Traditional Publishing

Using social media to promote your writing

By M. Goldman and J.M. Johnson
Editor-In-Chief and Marketing Specialist, Freeditorial – Saturday December 20, 2014

No one knows for sure if new writers have it easier than older generations, or the opposite! With the availability of self-promotion tools, a new challenge arises: Gone are the days when the writer’s “only job” was to write a good book. Now, you, the writer, are also responsible for creating some of the publicity for yourself. Sadly, even a great piece of work might be rejected because the writer has no online presence. If you are intimidated by the world of online self-marketing, don’t be! Start with the following tips and you will be ahead of most debutant writers!

Brand yourself. Identify your target audience. Sure, you want “everybody” to read your book, but really who is it for? Who do you imagine is the “average” reader? Having an answer to such a question will help you mold your message as well as choose the right places to publicise your book.

Speaking of branding, if you haven’t already done so, choose a profile picture which you will use across all social media platforms. Create a pitch about you, and a pitch about the book, 2–3 sentences each. Your pitch should catch the reader’s attention.

Create a google+ profile

Google+ may not be the most successful social networking site, but its true value is in the search results. Having a Google+ account, means that most likely it will be the first thing that comes up when someone searches your name. You then get to control the information you would want a first time reader to learn about you.

There are many other benefits to having a Google+ account. In the “About” section, you can add your website or blog if you have one, which will drive more traffic to you. Link your website to your Google+ account. By doing so you are helping direct more traffic to your site.

If you are publishing your book on some platform, or selling it online, an obvious link to add there is one which send the reader directly to the “learn more about the book” and/or “checkout” page.

What’s more, you can use the “Introduction” section, also under “About”, to integrate some keywords. Explain who you are so visitors know they’ve reached the correct link, and make sure you mention your book titlethere.

After about 4 weeks on Google+, and if you have at least 10 followers by now, you can even request a custom URL from Google! The result would be:

The number of followers you create on Google plus is extremely critical, as Google is moving more towards what is referred to as an “Authorship-based search engine”. In simpler language, this means “the more peopleseem to care about your opinion, the higher you will be in the search results”. The popular gets more popular. Hey, no one said life was fair!

A positive testimonial to your book is the best gift anyone can give you when you are getting started on a professional writing career. Always ask for referrals, on google+ and anywhere else you can. Make it as simple as possible for them. Send them a direct link, and remind them only once (nicely) if some time went by and they did not leave a review. Google+ again is great for this purpose, as all they need to leave a testimonial is a sign in with an e-mail address or one of their social networking profiles.

Don’t wait until your book is out to start collecting testimonials. Use free tools to critique your book, online forums for writers, share parts of your book with others, and ask them if they can leave a review about your book or even about a portion of it, or even about your writing style.

Search online for bloggers who review books in your genre. These are an excellent source to get the word out.

Use HARO (Help A Reporter Out). This site connects you with journalists looking for experience, for free publicity. If you can make a side of your story or book release into a newsworthy topic, you can convince a journalist to write about you and/or your book!


As a writer, especially in the digital age, Twitter is your best friend! First of all, this is YOUR world. Writing comes naturally to you. Secondly, Twitter makes it so easy to share snapshots of your book. The keyword to keep in mind here is “Sharing”. Before you tweet something, ask yourself if people would want to share it. So choose powerful, captivating bits. Maybe something beautiful, which one would want to ponder upon. A wise quote, or even a poignant statement. The point is, don’t be bland. Every tweet is a chance to market your book. If your book is available in some digital format (and it should be) share the link to your bookalong with the tweet.

Consistency, time and patience

This may seem overwhelming. But all you have to do is start with a small step. Even a half hour to promote yourself, and another half hour to communicate with your audience, consistently over a period of time will deliver substantial results. Remember that you are investing in yourself and your career, so every little effort you make counts. When you approach a publisher with a profile that says "I have an active, engaged audience", your book becomes that much more attractive than any of your competitors.

Good luck!

About the Author

This article is brought to you by Freeditorial Editor-In-Chief (M. Goldman), and Marketing Specialist (J.M Johnson).

Freeditorial is a digital publisher with a focus on acquiring promising new writers.

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