10 Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

10 Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

You self-published your book (whew!), offered your book for presale, celebrated your launch with champagne, and sold books to everyone you know.

Perhaps you’re even blogging regularly.

Reaching out to the press, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. But to reach potential readers across the U.S. and around the world, you need to use social media.

Are you silently screaming, “Argh!” You’re not alone.

Like other writers, you want to get going on your next book and spending time in front of the computer posting on social media, pinning images to Pinterest, or snapping photos for Instagram may seem, well, like a bit of a waste of time.

The thought of creating a social media presence can seem overwhelming to indie authors, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day (really!) and these tips.

10 Social Media Tips Every Author Needs to Know

  • Decide who your intended audience is and use the social media networks that your readers are most likely to use. For example, if you write young adult fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. When you wrote your book, you had your readers in mind, right? Now think about that reader and where he or she is most likely to hang out online. Knowing where your audience likes to hang out online will save you time. Long gone are the days when social media experts touted the wisdom of being everywhere. It’s impossible to be on every social media network, too time-consuming, and quite frankly, a waste of your precious time. For more information on where to find your reader demographics online, turn to Pew Research Center.
  • With more than 2 billion people now using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people, and pages are for products, books, authors, businesses, and services) on Facebook is your first step. I always used to recommend that authors have a Facebook page as well. In the old days – say about six years ago – 36% of your fans would see what you posted on your Facebook author page. These days, that percentage is down to 1%. What’s an author to do? You can still have a Facebook author page, but you need to understand that you’ll need to learn and spending money on Facebook advertising. The other option for you is to create a Facebook Group. To learn about how to start and grow a Facebook Group, read this post I wrote for TheBookDesigner.com.
  • Allocate 30 minutes a day to your social media marketing. In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your social media posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using one or more of these websites and resources:

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Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Many people are confused about what they should say on social media.

Feeling like you’re in the same situation? No worries. Just keep reading.

You may remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time, you promote your colleagues, other writers, and great posts, and 10 percent of the time, you can promote your books, blog posts, readings, and awards.

If you’re still feeling confused about how to best present the information you’ve curated, don’t worry. Keep reading and you’ll learn how to write the best social media updates.

Tweets Can Now Have 280 Characters

For about the past year, the character limit on Twitter has been 280, up for 140. However, it’s still best to keep your tweets to 100 characters if possible. Doing so, will increase your retweets according to SproutSocial.

Here are a variety of sample tweets from the indie author/publishing world:

Got nothing to post

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

You’re probably wondering what you as an author could say. Here are some additional examples that cover an array of genres. All you need to add to these tweets is a URL. If you are promoting a colleague, then add a URL and a Twitter username.

  1. Love #Spain? Read this novel based in #Sevilla + link + name of the book
  2. Are you a #hiker? 7 Tips on How to Find the Best Hiking Boots + link
  3. Great story by +colleague’s username about overcoming #cancer
  4. San Francisco #Writer’s #Conference is this February +link
  5. Do you love reading Indie Authors? Visit http://www.indieauthornetwork.com#bibliophiles

The first tweet is a sample tweet from an author about his or her book. The second tweet would theoretically be for a writer who wrote a book about hiking or local hiking trails.

The third tweet is an example of how writers can help each other. The fourth tweet is presumably by a writer encouraging other authors to attend a conference. The fifth tweet introduces readers to other Indie authors. The hashtags in this example help readers and self-described bibliophiles to find great books to read.

You can also tweet images, quotes from your books, videos, book trailers, Amazon reviews, and information about your colleagues’ books. GIFs are super popular as well because then tend to stop people as they peruse their newsfeeds.

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Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. Henry Ward Beecher

There is wasted space on the internet. Have you noticed it?

I’m specifically talking about Twitter header images. How often have you visited an author’s Twitter profile only to discover that the header image is solid blue, or green, or a picture of an author’s dog?

Twitter gives you ample space, 1500 pixels in width X 500 pixels in height, to extend your brand, publicize your books, or upload an image that matches the mood of your newest book.

What so many authors do instead is they leave the space blank, or fill it with pictures of puppies, kittens, or flowers. Or their images leave you questioning the purpose or reason for the chosen header picture.

Like I said, there’s a lot of wasted space on the internet that authors could be using to promote their brand, their books, their successes, and their careers.

Let’s look at how some authors neglected this valuable online real estate.

This historical fiction author could have, instead of the floral image, created a lovely header image that promoted her books. With a free tool, such as Canva.com, or a paid tool, such as PicMonkey.com, you can lift a scene from your book, include your book cover, or create another image that reflects your genre.

