There are two big hashtag inspired posts on Fridays for indie authors, follow loops and feature Fridays. Loops from what I’ve experienced are shameless follower grabs that really benefit no one besides the original poster.
More often than not the objective with a loop is for everyone who shares the image and appropriate hashtags to follow everyone else doing it. This also usually exempts the original poster from following everyone back. There’re a few other inherent flaws in this system. Even if you play by the rules and follow everyone, that doesn’t mean they’re going to follow you back, and even if they do, there’s nothing to keep them from unfollowing you later, or buying, reading, or reviewing you book in the first place Heart reacts do not equal sales. The other issue with a follow loop is that you’re indiscriminately following everyone who calls themselves a ‘Writer’ you’re going to end up with most of your feed being posts by people who have only have pipe dreams about writing. They like the idea of calling themselves a writer, but they’re never going to publish anything, they’re not going to share any valuable information, (because they don’t have it) and their ‘writing’ is usually just their aspirations of sitting down and writing a book. If you follow these people, you’re not going to see anything besides inspirational quotes and pictures of their kids. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with aspirations, but if you let them sit there, that’s all their going to be. If you’re serious about being an author, instead of latching into these follow loops, find people who are doing what you want to be doing, or people who are carving their own path in their literary career and follow them. Listen to their advice, and don’t be afraid to contact them and ask how they did things. The reading audience is big enough for everyone, and quality indie authors know this. We also know that pulling each other up is how to make it in this race. If readers see that we at least resemble a team, they’ll be more prone to read our works. For instance, I have several other indie authors that pop up as recommendations on Amazon when someone looks at my books because people before had bought them together. I have also had readers of mine, who aren’t writers and don’t want to be one, tell me they’ve bought books from indie authors off my recommendation. Due to the nature of the internet, it may not be glaringly obvious, but recommending each other’s books does get us all more readers. That’s why instead of Follow Loops, you should stick to Feature Fridays. Highlight an indie author who’s work you enjoyed, or who you think’s doing a kick ass job marketing.
Then the important part is what happens when you keep going. As your numbers rise, there are two things you need to do. First is to keep punching UP and emulate people who are bigger than you. You’re not going to learn much from people less successful than you. The second thing, which, arguably is more important, is to pull as many people as you can up to your level.
Read that as: Read everyone who’s trying to make its books, not just the people you want attention from.If you need a selfish reason to do this, think of it this way. If you read someone’s book, post about it on Instagram, and leave a review on amazon, they’re more likely (But not guaranteed) to do the same for you. If they have more followers than you, then great, maybe some of theirs will come follow you too. If they have less followers than you, then by giving them a chance you show that you’re not a snobby twat.
Or better yet, do for why I do it. I would want someone elseto market my books the way I’m trying to market the random authors I find on Instagram.
That all being said, author accounts that I think you should at least give at to see how they’re marketing are Sydney Mann at @sydney_j_mann, April Woodard @April_m_woodard, and Britt Laux at @brittlauxwrites.
Authors who come at your with their work hard, and also champion other indie authors: Michele Packard at @aesopstories, and Heather Carson @heathercarsonauthor.
And authors who’s books I would recommend you give a shot: Caroline Noe @carrieauthor, Hollis Jo McCollum @hollisjomccollum, Remmy Stourac @remmystourac, Lynn McCain @lynnmccainauthor, and Nicole Damon @writerlingnixdamon.
Alright, I’m off my soapbox.
Have a fucking weekend, and don’t forget to rock and roll!