Social networking is an imperative part of your marketing for your book(s). You can do these things as we work on your book or some of them you may already have in place and may wish to enhance, incorporate, or start over with as you learn how to do these things. It might seem overwhelming at first. Take a deep breath and take your time. There is no rush and if you do it right it builds up on its own. Above all these tips, be polite, no one wants a nasty person on their social networking site with opinions that are all about them and their work. Engage in a friendly conscientious manner, make friends, and make fans!
Get on Facebook
Since over a BILLION people already use Facebook(and by the time you read this, it’ll likely be even more), you’ve probably heard of the site. You might even be on it and using it to stay connected with your friends. Now it’s time to start harnessing the power of Facebook to spread the word about your work and to connect with countless potential buyers of your book(s).
Facebook is an online catalog of people, their likes, and their interests, many of which overlap with your own, and—more importantly—with your work. Use Facebook’s ability to target these common interests as a tool to build relationships and recognition with your fans and colleagues. Use it to generate sales of your book(s)…
- Go to facebook.com to sign up for an account.
- Start building your profile by simply following the prompts—you’ll enter your birthday, your college, and so on. Only enter that information though that you are comfortable in sharing. Keep in mind someday you may be famous and people ‘collect’ your information, pictures, and profile information.
- Facebook will recommend people you may know based on the information you enter. Decide if you want to add these people as your “friends.” Tip: Don’t become friends with everyone—make sure you have a reason to be connected to them. Search for more people you know, and invite them to become friends with you.
- Create an author fan page for yourself, and/or create a fan page for your book. Invite all of your Facebook friends to join.
Get the Most Out of Facebook
Like with Twitter, share everything that you want people to associate with your personal brand: articles, videos, blog posts, books, products, news, etc. These things send a message about you, where you’re coming from, and why people should pay attention to you and your work.
- Post a status message daily—something that’s informative and engaging.
- Make your Fan Page an exciting place to visit. Include photos of yourself and images of your book, and let people know what you’re working on. Many people will be fascinated by a glimpse into the creative process of creating an book(s).. Post an excerpt from your work and encourage friends to share it.
- Provide links to your blog or website, if you have one.
- Create and attend events. The intersection of people and interests both online and offline are a powerful way to promote yourself and your work.
Twitter lets you send or receive messages up to 140 characters long. So, what’s so valuable about that?
Their length might make tweets seem a lot like text messages, but there’s a big difference: A text goes to the mobile phone of one person, while your tweet can reach a handful of people—or hundreds. Once you sign up, you choose who to follow, and how to pull the info you want from Twitter’s information stream. You can also push your own message out to all of your followers—and encourage them to check out your book(s).!
Go to www.twitter.com and sign up.
- Create an account. You will enter:
- Your full name as you want it to appear in your profile and a Twitter username, which will appear before each of your tweets. Tip: If you want potential followers to find you on Twitter, use your first and last name (or your professional name) as your full name.
- Once you’re signed up, look for some followers. Start with your contacts: Use “Find people” to search for them and then follow them. Hopefully, the people you follow will follow you, too!
- It’s helpful to start out by watching the conversations going on. Then, when you feel ready, start to engage with your followers by sending your own tweets.
Get the Most Out of Twitter
Follow the people you’d like to be associated with. Don’t follow everyone who follows you. (This can become unmanageable, plus you might not want to indicate an interest in all of them).
- Follow people who share your interests. They’re most likely to retweet (pass along) your own tweets.
- Share everything that you want associated with your personal brand: articles, videos, blog posts, books, products, news, etc. Link to things your fans and followers might find interesting. If you post something fabulous to your blog, tweet about it and send the link.
- Post any messages from other people that you consider worth sharing.
- Try to have more followers than people you’re following. Try for about two thirds more.
- Create a custom background for your Twitter profile to engage people visually and show your style.
- You can use Twitter online, from its website and from one of the free apps that bring its functionality to your phone or computer. Try TweetDeck, Twitterific, or Twitter (for the iPhone).
- Using your blog, Facebook page, and emails invite people to follow you on Twitter.
