Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live

Bestselling author, Sue Moorcroft has taken part in a few Facebook Live videos recently, and I invited Sue to write a guest post about her experiences. I've known Sue for a few years and we often chat on social media. I'm also a member of Sue's fantastic street team. Sue has been a guest on this blog (and on my neetswriter blog) previously, and I've linked to the other posts at the end. Thank you, Sue for visiting with another really informative post, and over to you!

Sue Moorcroft on Using Facebook Live as a promo tool:

I’ve been involved with four Facebook Live (FBL) videos — all different and mostly fun. Engagement ranged from 488 views to 2.4k. Here’s a summary:

Alone in my study

Hosted on: my Facebook page, facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Views: 488
Purpose: launching a new book. Device: desktop computer

With author Bella Osborne at the News Building, London

Hosted on: the Facebook page of Avon Books UK, the imprint of HarperCollins that publishes my books
Views: 1.7k
Purpose: talking about our latest books (both summer). Device: smart phone

With author Maggie Sullivan at the News Building, London

Hosted on: the Facebook page of HarperCollins UK
Views: 2.4k
Purpose: talking about our latest books (both Christmas). Device: smart phone

With Jo Askew at Icarus Falconry, Holdenby House, Northampton. Special guest: Lily the barn owl

Hosted on: my Facebook page, facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Views: 498
Purpose: Ben in The Little Village Christmas looks after a rescue owl. Jo and Icarus helped me with the research and invited me to their premises for joint promo. Device: smart phone

How did these experiences compare?

Alone in my study was my first ever Facebook Live and I approached it with trepidation. The digital media manager at Avon Books UK talked me through the process before I went ahead. I received a lot of questions and comments but I’m sure I came across as a rabbit in the headlights. I didn’t find it a particularly natural process, although I’m usually happy at events or on the radio and have been interviewed on camera. Not knowing where to look and talking to myself felt foreign in comparison.

With author Bella Osborne at the News Building, London was a big improvement. Bella and I are friends, both writing for Avon. The team at Avon set the whole thing up for us and organised the flow of questions. Because we talked to each other it felt natural, and I think the product was better. Because Avon has a wider reach on its Facebook Page than I do, we got great engagement. It was fun. It meant a trip to London - a plus for me, but not for everybody perhaps.

With author Maggie Sulllivan at the News Building, London was a repeat of the above positive experience. Maggie is published directly by HarperCollins UK and their reach is even greater than Avon’s, so the viewing figure was larger still.

With Jo Askew at Icarus Falconry, Holdenby House, Northampton. I was beginning to see possibilities for FBL by now! Jo and I chatted about The Little Village Christmas and owls while manager Tom Morath filmed us on my phone. Engagement was more modest but it was another great experience.

 What do you need for a Facebook Live video?

   A Facebook page to host. The more followers that page has, the greater your engagement is likely to be.
   A device such as a computer, tablet or phone, that has a camera and the capability of connecting to Facebook on the Internet.
   A stable internet connection so you don’t vanish ahead of schedule or break up.

 My tips:

   Advertise the FBL ahead on all your social media channels. Mention the time you’ll be live and provide a link to the relevant Facebook page. Say how long you’ll be live. Ask people to have their questions ready. If you can get your publisher/agent/anyone else with a large social media platform to do the same, do it.
   Schedule social media posts to go out at the time you know you’ll be live to say something such as ‘I’m live now over on XXX. Come on over! Ask me something fun’.
   Plan ahead. Do you want to use props? Or something to talk about if there’s a lull in the questions? Have what you need within easy reach.
   Look good! Think about hair, clothes, make-up (if you wear it). Maybe dress up - a sun hat for a summer book or a Santa hat for a Christmas book, for eg.
   During the FBL, keep inviting the audience to ask questions in the comments section. Say the question aloud before you answer, so everybody knows what you’re talking about.
   Make it fun for those watching. Try not to be too solemn.
   If something goes wrong, laugh it off. FBL isn’t meant to be too polished and a dropped prop doesn’t matter.
   If you can get someone else involved to operate the device, it can help.
   If you’re going to FBL when there are others around, tell them what’s going on. You don’t want one of your loved ones barging into your study to talk to you while you’re broadcasting. Especially if they tend to chill at home in their underwear. Or birthday suit.
   Remember that if you swear a lot of people could hear you!
   Sharing an FBL with someone you know and trust can feel more natural than being alone.

A couple more thoughts:

   Facebook Live is a free service. There might be connected costs though, such as travelling to a venue.
   The video remains on the Facebook page even when you’ve finished the live broadcast so you can continue to use it for promo.

A quick overview of what to do:

Fancy doing an FBL of your own? It’s quite easy. Go to your Facebook page. Click on Start a live video.

