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.

Goodreadsintroducing-the-goodreads-author-program-2-728
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.

amazon-author-central-jpgAmazon
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.

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Social Media for Authors

Education concept. Bookshelf with books as like symbol. 3d

Social Media for Authors

Part One

Social Media is a must for authors.  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, are self-published or have a publisher, authors across all categories, need social media to let people know about their book.  With fewer book retailers, the discoverability of a book depends more and more from influencers online.  I am the Marketing Manager of a medium-sized publisher and I see every day how much building a social media buzz around a book can directly impact sales.  In fact, according to Digital Book World, more than 35% of all books are discovered from social media, and more than 40% from word of mouth (which much of that most likely originated online)

Top Benefits for Authors to Use Social Media

  • Build buzz about your book
  • Follow influencers
  • Establish your brand and personal reputationproxy
  • Pitch your book in a more human, interactive way
  • Listen to customer feedback
  • Showcase your talents and establish yourself as an expert
  • Know your competition
  • Build your business contacts with those in the industry
  • Build reviews of your book- i.e.- Amazon and Goodreads

How to Get Started

It may seem daunting at first, especially for a new author.  The first question to ask yourself is—who is your audience? Using that information, you can do some research to figure out which social media channels they use frequently.

Twitter profile: for everyone, and a great way to follow other authors, influencers, and those in the book world

Blog: if you are really committed to building your brand, especially in non-fiction, blogging regularly can help you build a fan base

Instagram: with an engaged audience of 400 million— if you have visual aspects to your book, you cannot get better than this platform.

Pinterest: If you publish in an enthusiast category, this platform can help you reach those who are passionate about a specific interest.  Pinterest also has many book specific boards such as Book Riot, Goodreads, Book Community Board, and many more!

Facebook– You can create a Facebook page that not only can help you promote your book, but build your brand and in turn be a central place for future books, articles, publicity, etc.  Facebook also has great targeted advertising tools which I will give details about in Social Media for Authors: Part Two.

YouTube: This is an amazing platform for authors that are writing about a visual experience or a how-to. Not only do videos make a lasting impression but YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine- Hello SEO (more on this later)!

There is much more to the why to and how to of social media for authors.  In the next blog post, I will discuss in more detail:

  • Book specific social websites like Goodreads
  • How to utilize Amazon
  • Blog Tours
  • Paid social media marketing
  • Promotional tools for authors

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