Thursday, 14 December 2017

neetsmarketing Round-Up and Top Posts 2017


It's been three years since I launched neetsmarketing (this is my neetswriter post from December 2014). 2017 has been an interesting year with my new role as tutor at Richmond Adult Community College, Surrey (UK) being a highlight.

Here’s a round-up of 2017 with a few pics, plus my top three posts (most page views) of the year, and since the launch of this blog.

On my way to the London Book Fair 2017
In March, I went to the London Book Fair (see my #lbf17 tweets here), which I always enjoy attending as I get to catch up with author friends and listen to the informative talks at Author HQ. This year, I pitched my novel to an agent, and received positive feedback which was lovely (still working on that novel-see neetswriter blog...new post out soon!).

My talk at RNA London and South East Chapter, April 2017
I was invited to give a talk at the London and South East Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) in April, which was an honour as I’ve been a member of the RNA since 2010, and have attended a few London and South East Chapter meetings in the past (see tweets from my #neetsapr17 talk and Twitter exercise here).

My Social Media Course for Writers, May 2017
I ran my Social Media Courses for Writers at new venue, the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in May (#neetspring17 tweets here) and October (#neetsoct17 tweets here), and more courses are planned for 2018. In July, I attended the RNA conference at Harper Adams University (see my #RNAConf17 tweets here). This was a fantastic conference, and I wrote a post about the weekend here.

Lizzie Lamb and Adrienne Vaughan looking through my kitchen window at RNA Conference

Della Galton mentioned my writing and social media blogs on her Dear Della advice page in the October 2017 issue (192) of Writers’ Forum, and in October, Elaine Everest invited me to run a one day Social Media Course for Writers for her writing group, The Write Place in Kent. 



In November, I started teaching my new course, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers at Richmond Adult Community College. The next 10 week courses start 11 January and 26 April 2018.

Selfie at Richmond Adult Community College
Also, I ran my first Social Media Course for Writers Part II (due to requests from former course attendees). Two Part II/Refresh courses are booked with the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in 2018, and I’ll be emailing former attendees who have expressed interest in this course in January.

A lovely bunch on my first Social Media Course for Writers Part II (Nov 2017)
The RNA Winter Party/ Industry Awards returned to an old (and favourite) venue at the library, 1 Birdcage Walk in London-a beautiful room; and I enjoyed catching up with lots of friends.

Me and fab friend, Jules Wake at RNA Winter Party/Industry Awards, Nov 2017

Top Three neetsmarketing Posts published in 2017:

1. Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Writers 2017 (to be updated in New Year)

Top Three Posts since launch of neetsmarketing blog:


Me and Sue Bentley, Nov 2017
Clients: 

I’ve worked for some interesting and lovely clients this year, doing training on social media via phone/ Skype or face-to-face and drafting social media plans for some. In 2017, my clients have included J.F. Kirwan (Nadia Laksheva series), Anna Belfrage (The Graham Saga Series and The Kings Greatest Enemy series), Helen Matthews (After Leaving the Village), Sue Bentley (Magic Kitten series for children age 5-8, and YA dark psychological thriller, We Other), Alice Peterson (A Song for Tomorrow), Emma Burstall (The Cornish Guest House-Tremarnock series).

Having fun with Alice Peterson and Emma Burstall-doing social media training, Nov 2017
My courses for 2018:

Find out more about my courses and book via my website (where there are also quotes from former attendees and endorsements from clients). Dates are below:

3 March York (fully booked, there is a waiting list)
10 week courses at Richmond Adult Community College, start 11 January and 26 April 2018

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, and thank you for reading my posts and supporting my blog in 2017!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

20 Ways to Launch a Book


Authors often contact me to say their novel is being released soon (usually a debut, but not always), and they don't know how to go about promoting it on social media. After I've researched their online presence and book(s), we speak via phone/Skype and I write a social media plan tailored to the author and their book(s). 

My social media plan isn’t just about social media though: as an author needs to have the foundations in place before they can use social media with success. Some publishers do more than others in relation to the below so not all authors will need to get so involved; and of course self-published authors need to do everything themselves.

Here follows a checklist of 20 things I think an author needs to do (if they can) before launching a book, under headings: The Foundations, Guest Posts and Reviews, Print and Talks, Social Media Accounts, Find Your Network.

