For this short thesis on the marketing of fiction via social media, I wanted to find out how authors typically incorporate social media into their professional lives. I canvassed opinion via a forum on the Romantic Novelists’ Association…
How do you use social media?
Katherine Garbera (author of more than 50 novels for Harlequin and Silhouette)
“I do a lot of give-aways and publish snippets of an upcoming book from about four weeks before release date on Twitter and Facebook. I have taken Mills & Boon online classes to prepare myself for social media.”
Liz Bailey (romance and historical fiction writer)
“I promote new books, reduced-price books, new covers, blogs, interviews, but only once each time. I also build my contacts list, especially on LinkedIn, where I take time to endorse others and write recommendations.”
Anna Jacobs (best-selling author of 61 novels)
“I’m not much into social media. It bores the hell out of me. However, I’ve been sending out a monthly email newsletter to readers via Yahoo for over a decade and that’s one of the best promo things I do.”
Sarah Duncan (author of five novels, creative writing tutor)
“I used to be very active but last September I just stopped it all – Twitter, Facebook and, most importantly, my blog which was getting up to 10,000 hits per day. Since going cold turkey, I’ve finished one book that had taken forever to write, and written the first draft of another. People write and say they miss my blog and miss me on Twitter, which is nice, but my life is less stressful without social media in it.”
Does social media marketing work?
Julie Cohen (author of 15 novels and tutor)
“I run my own creative writing courses and, thus far, I haven’t had to buy any traditional advertising; the courses have filled up via word of mouth in real life and on social media. I’ve connected with readers, reviewers and media, and I’ve been offered speaking engagements and writing opportunities that I would never have heard of otherwise.”
Jo Beverly (best-selling author and member of the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame)
“It used to be very hard for authors to be in touch with readers and mostly it could only be done through booksellers, who were often restrictive gatekeepers. It was also nearly all through print and mail, which is expensive.”
“It only results in a few actual sales, but it builds the brand and the name.”
Have you come under any pressure from agents or publishers to use social media?
“When my agent was touting my book around, I lost a potential sale because the publisher didn’t think I had a good enough online presence. Since then I’ve done a lot to build it up. As I am now self-publishing, it’s even more important.”
“All of my publishers have encouraged me… I think that my established online presence was attractive to the publicity department of my new publisher.”
“What (my publishers) want is more books than I can produce… If it was a condition of being published to twitter and tweet, I’d go indie and publish myself.”
In the next post: tactful Tweets, bewitching Blogs, pointed Pins.