This article appeared on Penguin Random House’s Author site, which contains many very helpful articles about every aspect of the publishing process and is available to all PRH authors who sign up for the Author portal.
Book Blogging with Tumblr
The blogging site, Tumblr is one of the more dynamic and versatile social media platforms out there. In this article, you’ll learn some tips on using Tumblr to promote your books in creative and interesting ways.
Tumblr has millions of users, with people on the site posting more than 20 million times per day. Needless to say, it is very popular! And as an author, you have the ability to create and customize a blog where you can post about your book(s); your followers can then like and “reblog” your posts to spread the word. In addition to being a vehicle for posting your own content, Tumblr is also a great curation site, allowing you to follow people with similar interests and reblog their content as well.
Posting on Tumblr
When you log into Tumblr, you’ll see the set of icons below on your dashboard. You will use one of these for anything you choose to post, depending on the format of the content.
The most common option is the text post, which can be used for a variety of purposes. As an author, you can use a text post to share excerpts from your book directly, in a form that can be liked and reposted. You can add links to text posts as well, which is useful if you want to link out to the book’s sales page.
You can share photos (lifestyle-related or quote cards that may relate to your book) using the photo post option. You can also link the photos to wherever you’d like (website/Goodreads page/etc.) Use a quote post to tease fans with quotes from your current work in progress, or include favorite quotes from your backlist titles.
The link post can be used to share links to articles your book is mentioned in, to book giveaways, or to book sales pages. Use the chat option to create fun posts of imagined dialogue between your characters, which can even be an exercise in bringing your fictional characters to life.
You can use audio posts to share snippets of your audiobook, if available, and the video button to share BookTube reviews or videos you have created for YouTube or Facebook.
You should use relevant hashtags when you post or reblog your own content, so other Tumblr users with similar interests can find your blog. And it never hurts to keep track of hashtags pertaining to your book and interact with your readers by reblogging posts with those hashtags whenever possible.
Book Blog Inspiration
For inspiration, take a look at Penguin Random House’s Tumblr, where we curate plenty of book-related content, promote frontlist and backlist titles, and engage with readers who use the site. You might also draw inspiration from author blogs like those of Neil Gaiman, Marie Lu, and Sabaa Tahir. Follow your favorite indie bookstore’s Tumblr as well for great photos and event promotion.
There are lots of book-themed blogs to follow and book-themed posts to reblog, which you can find by perusing literary hashtags on the website (#shelfie always yields aesthetically pleasing results). Some of the best humor blogs on Tumblr are also related to books and writing, including English Major Humor and Better Book Titles.
There are plenty of great places on the internet to promote your books and to share book content, but Tumblr stands out as one of the most unique, imaginative, and fan-friendly. If you want to bring your books and love of literature to the blogging community, Tumblr might be the place for you.
Neda Dallal is Associate, Publishing Development and Author Platforms for Penguin Random House.