The Foundations:

1.Website and blog set up in your author name, if you don’t have them already. Domain names can be bought from companies such as Godaddy, and there are some great website designers out there.

2.Amazon Author Central Author Page-this needs to be completed separately for each Amazon website, but usually for a UK author, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com are the most important. See Author Central for more info. 


4.Marketing materials such as bookmarks, postcards and business cards need to be produced to hand out at talks, signings and a book launch etc. Don’t forget to include your social media links on these and where possible details of how to sign up to your newsletter. I asked for advice on Facebook, and thanks to some lovely authors, here are examples of where to get these done: Vistaprint for postcards and business cards (I use for flyers); Moo for business cards (I use) and postcards; GotPrint, printed.com, Fanfare, solopress, eHHelloPrint.

5.Set up a newsletter, linked to your website (usually through the Contact page), so you can build your list of loyal readers, and keep them updated with new releases, cover reveals, giveaways, talks, signings etc. If you have loads to do before the launch, this can be done afterwards, but it’s really important. Mailchimp is quite popular, but there are lots of alternatives. There's more info on author newsletters via Liz Fielding’s guest post on this blog from 2016. 


Guest Posts and Reviews:

6.Blog tour to coincide with when the book is launched-usually for a week after launch date, sometimes before and after the launch too (they can run for a month). This blog tour would include guest posts and reviews on book blogs; plus perhaps guest posts with authors in your genre and websites/blogs which would be followed by your potential readers.

Your publisher may organise this for you, but if you need to organise your own UK blog tour and reviews, you can email book bloggers, or ask if anyone in the fantastic Book Connectors Facebook group would be interested in hosting you, or reviewing an ARC (see no.7). Book bloggers need lots of notice for reviews (ideally three months or more); less notice for a guest post. Do your research re which genre a book blogger reads etc, and carefully check their blog before approaching directly to ask anything.

There is a spreadsheet of UK book bloggers, and a list of blog tour organisers under files in the Book Connectors Facebook group. Find out more re Book Connectors in Anne Cater’s guest post on this blog. Re: US book bloggers, there are lots to be found on Twitter.

Don't forget that book bloggers are unpaid, and very generous with their time spent reading so they can write reviews, and setting up guest posts.

Be ready with lots of content for your own blog, and for the tour-make a list of subjects and themes from your book and note ideas for interesting posts you can write; plus be ready with answers to interview questions.

Guest posts will need to be promoted on social media, and if your publisher isn't already designing a blog tour banner to be used online, you can ask a graphic designer, or do it yourself on a website like Canva (see no.14 for more on graphics).

An important point about being hosted on a blog/website is that backlinks (links to your website/blog from another website/blog) and mentions online can move you up the old Google ranking.

See my posts:19 Tips on How to be the Ideal Blog Guest and 9 Ways to Engage a Blog Audience for more info. 

7. Sending Out ARCs (Advance Reader Copies). Your publisher would usually do this a few months before the book is released, and often your book will be added to NetGalley. If this hasn't been done and there are copies available, you could ask your publisher to send paperbacks or a mobi file to book bloggers who have agreed to review your book. Some book bloggers only read paperbacks, and some only read ebooks; lots of book bloggers only read certain genres and some don’t read self-published books. Do your research before approaching book bloggers by checking the review policy on their blogs. Quite a few book bloggers add their reviews to Amazon and Goodreads too. Reviews on Amazon are really important as with more reviews, Amazon is more likely to recommend your book.


Print and Talks:

8.Articles in print. Some publishers use PR agencies to organise these for you, but if this isn’t the case: you can send press releases to local newspapers and you can pitch articles about you and your brand to local magazines; writing magazines and to other magazines which may be interested.

9.Talks and readings. Your publisher may organise these for you, but otherwise you can approach bookshops and libraries etc yourself. Promote these on social media as you would for no 20. Physical Launch.


Social Media Accounts:

10.Set up a Twitter account under your author name, if you don’t have one already. Otherwise, check that the header photo, profile photo and bio are the best they can be. See my Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Writers for more detailed info. If you already have an account, you can amend the name and @username, without having to create a new account (as long as you no longer need the other name). Learn about hashtags in my blog post, What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How? 

