How to use social media to promote your book

We get it — social media is daunting. But here’s the secret: There is no single right way to be on social media. *Sigh of relief*

Every author should be on at least one social media platform, so check out these tips below to find what works best for you and how to make the most of it!

Highlight the basics

No matter what platform you’re on, make sure you’ve got your basics covered. You want your username and profile picture to be the same, if possible, across all your social media accounts. That way, your followers can easily recognize that it’s you on whatever platform they’re on.

This also includes adding your author bio, website and other social media links wherever possible. And, of course, if you’ve got a book coming out, you’ll want to include buy links right at the top of whatever platform you’re on so everyone can see!

Pick the right platform for you

Try not to feel too overwhelmed with all the different platforms – choose the ones that work best for you and build up slowly. Work with what works best for you, where your audience is, what you enjoy most and where you feel most comfortable engaging. If you know you aren’t going to enjoy making videos, then don’t worry about starting a TikTok account.

As long as you’re active somewhere readers can find you, that’s already a step in the right direction. When you’re ready, you can always take on another platform. Even though they’re on the internet, people can tell when posts and interactions are genuine, so if you aren’t having a good time, your followers will be able to see that.

Creating content

Creating content doesn’t have to be a time-consuming ordeal. You can even post the same things across all your different platforms, though keep an eye out on the different formatting.

Also, don’t be afraid to reuse content. Some of your followers might have missed you posting about a podcast you were on, so don’t worry about posting about it again. Reusing content helps take the load off you, and it’s also a great way to recognize the people who took time to review the book, interview you, etc. But make sure you have some sort of plan when you post: Be creative with your content — don’t post the same thing over and over — mix it up and plan out posts in advance if you can.

And if you’re worried you’re posting too much about your book, here’s a secret: You aren’t. In fact, you probably aren’t posting enough about it. Not everyone is going to catch every single post of yours, so don’t worry about inundating your platform with stuff about your book. It can be weird talking about yourself, but you should be proud of that book you’ve written — and the people following you are following you because they want to know more about you and your career!

Scheduling Apps

We know most authors want to spend their time…well…writing! Social media can seem overwhelming when trying to keep an active presence on various platforms — honestly, it’s a full-time job. And if you’re looking to save time, consider utilizing scheduling apps to create content in bulk so you don’t have to post in real time. This saves time and allows you to focus on what you love most! Different apps work for different platforms, but a few of our favs are Buffer, HootSuite, and Later.

Using social media to network

Use the search tool on each platform to see what’s trending and where you can join in on the conversation by using the same hashtags. It’s also important to always tag locations, companies, authors, etc. whenever possible. You want people to see you’re talking about them. This gives them the opportunity to share your posts to their network, which will hopefully make it back to yours.

In addition to following people who follow you and other readers, consider following accounts in the industry, other authors, bloggers, book stores etc. You can even follow media outlets and reporters local to you, as well as any local businesses, organizations, associations, etc.

And don’t forget to repost other authors in your genre, as well as interacting with them via replies. Promoting yourself and your work is great! But it all goes back to networking. The more you engage, the more likely their followers will see you and consider following and learning more about you and your work.

Building an audience

Does social media translate directly to sales? Probably not. But acquiring an engaging audience and building your author brand are both equally important, and cultivating that dedicated fanbase can indirectly lead to sales.

As you build your following, people will want to see that you’re active, so try and set a goal for yourself to post frequently. This can start with 1-2 posts a week and then slowly increase until you feel comfortable posting more often.

In addition to posting, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re frequently engaging not just with people who follow you but also with people you follow. Carve out time when planning your posts to also reply to comments, read posts from other people, and share posts when possible.

Books Forward August 2022 Newsletter

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Take your book promo to the next level with audio and video assets

You’ve got your ARCs in hand: They’re beautiful and you’ve taken approximately 1 million pictures to share across social media. You pull your phone out in every bookstore you visit to snap photos.

