I recently ran a free book day promotion for my novelette A Wrecking Bar, a Chocolate Bar, and a Ka Offering for Na-Nefer-Ka-Ptah to get some reviews and ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. I posted notices several places, including some forums, Tumblr, and Facebook.
One of the FB pages I run has almost 1,200 likes/subscriptions, and it’s reasonably on-topic for this story. It’s a great place for me to post a notice, right?
Wrong. Out of all those people, FB decided to show it to 9. Nine people. That’s seven-tenths of one percent! Of those nine people, three clicked on the link, which is a great ‘engagement’ metric. It’s possible some of the remaining six had already seen my notice somewhere else.
By contrast, there are only 348 people on Tumblr following me, and my post was liked or reblogged by 18 people. I don’t know how many people saw it or clicked. I don’t use Tumblr a lot, so I’d say it went pretty well there.
The takeaway advice for new authors is to make the central point of your internet presence your own blog, in a space you control. It’s even better if your site is on your own domain, rather than in the free space of wordpress.com, blogger, etc, but a free blog is better than nothing.
From your own blogspace, you can have it echo updates to the other social media outlets you’re on, or just paste a link to your new blog post. Those social media can pull the rug out from under you with one policy change. For instance, if you write under a pseudonym, facebook can close your entire account. #nymwars Facebook is still doing this to people. They may relent if you’re on the bestseller list, but good luck to you if you’re a new or niche author. If you’ve only been echoing blog posts to that account, you don’t lose too much, but imagine if you’d been posting a lot of original content there.
I’m resolving to start posting to twitter, even if I can’t post every hour of the day.