Social Media Marketing For Authors

Ok, so you have your book in one hand and your media kit in the other.  You have a marketing plan, your author platform is created and you are beginning to create that buzz for your book, what do you do now? It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to the business of getting your book into the hands of the readers and maybe selling a few copies (or a few thousand!)

Now’s the time to really start working the social media; find every online group where members might be interested in your book and join the group.  Facebook and Linked in both have “groups” that are interest specific.  Join the groups and begin by “lurking” around.  I know that sounds a little odd, but all that means is that you want to read what other are writing and get a feel for the group.  Most groups will have posting guidelines.  Make sure that when you post you adhere to these guidelines.  No one likes a spammer.  Once you feel you know the group (this might be hours or days) introduce yourself to the group.

A great group to start with at Linked in is the Books and Writers group.  It has, at the time of writing this book, over 33,000 members.  Within the group there are a variety of discussion.  After lurking, find a discussion and join in.  Introduce yourself, be real, add interesting comment, and mention your book and where people can find it.  For Linked in you want to build your network, so invite people to join your network when it seems appropriate.

Facebook is another monolith of social media.  Take time to find and join groups on Facebook by using the search feature. Join a few groups that may contain members who may read your book and start “lurking” again.  Once you’ve become familiar with the group, join in the conversation by introducing yourself and your book.  Remember these are social networks.  People come for the relationships.  Once you have established yourself as a trusted source of interesting information, then members may be interested in looking at your book.  On Facebook you want to build your “friend” base in order to spread the word about your book.

Twitter is yet another opportunity in social media.  This can start to feel overwhelming, but if you focus on maybe three of the big social media networks, this will begin to build your fan base.  As with every other form of Internet “marketing” there are three major factors that can create a huge success or a dismal failure: content, content, and content.  Even with the tiny tweets (only 140 characters,) if what you send out to the virtual world is not worth reading, this will create the belief that whatever you write is not worth reading.  Tweet the announcement of your book, tweet when you have an event, tweet announcements of new features to your website, or quotes from your book or blog.

Whatever social media you choose to use it is important to be active.  This doesn’t mean that you have to tweet every thought you have or tell your fans what you are having for breakfast, but it means that you keep current, interact.  Interaction is not waiting for someone to respond to what you have written, but reading what others have written and responding in a thoughtful way.  You need to make sure that you screen your interactions.  What I mean by that is that not everyone will be an asset to your marketing plan.  For example, a person who has thousands and thousands of follower on Twitter, but is an online “marketing guru” will probably not respond to anything you tweet directing him or her to visit your blog to read your latest post.  A better prospect on Twitter is someone who has followers numbering in the hundreds.  It’s more likely that they actually read what you tweet and may visit your website and become a reader of your book in addition to following you on Twitter.

When someone wants to “friend” you on Facebook or begins to follow you on Twitter, you will get an email notification.  This is where the door is ajar.  You now have an opportunity to reel them in to read some of what you have written.  People on the Internet are looking for content that is well written ( I mentioned that before) but is also of interest to them.  So you need to craft a “Thank You” for the friend invite or the “follow” on Twitter.  Every time you write something and it’s going to be posted on the Internet you need to create an invitation in some form or fashion.  You are inviting them to either, sample your book, read a blog post, download the ebook, or to get more information.  You can just invite them to visit your website, but if you do you need to tell them why.  Here are a couple of examples.

Thanks for the friend invitation.  It’s nice to connect with like-minded spirits.  I’m a writer and author of Daily Spiritual Tools, the book and the blog.  I’d love it if you stopped by and shared your ideas on my blog.  http://dailyspiritualtools.blogspot.com (This directs the new friend to her blog to share ideas)

Thanks for following Daily Spiritual Tools.  Download my new e-book “Learning to Forgive and Let Go” for $0.99 http://tinyurl.com/7wp8deh (This takes the follower to the Amazon page to buy the book)

Thanks for following Daily Spiritual Tools.  Please visit my website to read my blog and book.  Http://dailyspritualtools.com (this invites the follower to her website to read the blog and book)

With the door ajar you will have only a short time and a small space to invite them to be your next reader and avid fan.  For Twitter, when you get the “new follower” notification, you will then visit the profile of the follower and tweet your “Thank You” to them.  You will have only 140 characters, including their Twitter name, to create your invitation.  With Linked in you can send messages directly to members of your network and the text is not limited.  I would use this judiciously; the people on Linked in tend to be professionals and don’t appreciate spam-like, impersonal communication.

Another successful strategy when using groups in social media is to offer a “special offer” for members of the group only.  With Createspace and Smashwords you can create coupons or discounts with special discount codes that have an expiration date attached.  This is another way to build your fan base.

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