What to Share on Social Media Before Your Book Is Written
When it comes to growing an audience on social media, every single author faces a time that I refer to as “The Gray Area.”
It’s that time between when you start writing a book and when it is released, and it’s often met with much trepidation from authors. The Gray Area is the time of needing to grow your audience but not knowing how to talk about your book early on in the process without giving too much away.
To see the results you’re looking for on social media, you have to be consistent. If you only post around the time your book comes out, you will probably be disappointed by the response.
If you think about social media as any relationship you have in life, this will make more sense. If you only talked to your friends when you needed something but ignored them the rest of the time, you won’t hear much from them.
Social media wasn’t created for marketing - it was created to build relationships.
And like any relationship, it takes time to establish trust. So as an author, it’s important to start that process as soon as possible. Even before your book is completed.
But how do you do that? How do you start that process before you’ve even started writing your book? Let’s jump in and find out!
Know Who You Want to Connect With
When you know who you’re talking to it’s so much easier to know what to talk about. If I’m with my friend Molly I know what we have in common, so it’s easy to come up with topics talk about. If I see something online that I know she will like or that will help with a problem she’s having, I share it with her.
The same thing applies to you as an author. Book marketing is simply connecting with people who are interested in the same things you are. When you try to market your book to everyone, you market it to no one.
When you focus on talking to just one person on social media - your Ideal Reader - it changes your entire perspective. It makes all the difference in the world. It makes your social media posts more relevant and effective. It helps you to create genuine and relatable posts, which in turn helps you reach the right people.
Share Content Not Related to Your Book or Writing
Something that I see all too often is authors only talking about their book, writing, or reading. Granted, these are good things to talk about, but only talking about those few things really limits you, so you’ll run out of things to talk about very quickly.
You and your readers have many layers. You’re so much more than just your writing! Think about topics, hobbies, and interests that you share with your ideal reader. Maybe you’re interested in knitting, travel, cooking, fishing, or exercise. Think about things in your life that are important to you - like your family, pets, your faith, and so on.
These topics help you connect with other people on a human level - not just as an author trying to sell a book. When people relate to you on that level, they will be more likely to pay attention and listen when it comes time to talk about your book.
Take Your Readers on the Journey
One of my favorite authors is Patricia Cornwell. I love when she is in between books because she shares pictures and video from her research trips on social media. It gives us hints as to what the next book will be about, it creates interest, and it’s just cool to see what she’s discovering.
Many authors I’ve talked to are worried that sharing their research will be giving too much away. Don’t be. This helps build anticipation and interest in what your book will be about.
You’re in the thick of it - you know the full story that you’re covering in your book. But sharing little bits and pieces with readers won’t give them the full picture. It will give them just a taste and make them feel like they are on the journey with you.
Think About Your Reader’s Pain Points
If you’re writing non-fiction, think about the topics, problems, and questions your reader is struggling with that your book will help solve. For example, let’s say your book is on improving your health. You could share some easy exercises that they can do at their desk, or foods they should incorporate into their diet.
Solving or helping with these pain points shows that you know what you’re talking about, that you provide helpful information that works, and that you’re trustworthy.
Provide Your Readers With Service
This might sound strange, but hear me out. When it comes to social media, focusing on serving your readers (rather than trying to get a sale or only talking about yourself) will do more good than you know.
You can serve them with inspiration, encouragement, a laugh, or a much needed break in the day. Focusing on what you can provide your readers in an uplifting and positive way will set you apart from the rest of the crowd. And it will give you some great content to share on social media.
This is worth repeating so I’ll say it again: social media wasn’t created for marketing - it was created to build relationships. So put yourself out there in ways that you know your ideal reader will be drawn to you. And don’t forget to respond to them when they interact with you!
If you’re still reading this you are obviously serious about connecting with your ideal reader. I have something special to share with you that will empower you to do more with your book marketing. It will show you exactly how to find and connect with your ideal reader, establish a doable and effective marketing plan, create six months to a year’s worth of content, and develop a seamless process that will simplify social media to give you bigger results.
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