The picture below doesn’t do much for this author’s brand, does it?

Twitter header

 

Believe it or not, the author with the scary header writes romance novels. There’s a definite mismatch between her brand and the header image.

Twitter header

Here are a header image and avatar from another historical fiction author. Let’s look at the avatar. Your avatar needs to be a picture of you. Not your canary, dog, Frappuccino, or cat. You.

It shouldn’t even be a drawing of a character in your novel. Readers want to connect with you, see you, and engage with you. When you use a depiction of a character, as in this example, readers wonder who you are.

Now, for the header, it’s difficult to know if this castle is part of a story. As it stands, the image is boring.

Twitter header

Don’t ever follow this example. Use that blue space to promote your books and don’t be an egghead. Ask someone – a professional photographer, friend, or family member – to take a picture of you and upload it to all of your social media profiles.

Twitter header

 

There are a couple of things wrong with this header image. First, no one cares (except you) about the name of your publishing company. Secondly, your image needs to be properly centered.

Twitter header image

 

In this example, I can see that this author tried to get it right. He probably uploaded the cover of his book, without resizing it first, and was only able to capture part of the title. Unfortunately, his avatar blocks part of the title.

Twitter header image

 

Now let’s transition to some header images that work.

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 20, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to read Jane Friedman’s newest post and the post by Buffer on what Twitter’s new rules mean for you. Enjoy all of them!

What Do the New Twitter Rules Mean for Social Media Managers (and Buffer Customers) from Buffer: “This year, the team at Twitter has taken additional action to keep Twitter free from spam. Specifically, they have introduced new rules around automation and the use of multiple accounts. You might be wondering, “why is this important to me?” In short, Twitter might suspend your account if you fail to comply.”

Why You Need To Grasp Social Media Image Aspect Ratio by Louise Myers: “What the heck is social media image aspect ratio? More importantly, why should you care? Because understanding this concept will make your image creation so much easier! You will no longer have to stress over every pixel in your social media image sizes! And, you’ll be able to communicate clearly if your image size isn’t working. Because it’s not about the pixel size. It’s about the aspect ratio!”

Four Easy Ways to Not Look Like a Dork on Social Media  from Anne R. Allen and by Barb Drozdowich: “The world of social media has a unique language – words we didn’t grow up using. There are ever-changing platforms, ever-changing rules — and don’t forget all that advice. Everyone, it seems, wants to offer advice on how to be quicker, how to take shortcuts, how to make things easy.”

Building Your Business Model as a Writer from Jane Friedman: “In my newest book, The Business of Being a Writer, I devote an entire section to various ways you can earn money as a writer that don’t involve selling books. (If you didn’t know, most of my income is not related to book sales!) Over the last month, I’ve been talking (and writing) about how to build a business model for your career that suits your particular strengths as well as the unique quality of your work. Here are my latest appearances.”

What’s the Best Price for Your Next Ebook Promotion? from BookBub Partners: “Running an ebook price promotion is a great way to drive revenue, maximize unit sales, and connect with new readers. And if you want to run a Featured Deal to reach BookBub’s audience of millions of power readers, you’ll need to run a limited-time discount (between $0.99 and $4.99) or make a book temporarily or permanently free.”

Facebook in the News

The psychological impact of an $11 Facebook subscription from TechCrunch: “Would being asked to pay Facebook to remove ads make you appreciate their value or resent them even more? As Facebook considers offering an ad-free subscription option, there are deeper questions than how much money it could earn. Facebook has the opportunity to let us decide how we compensate it for social networking. But choice doesn’t always make people happy.”

What Marketers Need to Know About the Cambridge Analytica News  from Convince & Convert: “If you work in the world of marketing, the Cambridge Analytica news didn’t exactly shock you. In fact, most of us in the business reacted somewhere between a shoulder shrug and an eye roll. It’s not that marketers’ support the misuse of data—especially for the purposes of spreading false or “less accurate” information to sway an election. But most of us have known that Facebook and Instagram’s business models are all about selling data.”

Facebook Explains Data Collection from Non-Users to Quell Concerns from Social Media Today: “Amidst the various questions put to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his Congressional testimony last week, Zuckerberg’s response to one query, in particular, stood out. Answering a question from Representative Ben Lujan, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook does, in fact, track the data of people who haven’t signed up for Facebook. Zuckerberg said that they do so “for security purposes”.

Quote of the Week

We write out of revenge against reality, to dream and enter into the lives of others.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Published My First Book

5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Published My First Book

We all make mistakes with our published books, right? And we learn from them – well most of the time.

Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com frequently tells me that when he talks to new authors about what they should do once they publish a book, he usually tells them something to the effect of, “You should have prepared for your first book two years ago.”

Ouch. But he’s right, of course.

When I published my first book in 2013, I’d had a website and two blogs for two years. And I’d been using social media for two years. Sounds good, right?

Not exactly.

5 Things I Completely Blew When I Published My First Book

While it appears that I prepared for my launch, like many authors I was focused on writing my book. Here’s a summary of five things I did wrong.

  1. The domain for my website was ACT Communications. Not a very enticing business name for writers, now was it?
  2. Although I’d been blogging for two years, one blog was for businesses. The second blog started out as a blog catering to nonprofits. I didn’t switch the theme of the second blog to writers until I published my book. So again, I wasn’t doing much to build my platform or prepare my audience, authors.
  3. The username on my Twitter account was ACT Communications. Worse, I was tweeting about social media for nonprofits and small businesses, and I wasn’t following many people, so my account was stagnant. My story gets worse. I was using a verification app that required anyone who followed me to use and be verified by the app, TrueTwit.com. If you’re using this type  app, your Twitter account is basically frozen and will never grow. Therefore, your platform will stagnate.
  4. I followed the advice of a search engine expert and created a Facebook page for my book instead of an author page. His theory was that writers should have a Facebook page for each book they write. Now I know better. If I’d created a new Facebook page for every book I’ve written my audience would be divided, and I doubt that someone who liked my first Facebook page would like subsequent pages. Why would they? Several years ago, when Facebook first allowed pages to change their names, I switched my Facebook page to an author page, and I’m much happier. Now people can find my page by searching for my name instead of the title of my book.
  5. I signed up for the Kindle Select Program on Amazon and made my book available for free several days. But guess what? I failed to add my free book to a myriad of lists that exist to publicize free books. Relying only on my social media, I had 800 downloads but think of the thousands of downloads I could have had if I’d signed up for a variety of services that publicize free books.

What I Do Differently Now

In my case, I did learn from my mistakes. Here are five things I do differently.

  1. I ditched the website ACT Communications and started SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.
  2. I focused my efforts on writers, especially indie authors.
  3. I sought speaking gigs, teaching social media to authors. So far I’ve taught through Stanford’s and UC Berkeley’s Extended Education program, I led a workshop at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference and the Redwood Writers Conference (twice), and I’m a regular presenter at the San Francisco Writers Conference. I’ve also spoken to a variety of other author organizations and at bookstores.
  4. I seek guest blogging opportunities. I’m a contributing writer for TheBookDesigner.com, was until recently a blogger and the social media expert at BookWorks, and I’ve written for a variety of other blogs, including Joanna Penn’s, Jane Friedman’s, Nina Amir’s, and Susanne Lakin’s.
  5. I expanded my brand on social media. I switched my username on Twitter from ACT Communications to Frances Caballo. Plus, I got rid of the TrueTwit application and started following 100 people a day. As I mentioned earlier, I corrected my error on my Facebook page. On LinkedIn, I always mention my newest books in my headline now, and I’ve expanded my brand further by joining Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. (Note: I don’t recommend that all authors use this many social media networks.)

8 Book Marketing Steps Worth Repeating

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 6, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - April 6, 2018

Welcome to today’s Indie Author Weekly Update. If you only read one story, read Jane Friedman’s on a smarter author platform. And if you only have time for one Facebook story, read the first one below under Facebook stories. It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks how Facebook handles its personal security and advertising issues.

Have a wonderful weekend.

A Smarter Author Platform for the Digital Era of Publishing from Writer Unboxed and by Jane Friedman: “Author platform, in its simplest form, is an author’s ability to sell books. What that platform looks like, or how it works, varies from author to author: Some are big names who can attract attention with any book they release, others have figured out how to harness a local or regional fan base to spread word of mouth, and still others know how to use digital media for visibility.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – April 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Man, things are changing fast at Amazon. So, to be helpful, I have compiled a list of things that USED to be true about Amazon that you might want to be aware of and then I’ve given you a suggestion or two about what to do with the new information. Hold on guys. This list is annoying and long.”

What is NaNoProMo and How Can It Help YOU Sell More Books? by Rachel Thompson: “Many of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) held every November) to inspire writers to write books. There’s even NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) every March to help writers edit the book they wrote in November). I researched and realized there was no book marketing specific month, and because ya know, I have nothing else going on *cough*, I created NaNoProMo — National Novel Promotion Month, to take place in May. Ta-da!”

