share button on Goodreads

How to Increase Readership via Sharing Buttons

Sharing-buttons

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Originally I wanted to start this blog post, mentioning hundreds of websites I visited just last week, which did not have any sharing buttons.  And how difficult it makes it for the reader to share information about news and events in publishing, such as publishing conferences, writing contest deadlines, freelance offers etc., or book reviewer pages.  Even major international book fairs were missing out on these valuable tools. But it gets worse:

Browsing the Internet for the latest social sharing button offers, I discovered an article at Solostream.com: “Social Sharing Buttons For Your WordPress blog”.  This article did NOT contain a single sharing button on their own blog, despite the introduction sentence for this post: “Social sharing buttons are a must for a blog nowadays. There are multiple plugins for …”
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Benefits of Social Sharing Buttons.
In order to generate free advertising, social sharing buttons are one of the best ways to spread the word via a variety of social media channels.  Social shares are important for driving traffic to your website or blog.  The impact of getting shares from influencers on social media networks will have positive effects on a website.
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More is Not Always Better.
Each social sharing button uses a piece of JavaScript code to connect forth and back between the social network’s servers and your site – which can slow site load-times of your site. The only real way to test their impact is to A/B test pages with and without social media sharing buttons, and make a decision based on the evidence. A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of a single variable typically by testing a subject’s response to variable A against variable B, and determining which of the two variables is more effective.
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Select the Right Social Networks.
There are two ways you can be sure to select the social networks that matter most to your site. First, you can check out where your readers are already sharing your content and then on which social media site you have the most followers.
Limit the number of social media buttons. Three, maximal four social sharing buttons (Google+, Twitter and Facebook) are enough. Make them small, maybe even grey/blue to not distract readers from your content or your message.
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Where to Place the Sharing Buttons?
It’s not enough that your buttons look good, or that they are just present somewhere on your pages. They need to be placed where they’re going to catch your reader’s attention and make it easy for them to share your content with their followers.
Placing social buttons to the left of the blog post makes sense, as readers follow text left to right. A growing trend is to place shareable content inline with the rest of your content, for example these “click-to-tweet” plug-ins.
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No matter where you place the buttons: they should be in close proximity to the content being shared. According to a Nielson eyetracking visualizations study, online visitors in the Western world are mostly reading Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.  The top left portion is the most-viewed part of the web page, which supports the idea that left and top are best choices for social share buttons (beside an image of your latest book, I might add).
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Remember: “Design is not just about how it looks. It goes much deeper than that. It’s how it works
~ Steve Jobs

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Some Facts About Social Media Sharing Sites.
While Facebook has the most users, it is not the best site for SEO, which is GooglePlus, which feeds posts automatically into their search engines.  They don’t need to be “found” by web crawlers, as they are immediately pinged to Google.  A Google sharing button is a must-have component of your social media button set.
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A Twitter button is also a must-have, as the nature of  Twitter itself is content sharing. Including this button on your blog, in combination with participating in the conversation, will drive more traffic to your posts.
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If your blog or website has an image to each article, or videos, place a Pinterest button.  The site is popular among readers who consume lifestyle content.  Think entertainment, books (especially romance, as the majority of Pinterest users are women), recipes, interior design, fashion etc.
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Reading and Sharing.
Hopefully you have already linked your own Twitter page(s) with Google+ and LinkedIn. In order to save time, share the content you found on the internet and let other users and followers know about it with LinkedIn and Google+.  No need to tweet it, it will appear on Twitter automatically – if your Twitter account is connected with those sites!
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Find Links, Images, Descriptions and even Reviews of Sharing Buttons in these web articles:

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3817-Top-10-Social-Sharing-Buttons-for-Your-Website

http://www.solostream.com/blog/social-sharing-buttons-for-your-wordpress-blog/

 

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Recipe for Failure – and How YOU Can Do Better

how to use sharing buttons

This weekend I found a huge list of “Upcoming Author Conferences & Events for Authors” at the Selfpublishingadvice.org website, run by The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), an organization which I highly recommend to independent authors.
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Great Events for Authors.
This list of upcoming international events contained everything from book fairs, festival of literature, publishing conferences, writers weeks in many parts of the world, literature festivals, a self-publishing conference, the Book Expo America (BEA) to the famous 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference and the Paris Book Fair.

