Social media, BookTok & Building Readership

Publisher’s Note: Hi! It’s almost 7 a.m. on a winter morning in January and I (Angel) am drinking my coffee, reflecting and sharing with you. Before I move to today’s topic, BookTok, I want to share a personal story that isn’t related to the topic, but it’s a good reminder of maintaining good habits and how others perceive your efforts. Does that equal book sales? Sadly, no. But every interaction you have not only builds foundations (when you never know what might unexpectedly yield profits) but it’s also practice networking where you get to try out how you present yourself.

The Eye Doctor Story

Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor for my regular eye exam. I received my first pair of glasses somewhere around age sixteen or seventeen, which in my family was pretty amazing as my maternal family line has a high percentage of people with disastrous vision. I have always gone to the same eye doctor. That means, at this point, I have been going to the same eye doctor for 30 years.

He’s aged over the years, as have I, and his office is about 15 rural miles from my home in the region where I grew up. Going to visit him for an exam is a homecoming of sorts, and the friendly conversation is more than merely polite and casual at this point.

At one point it came up that I wake at 4 a.m. and he responded with, “but that’s because you have to?”

“And I said, “Well… no. I could sleep until five and still get to work on time. But I get up at four to have some time to work on my book publishing business. We have nine books out now. And that’s the only time of day I have guaranteed quiet and creative energy.”

“And that’s why you’re successful,” he replied.

And being human, I immediately downplayed the compliment. “I don’t know how successful I am but I’m working on it.”

People notice your good habits and positive attitude. In other news, my optometrist has discovered that my reading vision has started to deteriorate, which he has said should have started at least five years ago. That I am an anomaly. The interesting part of that is, when I take the reading tests, it feels like my right eye needs reading glasses and my left eye does not.

He said I could let it go another year, but I could use the help. So, I’m be getting progressives now.

Social Media Guidance for Authors via Spotify

I started curating playlists for writers and authors more than a year ago. I honestly don’t know if anyone uses them, but I do refer our authors and clients to them. One of the first I created was “Ads and Social Media for Writers” which is 30 hours of content and probably should be divided.

If I divide the list, I might also organize the playlists by year so it would be easier to find the most up-to-date versus historical ideas.

This playlist includes a variety of writers, authors and marketing professionals and their ideas on:

  • Where to Spend Your Time Online (hint: genre and personal interests play into this. If you hate a platform, you will never be good at it. Also, depending who your readers are dictates where you will find them)
  • Blog Tours
  • Facebook and Amazon Ads (this is how this playlist came to combine ads and social media– I would say pre-2022 everyone talked a lot about Facebook ads. The noise on the usefulness of those ads has quieted, but Amazon ads still seem to attract a lot of attention, but they seem to benefit Amazon exclusive authors most and receive hype from authors who sell either courses or services related to building an Amazon ad strategy. No judgment from me on this.)
  • Goodreads and other social media giveaways
  • Helping readers find you
  • Book marketing in general
  • Generating content ideas
  • Shopify
  • Author branding
  • Keywords, Metadata and Hashtags
  • “Cost per Click” advertising
  • YouTube for authors

Perspectives on BookTok

The latest hype centers on BookTok. I had hoped our resident teenager could help with growing our BookTok presence here at Parisian Phoenix, but six months have passed and we have all dropped the ball on that project.

But if you’re looking for some background on the BookTok phenomena, and some tactics from people experiencing it, I have curated about 8.5 hours of content on the topic.

Some of the podcasts are broader interviews with authors also discussing their success on BookTok– so if you were looking for entertainment like Rachael Herron’s interview with AK Mulford on How Do You Write? Episode 306: From BookTok to 7-Figures! which touches on Mulford’s career as a wildlife biologist working with monkeys…

There are podcasts there that discuss Instagram and TikTok, as well as podcasts geared for the self-published author.

And if you’re like me and like a breath of journalism thrown into the mix, both lists feature more traditional media outlets. On the BookTok playlist, you’ll find Wondery’s Business Wars Daily episode from April 2022: Everyone’s Trying to be TikTok these Days. They also have a September 2022 episode comparing YouTube Shorts to TikTok.

The Wall Street Journal also looked into How TikTok Became the World’s Favorite App.

And on the Ads and Social Media for Writers playlist, you’ll find more episodes from Wall Street Journal (Fake Amazon Reviews: How to Spot Them) and tidbits from Optimal Start-Up Daily which provides entrepreneurial advice. The TikTok podcasts are also on the social media list.

Although it may seem random, you may want to check out Meredyth with a Why episode 105: Following Your Dreams or Deferring? Her presence is certainly inspirational, but she also breaks down the differences in performance and audience on the difference social media platforms. She recently experienced her videos going viral when she and her husband bought an incredible abandoned property on an island in Michigan.

Everything I have read, heard and experienced reminds me that book publishing is a “long game” so I encourage anyone entering the arena to take the time to explore the information that can be found online and on podcasts.

Published by Angel Ackerman

Writer, Editor, Traveler, Fashionista, Francophile, Student and Mother Publisher at Parisian Phoenix (parisianphoenix.com) Author of the Fashion and Fiends series

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