3 (Unusual!) Social Media Tips for Launching Your Book
by Cassie Premo Steele
I woke up one morning two weeks after my new novel, The ReSisters, was released to find that it was #1 on Amazon’s bestselling children’s books about prejudice and racism.
This was quite a feat for an author who published with a small, independent press. I had no marketing budget. No agent. And I had not done a book tour.
So how did I do it?
I used social media, but not in the usual ways. I approached my social media campaigns with the same ethic that I brought to bear in writing the novel itself: with collaboration, art, and gratitude.
It’s not about what. It’s about how.
When I decided I wanted to write a novel about intersectional feminism featuring a Native teen girl, I reached out to my friend, Amy Alley, who is an amazing artist.
I asked her if she would do the art for the novel – and I did more than that.
I asked her who her favorite Native women artists are. I asked her what Cherokee stories she liked best.
I wanted the book to be a true collaboration.
Your lesson: if you want your book to be a success, start by reaching out. Learning from others. Bringing them into success with you.
Your homework: brainstorm ways you can work with someone else on your next project. Not just use their art or ask for favors. But truly collaborate.
Your result: your social media posts will not only be “shared,” but really shared. Others will feel the mutuality of your work and want to be part of that.
Social media is visual. People respond to cat GIFs and cute puppy pics and clever memes.
But most of all, they respond to real art.
For 26 days before my book release, I posted a painting a day on Instagram. I’d painted the paintings to coincide with the themes of the novel. I allowed people to get a sense of who I am and what I care about.
Art is about authenticity.
So much of social media is about surface shallowness.
People know the difference.
Your lesson: if you want your book to be a success, ask yourself who you are and what you care about.
Your homework: brainstorm ways you can use social media to share aspects of yourself as an author in ways that are authentic and genuine.
Your result: your social media posts will feel true because they are true. Don’t be afraid to reveal vulnerability and fear and darkness. We all share this, and we turn to authors and their books to be the light through it.
Before, during, and after the launch of the novel, I expressed gratitude. Regularly and often.
I thanked people who signed up for my newsletter on my website by giving them a ReSister Self-Care Kit. I thanked people who had attended my writing workshops in the past by sending them special emails. I thanked the writers who wrote blurbs for the novel by mailing them signed copies of the novel. I thanked everyone who attended the book launch party by giving them little gifts. I thanked everyone who shared a post about the book on Facebook and I thanked everyone who wrote a comment of congratulations.
I did this because I truly am grateful. To have readers. To have supporters. To have people who care about books and want the world to know that books can change the world.
Your lesson: if you want your book to be a success, ask yourself who has helped you and how you can thank them.
Your homework: brainstorm ways you can express gratitude in advance. Don’t wait. Give first. Receive later.
Your result: your social media presence and online communication will focus on others, not on yourself. This is a rare quality, and we need more of it these days.
Good luck. May your journey as an author bring you success and happiness and may you share this with others.
Cassie Premo Steele is the author of The ReSistersand 15 other books. Her website is www.cassiepremosteele.com
Link to The ReSisters on Amazon:
Links to my profiles on
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