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How to Spread the Word?
As I like to let our clients and readers of our blogs know about all events related to books and writing, I started to post the events for February and March on our timeline at Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest – or so I wanted… However, I got stuck very soon, as almost all of these event organizers did either not have:

  • any sharing buttons at all
  • only sharing buttons for Twitter and Facebook – or only Facebook
  • only one or two buttons to their own social media sites
  • no sharing buttons – but TWICE buttons to their own social media sites
  • only a Facebook like button, but no sharing button
  • IF there were sharing buttons, they often miss Google+
  • and the worst: NO follow buttons and NO sharing buttons!

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Unprofessional – but Bragging…

“BookExpo America (BEA) is the leading book and author event for the North American publishing industry”. As they do not even have a single sharing button on their event website, how should journalists and publishing insiders spread the word about the event?  Charging premium prices for membership as well as for the event, one would think they could afford a professional marketing team.
Missing sharing buttons on the San Francisco Writers Conference as well…  They have no sharing buttons whatsoever, only two buttons to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
I am not listing every event here that offers no possibility to spread the word online as it would go on for pages.  At none of these event websites did I find a pre-worded Twitter “Click-to-Tweet” button (or other social media for that matter).
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Social Media Sharing Buttons.
At the Amelia Island Book Festival page, visitors can only share via Facebook.  However Facebook restricts very much these kind of posts, and only a few of their followers can see them.  Many people use FB only for their private accounts. It is important to have sharing buttons with Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.  You never know where people are active, and not every post is suitable for every site.
For example, I personally would not post about a writers conference or book fair on Pinterest, but for sure on LinkedIn, where I am connected with other writers and publishing professionals.
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Many users on social media sites don’t know what to post every day. And finding an article or a website with publishing / writing news that can be shared is always a welcome post – done in a second.  To spread the word they do not even need to open their own social media page.  Just click and go!
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Google+ Buttons for Better SEO.
Of all event sites, only the Kairo (Egypt) Book Fair and the Habana (Cuba)… had sharing buttons to Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. These events are organized by IPA, the International Publishers Organization. Their website is professionally set up and their events can be shared all over the internet just by a mouse click.
THE most important reason for Google+ is SEO, the Search Engine Optimization, which means your post / link is immediately available through a Google search.
Try it out: post something on your Google+ timeline, and type the title a minute later into Google search: Your own post will appear on Google’s first page.  90% of the traffic to our blog comes from search engines thanks to Google+.
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Click-to-Tweet:
Pre-worded tweets are a fantastic way for online visitors to talk about an event.  Implement Pre-Worded Tweets.  An excerpt from our latest how-to-book:
Use a website called Click-to-Tweet which offers this great function for free.  It’s the easiest and fastest way to promote, share and track your content on Twitter.  Invite readers to spread the word is to implement pre-fabricated tweets, where you choose the text to put into designated spots into the manuscript of your website.
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As you already have a sales page on Amazon, you can add the URL in your tweet form.  Here is an example of the code for our latest book:
<a href=”http://ctt.ec/d2GTd”><img src=”http://clicktotweet.com/img/tweet-graphic-trans.png” alt=”Tweet: 111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer” /></a>

Click to tweet is not only handy to spread the word about your next book within your book; it should also be implemented in your blog or website.  More about this feature: @clicktotweet.

BlogTyrant writes: “All you do is enter the quote in the box on the right and then click “generate link”. You then use the URL that they give you as the destination for your anchor text.  You can add these at any part of your post, it doesn’t have to be a block quote. It could just be a cool little phrase you use to sum up a paragraph or article. Make sure you make the quote short enough to allow people to retweet it within Twitter and make sure you include a tiny URL of the post where the quote came from.”

