Hey guys, this is a little sumthin sumthin different. I know I'm mainly here to post backgrounds/run comps/let you guys know about Episode news, but, there's something that I see get asked a lot (to myself/others) and I thought it might be of use to share my thoughts. Yeah, I surprise myself sometimes with my thoughts when they make cohesive sense. If this kind of post is not of interest to you, don't worry you can scoot on by, I won't be offended!
Ok, the thing I see come up a lot is people asking ''How can I get more reads/story exposure?" Now, I know what you are thinking; ''Who is she? She's never written a story before, what does she know?'' Ok yes, fair play that is a valid point well made. However, I have lived with a certain fella for a long time who started off writing stories when no one knew him and he is now a household name (I am obviously of course talking about the man, the myth, the legend that is Joseph Evans.) So I have definitely picked up a thing or two of how he has made his name/success.
I feel like the answer will (maybe) shock some of you but, it pretty much has little to do with how great your story is. Don't get me wrong, an amazing story will help gain success and exposure by word of mouth, but if no one knows you exist then the world will never see your amazing story exists. What I'm talking about is initially getting the people to see YOU and follow YOU.
The real answer here is; social media. Yep, good ol' social media. Lemme, tell you a little story. It's 2011 and Joe has just finished writing his first novel City of the Falling Sky and he wants to get it out there. At this time Twitter was the main/one of the biggest social media business tools that was around. I know, we're dinosaurs, who is Twitter anymore?! But at that time Twitter was da one. (I don't even think Instagram even existed at this point, oh heck I feel old now!) This started what is now known in the Evans household as 'Twitter Duty.'' Joe set up his account and used it solely for his book promotion and he would spend hours EVERY NIGHT on Twitter (aka Twitter Duty) following authors/writers/other authors fans and followers/book bloggers/book reviewers/book lovers in general and from this he would sometimes get them following him back in return. So over time he gained thousands of followers (13,000.) He would comment on people's posts, dm people, look at what hashtags they used, see what the top trending relevant tags were. He was on it. Before you get over excited, it does take time. It ain't easy, and it ain't quick. But it's 2019 ladies and gents and this is how we all get seen. It was from all this work that his story got the reads it did on Kindle and it was through his Twitter presence that Episode found him and contacted him to become an author for them! He has since moved onto Instagram and has gained a whopping 44.8k followers and subsequently has 57 million reads now (all stories combined.) I mean, this could be coincidence but I think not.
So for me to break it down for ya, here are the main things to take away from this:
- If you don't already have a social media account, get one (I'd say Instagram is probably the best bet at this point.)
- Follow as many relevant people/your target audience as is possible before the app tells you to stop.
- Comment on other people's posts so that their followers see you.
- Dm people and see about making friends in the relevant community.
- Check out the top trending hashtags (so for example; #episodeauthor #episodeinteractive) and use them on your posts.
- Check out hashtags that other authors/writers are using.
- Post consistently.
- Engage with your followers and build a relationship with them.
- Don't be afraid to blow your own horn, build yourself up, hype up your story, let people know what you do! Be confident, because if you don't believe and love your own story then why should others!
- Lastly, be up for the challenge. Things like this take time and it's all about how much you want it. So it may take weeks, months, years but if you want it bad enough then you'll get it in the end.
If you've made it this far, congratulations you deserve a virtual high five. I hope it all made sense. I don't know if this post will be of any interest, but like I said, I've seen many a question on how to get yourself known so hopefully this post won't be like tumbleweed in the street... fingers crossed. (Side note; it's crazy how awkward I feel writing out a 'advice' post, like, am I a stable enough person to be giving others advice lolol. I totes am. Promise.)