11.Set up a Facebook personal profile, if you don’t have one already. A personal profile should be in your author name, so you can like, react and comment on Facebook under that name. This account is mainly for building relationships. The occasional post can be about your book(s), but be careful: Facebook can ban you if you promote using your Facebook personal account all of the time. Most promo should be on your Facebook Page (and in some Facebook groups, depending on the rules of the group).

12.Set up a Facebook Page under your author name, if you don’t have one already. This is a good way for readers to follow your news without you having to accept them as a friend on your personal profile, and you can boost posts or set up Facebook ads (this is the only way to get significant attention on a page, but it can be effective). 

13.Join Facebook groups relevant to you and your brand: writing, reading, and groups about the subjects and themes from your book(s). Check the rules carefully-these are usually specified in a pinned post (at the top of the page when you go into the group). Interacting in groups is a fantastic way to build relationships and they can be a source of valuable information.

14.Get the graphics for your Twitter header, Facebook header and Twitter shareables from your publisher; or get them made by a graphic designer, or design them yourself on eg. Canva (not too difficult to use). Get a professional author photo done (also to be used for your website etc), or find a good one to use (ideally one that looks like you so you're recognised at events).

15.Set up an Instagram account. Instagram is growing, and lots of book bloggers and readers hang out there. See my other posts re Instagram, and find me on Instagram here.

16.Set up a Google+ account, and +1 content relevant to your brand (plus your own blog posts). Using Google+ in the right way can move you up the old Google rankings. 

Committee packing the goody bags at last UK HNS conf, Oxford 2016
Extras (can be done later):

17.Set up a LinkedIn account and ‘connect’ with other authors and those in the book world.

18.Set up a Pinterest account and build a board for each of your books. Secret Boards can be used for books which aren't published yet. Plus set up a board for your blog posts and add them as you go. Find me on Pinterest here.

19.Find Your Network:

Depending on the genre of your book(s), join organisations where you can make friends with and learn from other authors. Here are a few examples of organisations for authors, and there are many more (feel free to mention in the comments):

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA)-I’m an Associate Member and can’t praise this organisation enough-it's very friendly and there are many opportunities to meet members at events.
The Historical Novel Society (HNS)-I’m a member, used to be Social Media Manager and was Publicity Officer for 2016 UK conf in Oxford. There is a fantastic Facebook group too, and you don’t have to be a member-do check the rules first though (or my pal, Alison Morton will tell you off).

Interact with authors in your genre (and other genres) online as well as authors who have the same agent (if applicable), and publisher.

Events:

There are a great number of conferences, festivals and events for writers to attend all over the UK; too many to list here but here are a few examples: RNA conference (annual), HNS UK conference (every two years), Harrogate History Festival, Crime Writing Festival, Festival of Writing in York, The London Book Fair, First Monday Crime, History by the RiverGoldsboro Books organises events such as Crime in the Court, Romance in the Court, History in the Court. Book Bloggers sometimes arrange meet-ups (often organised by the Book Connectors Facebook group); and there are many more events to attend (feel free to mention in the comments).

RNA Conference July 2017
20. Physical Launch 
You don't need to have a physical launch, but if you do have one: make the most of it! Take lots of photos and post them on Twitter and Instagram before (share to Facebook from Instagram, or post directly to Facebook if time), during and after the event, using a hashtag for your book. If you're speaking/reading, you could ask a friend to video you, and post on social media. Afterwards, post properly edited photos on Facebook, and perhaps write a blog post about your launch.


This is just the beginning:

You can do quite a lot of the above before you get a book deal, then you’ll have a head start when you are published.

It takes a while to build a social media presence online (6-12 months), and starting a couple of weeks before your debut is released is leaving it a bit late. Although better late than never, and if that’s the case, just start with the above and move forwards so you’re in a better position when book 2 is released.

And if your book has already been released but you haven't done much to promote it, you can still organise a blog tour, reviews or guest posts after the release date; and build your online presence before your next release.

This checklist should put you in a good position to find your readers, (and help them to find you)...wishing you the best of luck!