What Twitter’s New Rules Mean for Social Media Scheduling from @MeetEdgar: “If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that sometimes, people use Twitter for not-so-nice reasons. Reasons like spamming hashtags, creating fake profiles, or, you know, trying to destabilize the democratic process in other countries.”

A guide to social media for authors by Nathan Bransford: “Let me tell you a story about how I joined Twitter. I didn’t join it at all. In 2008, someone created a fake profile for me, photo and all, and started tweeting out my blog posts! People were replying to me and everything. Once I got wind of what was happening, I wrested control of the account and I grumpily determined it was time to succumb to that whole social media thing.”

How to promote your audiobook from Sandra Beckwith: “In my view, the biggest obstacle to audiobook promotion is the fact that the majority of people still haven’t actually listened to one!”

This Week’s Facebook Stories

Tim Cook hits Facebook again over privacy concerns Tim Cook took a break from criticizing Facebook on Tuesday to present the next step in Apple’s big education plans. But the CEO is back at it. Sitting down with MSNBC and Recode at a town hall event, Cook was once again asked about consumer privacy in the wake of fallout over Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica quagmire. Cook interviews that while he believed self-regulation is best in the case of these tech giants, “I think we’re beyond that.” Asked what he would do, were he in Zuckerberg’s position, he added, simply, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Facebook Executive In 2016: “Maybe Someone Dies In A Terrorist Attack Coordinated On Our Tools” from BuzzFeed: “Facebook Vice President Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said that “questionable contact importing practices,” “subtle language that helps people stay searchable,” and other growth techniques are justified by the company’s connecting of people.”

Facebook Responds: No More Partner Categories Targeting  by Jon Loomer: “The first shoe drops. In a very brief statement, Facebook announced that they will be shutting down Partner Categories (a way for advertisers to target users based on information provided by third parties) during the next six months. Let’s take a closer look at what Partner Categories are/were, what this means for advertisers, and why this is happening now…”

Quote of the WeekYou don’t always have to go so far as to murder your darlings – those turns of phrase or images of which you felt extra proud when they appeared on the page ... by Diana Athill

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Spring Cleaning: 7 Strategies to Clean Up Your Social Media

7 Strategies to Clean Up Your Social Media

When was the last time you thought about giving your social media a sheen? Keep reading to learn about my strategies to clean up your social media and prepare for spring.

A couple of years ago I read the little book that is still revolutionizing how people think about their stuff: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

It’s not that I have clothes and shoes cluttering my bedroom. And I’m definitely not a hoarder. In fact, about twice a year, my husband and I go through our clothes and other household items and find things that we either no longer use or just don’t fit.

But despite my way of tidying up, as I read the book, I realized that I still had stashed in my closet a Guatemalan wall hanging from the 1990s. Can you believe it?

While reading Kondo’s book, and going through one of her recommended marathon discarding sessions, I remembered the wall hanging in the back of my closet.

Even though I’d had it professionally dry-cleaned years ago, I hadn’t hung it on a wall in more than a decade.

Yet there it was in my closet, waiting for the perfect moment or room to hang again. But the truth is that I’ve never even been to Guatemala.

So why had I been carting this item from house to house, careful to keep it hung and protected in a dry cleaner’s plastic bag? I have no idea.

So I gently folded the blanket and dropped it into one of my four bags of items destined for Goodwill.

With that simple act, I instantly realized the value of Kondo’s book and appreciated her permission to let some things go to reduce the clutter in our closets and to make room only for those items that “spark joy” in us.

When Did You Last Clean Up Your Social Media?

As I thought about Kondo’s book recently, I realized that her strategies also apply to social media. For example, how long ago did you set up your social media accounts? Have you revisited them recently?

When I say revisit them, I mean when was the last time you updated your profiles? I’m as guilty as you might be at forgetting to add new books to my LinkedIn profile or updating my banner images. But as they say, there’s no time like the present to get busy and make sure our profiles are current.

Let’s take this one step at a time.

LinkedIn

Open your LinkedIn profile and follow the steps below.

Headline: Start by examining your headline. Does it include the title of your newest book? Are you describing yourself in a way that’s consistent with how you’re branding yourself today?

For example, some authors start out describing themselves as writers or authors but then develop businesses around editing or design as well. Make sure that how you describe yourself best reflects your writing and business interests.

[Read more…]

What Pew Research Center Social Media Stats Mean for Authors

What Pew Research Center Social Media Stats Mean for Authors

The Pew Research Center (PRC) released a new study on social media use at the beginning of March. Its findings weren’t surprising.

PRC researchers found that Facebook and YouTube dominate the social media landscape.

