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Social Networking: Snubbing a Potential Fan?





The reality for today’s author is that we need to promote our books in order to reach our intended audience. It is then hoped that our intended audience will buy our book. Each time they buy our book, we make money. Each time they recommend our book to their friends and their friends buy it, we make money. Pretty simple, huh?

One of the best ways for readers to find out about our books is through social media. It could be that they read a review about your book on a blog. It could be that someone—a fan, perhaps—tweets about the book. Or it could be the reader follows your blog or Facebook page or Twitter feed. There’s no discounting the power of social media.

But while you’re promoting your book, don’t ignore the benefits of relationships developed through social media with writers within your genre. Typically, these writers also read the genre (or at least they should be), which means they could become fans of your books. If these individuals follow you on Twitter and you ignore them (either you don’t follow them back or ignore them when they attempt to engage in a meaningful conversation with you), that’s not going to help you in the long run. If you’re releasing a book, and are relatively unknown, why ignore the people who could help increase your book’s visibility? You never know when that new friend could help you down the line. Maybe her book will become a bestseller, and wouldn’t it be great if a bestselling author blurbed your book?

Considering how flooded the market currently is with New Adult contemporary romances (for example), authors need all the readers they can get. By snubbing a writer of your genre, she may decide to buy someone else’s book instead of yours. This is especially true if all you ever do is tweet excerpts from your book and only have conversations with authors within your circle of friends (or with the big names you’re trying to be noticed by).

And what are the potential consequences for your book if you do this?

The writer won’t have a chance to fall in love with your book (or really enjoy it) and rate it on Goodreads.

She won’t post the cover on her blog.

She won’t give away a copy of your book on her blog or on Twitter or in a newsletter giveaway. So there goes another potential review or rating.

She won’t tweet about the book or mention it on her Facebook page.

She won’t post the cover on her ‘Books I Love’ Pinterest board.

Can you see how many promotional opportunities an author could miss out on, all because she discounted the power of social media relationships with writers and authors within her genre? Granted, not every writer uses all the platforms listed, but even having your book mentioned on one of these sites could benefit you.

How do you decide which followers on Twitter to follow back?



Stina Lindenblatt @StinaLL writes Young Adult and New Adult novels. In her spare time, she’s a photographer, a blogging addict, and can be found hanging out on her blog (when she isn’t writing).  She is represented by Marisa Corvisiero, and finds it weird talking about herself in third person.



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20 comments:

On July 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM , Pat Hatt said...

As long as they aren't fake, have chinese writing or some other language, spam the crap out of me, follow them back I do automatically.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 8:47 AM , L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's why the networking is so important. Other people promoting you carries far more weight, too.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM , Slamdunk said...

This is out of an area I should be giving an opinion, but I would look for substance. If the person is genuine then I would have no problem in following.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 9:03 AM , Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

I'm predisposed to follow back any writer in my genres and age markets. But as a steadily publishing writer (AKA always on deadline), sometimes it simply takes me a while to check out my new subscribers and reciprocate.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM , Julie Dao said...

Great post, Stina! Generally I always follow back immediately if I see that the person is a writer or reader.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM , Carol Riggs said...

I'd love to follow everyone back (legitimate Tweeters)! However, now that I've reached 2000, Twitter won't let me follow anyone new unless I UN-follow someone. There's some mystical "ratio" where they want you to have more followers than number of people you're following. Very frustrating.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM , Dianne K. Salerni said...

I follow most fellow writers back, regardless of the genre they write -- but I DO check out their profile page first.

If the person tweets NOTHING but book ads, then I don't follow back. I assume the Tweeter is less interested in interaction than producing a stream of advertising and probably doesn't even read the tweets of the people he/she follows.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM , Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Interesting comments and viewpoints. I follow most writers back, although some seem too heavily into promotion so I skip them. I also like to follow publishers and organizations that interest me so that I have a wider view of what's going on.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM , Tricia J. O'Brien said...

P.S. Another thing I look for when following is whether the person interacts with others or just throws stuff out there. I like interaction.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM , Martina at Adventures in YA Publishing said...

I have to admit that this is something I really struggle with. Partly it comes down to time and my inability to manage it as well as I'd like, and part is due to my social media ADD. I initially made the decision, knowing nothing about Twitter, to not auto follow. I got on Twitter early enough that there wasn't much competition, and I wasn't using good software, so I had a hard time keeping up with all the followers, That sounds strange but roll back three years and it was a whole different Twitterverse. Then I discovered how to link,dofferemt social media, and I made another huge mistake. Most of my tweets came from my Google Reader account, so I wasn't physically ON Twitter enough to keep up with followers or anything. So by the time I discovered Tweet Deck and realized Twitter is the platform I like best, I had thousands of followers I wasn't following back. That being the case, I didn't want to suddenly start following people and offend anyone. My compromise? Lists! I keep lists of bloggers, writers, book reviewers, teachers, editors, agents.... And I do actually keep track of the lists as much as I can. When someone follows me, I try to add them to as many of the lists as appropriate. not perfect, but it's workable. I hope.:)

 
On July 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM , Stina Lindenblatt said...

Martina, I love Lists. I just figured out how to create them, and it makes it easier to see what my fellow NA writers/authors are up to. Otherwise I miss their tweets in the sea of non NA tweets.

Cynthia, I can see how it's difficult for an author with deadlines to keep up with the new followers. It's hard enough without deadlines.

Thanks everyone for your great feedback!

 
On July 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM , Natalie Aguirre said...

Great post, Stina. I know I have to get on Twitter but haven't been quite sure how to spend time on there with reading so many blogs. I like Martina's idea of lists and have been thinking of keeping lists when I do start following. It's hard, though, to think of seeing many of the tweets that everyone probably posts on a daily basis. I haven't been very good with Facebook lately because I've been so busy.

 
On July 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM , S.P. Bowers said...

Great post, and very true, but also a little stressful. I'm always worried that on a day I'm really busy and I just don't get around to answering comments or following them back to their blog will alienate a friend or reader. I guess that's why having a good reputation is so important. If you usually do those things they'll know it's an exception and won't be offended. Right?

 
On July 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM , Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Great post, Stina! I am so bad at Twitter. I must get better at it... just can't seem to find the time for everything! I hope your next post will be on how to balance social media time and writing time - extremely specific nuts and bolts details! I seriously don't know how people have blogs and websites and are on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, google+, goodreads, etc and keep up with all that and still have time to write!

 
On July 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM , Martha Ramirez said...

Awesome advice, Stina!

 
On July 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM , Carrie Butler said...

Yes, this! Exactly. :)

 
On July 16, 2013 at 6:15 AM , Rinelle Grey said...

I went through this thought process recently, and subsequently changed my follow back policy. I now follow back most people who follow me. The only ones I don't automatically follow back are those that don't have a bio listed, who have a blatant sales pitch in their bio (that isn't relevant to my area of interest), and those who have way more followers than follows.

 
On July 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM , Medeia Sharif said...

I follow writers who seem authentic in their tweets and who aren't always spamming.

I remember having a few YA authors unfollow me. It didn't give me a good vibe, as if I wasn't worth following or they were only willing to follow "bigger" people.

 
On July 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM , michelle said...

Great post!
I'm bad when it comes to Twitter. I don't know how to use it properly. And there's just no time! But I do realise it's a very important networking tool.

 
On July 26, 2013 at 1:48 PM , Kim Van Sickler said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you, and may I add that you are amazing in returning the favor for blog visiting. I do feel a camaraderie with writers who visit my blog. I root for them, follow them more closely, read their work, beta read for them, and am more likely to promote them than someone I don't know.