You may need to allow FB to use your camera and microphone.

Then fill in the relevant boxes. This is an opportunity to hook people in.

When you’re ready, click Go Live. A countdown appears on the screen and then … Go! You’re live. Talk! Smile! Watch the comments section for questions.

When you’re ready to end, say goodbye and click End Broadcast.

That’s it! Now, that wasn’t hard, was it?

I can’t guarantee book sales but it’s a great way to engage with readers and be accessible to them which, to me, can only be a good thing.

Good luck!

Anita: Thank you, Sue for taking the time to write this wonderful post, which will be very helpful to anyone thinking about dipping their toe into the scary world of Facebook Live! Find out more about Sue below:

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated on several other occasions, including for the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared all over the world.
Twitter  @suemoorcroft
Instagram @SueMoorcroftAuthor
Google+ +SueMoorcroftAuthor 
LinkedIn suemoorcroft

Other posts on this blog:

Other guest posts by Sue Moorcroft:

About me (Anita Chapman):

I'm a freelance social media manager with clients in the world of books. I run my own one day social media courses for writers in London and York (28 April, 19 May, 6 October 2018), and I'm a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (Surrey), where I run 10 week courses, Social Media for Writers and Bloggers #neetsrhacc (next course starts 26 April 2018). Find out more with booking info via my website. You can follow me on Twitter @neetsmarketing, Instagram @neetswriter, and my neetsmarketing Facebook page is here

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

16 Ways for Writers to Use Instagram

Instagram is the fastest growing social platform with more than 800 million monthly active users and 500 million plus daily active users (with 250 million being for Instagram Stories), meaning Instagram is well ahead of Snapchat in terms of users. And it's easy and fun to use. Find out more re the stats here, (also compared to rival Snapchat), via CNBC and Mashable.

Instagram is less demanding than Twitter and Facebook, with hardly any need to keep an eye on notifications, and it doesn't eat as much time. If you've already mastered Twitter and Facebook, Instagram is a doddle in comparison.

With Instagram, you can (almost) post and walk away. I still use Instagram during social media breaks (school hols). Now and again, someone may comment on an Instagram post, and I 'like' (where appropriate), and reply to that comment but there's less urgency than with Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is a handy testing ground for photos too, and I use those with the highest number of likes elsewhere.

You are likely to find people on Instagram who aren't on Twitter and Facebook (or who you wouldn't be friends with on Facebook), so it's a way to reach more readers.

I have blogged about Instagram before in relation to events and hashtags, (links to those posts at the end). This is more of a general post which covers the basics, and a bit more; inspired by questions asked on my courses.

1.Posting a photo:
Set up an account by downloading the app or you can set up an account on your computer. You post photos using a phone or tablet, and content is mostly instant, happening now. If you don't want to give away where you are when you're there, post after you leave a location. You can edit photos re brightness, contrast etc and add a filter. Where possible, add a location-there's no need to turn on Location Services to do this. It's possible to post more than one photo at a time, although I rarely do this. See 3.Brand and Following for more on what to post.

2.Use hashtags:
Hashtags are important on Instagram, and you can use a lot of them (unlike on Twitter, where I'd only use two max). See my post on hashtags for more info, and examples: What are Hashtags, Why Use Them, and How?

You can now follow hashtags on Instagram (only since the end of 2017) which is a useful development, although Instagram will show you the most popular posts under the hashtag first, ie those which often have hundreds of likes, so it's not usually a way to find new followers (as these users are unlikely to follow back). However, it's a great way to see how to use Instagram well, and you're likely to be inspired by some of the amazing ideas found under popular hashtags such as #currentlyreading.

Here's an article via Social Media Today on following hashtags.

3.Brand and Following:
Use photos of where your book is set and add related hashtags to your posts. Think about your brand, taking photos of what is associated with your book such as food, shoes, hats, furniture, paintings. During the week of a book release, you could post a daily series of photos on Instagram related to your book. Photos from around the house of pets, cooking/baking, flowers and crafty things always go down well, and are a way to raise your profile and gain followers (if you use the right hashtags). Pictures of coffee, cake and a notebook or laptop with #amwriting are usually a hit too. Post photos of what you're reading-either one book or a TBR pile with all the reading hashtags.

Follow authors, writers, potential readers, librarians, book bloggers, others who are interested in subjects and themes from your books etc. I've spent a few years building my brand online as a writer for that day if/when I get a book published-posting photos of places and things related to what I write about.
Now I teach at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College, Richmond has become part of my brand, so I take scenic photos when I get the chance, using relevant hashtags. This helps to raise my profile in the community around Richmond.

4.Take selfies (of you, and with others):
Selfies work well, and usually get a lot of engagement. Take them on the way to, and at events; on your own, and with others. Your followers want to know what you look like, and it means people recognise you when they see you!

