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Acting Like a Professional Author on Social Media?

11 Dec

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Are you prepared to act like a serious business man / woman when hitting the Social Media arenas?
Or do you act like a teenager on Facebook?
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Networking

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Do you agree that selling books online or in stores is a business? You are getting money for writing and delivering your work, no matter how many books you have written, and no matter if you go with one of the big publishers or if you self-publish.

And don’t forget:  Many publishers and literary agents have a Social Media presence too.  They are using Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads or LinkedIn and mingle on these sites with authors famous and unknown.  If you like to get a name in the world of books, get a favorable publishing contract or establish a successful career with your self-published work:  create a professional online presence.
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Your readers (and maybe future publishers) like to see the person behind the book.  Invest a couple of dollars or more for a brilliant studio photo which you can use for years on all of your Social Media sites, website, blog, Amazon author page or submit to your publisher to use in your books. Publishing businesses use their logo and stick with it everywhere, to have brand consistency.

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Avoid: Party images, pics taken with your phone or computer, landscapes, snapshots from your last vacation, images of your children, wedding photos, art work, dogs or cats, cartoon characters, half-nudes unless you write porno and any dark photos, that don’t reveal your face or photos taken from the side or from behind and show only your hair and no face.  Never have a second person on your social media photo. You might be in love with your partner, but it is less than professional to show this off on Twitter.
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Take the time to write a compelling bio (or an avatar, or “about me”) that you can use for all your presences, for your Amazon website, your blog etc. Same as with your photograph: once established you can use it everywhere, even if you have to shorten it on some places, such as Twitter. Use lots of keywords and add abbreviated links to your web site or Amazon page. And choose your username wisely!  Is it important for your readers which diseases you survived?  No! Unless you are posting on a health-related site or forum. So please, leave this out if you are talking about yourself as an author or your books.  Why would anyone tell that he / she is a single dad / mom? Are they looking for a new mate or are they talking about literature?  Always remember:  what’s on the internet, stays on the internet – forever!
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Avoid: Don’t leave the space empty. Imagine you visit someones place and it is empty – a reason to click away immediately. How should they know if it is worth following you?

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Visit and post on your Social Media sites at least several times a week – better several times a day.
Re-tweet, but not too much, add own content between your re-tweets.  If someone wants to re-tweet your content and they have to scroll down for minutes until they find anything YOU contributed, they will think twice in the future about wasting their time.
Post USEFUL content, something interesting, new and exciting, funny – a post that is worth to read and to share or re-tweet. Think sharing. What do people want to share? Entertain, inform and solve readers / followers problems with answers. Give information away for free.
At Twitter use not more than two hash tags (#) to avoid clutter.
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Avoid: Not posting for weeks and your visitors will assume you are in vacation, sick, dead, emigrated or not interested at all anymore. Don’t annoy your readers with posts how many un-followers you caught or the stats of last week with the precise amount of new followers. Good for you – but who cares? No one! Your automated tweet or messages clog only Twitter streams. Same with posts what you will have on your dinner plate on Sunday or that your dog dug up your garden bed. Not even your most loyal readers are interested in it. Think about every post: “What is in for my reader?” or “What will it give my readers?”
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Talk about your book – but not too much. Keep a fine balance between the amount of “advertising” your work and postings that are interesting for those who purchased your book already. Create at least a variety of 15 – 20 posts for your book, to keep the stream interesting. Sprinkle these sparingly over the day and share or re-tweet more content from followers / friends or talk about interesting subjects and news in publishing, marketing, writing, culture etc. Social marketing (your books for sample) is about informing and solving peoples problems with answers and information. What you are doing on social media sites is “content marketing” not selling.  See the difference?

Avoid: Don’t repeat constantly  Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book…too excessive self-promotion might annoy your readers so much, that in the future, they will just avoid your posts. Open your post to everyone. If you are talking only to one person, others will move somewhere else. And don’t post events, that are, long over, such as free days for your books.

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When you think of Social Media, think of a big party.
You are entering the room, you say hello to everyone, you small- talk a bit, you participate in a discussion, you listen what others say, you make some compliments or praise someone, you have fun and you show yourself from your best side – this is what your Social Media presence should be too. It is a kind of shop window for you and your books. Don’t automate your posts too often. Readers want to talk with you, not just consume your automated posts.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 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, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Hyper Smash

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One response to “Acting Like a Professional Author on Social Media?

  1. Everett Powers

    December 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Good advice. Thanks.

     

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