Thursday, April 17, 2014

Using Social Media to Promote, Market and Sell Your Book

In a previous blog post, I recommended a three-pronged strategy for advertising, promoting, and marketing your book: 1) word of mouth, 2) social media, and 3) local selling. 

Word of mouth can be an effective way to jump-start sales of your new book.  But to keep the sales flowing and reach a larger audience you will need to tap into social media in all its varying platforms to build a following, keep sales flowing, and create a market for your next book.  

Here are some social media opportunities that can help promote your book(s) and you as an author.

Your author’s website – if you don’t already have one, get one.  You can set a website up for free using Wordpress, or you can hire someone to set it up for you. Be sure to include links to where your book(s) can be purchased

A Blog – a blog (like this one or my other, Musings of a MadCityWriter) is one way to keep in touch with potential fans. Don’t know what to blog about? Be creative…you’re a writer after all, aren’t you. 

Facebook –  you can set up a personal page or a dedicated author’s page…or both. Take a look at ways to effectively use Facebook to promote your book.

GooglePlus – is similar to Facebook.  It is very popular with many writers.  It’s worth checking out as an alternative to FB or in addition to it if you are addicted to the Internet.

GoodReads – the absolute must-go-to page for writers. People who love to read join Goodreads to get ideas for their next book to buy and to join communities of readers.  Writers join Goodread for the same reason as readers, but also to develop a presence for their book(s) and themselves as authors. 

Twitter – the jury is out as to whether you’ll get many sales by advertising on Twitter, but it can’t hurt. And if you are doing a free promotion on Kindle, it’s an absolute must for getting the word out.  There are also author support groups, such the Authors Social Media Support Group (ASMSG) that retweet members book blurbs. 

Pinterest – many writers maintain Pinterest pages. There are also some authors’ group pages you can get included on. And of course, the ideal is to have your book recommended by someone who pins it to their page.

LinkedIn – this is a social platform that many professionals use to connect with others both within their fields and outside. Many authors join LinkedIn as well, especially (but not exclusively) those who freelance in other areas of writing.

KindleBoards – if you’ve made your book available as an e-book on Amazon, you might want to join Kindleboards, a forum for all things Kindle. The two places on Kindeboards that authors frequent are "The Book Corner" and "The Writer’s Café" in the "Book Bazaar."  Kindleboards is a community with moderators and rules, so it’s a good idea to lurk for a while before getting your feet wet. You’ll get lots of advice on marketing and other things having to do with writing and book production. It’s a good place to go with questions and you can use the search box to see if your question has already been covered.  They also have a forum for giving your book exposure to people looking for new titles for their Kindle addiction.

 My Book Trailer
Chek out my book trailer!
YouTube – Book Trailers have become popular as a way to advertise your book. You can make your own trailer for free, or hire someone to do it for you. Once made, you can house your trailer on YouTube, and then use that url to embed into other social media platforms, such as your webpage and Facebook, or into emails. Some author’s support groups also feature links to their members’ book trailers.  

This is just a sampling of social media opportunities that you can take advantage of to help promote your book.  And the best part—they are free!

It takes time to maintain a social presence on the web, so if you haven't already, you’ll want to start by dabbling in one or two to get your feet wet and to see what works for you.

A Word of Caution: Social media can provide an awesome way to get your name and your book’s name in front of a large number of people. But it can also be a huge time suck—time that could and should be spent on writing your next book.  Because the thing that will do the most to sell your current book is to have a next book.  More on that later. 

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