Related posts:
Go the RNA! (my write-up of RNA Conf 2017)


I run Social Media Courses for Writers in London and York, and also work 1-2-1 with authors. Find out more via my website. Follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

My new course at Richmond Adult Community College!

Photo by me
Hope you're having a good summer, apart from the rain. I've been away in France and Italy (Instagram pics here), and I'm dropping in to tell you some exciting news!

From November 2017, I'll be a tutor at Richmond Adult Community College (Surrey), teaching a new course: Social Media for Writers and Bloggers. This is a five week course, and will be a ten week course from January. Booking is via the RACC website.

The course will take place on Thursdays, 11am-1pm, starting on 9 November 2017 and it will cover Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogging for writers and bloggers. Students will learn how to write engaging blog posts and develop an online presence.

I'm really looking forward to meeting my students, and can't wait to get started.


Also, I'm thrilled to tell you that Della Galton tweeted me recently to say that this blog will be recommended in the October issue of Writers' Forum (192) on her Dear Della page. Updated 19 Sept: see the page here on Instagram, where both of my blogs are mentioned (top right).

UPDATE: This post has been amended, as the course was postponed from September to November 2017. More details, and booking here via the RACC website: Social Media for Writers and Bloggers. This is a five week course, and will be a ten week course from January 2018. 

Thank you so much to you all for your support. Back soon.

Previous post: Go the RNA! #RNAConf17
Next post: 20 Ways to Launch a Book
Popular posts:
What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?
Beginner's Guide to Twitter for Writers 2017
More info on me and my courses via my website
My neetswriter blog

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Go the RNA! #RNAConf17


The gala dinner
I went to the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) conference at Harper Adams University at the weekend, and I’m still recovering. It was my favourite RNA conference so far-there’s something about the venue (same for the conference in 2014) which creates a warm family atmosphere. The RNA is a friendly organisation anyway, but there really was a lot of love in the room at this conference.

On Friday morning, I had a meeting which meant I embarked on my journey to Telford later than planned, and unfortunately due to lots of traffic (basically all the way there, apart from on the M6 Toll which was a dream), I missed Chairman, Nicola Cornick’s welcome and the panel which followed on the state of the industry with Nicola, Rosie de Courcy, Isobel Dixon, Broo Doherty, Sam Missingham and Emily Yau. However, I look forward to finding out more in the write-ups which I’m sure will follow on blogs and in the RNA magazine, Romance Matters. Friday night meant catching up with lovely friends, (who I was lucky to share a flat with) at the drinks, dinner and afterwards in our kitchen with lashings of prosecco.

Lizzie Lamb and Adrienne Vaughan peering through my kitchen window
On Saturday, I attended a talk by Nicola Cornick and Sarah Morgan on social media; and then as my alter-ego, neetswriter: Elizabeth Chadwick, Beyond the dressing up box (historical talk); Pia Fenton and Anna Belfrage on Playing with time in romantic fiction (making timeshift work). I attended the RNA Open Discussion: Have Your Say! where lots of exciting plans were discussed, including the 60 year anniversary of the RNA in 2020. Vice-chair, Alison May and a team will be organising a celebration, and I can’t wait to find out more and get the date in my diary. The last talk of the day I attended was These We Have Loved with Ian Skillicorn of Corazon Books and Louise Allen on reviving the backlist. I found this talk really useful as Ian talked about advertising on Facebook and BookBub; and it was interesting to hear about Louise’s experience of publishing her backlist.

Ian Skillicorn, me, Adrienne Vaughan, Jackie Ladbury, Liz Cooper, Jules Wake, Donna Ashcroft
The gala dinner took place on Saturday night, where the room was made to look pretty with pink lights on the columns and the food was delicious-best beef wellington ever. I stayed up quite late on Saturday night with a few bad influences in my flat (!), but had the best time. 

Anna Belfrage at her fab talk
On Sunday morning, after a big fry up, I met up with my lovely client, Anna Belfrage which was great as we usually speak over Skype. Then I went to Fiona Harper’s talk on building characters from the inside out (again as neetswriter), and I look forward to reading through my notes and applying Fiona’s advice when planning new characters, and revisiting those I've made up already.

