In my “free time” outside of BlogWorld, I’m an author. I’ve written three young adult novels in the past two years and currently have one out on submission to publishers. As you can imagine, I spend a good amount of time networking with other authors, agents, editors, etc. Topics of interest include a variety of items – especially the use of social media to foster buzz for an author and their book.
I’ve seen several authors generate buzz using Twitter and their blogs – but the most successful ones are those that develop and foster their brand and voice with social media (in all age groups and genres). My favorite example is Kiersten White. For the weeks leading up to the launch of her debut novel, Paranormalcy, Kiersten used social media to showcase her humor, wit, and creativity – building an audience and buzz that took her to the New York Times Bestseller list the week that Paranormalcy hit store shelves!
So what are some examples of Kiersten’s social media efforts and writing style? For weeks prior to launch, Kiersten took to Twitter with tweets that centered on a hashtag she created (#everytimeyoupreorderparanormalcy). Here are just a couple (but there were hundreds of them!)
#everytimeyoupreorderparanormalcy a muggle-born kid gets accepted to Hogwarts.
#everytimeyoupreorderparanormalcy Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella grow a spine, save *themselves*, and head to college.
Kiersten also spent time on her blog – writing posts that featured her book, but also showcased her fun and self-deprecating humor (like this one and this one).
But did this voice translate over to Paranormalcy? Absolutely. And that’s why it worked. If Kiersten’s writing was dark and mysterious, her social media audience would’ve been rather stunned to expect humor and read twisted.
Lastly, Kiersten took time to respond to pretty much everyone who engaged in a conversation – whether it was on Twitter or comments on her blog. She was gracious and caring and never made a fan feel uncomfortable for contacting her.
So my tips for authors looking to use social media to generate buzz for their book: Be Honest, Be True to Your Voice, Be Original & Engage in Conversations
In last night’s #yalitchat (a weekly Twitter chat for the young adult writing industry) we also talked about social media and buzz. Some great tips and thoughts include:
- @veela_valoom: Social media cannot just be used a “promo-media” should always be a conversation #yalitchat
- @LauraKreitzer: I noticed that when the social media and reviewers went quiet, so did the sales.
- @LM_PrestonBLOG TOURs Rock! They are powerful in starting buzz! I’ve bought tons of books from blog tours
- @AlysonCGreene: ARCS might not sell books, but I think reviews & blog recs do. ARCS allow bloggers and reviewers to read and create buzz pre-pub
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