How to Get Started as an Author on Tumblr

August 20, 2014

(BLOG POST)

Tumblrby Rainy Schermerhorn, PR by the Book

Tumblr (often stylized “tumblr”) is a microblogging platform that’s essentially a mix between Pinterest and WordPress. While the site certainly allows for lengthy text posts, it’s substantially more media-heavy than its fellow blogging sites, combining the best of both worlds and making it the perfect platform for authors. Here’s a quick overview of the basics to help you get started:

  • Your dashboard is what you see when you log into the site. It contains posts from the users you follow, as well the number of followers you have and a small infograph of your blog’s activity. If you’re a frequent user of Twitter or Facebook, this should all look pretty familiar to you.
  • Followers are users who track your blog. There’s no limit on the amount of users you can follow or be followed by, and acquiring a solid number of followers is essential when it comes to content sharing. To get started, check out the user spotlight for authorsyoung adult, and poetry.
  • Reblogging is what drives most of the site’s activity. For those familiar with Pinterest, this is very similar to “repinning”: taking another user’s content and reposting it on your own blog with a link back to the source. Since reblogging is so crucial to the Tumblr experience, posting original material is a great way to get your work circulated.
  • Liking posts gives the original poster a notification, similar to Facebook’s “like” system, but does not repost the content on your blog. Make sure to keep a good balance of original content and reblogging — while original posts may provide incentive for users to follow you, it’s important to engage in conversation with your audiences through reblogs.
  • Tags may initially appear similar to Twitter’s hashtags, but they serve a very different purpose. Rather than the ever-changing, “trending” Twitter hashtags, Tumblr tags are used for organization and allowing users to explore subjects relevant to their interests. Popular literary tags include #lit#long reads#poetry#prose#spilled ink, and #creative writing. Unlike many social media sites, Tumblr allows for spaces within tags for easier readability.
  • Demographic-wise, Tumblr offers a great deal more diversity than the estrogen-driven Pinterest. While nearly half the users are between 16 and 24, the gender split is almost 50-50. Tumblr is also one of the most engaging sites in terms of user contribution, with engagement levels higher than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. These demographics makes Tumblr an especially great platform for Young Adult authors.

Need an example? Check out these authors on Tumblr:

John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere)
Jami Attenberg (The Middlesteins)
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children)
Veronica Roth (Divergent series)

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Other literary Tumblrs worth following:

Go Book Yourself (infograph-based book recommendations)
The Composites (composite drawings of literary characters)
Writers and Kitties
Awesome People Reading
Slaughterhouse90210 (literary quotes paired with images of pop culture)

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