Publishing industry veterans largely agree that social media alone is not a replacement for a full-fledged book marketing campaign unless you're a celebrity with millions of followers. That said, social media posts are important ways for authors to promote their books and interact with fans, and they shouldn't be overlooked. If you're an author or working to become one, start building a following on two social media channels. Those followers will become part of your network and can be helpful as you launch your book. Building a big following on the fly at the last minute seldom works well.

What you post has a great deal to do with your success. You don't want to be obviously promotional and use the hard sell. It's about being friendly, helpful, genuine, and consistent. Social media experts will tell you those repeatedly as they advise you about best practices. Your goal is to engage your followers and gently increase their interest in the topic or story of your book. Using social media to help people discover your book is an excellent idea and, when done well, can help spark book sales. It's also a form of author branding, and because the accounts are about you, they will support you in writing future books.

So with all this said, your next question is probably what should I post? Book publicists have many recommendations about what content will work well. It's always wise to give facts and snippets of information you learned while researching your book. People also like newsworthy items, and if you can connect a post to news and current events, even better. It's also an excellent technique to focus on related studies and data, especially if they are newly released and on your topic. It's also good to occasionally mention other books and authors and be complimentary. Your readers may also like them.

Today, all authors need to have websites, and it's a wise idea to have a blog. You can connect your social media posts to the content on your other platforms. Ideally, people may read more than one, and when the information is complimentary, it can build interest. Many PR people advised taking an organized approach and planning a calendar that lists all scheduled posts and uploads for several months. It's easier than trying to keep everything in mind. Consistency is crucial, and you can't let your accounts go dormant. You need to post at least weekly and ideally several times a week. Also, don't over post.