(As previously posted on the Indie Pub Club forum)
Compared to many others… I’m kind of a “prawn.” I started publishing back in May of 2014, and now have 4 books (3 full length with a novella permafree) published as of December 2015. However, I had a serious delay publishing my fourth book, and now I’m at a point where I’m reviving the series from the dead. To do this, I’m using, among other things, social media.
To get an idea of where I am right now, here are some stats:
Twitter account (created in November 2013): 268 followers, and I’m following 254 accounts. Most of these followers are fellow authors, small press publishers, a few graphic designers and art marketers, and very recently I’ve got some social marketing people following me as well. I follow back some people, once in a while seeking out accounts to follow, but because Twitter is such a flurry of activity, I get little use out of merely looking at my feed other than occasional interactions with the authors.
Facebook (profile and page created in May 2014): 37 friends on the profile. 8 page likes on the page. Seriously neglected most of the time, because I’m not a fan of Facebook. However, this coming year I expect to do a lot more with them as I start advertising with Facebook ads for my book series. I am a member of a couple of groups on FB, though, and I do engage with them when there are posts in those groups.
Google+ (yes, this exists–account created in March 2014): 4398 followers. How did I get so many followers there? Well, back before they were eliminated, I was part of a couple of “Circle Shares” circles, on account of engaging with a few marketer types at the time. Every week, I’d get tagged along with hundreds of other accounts, and I’d get at least a hundred new followers every weekend. These are not accounts that engage with me, and they are not accounts I ever followed back, though I will follow people back sometimes, like with Twitter. I’d say roughly 10% of my followers are real people that are interested in what is going on with SB James. What I do get out of Google+ though are the Communities. A few, like the Steampunk Tendencies Community, is HUGE on Google+, and I can understand why Google decided to emphasize the Community and Collections areas rather than other areas, which were getting abused.
Pinterest (created in May 2014, I think): 54 followers, and 56 that I’m following. Pinterest is lots of fun, and I’m not too sure how much it can sell books, but maybe that’s not the point. I go on sporadic mass pinning binges, because there’s always something to pin. My most successful boards are my “Places featured in my books” and “Steampunk fantasy artwork” boards.
Instagram (created in June 2015): 44 followers, and I’m following 96 accounts. I’ve found some success with Instagram so far because I’ve posted little about my books and instead started a “sketchaday” campaign that went from July until November, a sketch every day (though sometimes it was digital art). This is one of the only accounts where I’m following far more than are following me, since I like the art a lot.
Tumblr (created in February 2015): 109 followers, 42 that I’m following. Tumblr began as a place to cross-post my Wattpad updates (see below). But in late April, thanks to a boost from Steampunk Tendencies (see what I mean about Google+ ?), I got about 70% of my new followers overnight. Nowadays, I cross-post my Instagram images to Tumblr, as well as shoot out a post here and there.
Wattpad (created in December 2014): 15 followers, and I’m following 10 authors. I put my permafree up there in January of 2015 and since I got over 500 reads on it, I was able to get some really good insight about who is reading my material (possibly acquired from the FB signup method at least 60% of the readers use for Wattpad). I can use this info to gear my Facebook advertising. Otherwise, might be helpful for selling a few books, I just don’t know.
GoodReads (created in May 2014): 49 people have added my books so far, and I have 33 GoodReads friends. I was embarrassed to find that someone had already added my first book before I managed to set up a GoodReads author profile and claim the books. I have issues with GoodReads, but this is one of those places that I want to work on in the Deep Dive in 2016.
My WordPress dot com Blog (started in March of 2014): 108 followers, following 40 sites. I had a horrible previous blogging career, so the mere fact that I have done so many posts and have kept at it is heartening. I know a lot of authors tend to give up blogging since they don’t find it helps them sell fiction in particular, but I actually have plans to increase my blogging this year.
In the coming weeks and months, I will be doing a “deep dive” into one social media platform a week to see if there is any value in sustaining a presence in order to sell more books. Wanna tag along with me?