I’m cleaning up and getting out. I’m done. And yet, not quite. Social Media (SoMe) is vital for an author – both traditionally published and indie authors alike. In fact, I would go as far to say there is no difference. I have heard just as many stories about agents and publishers encouraging new authors to establish a platform and a profile, as I have for indie authors. There is no difference, and yet, surely there is a difference in the Social Media platforms themselves. Isn’t there?
I mean, Instagram?
Apparently so, and that is part of the problem. The problem mine, at least – is the time we spend polishing our SoMe – it means less time to write. I have chatted about this with other members of The Author Lab, and my fellow students when we were studying at Falmouth University. We even had a degree module focused on establishing our platform. And I went all in.
I have everything from Tumblr to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, blogger, wordpress, Wattpad, Goodreads – wait, I actually like Goodreads – and others. But, regardless, I am trimming and cutting because I really want out. You see, I have finally discovered that the SoMe sites are only interested in one thing: content, and the more viral the better. They want traffic. Content gives traffic. More content gives more traffic, and that means money.
If you have a Facebook page for your author profile, you have probably noticed that Facebook will tell you when one particular post is doing 80% better than other posts on your page.
That’s interesting, because when I look at the stats, it’s simply not true. But I get the option of boosting that post for a small sum. I can reach more people, get more traffic… No, wait, that traffic isn’t for me after all.
Actually, I must say, that after I joined a crime and thriller readers’ group on Facebook, I suddenly realised how engaging with readers on Facebook has a direct impact on exposure and sales of books. But while engaging with one group is fun, providing content for a plethora of SoMe sites is a full time job. And I actually don’t want to do that. So I am trimming and cutting and cleaning up.
I feel better already.
Of course, half the battle of writing content for SoMe is figuring out just what to write. Half the time it feels forced. The other half feels cheap – especially when hawking books and making my followers aware of deals.
Followers, hmm, let’s just call these people for what they really are – in my case – a wonderful selection of family, friends and acquaintances. They know about my books, and they’ve heard all my news already. But, in between, there are a few genuine followers who are aren’t privy to all the gossip, and they might actually want to know a little more than the blurb on the back of the book.
I must remember them, and write for them. Fortunately, I know where they are. I know they are not on Instagram – it’s gone, never existed. They aren’t Tumblring – so neither will I. Nor are they Snapchatting, and, thankfully, I can drop that little experiment.
No, from now on, it’s a lean SoMe machine… of course, having three pen names makes all this spring cleaning talk a little cheap and silly.
That’s the next step then.
Do you spend more time on Social Media than your story? Are you spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms, or have you discovered a good balance in content and creativity? Tell us in the comments. We’d love to know. (And we get more traffic in the process!)