Laurie Creasy continues her series in Using Social Media StrategyPart One: Promote Your Writing
Part Two: Blogging: Improving Your Visibility
Your book is being published! Great news!
But now you have to market it.
You’re in one of two positions (either Type A or Type B):
- You have a blog and a presence on one or more social platforms (such as Twitter and Facebook)
- You just said, “Huh?” and scratched your head.
- If you've been slacking off on your blog, pick up the pace. Try a few new things – a contest, hotos from a writers conference, some video of your reaction to The Call.
- Recheck your privacy settings on your Facebook profile. If you have posts or photos that could embarrass you – especially if you’re writing under the same name as your profile – tighten up the settings.
- If you have a Facebook profile only, get yourself a Facebook page. A profile maxes out at 5,000 friends, and you probably don’t want to go through moving people to a fan page later.
- Delete any … erm … unwise tweets. Yes, people will be able to find them forever, but most people aren’t techie enough to care.
- If you have a presence on any other networks, make sure it’s all tidy. If you don’t want to put the work in to get it up to speed, then change the settings to private.
- Brainstorm ideas for a blog. (Friends can help.) Choose an idea you can have fun with and that won’t bore you silly in a week. You can photo blog or video blog, too.
- At first, you’ll be spending at least an hour and a half a day (that’s if you write fast) writing a blog post and publishing it. Be honest with yourself and figure out exactly how often you’ll be able to do that – and it’s no shame to do it once a week only. (When you’re considering this, here’s a tip: People read thrice-weekly posts more often than they read daily posts. Save yourself some heartache.)
- Write six or seven evergreen blog posts that you can put up when things are tight. If you have friends who are published authors or editors, beg them for a few evergreen posts. These can include book reviews, author bios – anything that’s not going to yell, “Written two months ago!” to your readers.
- If you don’t have a Facebook page, start one. If you have no fans, bribe your friends and relatives to “like” your page.
- Don’t jump into every possible social media platform. Right now, a blog and a Facebook page will be enough.
- If you've done a number of blog posts that can be combined – for example, how to choose a laptop, reviews of laptops, tips about programs that help writers plot, combine them into a PDF (you’ll want to do some polishing), and e-pub it for free or for a minimal fee to get your name out there.
- Figure out a way to meet up with some of your fans – ice cream socials, tea parties, chocolate tastings. Keep it small and keep it simple. Hold some kind of contest so your fans can “win” invitations. Take photos and post them to your blog.
- Have fun! It’s your first book – celebrate, and invite your fans to celebrate with you.
- Do a white paper – a brief report – on something you’re expert at. Include photos or links to videos if you want. These don’t need to be serious, professional three-piece-suit things. If you’re an expert at making seashell flowers, go for it. Are you expert at knowing who’s who among fallen angels? Write it up.
- Go to a conference armed with a small tape recorder and an inexpensive video camera (take the tape recorder, because inexpensive video recorders have terrible microphones) and get a few quick soundbites from published authors. Ask each one the same question, then edit the answers together and post the video – complete with your name as producer, director, and interviewer.
- Have fun! It’s your first book, and all published authors have been where you are now. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help, as long as you keep things short and sweet and don’t shove the camera at them under the bathroom stall.
Don’t just get fans. Figure out how you’re going to keep them. Be creative, be imaginative, and take a few risks.
I want to thank Laurie for sharing her professional knowledge of Promotion and Marketing with us this week.
Next week we'll be back to our normally scheduled authors.