Becoming a social butterfly

The learning curve never stops for this newbie author. Not least is the myriad ways in which I’ve had to expand my social media skills and vocabulary, in order to have the kind of online presence that’s expected of authors today. And yes, I’m a Gen X-er, so I’m not exactly dialled into trends.

I mean, I had considered myself fairly adept at social media until The Love of My Other Life was being published. For years I’ve been on Instagram every day, and it’s now taken priority for me over Facebook, which I’m still using in a half-hearted sort of way. I’ve always hated Twitter (too fire-hosey) but I can and do tweet, sometimes. But I’m a total novice at TikTok, and I’m not even bothering with Snapchat (is that still a thing?) so my social skills are a bit mixed.

And wow, promoting a book on social media in today’s world is NO JOKE. It’s not just a matter of writing a little post about when your new novel is coming out, posting a picture of the cover, and adding a link to Amazon. The endless evening and weekend hours I’ve spent creating quote-overlay videos, review-extract Instagram images, moodboard videos, and of course these blog posts. I’m now a dab hand at Canva because my Photoshop skills are no longer enough to keep up with the production values demanded. Come on, I’ve even curated a Spotify playlist as a soundtrack for my book! (More on that next week…)

Friends, it’s a LOT. A lot of fun, but a lot of work. Even with the help of the talented social media manager at my publisher, Joffe Books, I can lose entire weekends to this stuff. And I’m not even doing that much. The people on TikTok (or BookTok, for the book-obsessed among the TikTok community) who are crushing it are posting videos three times a day. A DAY! How does anyone hold down a job? I’ve created 10 videos on Canva to roll out over the next month or so as my book launches. And those took me forever. Then again, I’m setting extremely high standards for myself and what I want my author brand to feel like – I’m not prepared to do quick-and-dirty videos of my face doing something inane.

Thank goodness this book is my baby, otherwise I’d never have time. (How do authors with kids manage?) As I sit and write this post, I’m on a three-day solo writing retreat on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, and I’ve used up a whole day not writing, oh no, but on social media content creation and blogging. It’s nearly 5pm and I still have to spin up a tile image to go with this post and all its different social platform formats. I was supposed to spend today thinking of sequel/prequel plotlines! Never mind doing any actual novel writing.

Oh well. Maybe tomorrow…