My grandsons had just sugared up on chocolate cupcakes when I corralled them into the backseat of my little Cavalier. They were huddled and hyper, and without even looking, I held up the phone camera over my head and snapped a picture behind me as I started the car to drive. I just happened to catch this instant of their spontaneous combustion. Looking at the photo months later, I had a thought: What a perfect expression of joy of life! It captured what I want to express to prospective author-clients for my publishing business: Writing and publishing and going for it just ought to be fun!
I found a template, “Join Our Team,” on the Poto app which I had installed on my phone. The picture inserted perfectly. Happy as a songbird, I quickly sent it out as a Tweet and posted it on Facebook. Here is the tweet:
Oops! A friend spotted the spelling error, “Contect Us.” That was an embarrassing mistake for a publisher offering editing services to make, but quickly fixable in our wonderful social media world. Delete tweet, send out correction.
Okay, but notice the tweet. I hardly ever send one out without a visual and a link to my website or a client page or a purchasing page. If you spend 10 minutes looking at the Twitter feed scroll past like a rushing river, I guarantee you will pause it only if a graphic catches your eye. Text alone rarely grabs you. And if you do pause it to look, you are looking for that link to be there to take you somewhere interesting.
Links and visuals are the game. They are like the soccer ball and the field. I love Twitter, but my favorite social media site is Instagram. That is fast action (although not as fast as Snapchat), and the play is this: Instagram has 400 million users and can be one of the most powerful client catchers of all. So you take a picture that fits with a creative idea that you have, maybe make a collage of photos, decide to whom you want to direct your exciting concept, figure out the hashtags that will get this work of art to them, write your masterpiece message and post. Wait! Don’t forget your link! With every Instagram post, you want to be sure that when the viewer pauses that whirling feed to see what you have done, there is a link to take them where you want. So here is an Instagram post I did recently:
I had a simple idea, but one that intrigues readers: When the author writes fiction, how much of him or her is in the main character? So I boldly put it out there: Yep, that 27-year-old, celebrity, Spanish speaking World Series of Poker stud, Corvette Nightfire, is really me. Ha! Who will believe it? But to add a modicum of credulity, I threw in some Spanish and left my hashtags visible so people could see where I was heading. Yes, the link to my Amazon sale page was there in the bio profile at the time.
Of course, we would never overlook Facebook, right? I feel strongly that authors should have a separate author page from their personal page. For one thing, it is much easier to join the professional page with other professional groups and communities. On those other pages, you can post as an author. The separate page lets you not annoy FB friends with your book marketing, and Facebook also makes it easier to boost your professional posts from your author page. Here is an example of a video post advertising Corvette Nightfire from my author page. I am glad to mention in it my wonderful editor and story contributor, Robert Selfe, in this short video:
If I have one message with this post, it is that indie authors who want to market can do it having lots of fun, perhaps almost as much fun as when they are writing. Both require creativity and imagination. When writing, authors create visual images with words. When we live our lives, we are stimulated by sights and sounds, and we like to understand how what we are experiencing is relevant (linked) to our lives. In other words, in life we also look for the links and the visuals. So in our modern daily living, in which we snap photos, tap the phone and send pictures immediately to Facebook or Instagram, we share our joys and sorrows. It is just as easy to share our books and stories in the same ways.
Link, link, link! Go ahead – click on any of the photos or links in this post, and see where I send you. Happy posting!