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