Am so pleased that Tom Bale has taken time out from his really busy schedule before the release of his next book All Fall Down to do a guest post for my blog. I have read All Fall Down and completely loved it and my review is featured on the blog tour which btw has some epic bloggers taking part.
But enough waffle from me and I will let you read Tom’s thoughts on using social media as a marketing tool. Thanks again Tom and good luck with the book.
In the ten years since my first book came out, there have been many dramatic changes in the publishing landscape, chief among them the increased focus on publishing, selling and marketing online. Within the latter sphere comes the world of ‘social media’ a phrase that meant embarrassingly little to me a decade ago.
Some writers were a lot quicker to spot the potential, particularly those who had opted to self-publish rather than follow the traditional route to publication. Similarly, not all publishers were alert to the possibilities offered by social media, and it fell to some of the smaller, more dynamic companies to see the benefits of developing a relationship directly with readers and bloggers.
My own introduction to the power of social media came in the run-up to publication of my novel, See How They Run. From the start, I was astonished by the number of bloggers who requested the book from Netgalley and then proceeded to post rave reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere. Their reactions to the book were gratifying enough: better still was the way they communicated those reactions via Facebook and Twitter.
But then came the real revelation – that the key word in the phrase is not ‘media’ but ‘social’. For not only were these bloggers and reviewers posting their own opinions, but they were also talking to each other. By sharing their posts, and discussing the books they liked, they were spreading their enthusiasms to a much wider audience.
To my delight, I had suddenly become part of a network of people providing support and encouragement to authors as well as to each other. The benefit of that – to a writer whose previous novels had made little impact upon the world – cannot be exaggerated. But even more importantly, I found myself among a rich, thriving community of people who adore reading.
Over the past few decades it’s become commonplace to hear that books are about to become obsolete, losing out to the many higher-tech entertainments now available. I’ve always remained optimistic, partly because I believe that the book is still by far the greatest “virtual reality” device ever invented. A writer puts down a collection of squiggles on a page, and the reader converts that into a vividly imagined world of limitless detail – complete with access to the characters’ most private thoughts.
It also has to be remembered that reading for pleasure has only ever been a minority activity – go back a century and you would find lower levels of literacy than today, as well as books that were prohibitively expensive for the average person. Nowadays, ebooks that can be read on a wide variety of devices have made reading cheaper and more accessible than ever before. If you enjoy a particular book, it’s never been easier to find other people who share your passion – and the chances are, it’ll only take a few keystrokes to let the author know as well. As a reader and a writer, I can’t imagine anything better than that.
Tom’s next book All Fall Down is out on 1st September…Read it, it’s so worth it.