Think of LinkedIn as the “suit and tie” social network. It’s all business. If your written or narrated works focus on business topics (leadership, coaching, marketing, etc.), LinkedIn is a fantastic place to connect with your audience. But no matter what kind of work you create, using LinkedIn can help you be more productive and more successful. With over seventy million users, LinkedIn helps you connect with publishers, editors, agents, reviewers, the media, other authors or narrators, recording studios, and many others. This will help increase the audience for your book(s).., and remember, the more you sell, the more you get paid through US.
- Go to linkedin.com, enter your name and email address, and join.
- Start building your profile by simply following the prompts. You’ll be asked to enter your job status, your country, and so on.
- LinkedIn will recommend connections based on the information you enter.
- Search for more people you want to add as connections, and start building your network!
Get the Most Out of LinkedIn
Link to the people you’d like to be associated with and make sure you choose wisely.
- Join a group. Groups let you connect with people with whom you share something specific—your professional background or political interests, for example. This means they are a potent way to reach your target audience. Look at the groups that people you know belong to. Go to the “Groups Directory” to search for ones where you can contribute to the conversation. Or start your own group and invite others to join you!
- Use the “Applications.” “Applications” are a great way to showcase and share your work in LinkedIn. Go to the “More” menu or look for the “Add an application” button, then start using these useful tools:
- “Updates”Share your status—let people know what you’re working on, and announce when your book(s). has been released.
- “Reading Lists by Amazon”Create a list of relevant books—be sure to include your own.
- “Events”Create, find, and plan to attend professional events. Offline marketing is key, too.
- “My Travel”This “TripIt” application lets people know where to find you. It allows you to create a public travel schedule, so you can meet up with your contacts when you happen to be in the same city.
- “SlideShare Presentations”If you’ve recently given a presentation, make it available for your colleagues, peers, and fans to read.
Connect Your LinkedIn Profile
- In your LinkedIn profile, include a link to your blog or website, and add your Twitter account.
- When using Twitter, simply include “#in” at the end of your tweet and your status will automatically be updated on LinkedIn, too.
Just like with podcasts, you don’t need to be computer savvy to make videos or post on YouTube. In fact we can and will help you make video’s for your book (s). Nor do you need to be a professional director or producer. You don’t even need a camcorder—most digital cameras and cell phones can record video. So pick a topic you enjoy and shoot. Upload your video on YouTube and embed the video player on your blog.
Rest assured, YouTube offers basic instructions for how to do all of this on their site.
Sample video ideas:
- Create a trailer for your book(s).. Book trailers just like a movie trailer, so whether you’re a Rights Holder or a Producer, create a trailer for your book(s).. Make it 1–3 minutes long…and make it anything from reading a passage of the book to a mini-movie. It can even be similar to a music video. We can and will help you create this for your first books!
- Bring your work on romance books to life. Capture video of places and objects, along with your comments on why you may find them of interest. Whether you’re from the city or the country, perhaps you take long walks while looking for inspiration for your writing or performances. Explain how your environment influences your work.
- Add extra depth to your business writing. Perhaps your last book was on leadership, and, while writing, you interviewed CEOs and other business leaders. Why not compile the interviews you completed as part of your research and post them? (Be sure to get each person’s permission before you post the interviews.)
- Showcase your sci-fi chops.If sci-fi is your genre, comment “movie critic-style” about your favorite sci-fi films or TV shows.
The possibilities are endless. Your main goal in uploading some video is to connect with people who might be interested in your work… and who might buy your book(s)..
Tip: To be sure your video is easily found; tag it with keywords that describe the content.
A key part of your online presence is having a blog. A blog goes beyond Facebook and Twitter, and acts as your home base for engaging fans and colleagues. It’s not much more work than Facebook or Twitter.
In fact, creating a blog has become extremely easy thanks to a variety of services that will host it and help you set it up. You don’t need to be a coder to create a fine blog.
Trust us, If you can send email, you can blog. And it’s a fantastic way to connect to people who likely have a built-in interest in your book(s)..
Get Started. Start with one of the many available services that make building your blog kind of like a paint-by-numbers exercise. Most are even free. Check out:
- WordPress we personally use this for both our website and blog, not an endorsement but we find incorporating everything easier.
- Typepad (charges a fee)
- Squarespace (charges a fee)
So what do these services do? They give you a template; you simply make some choices and fill it in. Many allow you to post to your blog using nothing but email. You can even use them to syndicate your photos and videos to other locations online.
