Let’s have a quick talk about influencers, which too many writers ignore in the search for social media platform.
Social media platform consists of the total number of people who follow you on the various social media like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, BookBub, Goodreads, etc. When examining your social media platform, many editors, agents and marketing executives investigating the numbers dig deeper, to see how much interaction or engagement you have on each medium. As we know, people can simply buy followers— dishonest as that may be. The way to tell if those followers are engaged is to dive into likes, comments, reviews, etc. and see if when you talk, conversation begins within the following community.
Influencers are those people who have a following of their own but know you, respect you and are likely to hold up your book and recommend it. As soon as you begin thinking about your book, you should begin to collect and curate your list of influencers. At some point your publisher is going to ask you for your list of 50 to 75 influencers. They will probably gift a book to these influencers along with a personal letter from you. You’ll notice I am not recommending fellow writers. These may be great influencers and may be glad to promote you and your book, but fellow authors are often overwhelmed with influencer copies. Try to fill the top of your influencer list with non-writers and put your writing friends at the bottom. Or have a strong influencer list and give some of the free copies your publisher provides you to writing friends who will read, recommend and review.
Let me give you a few random tips about influencers in no special order. Please feel free to add more tips to finding serious influencers in the comments below.
- Think of those people you know well who appreciate what you have to say and regularly stand up in front of large crowds.
- Consider media personalities you know. Perhaps you’ve regularly appeared on television or radio shows— these hosts are influencers.
- Librarians make good influencers, especially those who choose the books for their branch. Get to know librarians.
- Pastors of large churches can be significant influencers, if they are willing to read a book and possibly recommend it.
- When my first book came out twenty-some years ago, I was one of the best customers of my local Christian bookstore. I’d supported them with significant purchases over the years. The owner and his staff became tireless promoters of my book. Local bookstores.
- Think of other bookstore relationships you may have made on any signing tours. Do you have frontliners who will read your book, recommend it and review it?
- If you know significant social media personalities who know you well and love your work, this can be a perfect choice.
- For nonfiction books especially, some of the best influencers are well-known professionals in the same field.
- What about college roommates who love you and will recommend the book to their circles?
- Do you belong to clubs, like Toastmasters, Lions Club, etc? You may find influencers here.
- How about your college newsletter editor? Most newsletters feature alumnae achievements.
- People you know well in the publishing industry who do not belong to a competing house are possible influencers.
- Know any famous people? Those can be gold.
Okay, your turn. Where might you find your influencers?