Friday, May 15, 2015

10 Ideas for Social Media Posts

By Sarah Nicolas, @Sarah_Nicolas

Part of the How They Do It Series

JH: Any day I get to help a friend launch their debut novel is a good day. Today is a good day. Sarah Nicholas and I first crossed paths online, and later in person at an RWA conference over some really amazing food. It's fitting that she's here today to share some tips on social media, since that's where we originally met. Her YA novel, Dragons Are People, Too just released, so check it out if you like shape shifting dragons (and seriously, who doesn't?).

Sarah is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL with a 60-lb mutt who thinks he's a chihuahua. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.

She's a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library and as a freelance book publicist and author's assistant. She also blogs at YAtopia and video blogs at the YA Rebels.
Sarah provides freelance book publicity and author assistant services.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Take it away Sarah...

I recently spoke to the Florida Romance Writers about book promotion. When we went out to lunch afterwards, several of the ladies were asking me about social media. A concern I heard over and over again is: "I just don't know what to post."

The short answer is: post about what interests you. If it interests you, it will interest the people you'd like to have in your online community. If you can frame it in a funny or interesting way, all the better. But I know that's not the kind of answer they were looking for. So, what should you post, specifically? Here are some ideas:

1. Pictures of your pets - pets are the stars of social media. Personally, I will almost always interact with a cute puppy picture.

2. Share what book you're currently enjoying. As authors, we want to attract readers to our social media sphere - and what do readers, by definition, love? Books.

3. #tbt - Throw Back Thursday. Do you have an awkward picture of yourself with big hair and weird clothes? Golden!

4. Share a positive news story to brighten the day. Just avoid those with ridiculous clickbait titles - for my own sanity, please. :-)

5. Ask for book recommendations.
The one thing readers may enjoy more than learning what you're reading, is talking about their favorite books.

6. Share your scene. Landscapes, flowers, wildlife, interesting cracks in the sidewalk - if your eyes are drawn to it, maybe your online friends would like to see it too.

7. Hobbies. What do you like to do that is not related to books? If you knit, share a pic of your WIP. If you made an amazing dinner, share the recipe.

8. Selfies. Selfies get a bad rap, but in the immortal words of Kevin from Mean Girls, "Don't let the hataz stop you from doin' ya thang!" The occasional selfie is a great way to connect with people because it reminds us that there's a person behind the username.

9. Reply. Retweet. Like. Comment. Interact with other writers and readers. The best metaphor for effective social media is a cocktail party: you don't just stand in the room and say random stuff, right? Interaction is the key.

10. Borrow. There are thousands of funny memes and inspiring quotes about reading and writing. If one strikes a chord with you, share it.

Now the question that always follows this discussion is: "Will this sell books?" There's no consensus on this. The idea is that if you create a group of people interested in what you have to say and invested in you as a person, they are going to buy your book when you (very occasionally) post about it. But even if they don't, you're bound to make some amazing friends in the process and having great friends is the only way any of us make it through this industry intact.

About Dragons Are People, Too

Never judge a dragon by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she's a normal teen--not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president's son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend--and secret crush--the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public--on Kitty's watch--and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president's son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can't rescue the president's son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes 


  1. Thanks for the ideas. Sometimes my mind just blanks out on these things. Your right that if it doesn't sell books, at least it's worth it for the friends you make. :)

  2. One thing I've learned: never underestimate being a regular person on social media.

  3. Great ideas. Thank you. It's nice to find a person among the tweets and posts.

  4. Thanks for your comments. I'm in the process of getting up a new website and almost decided not to include a blog page. But you've made some good suggestions and I may reconsider. I think I was affraid I needed to be brilliant to blog but I see you suggest being yourself is best.

  5. Thanks for the ideas... I swear I hate selfies of me. Everyone else? Fine. Me? Ohhhhh no.