Ask the Book Whisperers
Rona Gofstein and Mellisa Sherlin are best-selling authors who write but also understand the business of writing. Founders of the Writers Business School, the two are book whisperers of sorts. They teach authors about the business of books. In this column, Ask the Book Whisperers: Business Tips for Authors, Rona and Mellisa answer questions or address topics that authors, especially indie or self-published authors, often ask as they go about coaxing their books to sell. Sometimes these book whisperers answer questions that an author might have asked if they only knew to ask it. If you have a book business question for Rona and Mellisa, you can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Book Whispers” in the subject line.
In this month’s column, we ask Mellisa and Rona:
How do you create a social media plan?
(This is the first part of their two-part answer to our question.)
Social Media is all about being social, which leads many people down the proverbial rabbit hole when attempting to utilize this tool to reach current and new readers. You can – and should – still have fun on your favorite social media outlets and the more fun you do have, the more you will connect with people interested in your books.
Social Media Plans are a tool to help focus your time and energy for maximum results. Hallmarks of a properly run social media plan include:
- Cohesive expression of your interests across multiple platforms
- Executing the plan takes less than 15 minutes a day.
- Multiple interactions (likes, follows, comments, shares) everyday driving traffic through your social accounts
- People look forward to your curated and/or created content.
It sounds involved and complicated, but think of it like making a grocery list before heading to the store. People approach grocery shopping in many ways. Some people wander the isles hungry throwing anything into their cart. Others map out the store and sequence their list to minimize how many steps they need to make. Others plan their weekly trip for hours, researching the best prices, best discounts, and then conduct their shopping in a marathon outing.
Social media is a lot like grocery shopping. You can plan what you are going to share before you go online, or you can plan after you sit down to socialize each day. Most successful people on social media do a combination, meaning they socialize with a list of things they want to share and flavor that content with small additional items based on current event/moments/news.
Writers Business School (WBS) prefers you to plan before you sit down to socialize. This plan can be completed in less than 15 minutes a day, across 3-4 social media platforms. Yes, you can add your commentary on what is popular that day after you share the information your ideal reader is actively looking for.
Keep this thought in mind as you work though these steps: “There are millions of people in the world desperately searching for information on what I enjoy sharing.”
Why? Because once someone looks forward to your interesting take on this topic, they will keep you company at public events, buy your books, and tell their friends to buy your books. This is well documented process, and the social media plan WBS walks you through setting up is the first step in that process.
Next month we will show you more about how to create your plan along with a sample of one that is currently in place.
* * *
Meet the Book Whisperers:
Mellisa Sherlin enjoys taking her big yellow lab to the beach on dreary days and getting lost on road trips. She is an internationally award-winning and best-selling author with over 30 years of publishing credits to her name. Completing her MBA in Marketing in 2013, she co-founded the Writers Business School. Mellisa is currently the president of the Essex Writers and Artisans Guild of Massachusetts, which has been meeting weekly since 1991. She can be found making illegal U-turns on rural roads and Facebook.
Rona Gofstein loves chocolate, her morning cup of coffee, and retail therapy. She is a best-selling romance novelist (as Rachel Kenley), workshop leader on finding your heart’s desire, and co-founder of the Writers Business School. When she is not writing she is homeschooling her sons, trying unsuccessfully to keep up with laundry, and laughing as much as possible. She can be found in her studio at Western Avenue and (perhaps a little too much) on Facebook.
To learn a bit more about Mellisa and Rona and the Writers Business School, you may also read their interview with us on Inkspokes. Thanks for stopping by!