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Tracey S. Phillips asks, “Do You Love How You Share?”

Tracey S. Phillips is the founder of the Blackbird Writers. She is also the author of thriller Best Kept Secrets, and the Mina’s Choice series as Karissa Knight. You can find out more about her on her website, www.traceysphillips.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and buy her books as Tracey S. Phillps here, and as Karissa Knight here.

Account deactivated. Thousands of posts deleted from the stratosphere. Suddenly you’re disconnected from 4000 (or more) followers. Those words could strike terror into an author’s bones. But today, I did it on purpose. I deactivated my 2 largest social media accounts. And it’s opening doors.

I don’t need to tell you that writing is a lonely endeavor. One of the decisions I made early in my writing journey was to make lots of friends along the way. I wanted to be supportive, but more than anything, I was curious how others navigated this crazy, creative, and challenging journey.

Luckily, I also love to help authors out. Last month, Blackbird Writers hosted a grand scale flash sale. (You’re here, right? You probably knew about this.) We marketed the event to local and national writing groups, and we helped promote and sell more than fifty-five books. I didn’t do this alone, I had website help from Sheila Lowe and Anne Louise Bannon. Our graphic designers, Sharon Michalove, and Valerie Biel added many images to our treasure trove. Blackbird Writers and the participating authors advertised and shared the event all over social media and in newsletters. Together, we drew about 2000 viewers to the website which meant new eyes on our books and new potential readers. Next year, we’ll do it again.

The Flash Sale is only one way I share and make connections in the community. I feel extremely lucky technology has improved since the seventies. I don’t have to drive from one city to the next with boxes of books in my car –just to a friend about it. Social media is where readers hang out. With so many sites and new ones cropping up every day, which do you choose? Where do you spend time?

I like to be where positive vibes prevail. I like to hang out where my friends and readers are chillin’.

On Facebook, author groups like the Blackbird Writers Discussion Forum, The Cozy Mystery Corner, Coffee and Eclairs, Mystery and Thriller Readers, and so many more invite discussion and book sharing. In these spaces, you can chat with authors and meet like-minded people. Here, I like to share author’s posts to my story or to my page feed. If I find your book or event post, I’ll post it to my pages.

Book Club!

On Instagram, I find it easy to share authors’ news and new release info to my story. I can share as many posts as I want and improve the visibility of their books. Add hashtags to the posts. The #writingcommunity is still going strong. Look  up #romanticsuspense, #thrillerbooks, #cozymystery, and #mystery, for more authorly news. Sharing new releases, book sales, Kindle deals and conference news is a great way to improve your author brand and gain followers. Doing so actually helps my brand.

When I provide content that’s consistent and interesting, readers and followers will return to see what I’m posting. And I love-love-love having the ability to share across multiple sites. That’s why I joined Threads this week. I’m not terribly proficient on that platform yet, but I have time to learn. No matter where you are, authors always appreciate a re-post or share. And here’s an added bonus: in looking through social media posts about books, you just might find your next favorite mystery. 

Are you a reader who wants to get to know a few authors? Are you an author who doesn’t have a book coming out this month? Here are seven ways to share—seven days of sharing—that will help your author friends and keep your followers engaged:

  1. Repost book news from your author friends. Be sure to tag them! Share to your story. It shows up at the top of your followers’ feeds.
  2. What are you reading? Take a photo and talk about it. (If you can’t be nice, just don’t.) And tag the author, they’ll appreciate the shout out.
  3. Headed to an author event? Take a photo with the author. Don’t forget to buy their book while you’re there.
  4. What’s on your bookshelf or TBR list? Snap a picture of the stack beside your bed.
  5. Stop by a Free Little Library and tag an author. Stop by any library and tag an author you love.
  6. Listen to author interviews, comment, and share. By the way, Blackbird Writers have over 100 interviews on YouTube. Find us @blackbirdwriters996. 
  7. Reviews are number one for authors. And so easy to share from Bookbub! The best way to make your author friends happy this holiday season and all year long is to read and review their books. Light up an author’s life and give them a five star review. It’s by far the best way to make friends in this community.

We all struggle with the ethics of blathering and blasting our self-promo all over the universe. Today I want to ask you to give it just a little more thought. Not that I want to have an ethics discussion, I don’t. I don’t want to discuss the ethics of billionaires who want control of the stratosphere and the discussions therein. So I’m going to leave you with this thought.

Do you love how you share?

Happy holidays!

Tracey S. Phillips

Tracey S. Phillips is the founder of Blackbird Writers and the author of Best Kept Secret. You can find out more about her on her website, www.traceysphillips.com, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Laurie Buchanan
    Laurie Buchanan

    Tracey — I, too, dissolved my presence on a large social media platform and, like you, find it freeing. My focus now is on three platforms that work well together: Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. For me, the key is consistency. I follow a daily “ta-dah” list that helps me accomplish my goals. One of the things on the list is “Promote another author’s book.” Sometimes it’s on Facebook. Other times, it’s via “Stories” on Instagram. On Saturdays, it’s in the form of a “Bite-Sized Review” that I post across all three platforms. It’s good when we lift each other.

  2. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    Thanks Laurie, I love the example you set! And I may have noticed that you went MIA from a certain platform. Liberating, isn’t it? Once a week I post what I’m reading. I also share my reviews and my interviews. We’re in the same wagon. I love how you support authors!