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Why not use this Free Promotion Buttons?
Event organizers pay thousands for their websites, for their advertisement, to find corporate sponsors, to write press releases, and many more marketing activities.  But why do they not use the only free and very efficient method to spread the word?
If you’re going to dedicate all of that time to an event and create a website, you want to get the most out of it, right?  The success of the announcement largely depends on how many people read about it and one important way to increase readership is to include social share buttons on every post.
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Search engines include the strength of a link in social media as an algorithm ranking factor.  Strength is measured by calculating the number of times that content is shared, tweeted, and posted in social media.  So if your content is getting shared frequently, the search engine ranking for relevant keywords catapults it to the top.  Social share buttons make it so much easier for a reader to pass along your content to their network.  Without sharing buttons you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
If I would be approached to sponsor any of these events, I would not commit before they would have a proper website including sharing buttons.

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Authors can Share More Professionally.
Authors have lots of events to share with their readers and followers, such as book launches, new print or audio-book versions, book signings, book price campaigns and so forth.  Sharing buttons and Click-to-Tweet buttons are available for free, they just need to be added to your website (or to your ebook).
Readers and followers don’t have time to copy and paste text and links and then visit one by one their social media sites to post your event.  Sharing content increases overall traffic.  Instead of making it hard for people to share, make it easy by including sharing buttons to announce your event with one single mouse click!

Read more about free book and event marketing at: 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free 

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7 Top Reasons for Writers to Be on Goodreads

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Seven-Top-Reasons
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How Can Goodreads Help Your Book Take-Off?
Goodreads is a kind of Facebook / Google+ for people who love to read books. A free website for book lovers. Bookshelves, reviews, ratings, reader communities, author pages, book giveaways  … all this is Goodreads. There is more offered on their website: join a discussion group, or start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing. More tips about the benefits of joining Goodreads and how you can use Goodreads to promote your blog.
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1. Goodreads Author Program
Use it to promote yourself and your books. What is the Goodreads Author Program? It is a
completely free feature designed to help authors reach their target audience — passionate
readers. This is the perfect place for new and established authors, to promote their books. What
Can You Do as a Goodreads Author?

a) Show Your Author Profile

  • Add a picture and bio.
  • Share your list of favorite books and recent reads with your fans!
  • Write a blog and generate a band of followers.
  • Publicize upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking engagements.
  • Share book excerpts and other writing.
  • Write a quiz about your book or a related topic.
  • Post videos. Add the Goodreads Author widget to to your personal website or blog to show off reviews of your books.

b) Promote Your Books

  • Sign up to advertise your book to up to the Goodreads Community—16,000,000 readers!
  • List a book giveaway to generate pre-launch buzz.
  • Lead a Q&A discussion group for readers.
  • Participate in discussions on your profile, in groups and in the discussion forums for your books.

How do I join and who can join is explained in detail in one of our former blog posts about Goodreads.
The Author Program is designed for people with published books, or who are just in the process of
publishing a book. It’s best if your work is on a bookseller’s website, such as Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble, but Goodreads will accept any author who has published a book. This includes authors from
other countries as well as authors who are self-published. If your book is self-published and is not yet in the Goodreads database, you may manually add it.

How To Use the Author Program
Learn more about how to promote your books with special tools on Goodreads. Each slideshow
demonstrates a different aspect of our Author Program.
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2. Reader and Writer Forums
Did you realize how many writer forums and groups are on Goodreads? Just go to the top of each page and click on Groups. A new page opens and shows “Recently Active Groups”, “Featured Groups”, “Goodreads Author Groups” etc. and one the right hand site of the page “Browse by Tag”. This is were all the groups are listed by over 1,000 keywords. For sample:

  • Book Club
  • Historical Fictionistas
  • Non-Fiction
  • Young Adult Book Groups
  • Suspense
  • Super-Natural
  • The Perks Of Being A Book Addict
  • Womankind Worldwide Book Group

