How Big Should Your Author Platform Be?

When it comes to a writer’s social media following, how much is enough?

How Big Should Your Author Platform Be?Unless we’re a big name A-list author, publishers want us to have a humongous platform from which to sell books. They expect us to have a large following. Even though the publisher will make some effort to sell our books, this largely falls on us. And if we self-publish, the marketing and promotion of our books is all up to us. We need a platform to do this, the bigger the better. read more>>

How to Build a Fan Base

Every writer needs avid supporters to help get the word out about his or her books

How to Build a Fan BaseWhen it comes to marketing our book we need a group of loyal followers. They are apt to buy our books and will be excited to tell others about them. We need a platform.

Most writers cringe at the word platform. That’s probably why some people use other words. One person says tribe and another prefers community, while others say street team. I prefer the word fans, which is short for fanatic. Yes, we all need fervent followers who are committed to our writing, our work, and us. But how do we find them? read more>>

Three Reasons to Advertise in a Social Media World

Social media and its wide reach on the Internet has given rise to word-of-mouth book recommendations. Given this trend, some book marketers wonder if there’s still a role for traditional advertising. Here are three reasons why traditional advertising is critical to promote books in a social media world:

Three Reasons to Advertise in a Social Media WorldAdvertising Influences Recommendations: We don’t form opinions in a vacuum. Outside forces influence us. One credible source is advertising. These visual mediums provide a strong, but subconscious influence of how we feel and think. This includes influencing the book recommendations we receive and give. Sometimes we even make recommendations about books we haven’t read but only saw in ads. read more>>

4 Tips to Capitalize on Social Media

It seems many authors are putting all of their book marketing efforts into social media. This is often shortsighted and not cost-effective. Though I’m not dismissing social media, it’s critical to proceed only in a practical, informed, and responsible way – and not just because everyone else is doing it or in reaction to the latest trend.

4 Tips to Capitalize on Social MediaFirst, it’s called social media, not social marketing. The distinction is key. Use social media for social stuff not for marketing. It seems common sense. While social media can feed into book marketing, it is not a marketing machine. read more>>

Social Media is a Tool and Nothing More

In his article, Technology In Business: Use It, Don’t Rely On It, Nathan Jamail asserts that “social media is just another tool; it is not a sales plan.”

Yes, social media is powerful, he says. There are many people who have used social media to achieve many things, including authors who have tapped it to push their book to bestseller lists. Social media can help an author build a platform and become better known. It can also take “word-of-mouth to another level.” Possible social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But by themselves, they will not do much to increase book sales.

Social Media is a Tool and Nothing MoreThe proper place for social media is to “work in conjunction with a marketing and prospecting plan,” Jamail declares. That needs to be in conjunction with other proving marketing activities.read more>>

 

Are Your Social Media Efforts Working?

As I ponder social media in regards to building a platform and marketing our books, two things come to mind.

  1. Disappointing Results: Most people are frustrated with the lack of results from their social media efforts. I know I am. It seems the hype from a few prodigious case Are Your Social Media Efforts Working?studies is far removed from the meager following attracted by most people’s efforts. Just because one person used Facebook or Twitter to propel one book to a prominent best-selling list, doesn’t mean everyone can. It doesn’t even mean they can repeat the process. As many promotions warn, “Individual results may vary.” We shouldn’t be frustrated if we fall short of their grand results.
  2. A Time Suck: The second insight is that the amount of time I’ve spent pursuing social media bliss has diverted my attention from more important things, such as family and writing. I wonder how many others have been likewise distracted. This is truly a concern for those who have reallocated time from other marketing initiatives to pour into the black hole of social media.

Although it’s important to not ignore social media, the payoff is further down the road. As authors, we need a social media presence; we need to build a platform; and we need to interact with our fans. We should not expect social media to sell our books or launch us to the stratosphere of success – though if that happens, it will be a welcome surprise.

Like all things in life, we must seek a healthy balance when it comes to social media.

Three Reasons to Comment on Blog Posts – and One Reason Not To

Three Reasons to Comment on Blog Posts – and One Reason Not ToThere are several blogs I follow; I read them whenever I can. Sometimes I just read, and other times I read and comment. Only a small percent of blog readers take time to comment. The reasons are many: too busy, a lack of confidence, not knowing what to say, fear, and so forth. There are, however, some reasons why we should comment. Here are three:

1) To Interact With Others: The biggest reason to comment is to connect with other likeminded readers. Some do more than just comment on the post, they also comment on other comments. Just remember to keep things positive and civil. Don’t say something online you wouldn’t say in person to your closest friends. read more>>

Writing Promotional Copy For Your Book

In five steps to write back cover copy for your book, I acknowledged that most writers struggle producing compelling back cover copy. I also encouraged you to write two versions and to save unused copy, content you didn’t use, and your brainstorming session. Here’s why:

You also need to write promotional material for your book. Yes, if you’re going with a traditional publisher, they may do this for you, but you know your book better than they do and have the most at stake. At the least, you can offer them copy to tweak and be part of the process – or you may opt to do it yourself anyway. And if you’re self-publishing, you need to write this or pay someone else to. read more>>

Social Media Articles

Part of successful book publishing is selling our books, which includes self-promotion. Social media, when done right, can play a huge role in promoting our books. Conversely, when done without purpose or plan, social media can be a huge time suck that produces no tangible results.

These five social media articles from Article Weekly can provide helpful information about social media: read more>>

Six Tips on Using Social Media as Part of Your Platform

We’ve been talking about making your website the center of your book-selling, platform-building tool and not to depend on social media, which could change at any moment and thereby destroy your efforts. That doesn’t mean social media isn’t important, because it is. The point is not to make social media the star but instead, a supporting player.

1) Pick Carefully: Accept that you can’t be on every social media platform, or even the top five. No one has that much time. Pick a couple to focus on, and invest your time there. Choose ones you understand and like, but also look for where your potential readers are. It makes no sense to be active on Pinterest if most of your audience is on LinkedIn. read more>>