Self-promotion is horrible. There might be a few people in this world who feel otherwise, natural salesfolk who love nothing more than a chance to Instagram their own wedding, or an afternoon free when they can spend several hours coming up with new and unusual hashtags. Those people are not me, and, I suspect, not you.

Still, not only is self-promotion necessary, it’s also to a certain extent expected and tolerated. Anyone who clicks FOLLOW on an author’s Twitter feed knows they will be reminded several thousand times that said author has books for sale. It’s part of the deal. But you have to resist the urge to spam your social media constantly with sales pitches—and you should put in some time developing your networks before you start dropping Amazon links.

I Want a Lover with a Slow Hand

Your best strategy when thinking of ways to promote yourself on social media is to not promote yourself on social media, at least at first. Ease into it and have some fun at first. Make people happy they followed you instead of scrambling for the Unfollow button.

Once you have a bit of a following, it’s perfectly OK and understandable to promote your writing and your books or blog or website, but mix it in. Don’t go from Tweeting kitten photos to 24/7 BUY MY BOOK OR I KILL THIS KITTEN. Try to breathe a little, because people didn’t come to your social media for the boom promo—they came for entertainment and connection and they tolerate book promo.

What it boils down to is, your book promo will be more effective if you relax a little and have some fun. Plus, everyone wants and needs more kitten photos, so get on that, STAT.

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