  3. Avatar
    Margaret Mizushima

    Good post, Tracey. I love to boost other authors too, and I enjoy sharing posts across platforms. I also share this blog every Monday in hopes that my followers will enjoy it as much as I do. You do a terrific job supporting other authors! Thank you!

  4. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    Thanks Margaret. We’re providing amazing content! IMHO.

  5. Christine DeSmet
    Christine DeSmet

    Such good advice and guidance for writers! A good post, Tracey. Thanks! Onward you go with more focus and happiness and I’ll bet good results.

  6. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    Thanks Christine! Hopefully it helps someone!

  7. Valerie Biel
    Valerie Biel

    Yes, great question! Because if you don’t love (or at least enjoy) what and how you’re sharing, it’s going to be obvious (and draining.) I can’t remember if it was Dan Blank who gave this advice or someone else . . . but the suggestion was to pick the one platform you love the most and then have a presence on the others but point them over to that one place/platform for regular content–although the interconnectedness of Instagram/Facebook/Threads makes cross posting easy. I know there are all those ‘have-tos’ about where to share based on where your readership hangs out. That means I SHOULD be on Tik Tok, but the thought of adding another platform to my outreach and doing it well, feels too daunting for my schedule.

  8. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    Loving how you do your outreach is so important. I think it was Dan Blank (thanks for that advice). The worry and stress all stems from not enjoying it. Since our marketing relies so much on connecting with readers, I support any author to take a closer look. ❤️

  9. Sheila Lowe
    Sheila Lowe

    Some great advice, thanks for sharing so much. I do take issue with one thing you said (because it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t quibble)–I don’t find writing to be “lonely,” just solitary (which I enjoy). But regardless, it’s always a wonderful thing to have like-minded friends. Thanks for being one.

  10. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    LOL Sheila. Point taken-solitary, but sometimes lonely, for me. And I’m so grateful to call you a friend, too.

  11. GP Gottlieb
    GP Gottlieb

    I’m still sad about the 4000 followers you lost, but you’ve got a system. I know that pictures of vegie platters are not gaining me followers. I just like posting on Instagram!

  12. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    No love lost for me. But you write about food… why not make that part of your brand? Just a thought.

  13. Colleen Winter
    Colleen Winter

    Great Post Tracey! I’ve been thinking about streamlining my social presence and where I spend my time as an author, so this is a very timely post. It will give me the kick-in-the-pants I need to put my musings into action. Thanks!

  14. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    You’re very welcome, Colleen!

  15. Avatar
    saralynrichard

    I love this articulate post! I try to share what I love and love how I share. Both are important!

    1. tracey64p
      tracey64p

      I believe you are a rare bird, Saralyn. Thanks for all your “shares!” You do a great job!

  16. Carl Vonderau
    Carl Vonderau

    I try to share, but am not nearly as generous as you are, Tracey. Good advice. We all can share more.

  17. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    Thanks Carl- I believe we can. Books are our brand, right? And readers get bored pretty fast with “buy my book” promo. I’m not a winner of social media, but I can see when it’s working. Usually that’s when I share someone else’s book. And it’s a place to connect with our compadres.

  18. John DeDakis
    John DeDakis

    Thanks for your post, Tracey…… Lots here to think about.

    1. Tracey S. Phillips
      Tracey S. Phillips

      Indeed. I’m trying- daily – to be more consistent. Partly that’s the key.

  19. Anne Louise Bannon
    Anne Louise Bannon

    Very timely. I’m in the middle of trying to find my sweet spot, social-media-wise, and am trying a lot of different things. Why not? (And, yes, TikTok is on the list, but I’m going for a younger audience.)

    1. Tracey S. Phillips
      Tracey S. Phillips

      Let me know how that goes, Anne! I’m not brave enough for that. Not yet.

  20. Sherrill Joseph
    Sherrill Joseph

    Tracey, thanks for sharing your social media journey, which is continuing, as all ours must as authors. I’m copying and posting near my writing desk your seven ways to share about other authors to help them and keep followers engaged. Great ideas that I definitely need to hone in on! To me, you are a master at sharing and set a great example.

  21. Avatar
    Jacqueline Vick

    It cut me off! Sharing what you love and loving what you share.

    1. Tracey S. Phillips
      Tracey S. Phillips

      I believe it, too, Jackie. Isn’t that the point? Often I think we love writing books, but we don’t love the rest of the journey. It’s so important to find that sweet spot, like Anne said. And so important to find a way to turn the “grind” into something sweeter. Cinnamon Sugar comes to mind for some reason. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  22. Avatar
    Avanti Centrae

    Thanks for the thoughtful post, Tracey. Social media is a strange beast. I have a friend in real estate who has posted for years and is now finding those same posts going viral. I’ll be interested to hear how you like Threads. I’m still enjoying reaching new readers on that unnamed platform, at least for now, mostly because the social media tools that I use to help me manage my posts haven’t caught up with some of the new platforms. Spoutible, for example, is rather fun and has a good news feed. Keep on posting!

    1. Tracey S. Phillips
      Tracey S. Phillips

      Hi Avanti, we discussed the advantages of Threads at our meeting this week. It seems that social media integration is a sweet advantage to joining.

  23. Joy Ann Ribar
    Joy Ann Ribar

    Thanks for this provocative post. I think you are wonderful at gathering authors to cultivate an environment of sharing time, talents, and kindness.

  24. Tracey S. Phillips
    Tracey S. Phillips

    Thanks Joy! I am humbled by that, and honored to be among so many talented people.

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