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
                  www.leonauthor.com

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