On Social Media you have an opportunity to talk with your readers, learn about, and empathize with your followers. However, there is not a single perfect Social Media network site for authors, rather a combination of several pages – each one with its pros and cons.
Goodreads has more than 20 million members and is THE site for authors. Google+ is an overall great site with endless possibilities to display your book. The “power” of the site is that what you post there is automatically indexed by Google, which makes your post (i.e. a link to your latest blog) so much easier to discover. Twitter is fantastic to build a following and to engage with your readers, and if you write non-fiction LinkedIn might be a good choice too. Facebook remains the “Old Daddy” but others are gaining traction. Don’t forget Pinterest where you can show images of your book, scenes from your book, images of locations where your book takes place – or any other images of things you like.
How Do You Choose Your Followers?
You want to interact mainly with READERS, NOT writers. The question is: How to find readers? All Social Media sites have a search function on top of the page. Type in: book bloggers, read, reading, book lovers, book club, love reading, reviewer, book worm, love to read, mystery book reader, science fiction reader, YA readers, YA book blogger, readers, word nerd, non-fiction book blogger, reading books, reviewing book… and even librarian. Click on “people” or scroll down a lot, as the first names that appear are often publishers and other commercial accounts.
Another method is to type in the name of a very successful book in your genre and find readers there, talking about this book. Follow those readers that you feel belong to your book genre, based on what they say in their tweets. Re-tweet their posts, engage in meaningful conversation, be funny or refer to blog posts you wrote, but don’t mention your book. They will find out about it soon enough. Make it as easy and convenient as possible for your fellow “tweeps” to engage and interact with you. If you are looking for readers and reviewers – choose readers and reviewers and follow them!
A “Must” for every writer: millions of readers, thousands of groups for every genre you might join, extra book pages, space for your blog, book trailer and quotes on your author page. Book launches and other events can be posted, and the Giveaway is a great opportunity to get exposure for your book. Read: How to Create Buzz for Your Upcoming Book on Goodreads. Upload with one click all your Google, Twitter and Facebook followers and have them as friends on Goodreads.
Nowhere on Social Media can you show your books’ cover so brilliantly as on Google+ and I might add, so often as you want. But that’s not the only benefit. Just to name a few:
- Link to your blog posts
- Use #hashtags on Google+ too
- Want engagement? Write resource-type articles
- You can “meet” with your readers through Google’s “Hangouts”
- You will get a much higher Search Engine Ranking, especially from blog posts that you (partially) add to your Google+ page
Choose like-minded, interesting people and lots of readers for your Google+ circles. You can easily and fast build your own circles. Get tips here on this free PDF by Guy Kawasaki.
Follow others, tweet something VALUABLE for your followers, such as helpful tips, news or something interesting or funny – and don’t use Twitter as a cheap way to advertise! Create a nice mixture of your own, really interesting tweets and also do lots of re-tweeting. Choose a short Twitter name and a professional avatar (portrait). See also the beginners guide to Twitter lingo. In the past, Twitter was all about text, now they added images and Vine video. Jeff Bullas, Social Media guru, just blogged: “Tweets with Vine videos or images received 89% more favorites & 150% more re-tweets”
Pinterest grows faster than any other Social Media site. “According to the latest numbers, Pinterest grabs 41% of all e-commerce traffic. Compare that to Facebook at 37%. Since Pinterest is centered around the social discovery of objects (as opposed to friends and family), it makes sense that Pinterest would eventually have the upper hand, but it’s an accomplishment for any platform to sneak up on Facebook’s number-one-in-everything status” wrote Lauren Orsini in her blog. But don’t worry, if you just upload your images, you need not to spend much time there – unless you want to get lost in millions of attractive photos – a huge temptation : )
Schedule Your Posts Ahead of Time
To save a lot of time for personalized connecting with your followers, create a file with tweets, and add regularly news you might find on Internet magazines and literary / publishing blogs, and use Hootsuite or Futuretweets to schedule your posts for the next day or even weeks in advance. With Hootsuite you can even find the best time to tweet through their “Auto-Schedule” function. Scheduling frees you time to communicate whenever you like with your readers, without being all day on Social Media sites.
