It’s been very clear to me that the biggest struggle many authors have with social media isn’t how to operate sites like Twitter or Instagram, but what to do with them. The trick is knowing what kind of content to post.
I’m still amazed that after 15 years of the blog and now Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter I have the ability to continuously create new content. Of course, as I often say to James, it’s not like we haven’t talked about this before.
While I understand the pressure of content creation, it doesn’t have to be hard. As James and I work to brainstorm new ideas and thoughts, we have a few basic guidelines we follow or consider.
1. It Doesn’t Have to Be New
Our audience is constantly evolving. Those readers who first started with us 15 years ago have taken what they’ve learned and gone on to those next steps in their careers. New authors have taken their place.
For that reason, our content doesn’t always have to be brand new. It just needs to be done in a fresh new way. If you search the blog for “exclusives” for example you’ll likely see that I’ve done a
So don’t worry that you’ve already talked to your readers about something. If you have something to say, say it. Each time I talk about queries or exclusives or rejection it’s fresh and new and different from the time before. Even if I’ve talked about these three things many times already.
2. Feel Free to Steal
I am the queen of thievery. No, I don’t have a shop-lifting addiction and I don’t plagiarize, but I do take ideas all the time.
Countless times I’ve read an inspiring article in a business magazine that I felt would translate well to authors. I took it upon myself to translate that article, in my own voice, my own words, and with a shift in advice fitting my audience.
It was never the same article, but my post was sparked by something someone else said. Sometimes it’s an article, a conversation or a podcast, an Instagram post, or interview. Whatever it is, ideas come from everywhere. Don’t be afraid to take that spark and make it yours.
3. Do It For Others
No matter how good those likes make you feel, or how much fun you have on social media, a successful social media account isn’t about you. It’s about the service you bring to others.
If I ran this blog by only promoting myself or the books I represent, or
This blog is not about me. It never has been. It’s always been about servicing the needs of authors and providing you with information that I hope will help you learn about publishing and empower yourself in this business.
When looking at it this way, what can you provide others? Recipes? Publishing advice? Are you an expert on Regency England or Beluga whales?
Instead of looking at social media as a place where readers will find you and buy your book, look at it as a service you are supplying to your audience. Who are they and what do you think they’d love to see from you?
As I’ve always said. The best social media accounts are those where people are having fun. Have fun. Connect, and enjoy.