After a delicious roast lunch of lamb and Yorkshire pudding, I drove home, and stopped at Warwick services for a coffee. When I got out of the car and walked towards the entrance, I had to tell myself I was no longer at a conference and didn’t need to smile and say hello to everyone I saw…then who should I bump into but Catherine Miller! We did laugh. And I must have been looking happy post-conference (despite being exhausted!), as the lovely lady in Starbucks included a huge smiley face on my coffee cup.

Much-needed cappuccino for the drive home
I've done write-ups for talks at RNA conferences in the past (which take ages to put together!), but this year I'm writing this round-up post instead, as I know there will be lots of write-ups elsewhere. 

All in all, I had a fabulous time, and thank you to Jan Jones and all the organisers for such a special weekend. 

I hope to tell you some exciting news (for neetsmarketing) soon re that meeting on Friday morning, but I can't say anything until all is finalised. UPDATE: find out all in my post here!

My Social Media Course for Writers in London on 7 October is now fully booked, but I've just organised my next London course for 19 May 2018. And I'm running the same course on 3 March 2018 in York. There are quotes from former attendees on my website. Book here or by emailing me at anitajchapman at gmail dot com.

Wishing you all a lovely summer. I'm going to take the rest of the summer off as neetsmarketing to spend time with my family and to get some writing done. But I'll be back in September.

Previous post: 
Most popular post:
Recent post on neetswriter blog:
How Does Reality TV Help Writers? (inspired by Love Island)

Friday, 16 June 2017

What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?


These days, hashtags are everywhere, but why use them and how?

Many of my course attendees, and clients have said they find hashtags confusing, so I've written this post to explain what they are, how they work, and why it’s worth using them. Of course, it's not a good idea to fill tweets with an abundance of hashtags-a general rule is two in a tweet, three at the very most (if you really have to). Any more and your tweet looks like it wasn't produced by a real person. You can use several hashtags to promote a book or blog post etc by creating a few tweets, varying the hashtags in each, spreading them out over a few days.

Don't forget that social media is about building relationships and sharing content which fits with your brand, rather than bombarding followers with only promo tweets. 

Whilst drafting this post, I asked the following question on my Facebook personal profile-read comments here, and there's more info under 'Which Hashtags?' below:


In this blog post, I'll be talking mainly about using hashtags on Twitter, with a little bit on Instagram and Facebook (see end of post), from the point of view of writers/authors.

What is a hashtag?

Twitter Support says: "A hashtag is any word or phrase immediately preceded by the # symbol. When you click or tap on a hashtag, you'll see other Tweets containing the same keyword or topic."

Find out more here, via Twitter Support.

If Twitter Support's explanation of what a hashtag is (above) doesn’t make much sense to you, my explanation would be:

Think of a hashtag like a reference, a way to reach beyond your followers; a way to find those with the same interests or attending the same event as you. Including hashtags relating to your brand in tweets (and searching for them) helps to increase discoverability. There is a lot more to hashtags, but I'll explain below.

Before I go any further, here’s an explanation of how brand and discoverability work when you use social media:

Building a Brand, and Discoverability:
Brand: think about what defines you and your books, and aim to focus on those subjects and themes when posting on Twitter and Facebook. Use relevant hashtags on Twitter so people interested in those subjects and themes can find you (and use other hashtags to build relationships through shared interests). This is a way to gain potential readers as followers.

Discoverability: find the places where people interested in subjects and themes from your books hang out. Join Facebook Groups, follow and use Twitter hashtags, follow and comment on blogs based around those subjects and themes. Liz Fenwick wrote a post for this blog, Using Twitter to Connect with Readers which gives great examples on how to find your potential readers using Twitter. Ask book bloggers (nicely) if they’ll review your book (check their review policy first), and/or host you on their blogs. Ask authors to host you on their blogs too. The more content you post online, the more likely you are to come up in a Google search. And backlinks are great for improving SEO ranking (a backlink is a link to your blog/website from another blog/website; especially great if that blog/website has lots of followers/page views).

So, what's so great about hashtags?-main points.
When searching for a hashtag (more below): you can find new people to follow: check hashtags which are relevant to you and your brand and you will find followers, and potential readers there.

When adding a hashtag to tweets: your tweets will reach beyond your followers, and new followers will find you.

