Tag Archives: Twitter

Social Media & Book Deals

This article in the Independent is worth a read:


Lots of differing opinions in the article, about how worthwhile having a strong social media presence is when it comes to getting published. Followers online aren’t necessarily going to buy your book.

It caught my eye, as I’m in the early stages of establishing my author platform, with a view to returning to self-publishing. My blog on writing is almost ready to go live, after which I’ll build a WordPress website devoted to my Cornish Detective novels.

(Me waiting for a train full of readers!)

I’ve long had a jaundiced view of Facebook, though I’ve had a personal page for 16 years and a business page for four years, which I’ve done nothing to. Facebook was once useful to promote sales by advertisements, but many writing gurus reckon it’s had its day:

Marketing experts are favouring mailing lists generated by subscribers to an author’s blog and website as the way to go to generate sales. I was mulling over how much time to devote to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, when the latest newsletter from James Oswald arrived. I’ve mentioned him several times before, and his success story continues to inspire me:

Image result for james oswald

He reveals his attitude to social media sites. He’s removed his presence from Facebook, owing to their stance on sharing users’ data. He doesn’t see the point of Pinterest (where I started 27 boards) and admits that he became addicted to Twitter—to no real purpose of serving his writing or book sales. I’m amazed at how many intelligent creative people have admitted to this addiction, so it’s something for me to be wary of…I’ve only made one introductory tweet when I joined three years ago. Oswald has suspended his Twitter account and relies on communicating with readers directly, by a CONTACT ME email link on his blog, but, as he runs a livestock farm, the animals take precedence. He says:

‘Above all else, though, Twitter is an enormous time sink. Struggling with deadlines, I often find myself nipping back to the site for a quick look ‘while I gather my thoughts’. It’s a kind of addiction, and one I can do without.

To that end, I’ve logged off the site, and am keeping my distance for the moment. I won’t delete it like I did Facebook. My publisher would have a heart attack if I abandoned social media entirely. My daily Blipfoto uploads automatically, as will notification of this newsletter going out. I will return to posting occasional Highland cow and sheep pictures, too, now that lambing is over. But until Inspector McLean book ten is delivered, my presence will be much diminished. Newsletters are the new thing, honest.’

Interesting, that he favours an image sharing site called Blipfoto, which I hadn’t heard of…where he posts pics of his sheep and cows. I may join:


The only tactic I believe in when it comes to social media, is to link everything that you do, driving readers towards your sales points. (Makes them sound like cattle!)

I’m going to be following James Oswald’s example by giving my first novel away for free, following up with the second in the series at a reasonable price. I’ve got three more written and edited, so feel like I’m in a strong position—but that’s only so if readers like them. I favour his reliance on newsletters. I’ll use Twitter to make contacts, network and to tweet the occasional witticism.

How do you handle your social media presence?

Instagram, anyone?

Moving on from the Social Media is Watching You! post, I wondered how many of you use Instagram? Either for fun or to promote themselves as writers.

Several writing gurus have observed that Facebook is losing young users, who are migrating to Instagram as the way to communicate with friends. This would certainly be relevant to you as a writer if your target audience is juvenile or YA. It’s less so for me, with crime fiction, as the genre attracts older readers, but I’m still intrigued by the possibilities of Instagram.

As I gird my loins to establish a social media and blogging presence, I’ve been checking out the advantages and drawbacks of different sites. Three years ago, I set up basic accounts with LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Quora and Pinterest, a Facebook business page, separate to my personal profile, and started this WordPress blog.

I previously posted about my tactic of using Pinterest to get my name out there, by adding my blog address to pins. I could start other boards more to do with books, writing, publishers, famous crimes and Cornwall, where my novels are set, but it’s a time-consuming process.

I’ve been pondering how effective Instagram could be. Jane Friedman hosted a guest post by novelist Annie Sullivan on ways of using the site.

There’s a community of book lovers on Instagram called Bookstagram, which would be the ideal place to self-promote.

It’s impossible to predict how many of these book lovers actually buy books, but word of mouth promotion and viral marketing has to start somewhere.

What do you think?

Is Instagram a flippant waste of time?

Or, a useful marketing tool?