What blog services can do for you:
- Share what you’re working on and invite comments. This makes readers feel attached to you and your work.
- Update your blog frequently. Once a day is ideal, three times a week is a minimum. Frequent maintenance is important—it gets people to return regularly.
- Test your idea for a book or performance. People love getting a peek inside the creative process!
- If you’re a narrator, post your audio work to showcase your talent.
- Create and post a short video. This could be another great place for an book(s). trailer. After uploading it to YouTube, embed the video player on your blog. (YouTube makes it simple. Just look for the “Embed” button.)
- Link to your book(s). on com, or here on ShadoePublishing.com. Encourage people to become blog followers to your blog and ours to keep up on releases for your books and for other members of our publishing family. Remember, if they buy your book(s) they may wish to buy your fellow author’s book(s) and vice versa. It’s not a competition but rather a sharing of fans.
Top Tips For Blogging
Here are our top tips for blogging.
- Give your blog a name that’s short, easy to spell, and memorable.
- Link to your books on command wherever else they can be found especially on Shadoepublishing.com. Don’t post ads for your book(s)…Instead mention it (with links) in the context of the posting.
- Post regularly. Every day if you can, three times a week at minimum.
- Respond directly to as many posted comments as possible, either with your own comment or in a new post. Of course always be polite.
- Use Twitter and Facebook to drive people to your blog. Let the world know what you’re talking about, and provide a link back to your blog.
- Create effective tags.
- Use images (that you have rights to use) as much as possible.
- Include links to other blogs and websites.
- Join blog networks. Look up blog directories and list yours with them.
- Make it easy for people to contact you from your blog, whether by email, phone, a contact form, or comments. Tip: Don’t want to give out your actual phone number? Get a free phone number from Google Voice and post that to your blog—it will forward the calls to your regular number.
- Allow and encourage fans to give you their email address or sign up for an RSS feed of your blog
- Maintain Your Image
- And get the pay off! In order to establish a vigorous, effective online presence and build productive connections that can boost your book(s). earnings, you’ve got to be a regular.
- It won’t work to build a few profiles, connect with a handful of people, and then sit back and watch. Your online identity requires consistent care and attention if it’s going to produce results that you can measure.
- After all, the goal here is to keep inspiring people to buy your book(s).., and, in turn, drive up your earnings and royalty rates.
- Take these steps regularly to stay active and visible:
|Be Heard.||Post something! Every day! It can be a paragraph, photo, video… anything.||Post a status message daily. Make it informative and engaging.||Find a few items worth retweeting every day.||Go to the Answers section. See if you have something to contribute to the Q&A.|
|Show You Listen.||Check your comments section on a daily basis, and reply.||Respond to any comments on your wall daily.||Reply to three or more tweets with substantive responses.||Accept any invitations soon after you get them (the appropriate ones, anyway).|
|Reach Out.||Check out the blogs of the people who comment on yours, and if you find something interesting, comment back.||Pick three or four people each day and comment on their updates.||Find 5–10 new people to follow.||Request a recommendation… or offer to write one for someone else.|
|Engage.||Ask another blogger about creating a guest post.||If you belong to groups or fan pages, leave a new comment.||Point out a few people you feel are worth following—it shows where you’re coming from.||Join a new group.|
- One thing we want to note: When joining Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn, you should carefully read the account policies and procedures of each site. While we’ve endeavored to give you basic information on how to leverage these social media platforms to promote yourself and your book(s), each of these sites has its own member and account requirements, policies, and procedures. Shadoe Publishing does not assume any responsibility or liability for the actions, product, and content of all these and any of these sites. You should carefully review their privacy statements and other conditions of use.
Join the Conversation. Social media and social networking are, obviously, all about sharing. The more connections you make, the more you get your ideas out there, and the greater the potential payoff.
By joining in more conversations, you rapidly multiply the number of people who will notice you, recognize your work, and consider purchasing your book(s)..
Participate on other people’s blogs. This can be a very powerful tool to raise your profile, regardless of whether or not you’ve chosen to write your own blog. Use a blog search engine like Technorati to find blogs in your area of interest or expertise.
- Comment on a post that interests you, and add something that readers of the blog might want to know.
- Include a link to related content.
- Link to your blog or web site if you’ve written something that’s relevant to the conversation.