Pictures are great, and they’re definitely easy to take and have on hand. But recognizing that audio and video assets exist can help you expand your author brand and book promo. The more interactive an asset, the more engagement you’re likely to receive. And diversifying your posts — using audio and video in conjunction with links and photos — helps keep content fresh and creative!

Here are some ideas on how to utilize audio and video assets as you promote your book:

Audiograms

Audiograms are easy ways to promote recent podcast or radio interviews in fun and engaging ways for your followers. Check out some of these examples: Like this one from the podcast Pretty Wellness, which Books Forward authors have worked with in the past, and take a look at this one from Books Forward author Diane Dewey and her radio show Dropping In.

But audiograms aren’t just for interviews. If you’re looking to promote a recently produced audiobook, you can also create audiograms to highlight certain quotes or sections from your book. Don’t have an audiobook yet? Learn more about why you should hop on the bandwagon now.

Creative assets can easily be constructed using sites like Canva, Design Wizard, Visme, etc. Just grab the snippet of audio you want to use and work with any of their templated designs to craft an audiogram that matches your social media branding. Want help on solidifying your author brand? Check out our tips here.

Keep in mind: You’ll actually be exporting these assets as videos, so you’ll want to remember platform video time limits, like 60 seconds for Instagram and 2 minutes and 20 seconds for Twitter.

Book Trailers

Not every book has a book trailer, so having one created — or creating one yourself — can set your book apart from the pack. Just like trailers do for movies, well-made book trailers can entice readers to pick up a new book or learn about a new author.

There’s also a variety of different ways to present a book trailer. You can go the traditional route of doing a teaser with audio and video elements like a traditional movie trailer. Or you can even take a video of you sitting down and talking about your book. Just remember that a trailer is just a bite-sized sample of you and your book — try to keep them below 2 minutes if possible.

Book trailers can also be great to use if you’re incorporating Facebook advertising into your book promo. Video ads have the potential to reach different audiences and see even greater engagement than typical image or link ads. According to DataReport, videos account for over 15% of all the content posted to Facebook, and Social Media Examiner says almost 50% of marketers utilize Facebook video in their campaigns. So utilizing video can really help set you apart not just on your author page but also in your advertising!

Videos for social media

If you’ve been on social media for a fraction of a second, you’ll know video has blown up in terms of content and engagement across multiple platforms. Reels have seen an increase in engagement over feed posts on Instagram, which comes as no surprise after IG said the algorithms for the two two types of posts differ.

So if you have the bandwidth to create them, try and maximize your Instagram presence by creating videos. Reels can be up to 90 seconds long; just remember to try and shoot video vertically with a 9:16 aspect ratio (or 1080×1920 pixels) for best results.

And, of course, there’s TikTok.

We know TikTok isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great platform to utilize if you’re focused on video content. If you have videos you’re using for Reels on Instagram, you can easily use that same content — or repurpose similar ideas – over on TikTok. Keep in mind that audiences are different across platforms, and a video that works well on Reels might not be as popular on TikTok and vice versa.

The great thing about Reels and TikTok is you have so much freedom to get creative! Look into using images and videos outside you and your book — like this popular trend to describe a book by its aesthetics. You can learn more about how you can take advantage of TikTok trends as an author here.

Starting a BookTok account can seem like a challenging undertaking. We’ve got some tips here to help get you started!

Add your audio and video assets wherever possible

If you’ve got a book trailer or have created a video talking about your book, you’ll want to make sure to use those wherever possible. So don’t just save those for social media. Make sure to incorporate them on your author website where you can and on YouTube if possible. You can also include a video on your Amazon Author page, which will add an additional asset to your page, as well as help readers who come across your profile learn more about you.

Check out even more about how to make your Amazon page pop here.

Going live

Don’t forget that video and audio assets aren’t reserved only for pre-recorded content. Going live on apps like Facebook and Instagram are also valuable tools to have in your author marketing arsenal. Just make sure to capitalize on going live. Whether it’s for a launch event, a special series, a Q&A, etc., remember that people are taking time out of their day to join you for a live social media event, so you’ll want to prepare and plan to make the most of it!

