Choosing the right social platforms
Whether you’re published or yet-to-be-published, it’s important for writers to build an author platform right away. Author platforms are essential for both traditionally- and self-published authors in today’s modern world. But what social media platforms are the best avenues for your books?
If you missed the first blogs in my author platform series—Author Platform Basics, which lays a foundation for what author platform is, and Author Platform: What Should You Put on Your Author Website?—be sure to check out those as well.
Today, let’s talk about the pink elephant in the room: social media.
Since I specialize in fiction, we will be gearing today’s conversation to social media platforms for fiction writers, though many of these platforms will likely also be applicable to nonfiction writers.
Regardless of whether you are self- or traditionally-published, author platforms are essential. For self-published authors, this is how to spread the word about your books. For traditionally-published authors, it’s an important tool in your toolkit to get scooped up by agents and/or editors at publishing houses.
The purpose of author platform is to establish future readers for your books.
Social media is part of your author platform and does not replace an author website. Both are essential to have. But with so many social media platforms out there, it can be difficult to decide which ones to spend your time and energy on.
Here are my top three social media platforms for writers.
There are two prominent communities for book-lovers on YouTube: BookTube and AuthorTube. BookTubers create content pertaining to books they’ve read, such as book reviews and book hauls; while AuthorTubers will create content related to writing, such as how-tos on the craft of writing, vlogging, book marketing, and more.
I love YouTube because it’s a great resource for information-sharing. Writers who are looking to self-publish can watch a video on how to format their novels. Other writers who are hoping to traditionally-publish can watch videos on how writers got their literary agents or struggles they encountered while on submission.
For me, YouTube reminds me I’m not alone in the challenges I face—while offering potential solutions to those challenges.
Twitter is a fantastic platform to be involved and stay up-to-date in the writing community. As you guys have heard in my previous blogs and iWriterly videos, many publishing professionals (such as literary agents and editors) are active on Twitter.
As a result, things like Twitter pitch contests—opportunities where writers can pitch their manuscripts in front of agents and editors—have become popular.
To learn more about writing a pitch for Twitter contests, check out my blog, How to Write a Twitter Pitch.
In addition, writers are also very active on this platform. Many times, as a new author, a lot of your readers will be fellow writers.
#Bookstagram is a popular community on Instagram where readers and writers post gorgeous pictures of books. If you’re an established author, this is a great way to spread the word about your books.
Personally, I love using Instagram as a way to get a little more personal with my audience, while also providing relevant updates for my platform.
On average, many people with public Instagram accounts will post one to two pictures per day. But feel free to experiment to see what works best for you.
Here are a few other social media platforms that you may want to consider utilizing:
Goodreads: This is a great place to connect with fellow readers and fangirl books you love.
Snapchat: In my opinion, this platform is most beneficial for kid lit writers, as a lot of younger people are active here.
Facebook: Personally, I’ve never found huge success on the platform. However, according to some of the writers and authors I’ve spoken with, Facebook is a productive space for the indie community, specifically writers of contemporary, women’s fiction, and romance.
Pinterest: This is most popular for aesthetic boards for book ideas.
Tumblr: I’ve never used Tumblr, so I can’t offer advice from personal experience, but from what I understand, Tumblr has a lot of fandoms. You can share and comment on other people’s posts.
Meg LaTorre is a writer, AuthorTuber/BookTuber, developmental book editor, and former literary agent with a background in magazine and book publishing, medical/technical writing, journalism, and website creation. On Meg’s YouTube channel, iWriterly, she geeks out on all things books—from the concept to the bookshelves (and everything in between). Meg also launched Query Hack, a query critique platform where writers can submit their manuscript queries or Twitter pitches for FREE feedback. To learn more about Meg, visit her website, follow her on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, sign up for her monthly newsletter (Book Nerd Buzz), and subscribe to her YouTube channel, iWriterly.