Monday, 27 June 2016

13 Popular Social Networks for Authors

Over the last couple of months, ACW has looked at various social networks writers use to connect with readers (and other writers). Yes, this is starting to feel like the neverending story . . .


We've already looked at:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook (post 1 and post 2)
  3. Pinterest
  4. Instagram
  5. Goodreads (post 1 and post 2)
  6. Klout (Simon Kennedy and I had the same view) 
  7. Tsu (and I think we're all agreed it's not the new Facebook). 
  8. One major social network we haven’t yet covered is Google+, and Narelle will be looking at that next month.


This week I'm going to take a whistle-stop tour through some of the other popular social networks--and my views on which sites you can safely ignore, and which you might need to investigate.

Popular Social Networks


9. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network with a difference: it's geared towards business. EbizMBA.com report LinkedIn as the fourth most popular social networking site for June 2016, with an Alexa ranking of 9.

Should authors use LinkedIn? They should probably have an account, but the focus on professional connections means LinkedIn isn't going to be a place to connect with fiction readers. Sure, LinkedIn members will read fiction, but they won't be using LinkedIn to search for the next novel to read.

However, being active on LinkedIn might be part of an overall marketing or social media strategy for non-fiction authors, especially consultants who have written a book as a way of promoting their expertise in a specific area.

10. Snapchat

Snapchat is a video platform popular with teenagers. The attraction is that you can send a short video message which theoretically self-destructs as soon as it has been read (how Mission Impossible!). I say "theoretically" because I've read that Snapchat doesn't actually delete the chats, and because the recipient can screencap the video.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this format for authors looking to use the platform to connect with readers or market their books. The obvious disadvantage is that the content disappears once it has been consumed once--the recipient can't go back to remind themselves of the title of the novel you just recommended. But this could be tempered by the advantage: the content doesn't disappear until it's viewed (as opposed to other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, where posts can easily be lost in the timeline).

11. Tumblr

Tumblr has an Alexa ranking of 34, and an estimated 110 million unique monthly visitors. It is focused on sharing visual content, and users tend to be teens and young adults. Reblogging is common. StumbledUpon uses a similar concept.

12. WattPad

WattPad is an online writing community that enables authors to share their works in progress with an online audience, who can then provide feedback or vote on the content (votes contribute to a daily "What's Hot List". Authors can either load complete stories, or can upload new content chapter by chapter. Stories can get categorised by genre (although there isn't a separate Christian fiction genre, and the Spiritual category includes a lot of fiction from other faiths, such as Islam), and can be tagged (e.g. #christiansunite).

WattPad is especially popular with teenagers and people who want to read (and write) Harry Styles fan fiction. The problem (or opportunity) with WattPad is the same as with sites like Amazon: discoverability.

Similar sites include Scribd, Bookmate, FanFiction.net and Fiction Press. Note that if your book is published on any of these sites, you won't be able to enrol your published book in KDP Select (although you can remove it and then enrol).

13. YouTube

YouTube has an Alexa ranking of 3, which means it's the third-most accessed site on the internet (Facebook is number 2). Many authors are on YouTube, using it for book trailers and interviews.

Personally, I'm not a fan. I'd rather read a book, and I'm not convinced putting effort into a site centred on moving pictures is the best use of time for most authors. There are two main groups YouTube could be useful for:

  • non-fiction authors, who could use the site to deliver online lectures (but they could also use other sites, such as SlideShare)
  • children's authors, especially books for young children

In my view, the only platform in this list fiction authors might want to consider is WattPad. Non-fiction authors might want to consider whether it's worthwhile participating in LinkedIn, Medium, or a sharing site such as StumbledUpon or Tumblr.

Meanwhile, are you active on any of these social networks? Which ones are your favourite, and why?


About Iola Goulton

I am a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website (www.christianediting.co.nz), or follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christianediting), Twitter (@IolaGoulton) or Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/iolasreads).

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