Monday, April 7, 2014

Social Media for Authors: Where Do You Start?

Social Media is your primary tool to move your book forward. It's the Town Hall for your book marketing.


If you are still resistant, three words for you: Get Over It! With that said, experiment-which of the key platforms—LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Blog, YouTube—will work best to get your toe in the water? In most cases, I’m going to tell you to do them all, but concentrate on one of two. Download Hootsuite or SocialOomph to keep your sanity to manage them … and to manage forward.

A Blog is a must do—you've written a book; you've got scads of material. Copy/paste, copy/paste. Create a short intro and exit. Start posting. Remember the 3 Cs-Content, Consistent, Commit. Start with once a week; pick a day; do it. Next, start doing short videos—hello cello phone. Create a Video Blog for variety. Little clips; use a decent background and reasonable lighting. Just a few minutes—post it on YouTube and your website.
Add Voice to your blog—Discover AudioBoo and add a few seconds to a minute or two to your blog in your own voice. Here's mine for this blog ...
In my voice: here's why you need to dive in--just click on my name: Judith Briles.

Next, add Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Google+ to the mix. Make sure you stream it on your website.

Use hashtags (#) in your Twitter postings to expand your reach. Follow the “names” in your field so you stay current. Want to build your base? Follow the people who are following them—most likely, they will follow you back.
For Facebook, keep what’s personal on your personal page (i.e., I shared that my washing machine had gone to its grave recently—that wasn't shared on my “professional/business/fan” page). Create a Business/Fan page for your expertise/theme/book—concentrate on building that and adding about your book, your expertise. The savvy poster shares info that the other experts in the field post as well. Remember, you aren't the only fish in the sea.
Google+ is now #2 in the social media world. Jump on, most postings come off the profile page. Google+ posters use lots of images. Join a community; join several--there's support and posting possibilities about your topic, your book.
Create your YouTube channel. Think branding—your name or topic. If your book has a snappy title, go with that if available. We are a visual world—use it. Usually it's best to keep it short, under 10 minutes. Use a decent background and reasonable lighting. Make sure you use a stand of some sort to prop the camera in--whether it's your cell phone video or a handheld unit. PS--Google owns YouTube.

Pinterest is a visual corkboard. In many states, you can link your Amazon listing to a “Board” and sell your book; you can also announce the sale/offer of other stuff merely by adding the price with dollar sign in front of it and the Pinterest elves will automatically stream a banner across the Pin with the price. If you have visuals in your book, such as a cookbook, Pinterest is your best friend and a must do. Make sure you add a good description to each image you post on a Board. You can also add video—add to the description how many minutes it is. Stats are showing that Pinterest has a high "buy rate" for products and this is where a woman flock--over 80 percent of Piners are female.

LinkedIn Groups can be a real asset for you and your book. Start your own around your expertise. Create a good description of what the group is about in the profile using key words for attention getters. Start a discussion and post it. Then, invite everyone who is already a follower of yours on LinkedIn to join in. LinkedIn has a tool that allows you to access your email contacts--invite them to join as well. If they like your topic title of the group is a winner, most like they will. Moderate and add more discussions as time evolves. Others will join in (trust me, they just find you) and your numbers will grow.
The LinkedIn Group Author U was started in 2009--I just wanted to secure the name. It wasn't until the end of July, 2012 that I decided to pay attention. In seven months, it grew from 67 to over 1200 with members from all over the world. In April 2014, over 4,000 global members. How cool is that? And JOIN it ... I want to see you there.

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U,  a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers  and a speaker at publishing conferences.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author's Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U - Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://togi.us/authoru. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.