Special IE author guest blog post
By M.M Cochran
Writers and social media don’t always mix very well. But authors and social media? That’s a must. I know, I know. . . writers of all kinds are typically reclusive when it comes to making private life public. All we ask of the world, with puppy dog eyes and hands in prayer position, is this: “Will you buy my book?”
Here’s a fact: the world just might do that––IF you put it out there for them to see. So, the nagging topic that seeps its way into every author’s life . . . “social media as a new author.” Let’s chat about it.
I’m M.M. Cochran, new author of my debut young adult novel Between the Ocean and the Stars, published by our very own IngramElliott. When I first signed my contract with them, they told me to prepare to do some heavy marketing on social media. And if you’re trying to promote your book, personality/brand is what’ll make you or break you. Seems crazy, right? But as a new author myself, I had to find a way to make myself known, and to tell you the truth, branding myself, which means also branding my book, is really quite fun.
New authors, Instagram is your best friend. (Raise your hand if you want to consider spending hours on Instagram “work”!). My tips and tricks for promoting my book is this:
After all, your audience follows you for a reason, and that reason is because they’re interested in seeing your life as a writer. With a debut novel coming out, show them what the publishing process looks like, or the writing process, or the editing process.
My social media development started taking off when I announced on Instagram that I’d signed my first publishing contract. It’s been growing ever since. Here’s some quick tips and tricks that helped me get the ball rolling:
Let me expand on this.
By posting bookish content, my followers became familiar with my brand, what I do, and what they can expect from me. Even if your novel is a year away from seeing a bookshelf, don’t stop promoting it. Keep your followers excited for release. Between the time I signed my contract with IE and now, I have gained fans from all over the world who have told me they love my content, love my story, and can’t wait for release so they can get their hands on my novel.
I let my audience know that they can reach out to me day or night. Just as they encourage and support me, I want to offer the same right back to them. If they see that you care about them, they’ll never leave your side (or your book! *wink wink*). This builds a strong community around you, which, in the discouraging times that writing often brings upon us, is much needed.
This pivotal tip can make or break a follow:
keep your page pretty.
Determine your aesthetic and stick to it. Depending on the season, I keep my pictures on Instagram nice and matching to the weather. During winter, I post white and blue colors. During spring, I like to keep it pastel. In summertime, I post vibrant, colorful pictures. When fall comes around, I like to share lots of outdoorsy, turtleneck sweater pictures. Meanwhile, I keep readers informed on my publishing process and what’s to come.
But don’t be afraid to get honest in your posts. Everyone has a vulnerable side, and sharing yours will draw people closer to you because of your relatable content. Writing isn’t easy. In fact, that might just be the most vulnerable form of art out there. The whole point of publishing your book is for people to feel your words and experience your story. Why stop at a paperback or e-book, though?
New authors, take it a step further and start sharing your words on social media. Be confident in your book––in your vulnerability, in your branding, in your journey to publication––and show the world who you are.
I promise they’ll love you!
Have questions? Need advice as you enter the publishing industry? Follow me on Instagram at m.m.cochran_writer and let’s chat!