that you can use. On top of that, however, how can you get text onto your image?

I use an app on my phone called Typorama. It was well worth the money I spent buying it once and for all. Not to mention, the Typorama user interphase has access to free images from Pixabay and Unsplash!

Make a nice website. Too many authors just hack something together in Wordpress and use it.

Compare CJ Archer's website with my own. Both are pretty, but one is more interactive and modern than the other.

On the side, I work as a graphic designer. I'm lucky enough to have the skills to create custom images, like the one below, and website graphics.

But, considering my business is founded on people without the ability to create graphics, I've seen firsthand that sometimes people don't see the difference between their basic Wordpress website and a professional website. Believe me, there's a difference.  If you don't have an artistic flare to build a nice website, find someone who does. Plus, keep it updated.

Lastly, and here's the golden tip, sign up for a social media management platform. I cannot express this enough. My marketing colleague introduced me to them and I adore social media managing platforms now.

I use Hootsuite. With Hootsuite I can publish the same post to multiple platforms at the same time.

Have you noticed that when you share your Instagram post to Twitter via Instagram, the image isn't included? You just get the text on Twitter.

By using Hootsuite, the image is included on Twitter. BUT, what's really exciting is that you can schedule posts to go out on a certain day at a certain time.

Here's what that looks like. For my book release, I pre-created a social media post promoting my book to be published to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter the morning before release day. On the day of release, I had a post pre-scheduled to be released in the morning announcing that my book was released! Not to mention, I had a post prescheduled to announce my BOGO deal through B&N.

Doesn't that sound amazing? On release day, I just got to sit back and watch the post likes come in. The best part is that all of the tips and tricks I mention above can be done from your phone.

Well, there you have it! Some beginner tips for marketing your author profile on social media. Do you have any other tricks of the trade? Share them below.

For tips and insights to building your Twitter followers from 100 to 2,000 in under three weeks, check out my post on Twitter Tips.

Happy social media-ing!

Written by M. A. Leon — Author of the Steel and Magic series


Popular posts from this blog

Preparing your paperback manuscript for Ingramspark with Indesign

Oh my gosh, writers. Could there please please please be one page that tells you the settings to use in InDesign to get your files approved in Ingramspark? At least, that's what I begged Google while tugging out my hair. After hours of trial and error, here are the freaking settings for InDesign exports to Ingramspark. (With details for converting your cover image with Adobe Acrobat at the end!) Your content Document units First, before you give yourself a headache looking up picas conversions online and everything, set your document's units to inches. Go to Indesign > Preferences > Units & Increments . Set the Width and height to use inches. Document bleed Go to File > Document setup . Set your bleed to the following: Bleed Top: 0.125 in Bottom: 0.125 in Inside: 0 in Outside: 0.125 in Document export Now, to the simple juice of this article: exporting your document. Go to File > Export (or [control/command]+[E]). Set the Adobe PDF Preset to [PDF/X-3:2002] . Le

Designing your own covers with Adobe Photoshop

 When I first started self publishing, I figured there was no way I'd ever design my own covers. Cover artists know so many things including: The size of cover your book will need depending on which publisher you use (KDP, Ingram, Barnes and Noble, Blurb, etc.) The colour edits and variants you'll need to get your colours printing right How to make sure the text on the back of your book is legible And so many other things. I'd swore I'd never design my own cover, until... Perusing Adobe stock images, I came across the perfect image that was exactly what I wanted for my book cover. Now, consider this: I'd already spent $350USD per book cover for the three books in my series; hired a professional designer and everything. People enjoyed them, they showed my characters well... but something was never quite right. My fault, not the artist's; she gave me exactly what I asked for. Was it crazy to re-start on my own and scrap that $1,000+ I'd spent on cover art? Ini

Marketing Your Self-Published Fiction Book

Well, here I am, one year after publishing my first book. What's changed? I'm going throw you the candy and then the broccoli in the next two paragraphs; hold onto your seatbelt. What makes me feel qualified for writing this blog is that, since publishing my book, I've gotten a full-time job in marketing. I've been getting on-on-one, customised advice from my colleagues. Since publishing my first book, Elemental Links, I've read dozens of blogs on how to market my book. In this blog, I'm putting that information together for you. As for the broccoli, my book hasn't taken off yet. The reviews are promising. One professional reviewer loved my sequel so much that she asked if she could let her thirteen-year-old son read it. Out of all the books she's read, she wanted to pass along mine. It was very flattering. However, publishing your book is a three-year haul. At least. Be prepared. I've given out hundreds of free copies of my books. Some blo