Sometimes, it isn’t the process of writing and posting to social media that scuppers your author presence; it’s the voice in your head that chips away at your confidence and stops you from even trying.
It’s the dark side of ‘what if’:
- What if no one responds or follows you?
- What if you get heckled and trolled?
- What if no one cares?
You worry yourself round in circles and end up doing nothing.
Here are the three worst offenders and how you can tackle those thoughts:
I don’t know what to post. I’m not that interesting.
Whatever gave you that idea? Do you live your life thinking, ‘I’m not that interesting so I’d better not talk to anyone because they’d be soooooo bored’? I bet you don’t.
Readers are demanding and nosey. They want more of your books – hence the incessant pursuit of your next literary creation – and they want to know who the heck wrote this novel, or poetry collection, or instructional non-fiction book that grabbed them so tightly. Just who are you, authorly-person?
Everyone is an individual. We view the world through eyes that have seen different paths and cried tears for our own, personal reasons. Each of us is a collection of experiences, and thoughts, knocks and joys, that is unique.
Your readers want to know who you are because they are genuinely interested. That’s not to say you should tell them everything – Great Aunt Edna’s repetitive gout may not make the most savoury Tweet – but your author social media posts should absolutely smack with your personality and sound like the interesting author you are.
It feels too sale-sy to keep asking people to buy my book. I don’t want to annoy them.
Book-sales are great, but what’s even better (okay, your agent and publisher may not agree with me on this) is having an audience who can’t wait to buy your next book.
Yes, of course you want to sell your books, but the real benefit of having an author social media presence is to build a following of readers who will not only devour your books, but also review and recommend them to the rest of the world.
Your author social media presence helps you to open a conversation with readers where both sides benefit. You provide value – whether that is your book, your expertise, inspiration, or entertainment – and in return, the reader provides value by commenting, visiting your website, sharing your content online, or buying your books. It’s a ‘win win’ situation all round.
Look at your author social media posts from this point of view, and suddenly it doesn’t seem sale-sy or annoying to promote your books.
I’ve got one book out but until I release my next book, I haven’t got anything to tell my readers.
Yes, you do, because your social media presence isn’t just about your books. It’s about you and the value (whether that value is entertainment, community, inspiration, or information) you provide to your readers.
You might post about:
- working on your next book, including research and inspiration
- literary events you attend
- book reviews you receive
- guest blog posts you write for other websites
- what life looks like for you as an author
- answering questions that your readers have asked
- supplementary material to your books
- fan art of the characters you write about
- videos of you reading from your books
- initiatives and charities you support or issues you feel strongly about
- your writing method
- what you’ve read recently
- your latest blog posts
There is so much you can post about in between books.
And if you’re wondering why you should put the effort into your social media presence when you haven’t got a new book to promote, here’s the thing. You are but one dazzling author in a universe of trillions of dazzling authors. Consistently piping up on social media will help to maintain that conversation with your readers; as a result they will remember you and stay enthusiastic about your next book.
Whether you call it impostor syndrome, or your inner critic, or Mariah your not-so-friendly muse, you are the only person who can silence, gag, or turn away the voice in your head that makes you doubt yourself.
The good news is that nobody else can hear that voice; everyone else just sees a fabulous author.