Friday, 16 March 2018

The Seriousness of Being Self-Published (Episode #1)

The Seriousness of Being Self-Published

Being a self-published author is not for the faint-hearted. You need to be a Jack of All Trades (and most times, it turns out, Master of None).

Many writers think once they've uploaded their edited and formatted manuscript with an expensive cover onto Amazon or wherever, the money will just roll in - and I must admit when I see the light of excitement flicker to nothing in their eyes, it brings a tear to my own. I've been there, I know how it feels.

In this blog series, The Seriousness of Being Self-Published, we will journey through all the skills and job titles you will need, to become who you want to be.

The first job description you might think is being able to write a coherent story. Well, technically, the answer would be yes. However, we are not going to dwell on that myriad set of skills. We will only be looking at those job titles you need to master when your book is done being written, edited, proofread and covered.

Even though you might have written the next best thing since sliced bread, Harry Potter, Twilight or even Fifty Shades of Grey - if no-one sees it or reads it, it will just go blah.... into the hole of oblivion where all things unseen on the internet goes to hide.

As a proud self-published author, your first job title is:


Not to be confused with a Social Media Manager, that's a completely different job, but one you will be doing too.

Your job purpose as a Social Media Assistant is:

You will work closely with your Social Media Manager (also you) to create engaging content for your author name's social media presence. This will include keeping social media channels updated and brand-focused. You will also continuously seek out new social media avenues and ways of connecting with your target audience.

Tip: There is a difference between your personal profile and your business (author) page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more. On your personal profile, you can share whatever makes your heart happy. However, your business (author) page is about YOU & YOUR BRAND. Another brand's content should not become your content. Besides, you need permission/consent from the other brand before you can share their content on your business/brand page.

Your job duties as a Social Media Assistant:
  1. Manage your social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and other relevant platforms;
  2. Create social media presence on new and emerging social media platforms;
  3. Create dynamic text, graphics, and video content (content that promotes audience interaction, increases audience presence and encourages audience participation);
  4. Optimize content with SEO and PPC;
  5. Analyse audience information and demographics, and success of existing social media projects;
  6. Come up with new ideas and concepts for social media content;
  7. Write and distribute e-newsletters to subscribers
  8. Manage social media communications, i.e. reply to each and every email or Direct Message - even those soliciting you;
  9. Use timelines and scheduled content to create a consistent stream of new content for audience interaction while analysing, managing, and altering schedules where necessary to optimise site visits.

The skills you will need as a Social Media Assistant:
  • Technology Skills;
  • Content Writing;
  • Graphic Design;
  • Teamwork (that would be you, yourself and everyone else living in your head)
  • Lots & lots of Self-Motivation;
  • Strong Communication Skills;
  • Networking Skills;
  • SEO and PPC;
  • Proofreading;
  • Strong Customer-Service Skills;
  • Enthusiasm;
  • Detail-Oriented;
  • Collaboration.

Your tasks as a Social Media Assistant:

9 am
Check emails and all social media posts. Respond to comments and questions where necessary.

*10 am
Check your content plan and make sure all scheduled posts for this week are ready to go. Being a Social Media Assistant is not your primary job, so you only need to do this (and all others marked with a *) once a week.

*10:30 am
Analyse, manage, and alter scheduled posts where necessary. Look at which of your posts the previous week got the most likes, shares or interaction. Was it an emotional image, or a provocative hashtag? Also, compare organic posts vs. paid advertising.

12 pm - Lunch Time
While you have a bite to eat, check emails and all social media posts. Respond to comments and questions where necessary.

*1:00 pm
Now that you have analysed the previous week's data, start creating a content plan for next week.

*2:00 pm
Remembering the findings from the previous week, and using your content plan as a guide, write compelling content in different formats for your different social media channels. 

Make sure the tone of your posts is in line with your author brand. Create beautiful images. Don't just share your book cover again, and again, and again. It is suggested 5 posts a day on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & Instagram. On LinkedIn a professional blog post a week. Try to vary your posts on the different channels.

Making sure your message is relevant and topical to your audience is important. If they think your message is irrelevant to them, they might stop following you. Posting a message that isn’t relevant to your brand or target group isn’t good practice. Your audience won’t all share the same opinion as you.

Tip: If you have a PAGE (not personal profile) on Facebook, you can create slideshows and videos, which you can share/link to your other social media profiles.

Tip: You can schedule your posts on Facebook for free, by clicking on (on your Author (Business) Page, not your personal profile) Publishing Tools >> Scheduled Posts >> Create

Tip: You can schedule your posts on Twitter for free, by using Tweetdeck

Tip: You can create beautiful images (similar to Photoshop - only easier), by using Pixlr

Tip: You can download free images from All you need to do is give credit where credit is due.

There are also Social Media Marketing sites, like Hootsuite where you can schedule your posts in one place, without having to go to each platform separately.

And, as you work away, make the following your motto:

Is the grass greener on the other side, when you're not looking?