Social Media for Authors: Promote Your Novel Without Feeling Salesy
Social media is a godsend for authors. After all, it’s free, focuses on your strengths (writing), and connects you with potential readers worldwide. But why does it seem so difficult to promote your novel on social media? Why does it feel so cheesy?
Because you’re either not doing it correctly or you’re overthinking it.
If selling your book feels too salesy or sleazy, ask yourself:
* Are you doing potential readers a disservice by not sharing it?
Then stop keeping your novel a secret. You could be entertaining readers who love your genre and are desperate for a new book recommendation.
So, how about you keep reading and we try and nail this whole using social media to promote your book thing once and for all?
In this article, I’m sharing with you 32 ways you can use your novel as a promotional tool on social media.
Try out any ideas that appeal to you or use them as inspiration to build on. Remember, you need to pique potential readers’ interest. Give them just the right amount of information, hooks and teasers, and they won’t be able to resist pressing the ‘BUY NOW’ button.
Here we are … Social Media for Authors: 32 Ways to Promote Your Novel Without Feeling Salesy
- Share a bite-sized snippet of some intriguing content from your book to pique your reader’s interest – take a photograph of a page, type out the text to use as a post, or create a meme in Canva with your branding and logo on.
- Share a book review – take a screenshot of it from your book’s sales page, type out the text, or create a meme with your branding and logo on. Add a little statement as to why this particular review made you so happy.
- Share an excerpt from your book – if you’re brave enough, record yourself on video or audio. It might be a funny passage or a serious one or the biggest hook in your plot (will they/won’t they get together, for example). Talk about your feelings when you wrote this section – what sparked you into writing it? Where did you get the idea from?
- Share your book blurb – either a jpg image of your back cover or a cut and paste job from your Amazon sales page will do, finished off with a ‘have you bought your copy yet?’ statement.
- Explain your writing routines or share a list of any software/resources/apps that help you during the writing process (eg Grammarly, Eggtimer, the Pomodoro technique, setting deadlines, storyboard creation, Trello, etc).
- Post a physical description of one of your characters – include a picture if you have one. Talk about how this character first appeared in your brain.
- Say hi! Introduce yourself to your followers. They may not know a thing about you! Add a photo, tell them three interesting facts about you/your life/your hobbies and add links to your Amazon sales page/books. Pin the post to the top of your social media page so it’s the first thing people see when they scroll down your author page.
- Talk about the inspiration behind writing your book. Was it a life-changing incident that spurred you into getting on with it (like Covid, for example – it was for so many people)? Or was it simply because you couldn’t ignore the characters shouting in your head any longer?
- Ask your followers if they’ve supported an author recently. The next time they find a book they love, ask them to tell their friends, buy a copy as a gift, leave the author a review, write a blog about it, or talk about it on social media and remind them how much a small gesture like this means to an author.
- Ask a question – have you ever come across someone like this in real life [cut and paste some dialogue/character description]?
- Share a friendly, smiley selfie pic of you holding your book.
- Share a behind-the-scenes picture of you working on your next book – screenshot your growing word count or a paragraph you particularly love. Share how you feel about the progress you’ve made today and/or how you stay motivated on your off days.
- Share a picture of one of your readers with your book and ask, Where’s the furthest location your book has travelled? If you don’t have any pictures of your readers, turn this into a question and ask your readers where they’ve read your book – it could be ‘in the garden’ or ‘in the bath’ or ‘on the plane on my way to x’.
- #justforfun – take a random photograph of your book in a weird or wonderful place and ask your followers to guess where it is.
- Ask your followers outright: Have you bought my book yet? Have you left a review? What did you think of it? What were the best bits? Get it off your Amazon Wish List and into your basket. You deserve a treat. Here’s the link.
- Tell a story about your book: eg when I started writing it, this happened … I knew I was going to write this book when I … I didn’t know it would turn into a book … I wrote this book because … if I’d know I was going to become an author, I’d have …
- Create an ‘Ask me anything’ book-related thread. Get your followers talking and set up an ‘ask me anything’ thread. Encourage them to ask you anything about the writing/publication process, your characters, the setting, a particular scene, designing the cover or how long the process took from starting to write to seeing the book for sale. We’re all nosey beggars at heart and for someone who knows little about writing a book or publishing, this can be a real treat.
- Share a snippet from your book and provoke a response. Talk about the purpose/meaning behind it. Was it to spark young imaginations? Did it stem from something that happened in real life? Were you in two minds whether to cut it out in the final edit?
- Share a PHOTO of the dedication in your book. Explain why you chose to dedicate your book to this person/these people. Then ask your followers who they would dedicate their books to if they wrote one.
- Share a PHOTO of an old notebook where you started drafting out ideas for your book/something similar. Ask how your audience organise their ideas.
- Share a video = if you’re brave enough share a short and sweet video (30 seconds is fine). It could be an intro to your books/to you/your pets/your self-care habits/your favourite walking route/sitting with a cuppa in your garden, anything. Be creative. Remember, social media posts aren’t always about the hard sell. You’re building relationships too.
- Tell a story about an emotional part of your book. Did it make someone giggle or cry? Is it a laugh-out-loud moment? Has a reader commented on it in a review?
- Tell a story about your book: eg what you did when you reached the halfway point and started doubting your talent? Be honest and open. People love a bit of vulnerability and it deepens a connection with you.
- Share a picture of you wrapping up one of your books that you’re sending to a new reader. Tell your followers they can buy a copy of your book from you (in case they don’t already know). And you can give them the VIP treatment by writing a message in the front of the book.
- A short and sweet blatant sales post … Looking for a weekend/holiday read? (ADD BOOK LINK + BLURB).
- Share some feedback you’ve received from one of your readers. Not necessarily a review, just a personal message.
- Tell a story about your characters getting stuck in your head and talking to you at the weirdest times. Do they plan how the book will turn out or do you have a plan already?
- One of the themes I cover in my book is … and ask a question about whether that theme means something to your followers, would it make them want to pick up the book? Share your book link.
- Share a poignant conversation/setting/milestone from your book and add a link so people whose interest in piqued can buy a copy.
- I’m writing today! Take a screenshot of your work-in-progress. NB it can be a blog or some social media content. It doesn’t have to be a book.
- Looking for a new (thriller/rom-com/historical) novel to read? This is the book for you (share a link to your book).
- Share a link to a blog which mentions your book.
There you have it. 32 ideas to help you promote your novel on social media. They didn’t feel cheesy or sleazy at all now, did they? Just remember to blend this in amongst ‘everyday conversations’ because you’re trying to build relationships here, not just sell books.
If this article has helped you, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or share the link with your writing friends.