You’re already figured out that you need an author following, but you have no clue how to go about getting one? There is really only one way to get an author following (unless you’re one of those lucky bastards that had a big hit with her debut novel) and it’s this: Be Engaged. What the fluff do I mean with that? It’s simple. Just like any job, networking is important for indie writers. Only we do our networking online. Not as much fun as Friday afternoon drinks but just as engaging. But how do you go about networking online? Read on and I’ll tell you. Feel free to grab a glass of wine as well.
Blog. So you’ve got your blog. You’re putting interesting content on it on a continuous basis, but you’ve only got five followers and you’re ready to give up. Oh man, I get that. Been there, done that. You cannot live in a vacuum with your blog. You have to read other blogs, follow other blogs and like and comment on those blogs. Once you start engaging with other bloggers, you’ll find that your stats will improve. You’ll have more visits and slowly build up followers. I’m on WordPress and downloading the WordPress app was one of the smartest things I’ve done for my writing career. Whenever I’ve got a few minutes to myself (because my tennis partner showed up late or something), I go to my followed sites and scroll through the published blogs.
Twitter. This cannot be repeated enough: do not just shout out about your books! Follow other writers, readers, fun people, whoever! Re-tweet interesting tweets. And now that you’ve started following some blogs, go ahead and tweet some of the content of those blogs.
Facebook. I can’t reiterate this enough: keep your private life and your author persona separate! Seriously, do your ‘real’ friends (you know the ones that have actually met you in person) want to see post after post about your books? No, they want to know how you’re doing. On the other side of the coin, your readers also want to get to know you as a person. Don’t only post about your book or marketing stuff. Also include some posts about crazy stuff that happens in your life. I find these types of posts are the most popular.
Pinterest. I’m going to go ahead and admit I’m at a loss here. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing on this site. I make sure I follow bloggers/reviewers/readers who are on Pinterest, but I haven’t gotten much further than that. Stay tuned…
This all probably seems like a lot of work. Let me tell you – it is work! But maintaining relationships with other writers, bloggers and readers is part of the job of being a self-published writer. Fight it all you want but it is what it is. It may seem that none of the above makes a darn bit of difference in book sales. Not so. Sure, you won’t immediately see your book jump to the top twenty. But improve it will! Your exposure will increase and this will lead to book sales. Really! Now go forth and engage!