It’s week eight of the self-publishing process, and by now, you should be around — or even slightly past — the midpoint of your novel. If not, don’t panic. You haven’t finalized your release date yet, so it’s okay if you end up moving things around a little. Still, you’ll want to make sure that all of your social media outlets are up and running before you set your release date to help build hype and to give you a sense for the community you’ll be joining.
Nervous about social media? Don’t be.
Personally, I’ve always been terrible with social media. I never had a MySpace (even though I was the right age for it) and in high school, when everyone else was on Facebook, I didn’t open an account until the first semester of college. As an adult, I was late to the smartphone game, and it wasn’t until my senior year of undergrad that I found a love for blogging.
Of course, it’s much more difficult to interact and chat with people on a blog or website than it is on a social media platform like Instagram or Twitter. But that’s not to say it can’t be done. Still, now is a great time to set up your accounts, especially if you’re social media shy. It will give you a chance to acclimate, and to determine where you feel the most comfortable.
For example, I have a Twitter account (@AnneliseAuthor) but personally, I find Twitter to be a very fast-paced, politically-driven community, which is very much outside of my comfort zone. Alternatively, on Instagram (@annelisedriscollauthor) where everything is centered around snapshots of life, projects, and recent reads, I’ve found engaging with other readers and writers to be much more fun and productive. Naturally, some of you may prefer Twitter, Youtube, or even Snapchat and TikTok, depending on what you’re comfortable with and who you’re trying to reach.
Honestly, I was too anxious to open my social media accounts until right before Pieces of Pink was published. It was only when my dad (who’s in his 70s and doesn’t even have his own account) told me I needed to get on Twitter that I realized I really needed to stop putting it off.
If, like me, you’re shy about social media, it’s okay. You don’t have to dive in head first. Just take some time to set up your accounts and start exploring. You don’t need to go wild with social media, you just need to have a presence.
Worried about social media eating up your writing time?
Of course, once you have a few social media accounts open, maintaining them can feel like a full time job. But it doesn’t have to be. There are a few ways you can juggle your accounts without letting it totally consume your writing.
- Create a posting schedule. Plan out your posts ahead of time, and release them when it’s time.
- Designate a specific time for checking in and responding to likes and comments. Personally, I like to do this at night, but if you prefer getting it out of the way first thing in the morning, that’s fine too!
- Link your accounts. Many social media platforms allow you to link posts across your accounts. This can work really well with quick, informative posts and announcements, but it’s important to keep in mind, different platforms draw different followers, and sometimes posts should be individualized and tweaked to better fit the unique style of that platform.
Ultimately, I’m not a social media expert. It’s an area of my writing life that still feels very strange. But I recognize the importance of being visible and available to my readers, and I’m open to learning and growing as I continue my indie journey. So, don’t be afraid to set up those accounts as you keep chipping away at your novel!