Recently I had dinner with a friend of mine who is in the process of writing a book. She has worked on and off in journalism for many years, so I’m sure the book is going to be a good one. We met before are monthly meeting for a polymer clay guild meeting, another interest we have in common, to talk about using social media to market her book. I proceeded to do a search on social media for authors, and found a good post by Chris Brogan.
In his post an Author’s Plan For Social Media Efforts he gives a list of 21 things to do to market your book. I’d like to elaborate on his number 2, 3, 4 and 9 as they work hand in hand.
#3 On the blog, write about interesting things that pertain to the book, but don’t just promote the book over and over again. In fact, blow people away by promoting their blogs and their books, if they’re related a bit.
#4 Start an email newsletter. It’s amazing how much MORE responsive email lists are than any other online medium.
#9 Build a Facebook fan page for the book or for bonus points, build one around the topic the book covers, and only lightly promote the book via the page.
Using a Website and Email Marketing to Market Your Books
With his number two my vote would be go with WordPress. Even though it’s more work to set up, it’s not too hard, there are a lot of people who can help you with it and you own it as well as the content on it. And number four is something I’m very passionate about and that’s the email list. If you don’t capture email or some other contact information when they visit the first time you’re likely not going to get another chance to connect with them. However, if they like you enough to give you their email, you have many more chances to touch base and connect with them if you send an email on a regular basis. You can read more of my thoughts on an email list here.
Using a Blog and Facebook to Market Your Books
Back to numbers three and nine, in my friends case her book takes place in a well-known location. While a blog with posts about that location may be difficult to rank for on Google they could be shared on Facebook where they would likely get more traction. Her book is also about a certain industry, I did a quick keyword search on that industry, if she did a blog specific to that industry she might be able to get found on Google for that. When using Facebook, keep in mind that you want to be drawing visitors back to your own web site and signing them up for your email list which is number four. This post will show you why an email newsletter is so important.
For my friend, she already has a blog so she might be able to implement some of these tactics on it. Since this book may be the first of a series a blog about the industry might be a good avenue in addition to her personal blog. As for facebook I like the idea of an author having a page for themselves, rather than a book, as they can continue to engage with their audience between books so they don’t have to build it all again for the next book.
If you’re an author, I encourage you to read Chris’ full post. I’d also like your thoughts on this post as well as what you gleaned from Chris.