Entrepreneurs and authors alike are encouraged to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote their product. These platforms are indeed user-friendly promotional tools on an author’s belt in the effort to corner mainstream interest. Among these tools there is one invaluable gem that is perfect for targeting niche audiences yet is largely avoided: Reddit.
Since it’s debut in June 2005, Reddit has curated 1.2 million sub-reddits or small forums with niche interests such as “r/IndieBookClub” where redditors meet to discuss a specific subject. The platform hosts a total of 330 million subscribers (TechJunkie). So why do authors avoid Reddit promotion?
Redditors and sub-reddit administrators are quick to attack, or even ban raw promotional content. Though Reddit has a massive base of users, the high volume of sub-reddits fosters a sense of grass-roots/tight-knit community among these small virtual villages. These users only want genuine content that is entertaining, informative, or useful in some way. This results in a general aversion to the shameless plugging of products. Authors who have met this obstacle are often discouraged from utilizing this platform. But don’t give up. There are a few tricks to making the most of Reddit for authors.
Be active. This is a rule of thumb with any social medium but is especially important with Reddit’s micro-communities. Participate in other redditors threads. Comment on threads, join robust conversations about things that interest you. Share other user’s content. Regularly create your own content that isn’t necessarily promotional or related to your book.
Being active builds awareness about you and your book and creates trust among your potential audience. You will also earn a good deal of karma points from being active -this is a score visible on your page, affected by how many upvotes or downvotes your content gets (comments on other redditor’s posts included) similar to likes on a Facebook post. As mentioned before, it’s all about building credibility -good karma means a good reputation in your communities. Being active is hard work, but effective, as seen in ReferralCandy Marketing Manager Si Quan Ong’s recent case study.
Tease your product. Present your book’s intrinsic value to your following. You can promote your book on Reddit, but it must be done with tact. Instead of sharing blurbs with Amazon buy links like you would on the other platforms, write a useful post relating to the subject matter of your book. A good example of this method is our client Ron Franscell, author of ALICE & GERALD: A Homicidal Love Story’s recent AMA.
AMA is an acronym for “ask me anything.” We have used AMAs over the years as a strategy to curry favor and build loyalty for our authors in key niche groups. Ron Franscell did an AMA in r/UnResolvedMysteries, as he is a veteran true crime journalist and author. Rather than plugging his book, Ron presented himself as an expert in true crime and fielded questions relating to the subject. ALICE & GERALD was used as an example of his experience rather than a product being pedaled.
Here is what Ron’s thread looks like. So far it is at 96% upvotes of 1.2 thousand, and 157 comments.
As you can see, Ron replied to everyone’s questions promptly and thoroughly. A few redditors even asked for book recommendations from his accumulated works (Ron has authored 17 titles, you can find ALICE & GERALD here on Amazon).
While it is difficult to manage a successful Reddit account, it is well worth it -look at those upvotes! With these tips, you’ll find your karma climbing and follower count growing. You can find more of our social media tips and tricks here.