We recently met up with Kate Canterbary, author of The Walsh Series and her latest release, Fresh Catch, in Boston and had a great conversation about how she utilizes social media as a marketing tool. She talked of her ‘Marketing Toolbox’ and how each platform played an integral part in connecting with her readers—each in its own distinct way. We enjoyed her point of view so much, we asked her to share her thoughts here on the Book+Main blog. Without further ado, we welcome Kate Canterbary. Enjoy!
Being an author—traditionally published, hybrid, or indie—in 2018 is a lot like being a handy man. Or handy lady. Either way, this work requires skill in many areas. Aside from writing, there’s graphic design, project management, accounting, branding, advertising and marketing, promotions, and networking. It’s a long list, and there’s always something new authors are “supposed” to do in the quest for visibility.
That’s where the handy lady and her toolbox comes in.
We know there are a several ways to connect with readers online: newsletters, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, YouTube, Book+Main, and plenty others. I treat them as separate tools in my author marketing toolbox, each with distinct purposes. In doing so, readers come to expect and then seek out specific content from me on those platforms. Since they’re not seeing the same content posted on all platforms, it also incentizes readers to follow and engage with me on a greater number of platforms.
Here are a few examples of the ways in which I use certain platforms for marketing:
Instagram: As a primarily visual tool, I store up book inspiration images and parcel them out in advance of and following a new release. Instagram’s Stories function is also a great way to share screen caps of newsletters, Facebook posts, or B+M bites and direct IG followers to check out those updates. I post to IG daily, usually more than once.
Newsletters: These emails offer a ton of freedom and flexibility. They can be long or short, image- or text-heavy, and loaded with links. For my mailings, I prioritize announcements (new projects, preorders, releases, covers, sales), free downloads, and sharing books I’ve enjoyed. Since many newsletters drown in the dark swamp of spam and social folders, I post links to the mailing on other platforms. I usually send two newsletters per month.
Facebook: Any discussion of this platform would be lacking without first recognizing that an author’s personal profile page, business (or “Like”) page, and reader group are unique facets within the platform.
Reader groups are the best spots for Q&A, character dreamcasting, and book discussion. These groups offer a closer connection to the author, and the interactions there are more personal, less marketing. I have a handful of recurring posts scheduled for my reader group and add a few more topical posts each week.
The business page is well-suited for cover reveal, countdown-to-release, and release week posts. Readers are likely to engage with those posts, which ups the visibility. I also rely on the business page for scheduling a week (or month) of daily posts featuring teaser or review text, book links, and images.
The personal profile page is useful as a communication tool as business pages continue to decline in organic visibility. By setting your profile to Public, your posts are visible to anyone. I use this mechanism to share new release lists and post content of (fittingly) personal interest.
Book+Main: Where other platforms are geared toward images and video, this platform is all about the words. I’ve always found high levels of engagement when posting snippets from my work-in-progress or upcoming release, and B+M is the ideal spot for this content.
The audience is composed entirely of romance readers, and the odds are high that those readers are looking for a new book. Unlike platforms where content is cycled out of newsfeeds within 24-48 hours of posting, readers continue to engage with Bites on B+M for weeks and even months after.
Often, I’ll link to the Bites in newsletters, tweets, and IG and Facebook posts rather than diluting the content by posting the entire excerpts on all sites. I want to reward readers for following me on these various platforms, and the best way to do that is offering content most suited to the platform. I post one Bite per week, and I rotate between posting content from upcoming and backlist titles.
To find Kate online, you can check her out here:
Totally spam-free Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/_OG_X
Tumblr (where the real spice starts) http://katecanterbary.tumblr.com/
Amazon author page: http://bit.ly/KateCanterbary