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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Headed to an author event? Take a photo with the author. Don’t forget to buy their book while you’re there.
- What’s on your bookshelf or TBR list? Snap a picture of the stack beside your bed.
- Stop by a Free Little Library and tag an author. Stop by any library and tag an author you love.
- Listen to author interviews, comment, and share. By the way, Blackbird Writers have over 100 interviews on YouTube. Find us @blackbirdwriters996.
- 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?