Alan Rinzler, former editor for some of the “Big Five” explains in detail the Do’s and Don’ts “What writers need to know” and gives detailed examples – a must-read for every author. He reminds authors: “A cardinal rule of the new author platform is never to actually ask people to buy your book (and my advise: never to motion people to like / follow you on FB or Twitter). Establish an authentic online personality, offer valuable information, analysis, opinion, and inspiring entertainment.”
Write about interesting events and things, give valuable advice, news, quotes or funny stories. Re-tweet interesting posts of your followers or snippets of your blog. No one joins Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest to constantly read about your book. That’s not very entertaining or interesting at all.
Get Separate Pages for Your Books
On Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Goodreads you have the option to open a separate site for your book(s) – on Google+ up to 50 pages. You can also start communities on Google+, as well as on Facebook and certainly on Goodreads. Take advantage of these wonderful and free opportunities!
Connect All Your Social Media Sites – Starting With Your Blog
The time you spend posting cannot only considerable minimized through scheduling, but also through connecting your blog with your Social Media sites and in connecting them with each other through plug-ins. For example: you can set up your social media presences on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Facebook or Tumblr and StumpleUpon, to connect them with each other. Post something on Google+ and it will automatically be a tweet. Schedule a tweet and it will automatically go to several other Social Media sites. Your blog can appear on Goodreads and up to 500 characters on Google+ too. See also: How-to Automatically Post on Twitter from Your Google+ Page.
IMPORTANT tips: Socializing versus Advertising
Jonathan Gunson @JonathanGunson wrote: “The response I get on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook always explodes if I say something personal. Readership is built by great writing, but it also built by growing a community of advocates at a deeply personal level – friends who will spread the word about your books. And for the communications to successfully engage, they all need to be about them, them, them, NOT you, you, you. The bottom line is that a change of psychology is needed when using Twitter, or any social media. Instead of ‘I need to sell my book’, think ‘I need to grow my readership and community’, because in the end it’s about your writing.”
Anne Rallen wrote in her blogspot: “The only thing that can be counted on to enhance your visibility as a writer is to interact with readers in a real, honest, and generous way on the social media platform.”
Frances Caballo writes: “If you simply broadcast your messages—“Buy my book!”—you will not have book purchases. However, talking with your readers via a social media network, you will gain loyal followers who, often will help to market your books.”
Read also: 9 Things Authors Should Never Do on Twitter and 3 Top Rules to Follow on Social Media. Always remember: Your presence on Social Media is your shop window. Not only should you have a great cover for your book, but also a professional photo on all Social Media sites – not and image of your dog, cat, car, wedding photo, party images and the like. Last but not least: Have fun on meeting your readers on Social Media!
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 your KDP Select Free Days.
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November 18, 2013 at 2:53 am
Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
Some useful tips here for writers on the use of social media.
November 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm
I wanted to add something I heard on Twitter. There is a new mobile app that is coming sometime this month (November 2013). It sounds interesting as it might provide a new way to reach readers that hasn’t been done before. The app is called Zyng Books and they use Zyng Zones to deliver books between users with a social component. The Zones are based on location. For instance – airports, subways, trains and other commuter locations. When the reader hits these areas they are Zynged and can choose a book before they catch their flight. The user has the ability to place Zones as well all over the world. Readers can also Zyng books between each other, but the receiving party can’t get the book until they are in the location the sender specifies. It’s like an adventure to get a book about an adventure. Anyway it sounds like fun and I wanted to share. I looked at their website and I’m including the link. http://www.zyngbooks.com
November 19, 2013 at 12:46 am
Great tips. I use Fb and G+ and I rate google + to be much superior for sharing !
December 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm
I have just started a new social network – it is supposed to be a bit of everything… it has social connections that update fb, g+ and twitter whenever you add a blog etc… I would like to hear what you think it is that makes g+ superior… maybe I can add some feature to Socimall that would help punlishers more http://socimall.com
November 19, 2013 at 6:22 am
A very useful article. I haven’t used Goodreads so far, but by the looks of it, I must check it out immediately.
Margaret Kell Virany
November 19, 2013 at 9:17 am
Reblogged this on cozybookbasics.
November 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm
Reblogged this on Am Writing to hold onto myself..
February 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm
Thank you for the great info. I’ll begin using my Goodreads strategically.
May 3, 2014 at 5:25 am
Reblogged this on The Q-nection.