Jan 18

Market Your Fictional Character on Social Media

You’ll find fictional characters on social media. And they’re all from books.
ivanthegiraffeCheck out Ivan the Giraffe.
He has his own book series
It’s an effective strategy for novelists.


Why you want to do this

Why should you create social media profiles for your characters? Here are just a few reasons:


By bringing your character to life outside the pages of your book, you’re giving readers and fans an opportunity to connect with the character in a way that further bonds them to your writing. This can be especially meaningful for series authors.

It helps you create character depth while you’re writing your book.

You’ve got something to say on social media besides “buy my book.”

You will have an outlet for precious, beloved material cut from the story.

It can be more fun than tweeting or posting Facebook updates as yourself.

Tips for doing it effectively

Really get into character when you post.

Too many people use their character’s Facebook Page to post content that they post on their author Page, too. You know — the standard “Author XYZ is doing a book signing tomorrow!” or “(Book title) just got another five-star review on Amazon!”Is that really what your character would be sharing on social media?Get into character and have a little fun with it!
Your character’s status updates should be created from their perspective, not yours.

Stay away from those “buy my book” messages that are inherent in author appearance announcements and focus, instead, on what your character might say or do at that event.

Look for real ways to engage readers with your characters.

Let your character ask questions, provide commentary on world affairs or politics, share favorite image quotes, request movie recommendations, or post pictures from a book club appearance. Know what your audience is interested in, and use your character to share information, ask questions, or lead a discussion on that.

Don’t market. Connect.

Stop thinking about selling books. Focus instead on connecting with readers. Your character’s social media accounts provide a way to bring that character out of the type on the page and into a new dimension. You get to bring that character to life.

If you’re forcing your character to share details about book signings or $.99 sale days, you’re just trying to sell. Readers aren’t interested in that — they’re interested in their favorite character’s take on what’s happening in the world around them.

Character profile resources If you like this idea but have trouble imagining how you’d pull this off, consider using social media profile templates that educators use to bring fictional characters to life for today’s social media savvy students. “Fakebook” is one. Here is a twitter template. Just filling out the templates without worrying about hitting “submit” will get you thinking about how you want to approach this.

You might also have fun with “ifaketext,” an online tool that lets you create images of fake iPhone messages — messages that, of course, might have been sent by your character.

Does your book’s character have a social media profile? Share the link in a comment!

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