5.Video and Boomerang:
Video is being used more on social media. You can see the number of views and who has viewed.

A post shared by Anita Chapman (@neetswriter) on

You can mute videos easily if for example people are talking in the background (useful if you have children!).

Boomerang can be effective-I've seen a few posts with the opening and closing of a book, and many other clever ideas.

6.Tagging others:
This works well if you visit a place and tag it (using the correct username)-eg a restaurant or pub, museum, country house etc. Usually their social media manager will like the post, increasing engagement and potential reach. Tagging a product works in the same way.

Note that if you share a post to Twitter, usernames are sometimes different (a reason for you to keep your usernames the same where possible)-See 8.Sharing to Facebook and Twitter.

7.Like (where appropriate) and reply to comments: 
Because it's polite, that person is more likely to comment again, and doing this (like with all social media) increases engagement and potential reach. ie the post may be shown to more people. See my React, Reply, Reciprocate post.

8.Sharing to Facebook and Twitter:
This will help your Instagram post go further with minimum effort. Sharing to Facebook does get engagement (Facebook owns Instagram) and is a time-saver if you're in a hurry. However, I've found that posting a photo directly to Facebook usually gets more engagement than sharing the photo from Instagram. This photo from a trip to Siena, Italy is shared from Instagram to Facebook, but I'm sure (from playing around with other photos) that if I'd posted it directly to Facebook, the post would have received even more engagement.

As mentioned above (under 6.Tagging Others), when you share an Instagram post to Twitter, the username of anyone tagged may be different on Twitter. Also, the photo itself isn't shared to Twitter, just a link to the photo on Instagram. Instagram posts shared to Twitter don't seem to get much engagement. You're better off posting the photo directly to Twitter with words and hashtags to go with it. One benefit I've found from sharing the occasional Instagram post to Twitter, is that it's brought me Instagram followers over from Twitter. I now include my Instagram username in the bios for both Twitter accounts (@neetsmarketing and @neetswriter) too.

There is a way to get the photo to share to Twitter from Instagram by creating an IFTTT Applet. It's easy to create an Applet, which means that whenever you include a specified hashtag in your Instagram post, it's automatically shared to Twitter with the photo. Again, I've tried this and found it didn't do that much-but I've seen it work for those who are big on Instagram and who post frequently. Find out more here: IFTTT

9.Creating Graphics:
You can create Instagram posts in, for example Canva (there are other apps), which works well for book events, blog tours, blog posts etc. Here's one I made recently for a post on my neetswriter blog about writing routines. Instagram doesn't have clickable links (unless you pay for an ad), but you can amend the link in your bio, and say 'link in bio'. I usually say 'link in bio/writing blog tab' etc, keeping the url as my website.
You can screenshot the first part of a blog post.

10. When to Use Repost for Instagram:

This is the Instagram equivalent of retweeting, and it doesn't happen often.

A few organisations repost, for example, if a visitor posts a good photo, then they may repost with #repost tagging the original user.

For an author, you could repost a post by your publisher about your book, or one by a blog tour organiser. If unsure, always ask permission before reposting.

To repost: you can download the Repost for Instagram app, then see this article via Sprout Social-scroll down to 'How to Regram Through Repost for Instagram'.

11.Followers and Likes on Instagram:
With this app, you can manage following numbers by seeing who isn't following back, and who unfollowed you. You can then easily pick up users who follow, then unfollow once you've followed back (just like on Twitter!).

12.Private accounts:
You can make your posts private in Instagram, but if you're trying to build your profile as a writer/author, your reach will be very limited.

The advantage of these is that they appear at the top, so you're increasing visibility. However, they take a bit of time to put together, and disappear after 24 hours. 

Stories can't be 'liked', but you can see who has viewed.

You can add text to make them more interesting.

Useful after an event or book launch.

14.Sponsored posts:
You can pay to sponsor posts on Instagram (like with Facebook ads), but you have to convert to a business profile-which can look less personal. 

Alternatively, you can create Instagram ads linked to your Facebook Page (rather than your Instagram account). More info here

15.Face Filters:
Instagram followed Snapchat by introducing these. They don't work on all devices yet, but here's how to use face filters on Instagram

16.Apps for Instagram:
I've mentioned Canva above, but there's also Layout and there are many more. Go to top 25 Instagram apps via Sprout Social for a detailed list.

That's it! You can follow me on Instagram @neetswriter.

My other posts which mention Instagram:

I work as a Freelance Social Media Manager with clients in the world of books, and run my own one day courses in London and York. Recently, I started teaching a ten week course at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College. Find out more via my website.

There is one place left on my Social Media Course for Writers in London, 19 May 2018, and there is another course on 6 October 2018 (early bird until 23 May).

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 class, 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

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.


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.