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Self Publishing

Using Facebook in Marketing Your Book: Five Tips for Authors

Posted on: September 24th, 2012 | No comments 

It’s easy to lump all social networking sites together and devise a one-size-fits-all book marketing strategy. This is not advisable because when promoting your book, it’s more effective to identify tactics that lend themselves to specific social media sites. Sure they’ll be some overlap but each site is unique and has its strengths and weaknesses. So, in this post, we’ll focus on ways you can build momentum on your Facebook fan page. These tactics will require your time and energy but the pay off will be worth it.

  1. Write content that reflects your personality and expertise. Unlike Linkedin, which has a professional focus or Twitter where you’re restricted by a word-count, your personality can really shine through on your Facebook page. Newsfeeds contain a lot of information so try to inject humor, passion, and insight in your content. However, Facebook is all about pacing yourself—post once a day or several times a week. Also try to mix up different update types—a status update, a link, a note, a photo, or a video update. Finally, don’t forget to update your profile picture or cover photo every six months; both images are a reflection of your personality and interests.
  2. Connect with authors and other groups. There are more than 800 million users on Facebook so spend some time and research other authors you admire and book or writing-related groups. By becoming a fan of other groups, you’ll gain access to a potentially marketable community of readers and writers. Make sure you join discussions and observe what others are saying. You may be able to incorporate some insights into your marketing efforts. Also “like” other groups/authors’ pages because when you do, Facebook notifies the administrators of these pages. In return, some people may decide to like your page, which will expose your name

What the NYT Missed: Marketing Reality Check for the Self Published Author

Posted on: August 24th, 2012 | No comments 

Finding fault with New York Times’ coverage of the book business is a beloved topic among editors and publishers. I’m sure many smirked at the Times’ August 15th piece, The Joys and Hazards of Self-Publishing on the Web—the options profiled have been well-known to book pros and aspiring authors for years. That said, newcomers will benefit from good advice on and links to digital and ebook publishers and their services.

I strongly agree with several of the article’s main findings: digital platforms have reduced the cost of self-publishing; these newer services give the author genuine control over their books; and the vast majority of self-published books barely sell at all. This last point, however, is always the skunk at the party in any self-publishing article.

Breakout self-published authors get a ton of media attention and make for good stories, but they represent the tiniest sliver of the self-published universe. What’s missing from this article and others similar to it is a common sense question: If global publishers with a century of business success struggle to sell more than a few thousand copies of a book, how does a self-published author market his/her book for the first time? What marketing strategies are particularly effective and actually work for “citizen authors”—as coined by my friend David Sterry?

I have a few principles I urge you to consider if you take the self-publishing path:

  • Establish your book-selling goals: Roughly, how many books do you want to sell? This is a key question because your number will determine how much energy and effort you’ll have to expend when marketing your book.
  • Research your target audience: Marketing your book through your personal network won’t be enough, you’ll need to engage communities who have an existing passion or professional interest in your fiction