In episode 3, Jeni and Melissa welcome Laura Mae to the show to talk about social media for authors. Listen in...EPISODE 3 Social Media.
Welcome to the Indie Chicks show! I’m Melissa Koberlein, an author and professor of publishing, and she’s Jeni Chappelle, a freelance novel editor.
Indie Chicks celebrates and supports independent women in publishing. We’re a place for writers at all stages of the publishing process. So, whether you’re on the traditional route to publication or self-publishing, you’ve come to the right place for advice.
On this episode:
We’re talking social media for the indie author
End with an author tip of the week
This week we’re joined by Laura Mae. Laura is a new author and released her first book, Fliers, in March 2018. About a year before it was published, she worked on it for about 7 years on and off. With a single dream as inspiration, her idea for the book came to life. Writing has always been a passion for her. Growing up, she would write short stories, poems, song lyrics and even attempt screenplays. It wasn’t until recently she became more serious about her writing and wanting to show the world what she could do. When she’s not writing, her other passion is graphic design. Basically anything she can spend hours in front of a computer screen doing is her ideal activity.
Melissa met Laura in person at Tucson Festival of Books last fall, where Laura took up Melissa's offer to share the Indie Chicks booth for some extra face time with readers. We welcome her to the podcast for this episode about social media for authors.
Here's the Q&A from the episode:
Talk a little bit about your experience being an indie author? Likes? Dislikes?
I really like doing my own thing. I’m not the most productive person and tend to slack off or focus more on my day job, and the freedom of being an indie author allows me to do so. I think most indie authors will tell you that they really enjoy the freedom of it because you don’t have anyone breathing down your neck or having to worry about deadlines. However, it’s probably the hardest part. Even in school, taking online classes did not appeal to me because you really had to be a self-starter and organized to be a tiny bit successful in the class. If I don’t push myself, no one is around to do it for me or threaten a paycheck if I don’t get five chapters written this week. It’s a slow process for me, being a self-starter, but I think it’s a great way to start learning how to be an author, by knowing all of the ins and outs before jumping right into traditional publishing. That is, if that is what your goal is. I’m still on the fence about it!
What do you mean by social media presence? What does that mean in practical terms for authors?
I wish that I could tell every single writer out there who want to be a successful author to get on social media ASAP. Ten years ago, it wasn’t something authors did much, mainly because it wasn’t around or as mainstream. But in today's world, that’s how anyone communicates. If you don’t even have a Facebook, how will fans of your work keep in touch with you? Sure, you could do a mailing list or visit their website, but fans want to connect with YOU. They want to know as soon as your book is out or when you’re doing giveaways, and it’s right there in the palm of their hand with a notification. It can help so incredibly much with sales too. There are so many ways to sell your book, but the quickest - and easiest - is to post links and such on social media. Amazon has helped indie authors greatly this way as well.
Favorite social media? Least?
If you asked me last year, I would have said Facebook was my favorite, and Twitter… what’s Twitter? But now, Twitter is my all-time favorite. And sadly, my Facebook page has fallen by the wayside. I’ve never been part of such a fantastic and supportive group as the writing community on Twitter. I’ve met so many incredible people, and they’ve opened up a whole new world for me. It’s really a great time to be an independent author.
What advice do you have for writers/new authors?
Honestly, what I just mentioned. Make yourself known on social media, even if you don’t have anything published yet. You can meet some great people who have experience in whatever you’re looking for. Whether it’s for editing, cover art, marketing, distribution, or just needing some support from others like you, it’s a great place to find friends and possible partners.
Tip of the week: To avoid letting social media overwhelm you, chunk or pace the time you spend on it. Plan how much time you'll spend on social media each day, and keep it muted the rest of the time so it doesn't interfere with your writing time!
On our next podcast, indie author, Geoff Notkin will be joining us to discuss cover design and the roots of indie publishing. We will also have another Tip of the Week. And don’t forget where to find us! Find our podcast at indiechicks.net or follow us on Spotify or subscribe to Indie Chicks on iTunes. Please rate us! You can follow us on Twitter @Indie_Chicks or Facebook.com/TheIndieChicks.
So, remember, we’re all part of a publishing community, be kind and review your fellow authors’ books. Thanks for listening!
Indie Chicks out.