Today I’m delighted to be joined by Frances Caballo. If you’re an author who is struggling with social media, and how best to use it to help sell your books, then I highly recommend you visit her website and read through her posts. I’ve learned a lot from Frances, and am now looking forward to this interview. Lets begin:
Just like Joan Stewart (The Publicity Hound,) you were involved in journalism before moving towards helping authors. What was it that made you decide to focus on author social media?
After working as a reporter and then as an editor, I decided to use my skills in the non-profit sector. After working in that industry for 16 years, I decided to become a consultant. To promote my business, I knew I needed to learn social media. In the process of learning social media, I changed the course of my career and decided to specialize in social media to help authors. You see, I’d been a literature major in college, was writing a novel, and was a member of two writer organizations. So the transition felt natural. Authors had always been my favorite people.
You have written a number of non-fiction books. Have you ever thought about writing any fiction, and if so, what genres would interest you?
I started a novel in 2000 but haven’t revised it sufficiently to turn it over to an editor. The book is a historical fiction novel. In terms of reading, I like literary fiction, historical fiction, and thrillers.
When you’re not helping authors with social media, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to hike, cycle, and dance.
Social media is a great way to connect with readers and to see their reactions to your latest work, but do you think Amazon’s removal of some authors reviews because of social media connections could put authors off using it?
I certainly hope not. Social media levels the playing field for authors. With social media, traditionally published authors don’t have any advantages over self-published authors. Both need social media to connect with readers and sell books.
I’m online on and off throughout the day and will check notifications and respond accordingly, but is there a ‘best’ social media time?
On Facebook, it’s usually best to post between 9 am and 1 pm. You can always check your Insights to find out when your readers are online. Supposedly, the best time to post on Twitter is between 12 pm and 3 pm, but for me the best time is in the morning. The best time to post on Instagram is generally between 12 pm and 1 pm. On LinkedIn, I’ve always heard that the best times to post are between 7 am and 7:30 am on weekdays and 5 pm and 5:30 pm.
I tried to get to grips with social media before I published my first book, but still feel I have a lot to learn. What 3 things would you say are the most important for an author to do long term with social media?
1. Start using social media as soon as you have an idea for a book.
2. Be consistent with your social media posting.
3. First, seek to engage with your readers on social media. You can use social media to sell books, of course, but you won’t sell any unless you are engaging with your fans.
What has been the biggest difference you think you’ve made to an author’s career?
One of my clients is a psychotherapist who’s written about coercive control in intimate relationships. Through her Twitter account, she has touched numerous women from all walks of life who have poured their souls out to her. It’s been an honor to witness the response to her tweets and to help this author to expand her reach to women who need to hear her message.
I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 most useful resources for indie authors, and your blog features. Which other blogs or resources would you recommend authors take a look at?
Other important blogs include TheBookDesigner.com, JaneFriedman.com, TheCreativePenn.com, Writer Unboxed, BookWorks, The Alliance of Independent Authors, Digital Pubbing, TheAuthorMarketingExperts.com, and Anne R. Allen’s blog with Ruth Harris.
Thank you Frances for a great interview! I’m sure your hints and tips will help many writers and you’ve provided some additional resources to explore too.
Frances can be found in the following places online:
As always, thanks for reading.
All the best.