Social Media: Time Suck When You Should Be Writing or Invaluable Tool for Book Marketing?

I don’t know about you, but I spend more time on social media than I should.

Despite all my best intentions, I can’t resist checking Facebook, Instagram or Twitter every time I fire up my laptop.

It’s a bad habit, I know. And if I ditched it, I would have more time and (crucially) more focus.

But social media isn’t a complete waste of time. For an indie author like me, it’s the best way to make connections with readers.

Here are some of the things I use social media for (the legitimate things, not the guilty secret things):

  • Connecting with readers via FB reader groups – these are the best way to get book reviews in my experience.
  • Discussing writing and book marketing with other authors – not just idle chat, we learn a lot from each other.
  • Finding out about events where I can learn about writing and publishing, and meet other authors and readers.
  • Sharing news about my new releases and promotions.
  • Sharing posts from my blogs so people can read them and share them with their own networks.
  • Running adverts for my books on Facebook – the second most effective marketing tactic for me after Bookbub featured deals.
  • Finding out about writing opportunities, including guest blogging and copywriting jobs.

And of course there’s the idle stuff too – keeping in touch with friends and colleagues, sharing photos of the spaces where I write and commenting on other people’s posts.

A selection of my Instagram photos of places where I write

So although I worry that social media can be a time suck, I appreciate that it can be an exceptionally valuable tool for any author. You want your readers to be able to find you wherever they are, which could mean anywhere: website, email, social media, even in meatspace… I know, old school.

Which is why I’ve written a post for the Alliance of Independent Authors on how to use social media strategically and avoid time-wasting. The main elements of my post are:

  • goals
  • audience
  • you
  • your time.

Find out how each of these can help you be more strategic on social media by reading the post!

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