Social Media for Authors

Social media not only has the ability to connect like-minded readers, but help authors find their online genre niches and build long-term, engaging relationships with their readers. Below I have highlighted tips for social media beginner and intermediate authors who are looking to partake in this important brand building task.

For Beginners

  • Use the name you write under, not a nickname. It enhances name recognition and brand presence.
  • Have an up-to-date photo of yourself with a profile that includes something about you. It’s best to be informational, but also funny. (If you aren’t funny try witty.)
  • Follow other Twitter Feeds or Bloggers that are in the same genre/specialization as you – and engage with them!
  • Don’t assume that you’ll have a strong following too soon; it takes time to cultivate meaningful followers.
  • Create an author Facebook page, not a book page. If you are a career author you will write many books and updating all the pages can be a hassle.
  • Only engage in social media if you feel you feel you have something to say and want to keep up with and contribute to the conversation.
  • Social media is a commitment. Know that you can update a blog/twitter feed multiple times a week/day.

For Intermediates

  • Once you have a rapport with your readers know who the influencers are that follow you (there are tools below to discover this). Target them with book publication information so they can disseminate this to their Twitter audience.
  • Once you have implemented social media it is your job to keep up to date with the new technologies/platforms. Know as much as your readers do! Have you heard of BookLikes, Book Country, Goodreads, Nook Friends, Scribd, Shelfari, Wattpad, Bookperk and Copia? These sites are where your readers live.
  • When is the best time to Tweet? 4pm. You get the most viewers from East and West Coast.
  • Put your relationships into context: Know which relationships to have on Facebook, which ones to have on Twitter and which ones need to stay on email.
  • Not everyone’s conversation style is made for vlogs or webinars. Work with the skills you have to build your online platform.

Twitter applications:

Analytical tools:

Tools to monitor your reach:

Parting thoughts

GalleyCat has assembled lists of the best book publicity and marketing Tweeters that you can look at here.

Engaging with your readers is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to cultivate long-term relationships.

Lastly, never promote social media over the time you should be working on your own writing as an author.


What role do you think authors have in social media? What do you use to communicate with your readers?

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

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