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As you can see, when you scroll down on the right hand site, there are ten-thousands of groups!!!
Books & Literature (26598) Business (1393) Entertainment & Arts (2222) Friends & Common
Interest (6914) Geography (490) Goodreads Authors (2535) Just for Fun (22709) Organizations
(3365) Student Groups (6129)
There is even a group that encourages Author-Publishers (Indies) to promote their books – a rarity
at Goodreads, were obvious self-promotion is not well received otherwise. These groups are a hidden gem to meet readers and reviewers. Almost all are public groups. Anyone can join and invite others to join. However, it’s not a place to blatantly tout your books, with the exception I just mentioned. ”Authors are welcomed and Goodreads supports authors in many ways, but the groups are primarily geared towards readers. Authors should join and participate in the group as a reader first.” Once you are known in these forums, your author site and your books will automatically be read – and often reviewed.

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3. Get and Give Reviews
When I was talking recently with an author, who desperately wanted more reviews. When I asked him how many reviews he has written in the last year, he stumbled … and said: “well, NONE so far”. Shall I say more? Don’t forget: To be a Goodreads member and to benefit, especially from reviews, requires that you are a bit more active on this site, for sample in shelving books of other writers, in participating from time to time in forums, read books and review them. How could someone expect to receive reviews if they are not writing some for others? Be a good pal in this book community!
From a Goodreads statement: “Books with no written reviews are added, on average, by 7 people, while books with just five written reviews are added by more than 40 people.”

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4. Friends Can Recommend Your Book
And you can recommend books from your writer friends? To send out a book recommendation, go to the book’s page and click on the “recommend it” link at the top right side of the page. A new site appears with three possibilities: “friends” “manual” “facebook“.

Under the icon “friends” your Goodreads friends are listed and you click next to the name to whom
you want to send your book recommendation. Enter under “manual” single email addresses of readers that are not yet on Goodreads. The “Facebook” icon lists your FB friends, who are not yet members of Goodreads to recommend the book to.
Click on “My Books” in the top navigation menu and add away! You can add books into read, currently reading, to read categories or edit your bookshelf to add your own categories. Once you read them, write a review!  Many authors who’s books you recommended will return this favor to you.

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5. Share This Book
Another hidden gem on your Goodreads page, that your visitors, readers and friends can use in order to promote your books: ”Share This Book“.  Did you realize that everyone of your Goodreads book’s pages has share buttons to submit your book to Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and to their Facebook page, even “like” it on Facebook?  Go to the right hand side of your books page and scroll down, until you see the button: ”Share This Book
There is another possibility to spread the word about your book:  Next to these Social Media icons are two unassuming words: Your Website. When you click on it, a window appears with some code that one can be easily copy and paste onto their blog or website and will show an image of your book and a link.  Another way to spread the work about your book! Let your friends ping to Google+ and FB
On the left lower corner of Goodreads are icons to these two websites to which your friends can send your image, books name and a link for your book – as well as a comment, such as “must read”, “great book” or “you will love it”.
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6. Advertise Your Events for FREE
Goodreads encourages you to publicize upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking engagements. This is a feature, similar to the one which is offered on Google+  -  see our blog
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/announce-your-book-signing-on-google-for-free/. Start about 3 weeks before your book launch with your event announcement. Use Goodreads’ event listing form to start the process. It has an RVSP feature and people can state if they are “coming”.
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7. Give Away Copies of Your Print Book.
It makes sense to give away books – if your goal is to get reviews. More than 50% of giveaway winners review the books they win, so the more books you offer, the more reviews you are likely to get. Run your giveaway for two weeks to a month. Goodreads says, “Giveaways less than two weeks run the risk of not getting enough entries, while a four-week giveaway will generate more entries.

Goodreads recommends even two giveaways: one about three months before publication to build pre-release buzz and reviews, and a second to increase awareness when your book hits the stores. Both will result in a lot of people adding your book to their to-read shelves – visible for all their friends.” Read more about Goodreads Giveaway rules in a former blog post.

 

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

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Tagged: Goodreads communities, Goodreads forum, Google+, share button on Goodreads, Show your book on Google+, Slideshare, social networking, spread the word about your book, use Goodreads to promote your book


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