Events: see who is attending an event in advance, raise your profile while you're there by tweeting updates, and tweet photos during/afterwards. Find out what's happening when you can't make an event. From experience, when promoting events-if an event is promoted well on Twitter (and Facebook, Instagram, with post-event blog posts etc), it helps to promote the next event. I've often received tweets when promoting an event along the lines of, "Wish I could be/could have been there. Must book next time/ Can I book for next time?"

Build relationships through common interests. I've found new followers relating to my brand as a writer through hashtags like #invisiblecities #SecretsoftheNationalTrust and #thedurrells-TV programmes. Alison Baverstock talked about using #thearchers and other hashtags to build relationships through common interests at the RNA Conference 2015-see my post here.

If you want to see how hashtags are working for you on Twitter: use Twitter analytics. 
Info from Twitter analytics
Use and Search:

Don’t just add hashtags to tweets and Instagram posts; search for hashtags too. An easy way to search for tweets using hashtags you want to keep an eye on is to add the hashtags to columns in Tweetdeck, or Hootsuite ((I'm a Tweetdeck fan, and have lots of columns for hashtags). With both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, you can include more than one hashtag in a column by typing OR in between each hashtag, which can be useful if you want to monitor hashtags which are similar.

Which hashtags?-a few examples:
Thank you so much to all who took the time to comment on my Facebook post with favourite hashtags: Emma Darwin, Mary Anne Lewis, Karen Aldous, Linda Green, Terri Nixon, Jenni Keer, Rebecca Lang, Phillipa Ashley. I've included names after those hashtags mentioned which I'd missed from my list.

Here follow a few hashtags, especially used by writers/authors. I can't include them all, but do let me know if I've missed a popular one. The best way to find hashtags which will be useful to you is to look at tweets by your peers and idols-which hashtags are they using, and are those tweets receiving much engagement, ie likes, replies and retweets? Hashtags are not case sensitive.

Writing:
#amwriting
#writerslife
#amediting
#writing (thanks Rebecca Lang!)
#writingtips (thanks Emma Darwin!)

Book blogging/reviews:
#bookblogger #bookbloggers (I asked the Book Connectors Facebook group back in March which hashtag members used more and the general consensus was #bookblogger)
#bookconnectors: linked to the Book Connectors Facebook group for book bloggers and authors. Find out more in this guest interview with Anne Cater. Twitter account @Book_Connectors.
#blogtour
#guestpost
#bookreview
#review (thanks Linda Green!)
#bookpost: lots of book bloggers use this with a photo of books received for review.
#DDRevs: Disovering Diamonds reviews by Helen Hollick. Find out more in Helen's guest post here.

Reading:
#amreading
#alwaysreading (thanks Linda Green!)

Sales and promo-there are more:
#KindleDeal
#giveaway #win
#99p #99c
#newrelease
#CoverReveal
#preorder
#bookboost
#mustread
#booklaunch
#BYNR: See @BookYrNextRead bio for more info. (Thank you Terri Nixon!)
#greatbooks (thank you Terri Nixon)
#goodread (thank you Jenni Keer!)

Genre-you can find hashtags for other genres easily:
#crimefiction #crimefic
#thriller
#romance
#historicalromance
#scifi
#fantasy
#histfic #historicalfiction
#romance
#youngadult #YA
#romanticcomedy (thanks Mary Anne Lewis!)

Self-publishing-see tweets by @IndieAuthorALLI to find more:
#indieauthor
#selfpublishing

History-you can find hashtags for most historical periods:
#Twitterstorians- a general history hashtag, find really interesting stuff here
#18thc
#regency
#georgian

When Sue Moorcroft's book, The Christmas Promise trended!

Your book:
Sue Moorcroft has kindly given me permission to use her books #TheChristmasPromise and #JustfortheHolidays as examples of how to use hashtags for books. The Christmas Promise is a bestseller, which made it to the UK Kindle #1 spot before Christmas 2016.


As the main character in The Christmas Promise, Ava is a milliner, members of Sue's Street Team posted photos of themselves wearing hats on social media with #TheChristmasPromise (that's where my profile photo comes from).


Also, Sue gave street team members the option to add wording to a banner with #MyPromise, to mention something they planned to do; silly promises included! Being near Christmas, there were a lot of promises to not overeat etc.


