Writing a book is a grand achievement and checks off a bucket list item for many writers. However, what happens after you finish writing is the key to finding readers and ultimately selling your book.
Social media marketing is the best way to get the word out about who you are and talk about your books. Learning how to build buzz for your book with social media will take a little time, but the efforts will pay off.
The first step is building a foundation for your social media platform by letting people know who you are on Amazon and Goodreads. Each site has a slightly different focus, with Amazon being more targeted towards the direct book sale, but they are the perfect place for potential readers to find you.
Make a great first impression
[clickToTweet tweet= “Create great Amazon and Goodreads author bios, both profiles are a must for authors.” quote= “Create great Amazon, and Goodreads author bios, both profiles are a must for authors.”]
If people are looking for you (amen!), you want them to find something exciting and let them learn about who you are. You’ll need a current photo, a bio that sparks interest about who you are and what makes you unique.
Assuming you’ll have your book for sale on Amazon, start here and build it using the help of Author Central. You can add your Twitter feed and an RSS feed with your blog content as well as highlight book reviews and blurbs.
A few authors with great Amazon profiles:
The Goodreads Author Program offers guidance as well. Goodreads is a vibrant social network of readers – your ideal audience is here! You can do a lot on Goodreads after you create your profile and add your books.
- Start a conversation about your book
- Add events that you have planned on or offline
- Join discussions
- Start or join a readers group
- Share book events
Build your social media platform
Now that you have your official author pages up on Amazon and Goodreads, it’s time to think about which social media platforms you should choose. Almost everyone has a personal Facebook page, but this isn’t the place that you’re going to sell your books.
Authors exhaust their Facebook friends and family quickly by hawking their book. Your goal is to expand past this group to a broader audience. Choosing your social media platform takes time. It depends on what your books are about and where your target audience socializes.
I like to say that you need to reach people where they like to socialize, so if you write business books, you’ll want a strong LinkedIn presence, and if you write for romance novels, Facebook and Pinterest might be better. Great research on social media platform demographics can help aid this decision as well.
A brief intro to the major social media platforms
Facebook Page: Reach Facebook fans, greats if this fits your target demographic. It’s the largest social media network at this time.
Pinterest: Create a visual portfolio for you and your books. Organize your online world by building boards to help you find and share great content: the best social media marketing and the least complicated to learn and maintain.
Google+: Reach a new, targeted audience and be found more effectively in Google search. Google+ Hangouts are the secret weapon that all authors need in their tool-kit.
LinkedIn:Fantastic professional networking and communications.You can find editors, publishers, PR professionals and many other people you need to build your publishing team. A solid profile on LinkedIn could benefit all authors.
Instagram: Share the fun side of who you are! It will take time to find your audience and build your social media platform.
Twitter: Find people interested in the same topics and build a fabulous base for your social media marketing campaigns.
My friend, author Shawn Welch, has spent about six months actively working on building his Twitter following. He started with about 1,000 followers and now has over 4,000. A few ways to make your Twitter following:
- Participate in relevant Twitter chats
- Follow people who are interested in the same things you are. You can find people by keyword searches on Twitter or use websites such as SocialBro to help you find people to follow.
- Share useful content consistently on Twitter using hashtags in your tweets.
- Use Buffer to schedule your content, so you have time to write.
Shawn wrote a book on self-publishing and develops apps for iOS; therefore, most of Shawn tweets are about self-publishing, iOS updates, or other content that is interesting to him but also related to his niche audience.
He will occasionally tweet a link to a great book review or when there is a promotion running for one of his books or apps. Shawn’s followers get a consistent message from Shawn about who he is, what he likes, and what to expect from his Twitter content.
Use this model to create your niche in social media with consistent, targeted content that lets people know who you are and what you’re about.
Promote yourself without being a jerk
A word of caution to authors getting started in social media: you can’t only talk about your book! Twitter feeds filled with only tweets about your book will fall flat. [clickToTweet tweet= “Share balanced content with your book promotions sprinkled in. They are a condiment, not the main course” quote= “Share a balanced amount of content with your book promotions sprinkled in. They are a condiment, not the main course!”]
No magic formula – create your mix.
- You need to balance the material you share on social media. Some people share an 85/15 mix of —85 percent of other people’s stuff and 15 percent yourself.
- Don’t be “that guy or girl.” You cannot only promote yourself. You will have no followers or book sales
Make wise choices
[clickToTweet tweet=” Before diving into all social media platforms, remember maintaining them will take time management.” quote= “Before diving into all social media platforms, remember that learning and supporting them will take time management. “] It’s better to build one robust social media platform than it is to start and abandon four social media accounts.
You want a vibrant and informative social media presence, so choose wisely and build on it. There’s no doubt that have a substantial presence online will help sell your books. Take time to plan your social media marketing, and you’ll be rewarded for your time and effort with finding readers for your books.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can get started with building buzz for your book and you as an author. I look forward to hearing your stories of success with selling your books with social media!