And if you need help deciding which social media platform you should take advantage of, learn more here.

Books Forward July 2022 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

Read the July 2022 newsletter here!

Books paired with Lizzo songs? It’s About Damn Time

Let’s be real: It’s not officially summer until you’ve curated that perfect summer playlist. And no playlist is complete without at least one or two or ten Lizzo songs. To celebrate the release of Lizzo’s new album Special on July 15, we’ve paired some of our fav Lizzo songs with some of our fav books!

Tempo

Bad Fat Black Girl by Sesali Bowen

Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Sesali Bowen learned early on how to hustle, stay on her toes, and champion other Black women and femmes as she navigated Blackness, queerness, fatness, friendship, poverty, sex work, and self-love.Her love of trap music led her to the top of hip-hop journalism, profiling game-changing artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, and Janelle Monae. But despite all the beauty, complexity, and general badassery she saw, Bowen found none of that nuance represented in mainstream feminism. Thus, she coined Trap Feminism, a contemporary framework that interrogates where feminism meets today’s hip-hop.

Like A Girl

Ashes of Gold by J. Elle

Rue has no memory of how she ended up locked in a basement prison without her magic or her allies. But she’s a girl from the East Row. And girls from the East Row don’t give up. Girls from the East Row pick themselves back up when they fall. Girls from the East Row break themselves out. But reuniting with her friends is only half the battle. When she finds them again, Rue makes a vow: She will find a way to return the magic that the Chancellor has stolen from her father’s people.

Truth Hurts

Miss Me With That by Rachel Lindsay

Rachel Lindsay rose to prominence as The Bachelor’s first Black Bachelorette and has since become one of the franchise’s most well-known figures — and outspoken critics. But there has always been more to Lindsay than meets the eye, and in this book, she finally tells her own story, in her own words.

Scuse Me

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her. She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

Good as Hell

You Got Anything Stronger? by Gabrielle Union

A lot has changed in four years since Union released her book We’re Gonna Need More Wine: She became a mom, raising two amazing girls. Her husband retired. Her career has expanded so she has the opportunity to lift up other voices that need to be heard. But the world has also shown us that we have a lot we still have to fight for — as women, as Black women, as mothers, as aging women, as human beings, as friends. Union shows readers how this ever-changing life presents challenges, even as it gives us moments of pure joy. It’s Union at her most vulnerable.

Boys

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore… and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

Cuz I Love You

Heartstopper Vol. 4 by Alice Oseman

Charlie and Nick’s relationship has been going really well, and Charlie thinks he’s ready to say those three little words: I love you. Nick feels the same way, but he’s got a lot on his mind — especially the thought of coming out to his dad and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder. As a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick will have to learn what love really means.

Better in Color

Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome

Broome’s recounting of his experiences — in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory — reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in. Indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use help to soothe his hurt, young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. A no-nonsense mother and broken father play crucial roles in our misfit’s origin story. But it is Brian’s voice in the retelling that shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys that is often quietly near to bursting at the seams.

Lingerie

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life — and love — without the burden of his crown. The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

About Damn Time

One True Loves by Elise Bryant

Lenore Bennett has always been a force. A star artist and style icon at her high school, she’s a master in the subtle art of not giving a . . . well, you know what. But now that graduation is here, she’s a little less sure. When her family embarks on a post-graduation Mediterranean cruise, her friend Tessa is sure Lenore’s in for a whirlwind romance. But Lenore knows that doesn’t happen to girls like her. Then she meets Alex Lee. After their parents bond over the Cupid Shuffle, she ends up stuck with him for the remainder of the cruise. As they get to know each other during the picturesque stops across Europe, Alex may be able to help Lenore find something else she’s been looking for, even if she doesn’t want to admit it to herself: love.

Books Forward BFFs July Influencer Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features highlights of our BFFs, fun titles available for review, and special opportunities for our friends.

Download the July 2022 newsletter here!

Books Forward June 2022 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

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Books Forward May 2022 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

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