With Sue's recent  release, Just for the Holidays, Sue came up with the idea for members of her street team and followers to post old holiday photos on Twitter with #JustfortheHolidays.


This proved to be a popular idea, and here I am with Sue at the RNA Summer Party on the day Just for the Holidays was released in paperback.

Left: Sue and Catherine Miller. Right: me and Sue.
Twitter chats:
These allow you to have a conversation about a particular subject, usually during set times. They can be an opportunity to ask an expert for advice, to chat generally, or for an author to answer questions from readers.


Sue Moorcroft has also kindly allowed me to use her Twitter chat from 9 June 2017, 12.30-1.30pm UK time: #AskSueMoorcroft as an example. Click here to see the tweets.


#askagent: now and again, certain agents will answer questions within a set timeframe. Check the hashtag to find out more.

Pitching and agent info:
#tenqueries: by @TheEricRuben, New York literary agent at The Ruben Agency. This hashtag gives an interesting insight into how agents make decisions on query submissions.

#pitchcb: an opportunity to pitch, run by agencies, Curtis Brown and Conville and Walsh. Find out more here.

TV, radio, film-think of those relating to your brand:
#Poldark (used by Liz Fenwick, Phillipa Ashley, Terri Nixon).
#thedurrells
#VictoriaITV
#thearchers 

Days-here are a few which often trend:
#MondayMotivation
#TuesdayThoughts
#WednesdayWisdom
#ThursdayThoughts
#FridayFeeling
#ff. Meaning Follow Friday, where you can recommend who to follow (or others may recommend you).

Seasons, locations, gardening, food etc...:
There are so many more hashtags out there: relating to season, location, gardening, food; everything you can imagine. Use hashtags for locations where your book is set, eg #Cornwall is used by Phillipa Ashley and #Tuscany by Karen Aldous (thanks both!).

Blog sharing:
If you use one of these hashtags, there are usually rules and you are expected to reciprocate by retweeting other tweets using the hashtag.

#MondayBlogs. Established and registered by bestselling author, Rachel Thompson @MondayBlogs. This article tells you all about it.
#Tuesbookblog (thank you, Karen Aldous!)
#WWWblogs: see @Womenwriterblog bio for more info. 
#SundayBlogShare

RNA members only:
This sharing news hashtag is used on Tuesdays by members (only) of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and reciprocation is expected in the same way as with blog sharing hashtags. Members usually share news of cover reveals, pre-orders, special deals and giveaways, new releases, new contracts, blog posts, upcoming talks and launches etc. It's a really effective hashtag, and sometimes I receive 70+ retweets when I use it. Don't forget to use @RNAtweets as well as the hashtag-RNA members know to search for both as per below. This is to avoid picking up other #TuesNews hashtags-sometimes there are a few of those. Use #TuesNews @RNAtweets (click on Latest in Twitter.com when searching to catch them all).

Me en route to London Book Fair #lbf17 on Instagram
Events-a few examples of past events:
#HNSOxford16: Historical Novel Society conference, September 2016. I was publicity officer and Social Media Manager (handed over to Elaine Powell after the conf, 4 Sept 2016). See tweets here.
#lbf17: London Book Fair, 2017. See my tweets here.
#rnasummerparty: Romantic Novelists' Association's Summer Party. See my tweets here.
#neetsapr17. I created this hashtag for my talk to the RNA London chapter in April, so attendees could practise. See tweets here.
#neetspring17. I created this hashtag for my May course in London so attendees could practise. See tweets here.
Upcoming:
#rnaconf17 (this Romantic Novelists' Association annual conference will be soon, and I can't wait!)



What happens if you use the wrong hashtag?
Those who you’re trying to reach are unlikely to see your tweet. I have seen this many times when promoting and following events on Twitter, and it's a shame for anyone who uses the wrong hashtag, as their tweets become redundant. Use the right hashtag! (do your research).


