I’m Not Playing On My Phone… I’m Selling Books!

Written by Chantelle Atkins

As a mother and a writer, I often feel guilty when I am working because it means time away from the family. However, I decided long ago that I needed and deserved time to write and I guard it fiercely, whilst making sure it does not intrude on family life too much. In recent years however, I have started to realize I can get the marketing side of writing done throughout the day, in short bursts, on my phone.

Again, the guilt creeps in when a child appears and wonders what I am doing on my phone. So, I explain. I am not playing games or scrolling through Facebook or watching funny videos on YouTube. I am marketing books, and marketing is part of being a writer. Here’s how I use my phone throughout the day to advertise my books without spending any money.

  1. I have the Kindle app downloaded to my phone and all my books uploaded to it. If I have some minutes to spare, I will copy and paste extracts from one of my books and share to my social media pages.
  2. I have the Canva app on my phone. I can use their social media templates to make graphics for my books. This could be event posters, social media posts, blog headers or quote graphics. If I copy and paste from my Kindle app into Canva, I can make a professional looking graphic of a quote from my book and share instantly to my social media pages.
  3. I have Instagram and Facebook on my phone. I could have more, but I choose to focus more on these sites, and I have my Facebook linked to Twitter to save time. I can take photos of anything related to my books, including book covers, cover art, physical copies of books, locations, inspiration and so on, and share these to Instagram at any opportune moment throughout the day. I can use Canva to make memes to share, or take photos of my life and hobbies or anything that might interest the reader.
  4. I can scroll through Facebook and look for interesting content to share to my author page. I know a lot of writers follow my page, as well as readers, so I try to make sure there is content there for both. Any top tips, writing related articles, new trends in publishing, or ‘how to’ pieces are great content to share to my page and advise people to take a look at.
  5. I can use my phone to take screenshots of my books in my Kindle app. This is even quicker than making quote memes and graphics, because it just involves finding a really juicy bit, screenshotting and sharing to social media with relative hashtags.
  6. I can also take screenshots from my blog and share those to my social media pages. I usually do this via Instagram, a few days after I have published a blog post and shared it to Facebook. I then retweet it again a few days after that.
  7. I can drum up interest for a book launch using my phone, by posting quotes and images, and also by creating ‘countdown to release’ memes, which remind my followers on a daily basis that the book will be released soon. I can also create graphics when my book is discounted, or if I am having a Facebook event or paperback giveaway.

These are the marketing techniques I use via my phone every day. They only take a few minutes here and there and are completely free. Of course, there are times when paid marketing and adverts may be needed, but I think these quick actions are easy, fun and creative when you are short of time and money and I have certainly found them to be effective in terms of sales and building my author platform.


Chantelle Atkins lives in Dorset, England. Her debut YA novel, The Mess Of Me, deals with eating disorders and self-harm. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series is an ongoing coming-of-age crime thriller. Also available; This Is Nowhere, Bird People and Other Stories, and the award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels. In 2018, Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing. Connect with her on Facebook.

 

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