Why follow other authors on social media?

twtterAn old mate, and fellow author, who’s dipping his toe into Twitter got me thinking this week when he asked my advice on whether it’s worth following fellow writers on social media?

After all, he pointed out, they are not likely to buy your books are they? They are just going to want to promote their own.

There’s some truth in the point which he is making of course and I’m sure it’s wise for anyone with a book, or anything else, to promote, to look for people on social media who are likely to be consumers, not just fellow producers.

Nevertheless, I have always followed fellow authors on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc and I think I have been rewarded over time for doing so. Here’s why:

Some authors really do buy your book.
And sometimes you buy their books too. Fellow authors have purchased copies of both my published novels in decent numbers over time and I have also bought, read and reviewed books by authors I have met through social media. So, if it is sales you are looking for then you might well get some.

But there are other reasons to follow fellow authors on social media.

The sense of community that associating with other writers brings is both comforting and useful. Fellow writers often have the same issues as you and so can advise you. I’ve found that becoming part of this community and getting to know people is more important than a quick sale of one of my books. Developing relationships can bring benefits in the future which might not be apparent from the first day you click ‘follow’.

I’ve also been given practical support by fellow writers who I have got to know on social media. For example they have:

  • Helped promote my work through their social media channels through retweets, Facebook sharing etc.
  • Interviewed me on their websites and blogs, bringing my work to new potential readerships.
  • Nominated me for book awards and voted for me in them.
  • Invited me to ‘real world’ book events where I can sell my books.

There are more examples of help I’ve been given I’m sure – I’m always grateful for the support the writing community online has given me and I’ve tried to repay that by being supportive to other authors.

I also think that having as wide a network as you can on social media helps your general profile as a writer whoever your followers are. It means more people might at least have heard of you and your work.

At my last book launch I lost count of the number of people who came up to me and said they knew me from Twitter. My eldest son who was with me said: “Dad, you might not be famous, but you are Twitter famous.” And my contention would be that Twitter famous is better than nothing. After all, nobody is going to buy your book if they have never heard of it or you.
So there we go – a thumbs up from me for following fellow authors!

puacoverWhile you’re here, why not take a quick look at my rom com The Pick-Up Artist on Amazon and read the early reviews? To give it a go click here in the UK and click here in the USA.

‘Loved this book, a bloke’s view of the dating game, made me laugh out loud.’

 

10 thoughts on “Why follow other authors on social media?”

  1. When my life as an author began, I personally knew no one and no one knew me. I knew I could write, but that was about all. The digital age of self publishing and all that entails was a complete mystery to me, and in the beginning I made some colossal errors.
    I can honestly say, that every author I have met, on twitter , facebook and elsewhere, have all contributed to my life in ways I could never have imagined.
    Every single one has either helped, supported and advised, or just been there for me (and Jaye) and we feel incredibly grateful for it.
    The opportunity to return these favours is there too, and in many ways this feels more rewarding, so we will continue to ‘follow’ to our hearts content!

    1. Thanks Anita, well put – it’s important to remember how much there is to learn, and how much we can learn from people on the same path!

  2. I agree wholeheartedly, Chris. It’s a great community, and I know for sure that recommendations from fellow authors can really help. Aside from that, what great friends we have all become, even if we never get to meet each other! The feeling that you’re not alone in the task of promoting your work is tremendous!

  3. I do think authors read books by other authors, and they’re far more likely to write a review, on Amazon or Goodreads, and they’re more likely to invite you to guest blog for them as well. Granted, they’re hoping you’ll return the favour for their own book, but it helps if you end up becoming fans of each other’s work!

  4. There are so many places to submit work and, when you’re new you have no idea where to start really. By following other writers on social media, I find I’m weekly adding to my index of possible places to try my luck with, based on other writers’ musings . It is because of other authors posting links and promoting where they have sent their work, or where they are thinking of sending their work, that I have any real clue where to send my work in the first place!
    Having other writers on my social network feeds is invaluable for me. Without an agent, social media is the only place where I feel I have a clue about what is actually going on in the general writing scene.
    I also like to see the messages of encouragement and tips that other writers publish. I like to read when one of the writers I follow has achieved something – makes me feel happy on their behalf even if I don’t know them personally.
    I do buy work from people I follow in my feeds too. Not all the time, but I am a consumer too, so if I like the look of it, I’ll support it. If I think I know someone else who might also like it, then I tell them – that person might not really be on social-networking sites looking for these things, so sometimes, author’s promoting things can have a wider cascade effect on sales and interest past what they might be conscious of because of stars and retweet responses through their Twitter/ Facebook.
    Writers tend to work alone, so there is no office building we all trudge into. Twitter and Facebook act as our unofficial office buildings as far as I’m concerned, because they give me the community, focus, and the encouragement I need and, hopefully others.
    Great question Chris and, if it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t even know you’d asked it.

    1. Thanks Daisy – I’m with you on this, the feeling of being part of a club and the useful advice you pick up are really worthwhile on social media. It’s something I wasn’t really expecting when my first book was published but which I have definitely come to value as time goes on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *