Finding the Right Wizard: Social Media Strategies for Authors by Catharine Bramkamp
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Catharine Bramkamp as she shares with us about “Finding the Right Wizard: Social Media Strategies for Authors.”
One of the most challenging projects writers face is promotions. How to describe our beautiful books? How to break down the book into effective social media posts? Why didn’t anyone mention this in the creative writing seminar?
I have a broom and a bucket! Here are some ideas on how to defeat the witch and discover your own happy social media place for your book.
Here is how Frank L Baum may have initially described his first book:
I wrote a book set in Kansas but it doesn’t stay there. A big tornado takes the heroine, Dorothy to the magical land of OZ. No, you can’t find it on a map. There, Dorothy meets a good witch and a bad witch. The good witch is very pretty. From Munchkin land she must travel to the Emerald City, which isn’t really emerald. Everyone just wears green glasses. Anyway, she meets colorful characters along the way — a lion, tin man and scarecrow — and they all have adventures as they travel to Oz where even though they reach Oz, and meet the Wizard of Oz, which is the title of the book, now they learn they must kill the witch. And so they have more adventures in order to kill the witch, so Dorothy can go home.
Is the killing dramatic?
Oh very, Dorothy throws water on the witch.
We have spent all our time and energy creating the narrative and following our heroine through one adventure after the next and we have that nailed.
Now we’re asked to describe our platform to an agent and it’s a totally different mindset.
Most of us would rather hold our breath while jogging through a field of poison poppies.
Let’s say Frank attended a social media/platform seminar. Here is what he learned to say:
The Wizard of Oz is about a plucky American girl who adventures through a foreign land. But despite its many temptations and colorful characters, she only wants to go home. This is perfect adventure for Depression-era readers still reeling from the Great War. Dorothy embodies the hopes and dreams that our young people will want to stay home and on our farms but does it without preaching. For the kids, there are flying monkeys and witches.
Now here are some platform themes that can be used to promote the book and find the likely audience for the book:
- Plucky American girls
- Adventures in foreign lands
- Importance of home
- Depression-era readers wanting escape.
- Flying monkeys and witches.
Take quotes from the book or of the above meta-themes of the book and post them on three of the big five social media outlets. (Yeah, 3 out of 5. There is bound to be a couple of social media channels you don’t relate to. Then don’t feed them. It’s okay) :
- Facebook Page – Specifically for the book (you can have many pages)
- LinkedIn – Your own account
- Pinterest – Boards dedicated to the book
- Twitter – Your own account
- Instagram – Your own account, but you can change the bio to reflect the book
- Blog from your own web site – Do this and drive all the other social outlets to your web site and/or the blog. Alternate between this and your direct link to the book on Amazon.
Plucky American Girls:
- Blogs interviewing plucky American Girls
- Pins celebrating young heroines
- Connect with plucky girl Instagram accounts
- Tweet about female heroines
- FB Group for American Girl heroines or adventurers
Adventures in Foreign lands:
- Pinterest on travel
- Pinterest on fantasy places
- Blog about fantasy places
- FB group, adventures
- Celebrate home
- Blog stories about families or children finding their home
- Pinterest on home
- Tweet about home stories
- FB Page about the book, which can cycle all the above on a weekly or bi-weekly basis
This is perfect adventure for Depression-era readers still reeling from the Great War.
- Pinterest – photos of happy military coming home
- Tweets – Domestic pleasures
- Pinterest – boards on homes and comfort
- Instagram – favorite home spots
For the kids, there are flying monkeys and witches.
- Pinterest board on witches
- Pinterest board on monkeys, flying and otherwise
- Blog about monkeys and/or witches
- FB posts with a contest for ugliest witch photo
- Contest through FB on who has the scariest story
- Blog twice a month
- Instagram three to four times a week
- FB three times a week (just for the book page, your personal account can be updated up to twice a day if your life is particularly interesting, which mine is not, which saves me a lot of FB time)
- Pinterest – every blessed day, or twice a week
- Twitter – five to six times a day
- Goodreads – every day depending on your tolerances
Some pundits will tell you that pitching and promoting your book is as easy as following the yellow brick road, but the effort often devolves into a fight to the death against flying monkeys.
It’s easier if you first deconstruct the book, identify the larger themes of the book and create social media posts from that effort.
If you work up front to focus on who you want to reach, it will simplify your work times ten.
Do this, and maybe the flying monkeys will leave you alone.
Don’t Write Like We Talk
What we learned after five years and 200 episodes
interviewing Authors and Agents, Publishers and Poets
by Damien Boath & Catharine Bramkamp
Authors and podcast producers of the Newbie Writers Podcast
Learn more about writing:
Newbie Writer Podcast on iTunes
Don’t Write Like We Talk – on Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catharine Bramkamp is the co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach, Chief Storytelling Officer, and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, and The Future Girls series. She holds two degrees in English and is an adjunct university professor. After fracturing her wrist, she has figured out there is very little she is able to do with one hand tied behind her back.