The importance of establishing a solid social media presence has long been stressed by book marketers. Social media can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal when used correctly. While you may already have accounts on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, there are other sites that cater specifically to those in the literary sphere, and they shouldn’t be overlooked. Because these niche platforms were designed to draw bibliophiles, you don’t need to spend a lot of time searching through them for potential readers. Following is a list of four free social media platforms that provide authors with excellent tools for promoting books, connecting with influencers, and growing a dedicated readership.
ArtsKeeper is the newest platform on this list. In fact, it’s still under development. It was founded in 2021 as a way to help promote, connect, and support artists of all kinds, including authors, so they can more easily achieve financial success with their work. ArtsKeeper provides a plethora of services designed to help artists, especially when it comes to the promotion and sale of their work. Not all of ArtsKeeper’s services are up and running yet; however, ArtsKeeper’s communities are steadily growing. To get your work promoted on ArtsKeeper’s website and other social media pages for free, all you need to do is visit their Promote Your Art page. You can even request to have your work or a portion of it featured on the ArtsKeeper eReader (still in beta test). For a service-rich social media platform, you won’t go wrong with ArtsKeeper, so even if you don’t plan to join until more features become available, you should keep it on your radar because it’s becoming more popular and it’s set to become the social media platform for all artists and art supporters.
BookLikes is described by its users as a cross between Goodreads and Tumblr. It’s a book-oriented blogging and cataloging site with an emphasis on community. BookLikes offers authors a personal webpage with a blog, so it’s a good stepping stone if you’re interested in one day having your own website but haven’t yet set one up. Because its focus is on book reviewers and bloggers, BookLikes is great for getting your work in front of influencers, which has its own set of advantages, as described in this earlier post. Authors are welcome to recommend their titles on the community reading list. By setting up a verified author account, you can be promoted in the BookLikes community, interviewed on the BookLikes blog, and featured in the BookLikes newsletter. The benefits for authors don’t end there. For no cost, you can promote your books and connect with beta readers and reviewers with the BookLikes Giveaways program.
LibraryThing has a thriving community of everyday readers, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, authors, and other bookish people who love to connect. Since going live in 2005, LibraryThing has garnered 2,550,000 users. LibraryThing provides a large selection of tools built specifically to help authors reach readers. If you have upcoming author events, you can easily add them to LibraryThing Local, which will ensure the events are displayed on your author page so that your readers are informed of your public appearances. Readers and authors can connect through the Author Chat group and other forums. LibraryThing doesn’t allow “egregious commercial solicitation,” but their Hobnob with Authors group was specifically created to give authors a place to discuss and promote their work without violating their terms. Authors can also submit their work to Early Reviewers to get reviews. Your work may already be listed on LibraryThing. You can search for your author page, and if you find it, you can claim it and become a verified author. If your work hasn’t yet been listed on LibraryThing, it’s easy to add any book to their database yourself once you create your account so that readers may find it.
Founded in 2016, Litsy is often described as a cross between Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter. Content on Litsy is book-centric, visual, and, thanks to word count limits, succinct. Members (called Littens) can follow one another, start discussions, post brief book reviews, share quotes, discover books, and even add books to Litsy. This last feature is particularly beneficial for authors. Adding books to Litsy allows Littens to find them, add them to their Stacks (similar to the Shelves on Goodreads), and post about them. Nonmembers can add books, so you can take advantage of this feature even if you’re not yet ready to sign up. However, joining will allow you to participate in Litsy’s rich community of book lovers, make meaningful connections with readers, and even find book reviewers and other influencers. Furthermore, Litsy provides account verification for authors, which aids in showing credibility. One caveat is that Litsy doesn’t allow members to aggressively advertise their work. You can still post about your books and any author events you’re hosting, but, as stated in their terms, “spam and all egregious commercial solicitation is forbidden.”
Even if you prefer to focus on social media platforms you’re more familiar with, it would be a good idea to at least add your books to these websites’ databases. Although these platforms can be helpful, be careful not to stretch yourself too thin. Setting up new social media profiles can be overwhelming, especially for authors, who need time to do what authors do best: write. Fortunately, 1106 Design can help take some of the stress off when it comes to establishing your presence on social media. Contact us to discuss how we can help you launch your social media campaign so you can reach more readers.