How do you know which hashtag to use?
Do your research. For example, if two (or more) are being used for an event, find the official hashtag being used by the person/organisation running the event; or if you can't find that info, which hashtag is being used the most and by those who usually know what they're doing on Twitter. A lot of the time, I see confusion between 20[17] and [17] for events, meaning that two are used eg #neetsapr2017 and #neetsapr17. If you organise an event, make it clear to your followers what the hashtag is way in advance of the event (include on flyers/banners/website etc), so by the time the event arrives, the hashtag will have been picked up by many of your followers. Don't make it difficult for followers to find the hashtag. I've attended events where a hashtag isn't being used or is created hastily during the event; a wasted opportunity.

There is no point in using a hashtag which no-one else uses or searches for. Unless you're creating a hashtag of your own, in which case initially you'll probably be the only person using it. (been there, it can feel a bit lonely!)

A couple of websites which may help with hashtag research and tracking:
Hashtagify (research) and Keyhole (tracking)

Trending: 
When you login to Twitter.com, you will see what's trending in your network. Twitter will tell you who in your network is tweeting using a trending hashtag. Find out more here, via Twitter Support

Using a trending hashtag can be a way to expand your reach, but sometimes these tweets can look unnatural, ie. it's obvious if someone's jumped onto a hashtag because it's trending (also be aware you can attract trolls depending on the hashtag and what you say). I have messed about with trending hashtags to see what happens, and often they receive little or no engagement. If the trending hashtag is for an event which many of your followers are attending, or for a book award etc, then you're likely to receive more engagement.


If you click on Change, next to Trends (see above screenshot), you have the option to tailor what you see (see below screenshot). 


Creating your own hashtag:
Try to make any hashtag you create easy to remember and relevant to your event, book, Twitter chat etc; and not too long so it doesn't take up a lot of space in tweets (where possible). Be careful to make sure your hashtag doesn't mean something else. Just read this article, via The Guardian on the Top 5 Twitter hashtag PR disasters to find out more. And check the hashtag you want to create isn't being used already, especially if it's being used for something you would not want your book etc to be associated with.

Me with Alison Morton at her recent launch for RETALIO in London
Hashtags on Instagram:
Hashtags expand reach a great deal on Instagram, where it's seen as OK to use a number of them. Many hashtags on Instagram are the same as on Twitter, and there are lots of variations too. Look at who is using hashtags relating to your brand to find who to follow (as well as who your peers and idols are following).

Here are a few which I often use on Instagram (relating to the writing world):
#amwriting #writing #writersofinstagram #authors #authorsofinstagram #bookstagram #booklaunch #amreading #currentlyreading (see below)

There are many more. Thanks to Linda Green for mentioning #bookstagram #bookworm and #bookaddict.

Updated 23 August 2017: This is an interesting article re books on Instagram and celebrities, via The New York Times, and I'm adding #currentlyreading to the list above.

Hashtags on Facebook:
Hashtags are sometimes used on Facebook, but not in the same way, and according to Kevan Lee in this article via Buffer, How to Use Hashtags: How Many, Best Ones and Where to Use Them, hashtags don’t work effectively on Facebook. Kevan Lee says, "Facebook posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag." This article was written in 2015, but I can't find anything more up-to-date. I have found myself that using hashtags in Facebook posts hasn’t increased engagement. Andrew Hutchinson goes into more detail in this article, via Social Media Today, Should You Use Hashtags on Facebook? Here's What the Research Says, and he references Kevan Lee's post mentioned above.

It's taken so long to write this post, I can't see it anymore! Hope it's helpful, and I can't possibly include all the hashtags relevant to you here, but do let me know if I've missed any big and obvious ones (sorry if I have!). I'm sure I'll remember loads more after I've published the post...will add them if that happens.



Now I've actually finished the post, I'm off to find one of these:


Post RNA Summer Party margarita

More on Twitter here: My Beginner's Guide to Twitter for Writers 2017.
Liz Fenwick on Using Twitter to Connect with Readers (guest post).
My new course at Richmond Adult Community College (added Aug 2017)
20 Ways to Launch a Book (added Oct 2017)

My Social Media Courses for Writers in London and York:

My course on 7 October 2017 is now fully booked, but I'm running the same course on 19 May 2018.


I shall be running my first Social Media Course for Writers in the North of England on 3 March 2018. More details here.


I work as a Freelance Social Media Manager with clients in the world of books. Here's a lovely new flyer on what I do, designed by Avalon Graphics (as are the flyers above). More info via my website.