New to Publishing? Does the sheer thought of connecting with potential readers make you already nervous? In many of my seminars and during publishing and book marketing consultations I meet authors that are not only new to writing, but also often have no “platform” – which means no blog or website and no Social Media presence, aside from some posts on Facebook to friends and family.
No problem, it’s all a matter of organizing it and not getting overwhelmed! Here are some practical tips for new online book marketers – that are for independent writers and “published” authors equally important:
How to Start Your Social Media Platform
Authors can do a lot to be organized and to save time on Social Media – time to write.
First let’s start with some brainstorming:
Why do you want to make yourself visible as a writer?
Readers need to find you and your book! Your chances to be seen on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes &Noble or Waterstones is about 1 : 6 Million or more, almost as good as winning the lottery…
What do you want to achieve?
Preferably show your best site to potential readers, reviewers and book buyers, interact with them, network and be sociable. Remember, there are two reasons people why people flock to Social Media: to learn / gain something or to be entertained.
How do you want to be seen?
As a professional writer certainly, as someone to be taken seriously. That starts with your (not your cats’ or dogs’) photo /avatar and your short introduction. Always remember: You never get a second chance for a first good impression!
And what do you want to post and why?
Just recently I wrote an article: “What to Post on Social Media”.
– Your Blogs Content and News Content
– Motivational and Inspirational Quotes
– Photos, Videos, Slide Shows
– Curation / Re-Blogs from other Posts
– Polls and Surveys
… and most important: Interactions with your followers
Always ask yourself: does this post help my tweeps? Does this post entertain? Are your followers gaining knowledge or learn about publishing news? Will they be happy to see your post?
The 3 Essential Social Media Platforms for Writers
1. Your Blog:
Content you are writing that can be split in short, single sentences and (together with your blog URL) posted on your Social Media sites. Why your blog sells your books is shown in a former post. Invite your readers to sign-up for your blog posts, and eventually for your newsletter too.
Some Key Statistics:
• 84 percent of people have bought products based on their description in blogs.
• 25 percent people (25-34 year olds) read blogs every day.
• 1 in 4 people buy something each month based on blog content.
• 18-34 year olds valued blogs as the most important information source when making buying decisions.
With 26 Million English-speaking readers worldwide the largest pool of potential readers for your book – provided you are following eventually roughly 5000 of them. As more you reach out as greater is your success, and following readers or reviewers is done by a single mouse-click. How to open an author and a book page, to navigate Goodreads and how to start a Goodreads Giveaway is explained in these Slide Shares.
The greatest benefit of Google+ and their communities is the fact that everything posted there is automatically on Google’s Search Engines and very high in rankings! As with Goodreads, Google+ also offers an author page, but for EVERY book a separate one, plus the possibility to open your own community (up to 50 separate sites). There are no strong limitations how often your book can be shown on Google+. However your followers (preferably readers, reviewers, book lovers etc. ) want to hear more from you than about your book only.
Before You Start Posting on Your Social Media Sites
- Make yourself familiar with each detail on these Social Media sites, all the functions and how people interact.
- First set up folders and files for your images, posts, tweets – and most important for all your passwords, to have them always handy when you work online.
- To find lots of free images for your blogs use either the “Commons” on Wikipedia or check out the fast inventory of photo-sharing sites.
- List your posts and tweets neatly in a row on a notepad or word documents, so that you just need to copy and paste into your Google+ page. Don’t forget to type all your passwords and log-ins immediately in your files!
- Connect all your Social Media Accounts. An essential step would be to open a Twitter account, and connect it with Google+, so that all your Google posts go automatically over to Twitter. Set up your Goodreads page, so that all your blog posts are automatically show up on your author page.
Always type into the search function on top of each site: reader, reading, book lover, bookworm, reviewer, book blogger, avid reader etc. to find the right people to follow.
- To shorten your links in posts and tweets, use a shortener, such as www.Bit.ly, which you can even use to tweet from their site. And later, if you want to post more on Twitter or Facebook and to be present “around the clock”, use a scheduling program, such as Hootsuite.com or FutureTweets. It will save you a lot of time – time you can use to interact directly with your followers.
There are certainly more Social Media sites than these three pillars, such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, however a blog, Goodreads and Google+ should be your first choice.