Social Media for Authors

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing

My greatest challenge as a writer isn’t staring at a blank page, or coming up with stories. It’s the business necessary to get my writing in front of the reading public.

I’ve found that even if you’re fortunate enough to get hooked up with a publisher, the lion’s share of sales is generated by the author’s social media skills. One of the first questions a literary agent, or publisher will ask today, is what does your Author’s platform look like? How many friends do you have on Facebook, followers on Twitter, clicks on Snapchat, or Instagram? It’s just the cost of doing business, and you better have the answers.

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing
The ultimate goal is to attract 7,000 avid followers on social media, so that when you release your novel, you immediately sell enough books to make a best sellers list. Then your sales will grow exponentially. But that’s rarefied air.

Most authors sell about fifty books. And if that’s the sum-total of your sales, you’ll spend the next few months trying to find a new publisher.

Social media can be very intimidating for the uninitiated. But by taking it slow, and learning the ins-and-outs of one media site at a time, you can start attracting ‘friends,’ and building an audience for your work. You’ll also build a community of like-minded people who can act as a support system to share ideas, and help bolster sales.

I started by creating an Author page on Facebook. The easiest way to check out other author’s pages and getting some idea of how they use social media to increase their readership, is by looking inside the cover jackets of the books you enjoy reading, books in your genre, and then going to their website. There, you’ll find the URLs of all their social media sites.

Wherever you start, It’s all about developing personal relationships. Nobody likes to be ‘sold.’ But if you start developing friends, and bringing them into your writing process, and sharing parts of your life that make you unique, outside of your book, you may be on your way. 

By sharing activities that interests you, you’ll find other like-minded people that share your interests. And once your FB friends start responding to your posts, or your twitter feed, or your Instagram account, you might see an uptick in sales.

The first marketing specialist I worked with broke it down into a three-pronged philosophy. Thirty-three percent of what you post should be something that interests you, or the main character of your book. My protagonist, Jack Bertolino, likes to cook Italian. So do I. Every so often I’ll add a recipe that I’ve discovered online. Sometimes just the photograph of a great dish of pasta gets people engaged.

I love to share photography. It elicits emotion from readers and I get to share a visual art form that informs my work, without having to explain too much. That becomes the second piece of my pie chart.

The third piece of the pie is related to books. And not all of my books, all the time. I’ll add quotes of other authors that write in my genre. Crime/thrillers. Something like this:
 “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.” Raymond Chandler- Farewell, My Lovely

I’m a big fan of Walter Mosley. He’s someone I read and share. I just posted this interview, he gave to The Paris Review, on my FB Author page:

INTERVIEWER Which writers inform your work? Clearly you’ve read Dashiell Hammett. MOSLEY I read a lot of Hammett, Chandler, Ross Macdonald.…Share
Click on his name above and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

As you develop relationships with other writers you respect, you can support their efforts, share their posts, and review their newest releases. The more reviews you write, the more you can expect to receive in return. The more reviews your book collects on Amazon, the more Amazon will promote your book.

And now it’s time to promote your own book, with your reviews, press releases, and promotions on social media. Again, mix it up with the other aspects of your life you’ve shared, and people are more likely to give your book a read, and then hopefully a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Both sites are extremely important to selling books.

Amazon, because more books are sold on Amazon than any other retail outlet, and Goodreads, because as you build a following on their site, you’re being read and reviewed by your target audience, people who love books. And Goodreads is an audience who shares what they like. And that’s how social media is supposed to work.

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing
Best-selling author John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease” before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
Lansing closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West Coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.”
John’s first book was Good Cop Bad Money, a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
The Devil’s Necktie, his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a best seller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre.
Jack Bertolino returns in John’s fourth novel, "The Fourth Gunman."
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Catch Up With John On www.johnlansing.netGoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook!

Social Media for Authors, Guest post by John Lansing




  1. I have seen the art that Mr. Lansing posts on FB and it's beautiful. As for this book, it was an exceptional read!

  2. Many thanks to Writers and Authors for hosting me today. Your support is always appreciated.


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