Be a guest blogger. Offer to write a post for a respected blog related to your genre or topic. Chances are, the blog-owner will be happy to have you create content for their blog. Go ahead and ask—and when you do, suggest a topic.
The value of being a guest blogger is threefold:
- It exposes you and your works to someone else’s audience, which can be a whole new group of readers.
- It provides a link from someone else’s blog to your own. (Google loves these.)
- You become associated with an influential blogger in your field, genre, or area.
Be active on Twitter. From conversations, both significant and silly, to breaking news, there’s a vast amount of information flowing through the river of data that is Twitter. This makes tweeting a far-reaching and fast way to communicate.
So stay active. Find tweets to reply to, retweet regularly, and continue to add to those you’re following. Anyone on Twitter can spread the word about you and your book. Their tweets can reach prospective buyers that you might not even be aware of, and ultimately help to sell more copies of your book(s)…, which will drive up your royalty rate.
Find a Niche
Find A Niche Network. And Join It! Are your books about animals? Why not join Fuzzster, a social network for “cats, dogs and all your fuzzy pets”? Maybe you write about education. Join TeachersRecess.com, the social network for teachers.
You’re already ahead of the game with people in your niche network: You know they’re interested in what you’re working on, so naturally, they’re more likely to buy your book(s). and increase your earnings.
Syndicate Your Content
Diving in to social media and social networking takes time… if you let it, it can take up all of your time.
But there’s a way to get much more mileage out of the content you create. Simply stated: Syndicate. This is perhaps the most important tip we can give you when it comes to social media and social networking.
What is syndicating?
Syndicating is the practice of creating content once, and then distributing it to multiple services and destinations simultaneously. The key is this: You want your status, your tweet, your idea to show up in as many places as possible without having to update each of them manually, one login after another.
So every time you syndicate a message encouraging people to purchase one of your book(s).s you’re sending this message out on all channels.
And yes, there is technology expressly designed to make that happen.
When you use a syndicating tool, like Ping.fm or FriendFeed, you get much more bang for your buck. They let you post once to Twitter and have your update sent to as many other services as the tool supports. You can do the same with photos and video, depending on what the service you choose supports.
HootSuite and other social media dashboards let you manage and post to multiple accounts—to your LinkedIn status, Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, and more.
Using one of these tools lets you selectively post to only the services you select. For example, you may want to post your status to Twitter and to your personal Facebook account, but not to LinkedIn or your Facebook Fan Page. With a couple of clicks, your message goes out to all of the places you’ve selected—and only to those places you’ve selected.
Syndication tools and social media dashboards:
- TweetDeck (Mac, Windows, Linux)
- Twitteriffic (Mac, Windows)
- Seesmic (Mac, Windows, Linux)
- Cotweet (Browser client)
There’s more! These types of tools can be for more than just posting. You can use them to monitor the activity and messages of your friends, followers, and fans on the same services.
Email is social networking, too. Everyone uses it, so be sure you make the most of it.
A quality email list can be a fantastic source of promotion. These lists should be built carefully, over time. (You can use social media to do that!)
Build your email list:
- Put an email sign-up box on your blog. Invite people to sign up for announcements related to your works, public appearances, etc.
- Offer to give something (digital) away for free, and create an exclusive incentive for new email subscribers. This could be an unpublished short story, a white paper, a diagram, a photo, and so on. Test different incentive items to see what delivers the best results. (As always, make sure you have rights to the work you’re giving away.)
Use your email list:
- Email all your contacts when your book(s) are published. Encourage them to listen to a sample of your excellent work.
- Every few months, send an email to all of your contacts. It’s a great way to give a short summary of your latest professional activities and accomplishments. Also, announce when you’re starting a new project, or let them know when you’re attending a conference, or teaching a class. Share anything new, noteworthy, and related to your work.
- This is important: Keep your email updates BRIEF.
- When you email, always include a link to your website, your blog, and your Facebook Fan page. And invite folks to follow you on Twitter, your blog, Facebook, or any of the social media platforms you intend to use.
Maintain your email list:
- Take every opportunity to expand your email list. Make contacts on your blog and at professional events, such as readings. Ask colleagues, customers, friends, and family for email addresses that might be useful.
- Stay on top of any email address updates that come your way. It’s too easy for these changes to get out of control, and an outdated contact is a useless contact.