Marketing & Promotion
Increasing your author visibility through various social media sites allows you to meet readers, build your
audience, and increase your discoverability to sell more books.
Finding the ideal social media channels is often an exercise in trial and error. For one person it might be Twitter,
and for someone else it could be LinkedIn, Facebook, or Pinterest.
I haven’t found social media sites very effective for the direct selling of books. Rather, I see them as a tool to help
build awareness of my brand, increase my website traffic, help with networking and making connections with
people, and establishing credibility as an author. It's all about exposure. Using social media wisely can increase
your exposure and reap benefits in the long run.
Check out this site for more discussion on social media and authors http://blog.bookbaby.com/2015/09/social-
The ten most popular social media are arguably the following. I talk about the first three from personal
- Google Plus+
Facebook is by far the largest and most popular social media site, and many authors love it for getting exposure for themselves and
their books. First, let me state the distinction between a Facebook profile page that one would use for their personal lives versus a page
one would use for their business. The following was extracted from the official Facebook.com site:
Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. Facebook Pages look similar to personal
profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Facebook Pages are managed by people who
have personal profiles.
Creating a Facebook Page will keep your professional posts and other activities separate from your personal ones. Facebook Pages
are viewable by anyone, even non-members, so your posts can get significant exposure with the right keywords. One of the great
features of the Facebook Page is that when someone ‘likes” your page, it gets broadcasted to their contacts, potentially reaching many
more people who may be interested in you or your books.
Post milestones, book launches, interviews, and book signings on your Facebook Page…anything that you deem interesting to your
followers and potential book buyers. As long as you keep it interesting, it won’t be considered spammy. Strike a good balance for the
number of posts. Too few and people will think it’s not an active and current site. Too many and people may get annoyed. Be generous
with including links, not only links directly related to you, but include other links that may be interesting or helpful to your audience
members. Direct your visitors to places they may not otherwise have visited. And remember that your posts can be shared by those
reading them, potentially reaching more people.
It’s important to get people to “like” your Facebook Page, as search engines, such as Google, favor Facebook Pages with lots of “likes.”
One way to get "likes" is when you “like” someone else’s Page, ask them if they will return the favor.
Just remember, Facebook is all about creating relationships, whether you’re using your personal profile or professional page. It is not
advisable to use Facebook strictly as a selling tool. Once you make connections and earn their trust, the sales will come naturally as a
Twitter is another large social network, and its potential for promoting books is hard to deny. But beware--Twitter can be your best friend
or your worst nightmare--or maybe both. Here are what I consider to be the high and low points of this social media outlet.
- It's free.
- It's super easy to use.
- It goes beyond desktop computers--apps exist for smartphones and tablets as well
- You can reach your target audience with the use of hashtags.
- Because you are limited to 140 characters, your messages are forced to be concise and have a higher probability for
someone reading them than if they were long and drawn out.
- Maximizing your effectiveness on Twitter can turn into a full-time job.
- How frequently you tweet and retweet is a balancing act. Too infrequent and your followers wonder if you're serious about
what you're doing. Too frequent and your followers feel like they're being spammed.
- You have to consistently get more creative to get your tweets to stand out.
- Sometimes the 140-character limit gets in the way of saying everything you want to say.
There are tons of articles out there that will show you all the ins and outs of Twitter--just Google it. One article I found helpful was http:
//www.selfpublishingadvice.org/how-to-sell-books-on-twitter/. Another one is http://bit.ly/1sMpfJa.
What Facebook does for social networking, LinkedIn does for business-oriented networking. With more than 50 million members
worldwide, LinkedIn provides a vast pool of valuable networkers and potential buyers for your books. Just as you would create
interesting posts for your blog and Facebook Page, you would do the same in LinkedIn. But also like Facebook, you don’t want to make
your LinkedIn site into a hard sell endeavor. That will just turn people off. Use LinkedIn for offering interesting articles, making
announcements, and reaching out for advice and/or offering advice. Increase your visibility by encouraging discussions and comments.
Offer freebies. Create contests. Make it fun. Even though it’s business, people still like a little fun.
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