Social Media and Your Book Launch
Where would a book launch be without social media? Well, you might start by giving away your new book for a couple of days on Amazon or launching the second book in a series as you give the first one away.
You might have bookmarks, mugs, and all sort of other chotskies for your giveaway. Romance authors are famous for picking up all kinds of items for their loyal fans and street teams.
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Okay, now for the inevitable question: How would you get the word out about your launch, your giveaways, your contests, etc. without social media? You’d have a message but no means of encouraging readers to check out your newest book.
Let’s say that you have an email list. Awesome. That’s a great vehicle for getting the word out. But how big is your list? Do you have 150 people on that list? Or 1,000? Or 3,000?
I commend you for starting and growing your email list. It’s a great vehicle for book launches and other messages you want to get out to your readers.
But with social media, you can reach thousands upon thousands of people, both readers, and prospective readers.
There are complementary ways to reach new readers in addition to social media. For example, there are free lists and paid lists that can include your book promotion to reach thousands of list subscribers. These lists are a viable and important method for getting the word out about your new books that you shouldn’t overlook. With social media, you can support these methods by including their announcements in your posts.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Reach new readers with social media when launching a book @CaballoFrances” quote=”Reach new readers with social media when launching a book “]
For example, I recently hosted a giveaway for my new book, Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Thanks in large part to social media, readers snapped up more than 4,000 copies of the book.
Only with social media could I achieve that result.
It would be a sad day with, I suspect, lackluster results if you tried to launch a book without social media.
I sometimes refer to social media as a train. You’ve got ideas, you’ve got books, and you’ve got goals. The social media train is what you need to help your promotions travel from your hometown to destinations around the world.
9 Tips for Your Next Book Launch
So how can you use social media to promote your book launch and other book promotions? Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with.
- Step one is to plan your campaign. Which social media networks will you use? Will you buy advertising? What will your messages be for each day of the launch? Will your launch accompany the start of a blog tour? I like to use Excel spreadsheets to map out my messaging and if you’d like, to track results.
- Use images at every opportunity. When you actively promote your book, include the book cover with your social media posts as well as images you create that incorporate the cover of your book. My point here is to mix it up.
- Use hashtags when using Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. You could use hashtags on Facebook, but they never took off on Facebook the way that they have on other platforms. Some of the hashtags you can use are #Free, #Giveaway, a hashtag for your genre such as #Romance or #HistoricalFiction, or #BYNR (for Book Your Next Read). Or if you’re selling your book temporarily for $.99, use the hashtag #99c.
- Another issue to keep in mind is your timing. In this case, I think Facebook’s analytics, called Insights, can be extremely helpful in determining when the best time might be to post your messages. Twitter’s analytics will indicate which day of the week your tweets generated the most impressions and note how many tweets you sent that day. Facebook’s analytics go a step further and indicate which time on which days are the best days to post your messages. Instagram’s analytics provide a lineup of the images you post that are sorted by impressions on each day. Use this information to determine which types of posts to send and what times to send them.
- Use your blog to promote your giveaways and launch, paying extra attention to the headlines. You’ll use these headlines on social media so make sure they are click enticing. I use the Advanced Marketing Institute’s free headline analyzer to come up with the absolutely best headlines possible for my blog posts. Strive for a score of 50%, but if you can’t get there, your bottom threshold score should not be lower than 30%.
- Don’t be afraid to repeat your messages. Do you know what the lifespan of a tweet is? It’s a mere 18 minutes, according to the newest research. That’s why when I post tweets about a new blog post, I send tweets out with different headlines every eight hours. Then I repeat information about the post once the following week, again the following month, and then two months later. Getting back to book promotions, feel free to post information about your launch, using different images and text each time, three times a day for two days. On Facebook, the lifespan of a post is five hours. You can repeat your message again with advertising or write a second update about your launch’s progress. I do suggest complementing your announcements on Facebook with paid advertising and including posts and advertising on Instagram. You can structure your Instagram ads as you structure your Facebook ads because Facebook owns Instagram.
- While you’re doing the repeated posts, using hashtags, and paying for ads, don’t forget another feature of a successful launch: engage with your readers. Are they asking questions about the new book? Answer those questions. Are they excited about the new release? Join their excitement and thank them for their continued interest in your books. Social media is always about engagement and it’s not any different when you’re launching a new book or hosting a giveaway.
- If you plan to buy advertising, why not host a photo contest before the launch begins? You could make an appeal to your fans and readers for their ideas. They can take selfies reading one of your books or pointing to your series on a library shelf. There could be a photo of a book with a coffee ring on it. Let your readers’ imaginations run wild. Give an Amazon gift card to the winner and use the photo in your advertising.
- How do you feel about video? Facebook Live might be a great option for you. Here’s how to use it: a0 Go to your Facebook profile or page and tap the “live” icon. It will look like a human silhouette. b) Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone, so you can record your message. c) Press the blue continue bar. d) Review your privacy settings. e) Write a description for the broadcast. f) Click the blue Go Live bar. g) Start talking. h) When you’re through, click Finish to end the broadcast. It’s that simple. Use Facebook live to announce the start of your launch and to thank your readers for their enthusiasm about your books.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Plan your social media book launch with an Excel spreadsheet via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Plan your social media book launch with an Excel spreadsheet “]
How do you use social media to promote your book launches?
Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks, and blogger at Bowker’s Self-Published Author. She’s written several social media books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web
Plan ahead! Join Chris Syme and me in January as we discuss how to sell more books with less social media. (You read that right!) Chris is an authority on this subject so be sure to sign up for the next Conversations with Frances.