Social Media for Authors, Part Two

social-media-authorsSocial Media for Authors, Part Two

So after reading Social Media for Authors, Part One, you got started.  You know who your readers are and have figured out what social media channels are the best to reach them.  Hopefully you are becoming more familiar with the platforms, building your audience and following those influencers in your area of expertise.  Hooray- you have taken the hardest step towards building your brand.  One of the most crucial steps of creating long-term book sales is generating online reviews.  The two largest websites for book reviews are Amazon and Goodreads.

In 2013, Amazon bought Goodreads in order to connect more readers with the books they want to buy.  You can read more about this acquisition here.  Goodreads has more or less stayed the same book-loving, sharing community it has always been.  But make no mistake, Goodreads is a powerful community of over 16 million readers from across the world.  Essentially, it is the Facebook of the book community.  If you are an author, you need to have a presence on this site.  I recommend you start by building up your Goodreads author profile– add your interests, videos, photos, books you are reading, upcoming book signings— and start engaging with your audience.  You can even create a book giveaway while really helps connect to power readers of your genre and build those much-needed reviews.

When it comes to book retailers- Amazon is king.  Amazon owns more than 65% of all books sold, including print and eBook, according to The Atlantic. The first thing an author should do is sign up with Amazon Author Central.  Amazon provides a place where authors can share information with their readers, track their book sales, upload videos, Q&A’s, events, and list your blog and social media info.  While Amazon’s algorithm is complex, there is no doubt that book reviews and verified purchases greatly impact a books’ ranking.  It cannot be stressed enough how impactful it is to try to get as many verified reviews for your book on Amazon as you can.  Much of this can be achieved by asking your fan base via social media to write a review, sending out free copies to power readers/influencers, etc.  Amazon also has many promotional paid services such as: sending out galleys (advanced copies) to Vine consumers, Kindle promotions and advertising options.

Blog Tours
You are an expert in your field and you have something to say.  You have identified other like-minded bloggers and influencers by following them on social media.  Great! The next step is to write out several different content ideas and reach out to these sites to see if they would be interested in having you guest post.  By guest blogging, you are reaching more possible book buyers and expanding your reach.  When you guest post, you can add a byline such as “Sam Smith, author of How to Start a Home-Based Business” with a link to your book or website.  Many bloggers are happy to have valuable, evergreen content to share to their followers and conversly you will build your fan base, drive book sales, reviews, and increase SEO from link-building.  You should also pay close attention to comments on these posts—you can learn a lot by listening to your audience and you never know- a new book idea may even come from it.

I will cover paid social media marketing and more promotional tools in the next blog post—Stay Tuned!

Follow my blog and Twitter at @Sara_Given for more info on Social Media Marketing.

4 thoughts on “Social Media for Authors, Part Two

  1. Sara,
    This is structured a laid out very well! Great job on this weeks addition. A lot of what you said can be tailored and used in many situations. The amount of content you provided is impressive. I had no idea that so many resources were out there for authors. This would be totally beneficial and educational to those who are just starting out. Great work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think what holds authors back most is the ~50% commission consumed by Amazon! Especially for self publishing and small prints. How can they try to counterbalance this disparity through their social media outreach?


    • Lora- great comment. I feel your pain about the 50% taken by Amazon. Everyone in the publishing industry is in the same boat. Amazon is the market leader for book sales so they are in a power position to be able to negotiate the percentage they take. However- there is a huge opportunity for authors to grow their own brand through social media- blogging, twitter, guest posting, etc. And then when it is time for you to promote your book- you have an audience! That being said, most of the authors I know also have a day job. Unless you are James Patterson, it is challenging to make a full time living from being an author (sadly). But there is certainly money to be made, in spite of the changing book market, and as the saying goes- “The slow and steady win the race”. I encourage you to hang in there.


  3. Pingback: Social Media for Authors, Part Two — lanternmarketingblog | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

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