Before I jump into sharing the social media aspect of my publication journey, a little announcement on the book’s status: The beta reads came back with only some minor adjustments. I took care of those, and the manuscript is now off with the copy editor! I’m on schedule, and maybe even a little ahead, to have it in the hands of ARC readers with plenty of time for them to read and review for the launch. If you are interested in hearing more about ARC readers, stay with me until the end of the year. I will have a post about them as well when I get to that stage.
Today I talk about communication and brand building. When I first began this blog, I mentioned how it is because of the strong recommendation for authors to have one. Blogs are a way for an audience to know an author through more than their book writing. They also connect to the author’s website and can provide a solid base of communication. That was my goal with this blog. I started it well in advance of my launch, intending to publish weekly, so I had an online presence should a reader come looking for me.
Now I’m a little more than three months out from my intended launch date, and I expect the preorder link to be available sometime in October. The last couple of weeks have been all about communication planning. How do I cast a wide net? How do I capture my audience? How do I offer versatility to my audience’s preferences? What do I respond to? How do I respond when it is going to be just me doing this for quite some time?
First, I looked at building what I am calling “passive contacts.” These are the follows on various social media platforms where people may or may not see my posts in their feeds. I took a look at websites for some of the authors I read to see what platforms they used. Based on that information for guidance, I decided on adding Instagram and Twitter to my existing Facebook presence. This is how I am describing my presence on these platforms:
- Website: This is my website, including my blog. You can sign up to receive blog notifications either with a WordPress account or simply with email. Blog posts are short, weekly musings about what is going on in my life, ranging from family, to writing, to D&D games. Few of these posts, if any, will be included in the newsletters.
- Twitter: My posts will primarily be sharing blog posts, so you can follow the blog through this source instead of the website if you prefer. There will also be some soccer or family tweets in there as well.
- Facebook: My Facebook page will primarily include brief progress posts and some blog sharing. There will also be some Facebook exclusive events with giveaway raffles.
- Instagram: This will primarily be pictures of me, my cats, Seattle Sounders games, and book cover images as they come out.
“What is this ‘newsletter’ to which you refer in the descriptions?” you ask? Well, that is the part I am calling “active contacts” and starting to build out now. I now have a MailChimp account and will be sending out newsletters! This is one of the best ways to keep an audience because you are directly telling them about a new release or work-in-progress rather than relying on a news feed in an app. I am still working another job, and I need time to actually write the books, so I’m only planning quarterly newsletters with a few extras if there are special events.
I don’t know how this is going to work exactly just yet, as I only made the newsletter sign-up live on my site last night. At the moment of writing this, I am my only audience member. New audience members SHOULD get an automatic welcome email. I’m crossing my fingers that I set up the automation correctly. There is going to be some learning along the way, so I hope my early subscribers find errors humorous and enjoy the process with me.
If you are curious about any of this and want to follow me on any of these platforms, I have included links to them all above in this post, and they are the icons at the bottom of my website pages as well. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are back next week as well for an exciting reveal of the new page I am adding to my website!