It’s no surprise that Facebook “remains the primary platform for most Americans.” An estimated 68 percent of U.S. adults report they are Facebook users and three-quarters of them access Facebook on a daily basis. PRC stated:

With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

YouTube is even more popular, as I mentioned in a previous blog post. PRC states:

The video-sharing site YouTube – which contains many social elements, even if it is not a traditional social media platform – is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Are you trying to reach the Young and New Adult demographic? Here is what the Pew Research Center says about them:

Americans ages 18 to 24 are substantially more likely to use platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter even when compared with those in their mid- to late-20s. These differences are especially notable when it comes to Snapchat: 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds are Snapchat users, but that share falls to 54% among those ages 25 to 29.

The report also noted that Pinterest remains more popular with women (41 percent) than with men (16 percent).

LinkedIn continues to be popular with college graduates and individuals in high-income households. Nothing has really changed there.

What also became evident in this study is that people use multiple social media sites, not just one.

This overlap is broadly indicative of the fact that many Americans use multiple social platforms. Roughly three-quarters of the public (73%) uses more than one of the eight platforms measured in this survey, and the typical (median) American uses three of these sites. As might be expected, younger adults tend to use a greater variety of social media platforms. The median 18- to 29-year-old uses four of these platforms, but that figure drops to three among 30- to 49-year-olds, to two among 50- to 64-year-olds and to one among those 65 and older.

Facebook May Be Popular But Is It Right for Authors? Maybe Not

FacebookAre you now itching to redouble your efforts on Facebook? Not so fast. While 68 percent of U.S. users are on Facebook, it’s extremely challenging to reach them. Facebook’s latest tweak to its algorithm has made it virtually impossible for your Facebook fans (readers) to see your posts unless you invest in Facebook advertising. Facebook is basically a pay to play system for authors and anyone with a business page.

There’s a lot of buzz about Facebook groups, and more and more people are starting groups either in addition to having pages or instead of pages. Take Sharon Hamilton as an example.

I interviewed Sharon recently and she’s doing a lot to promote her books. She’s a prolific author in a popular genre and is a New York Times and USA Today, bestselling writer. As of this writing, she has 18,332 Likes and 17,878 followers on her Facebook page. But if you look at her Facebook page, you’ll see that there’s little engagement.

I’ve been following Sharon for quite some time, so I know that she used to have tremendous engagement on her Facebook page. What’s changed? Facebook has. Sharon keeps sharing great information and memes, but Facebook has tweaked its algorithm, making it harder for Sharon’s posts to appear in her fans’ news feeds.

That is unless she buys advertising.

If you look at your news feed these days, you’ll find that you see fewer posts from businesses and authors, fewer ads, and a lot more posts from friends and family. That’s because of Facebook’s algorithm and Mark Zuckerberg’s belief that Facebook users come to Facebook wanting to interact with friends and family and that you and I don’t want to see posts from business pages, such as author pages. In fact, even though I’ve liked many author pages, I never see them in my news feed.

Sharon was smart and started a Facebook group, which is doing well. She also has a street team.

But where does that leave you? One option is read a post I wrote about how to grow your Facebook page. Note that I wrote this post before Facebook’s latest change to its algorithm.

Facebook may seem to be the best place for authors to be but it isn’t. Well, it isn’t unless you’re willing to spend money on advertising.

If you have an extensive email list, start a Facebook group and encourage people to interact with you there, as well. Also, send tweets and Instagram messages with information about your Facebook group. Sharon Hamilton has a link on her website that automatically directs people to her Facebook group, called Rockin’ Romance Readers.

If you want information on how to start and run a group, there’s a blog post on Jane Friedman’s blog with some best practices for Facebook groups.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – February 23, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Image Designed by Freepik

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week I had a difficult time trimming the list of best posts from the past week. What you’ll find here are numerous posts on social media and book marketing that are excellent.

I’d especially like to point out the post by Belinda Griffin, which is extraordinary. The post on author collaboration is also important as is the post by Buffer on how to understand the Twitter timeline.

I hope you enjoy these posts today. And,  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

5 ways to collaborate with other authors (besides writing a book together) by Sandra Beckwith: “Collaborate” is my 2018 business theme. I’ve got two significant collaborations in the works already. In one case, I’ve teamed up with a colleague to create a training program for authors. In the other, I’m partnering with another writer on a ghostwriting project.”

Ultimate Book Trailer Guide: How To Produce a Killer Book Promo Video from Writers Digest: “Consider these stats: Video racks up over 22 billion daily views. It increases the organic reach of social media content by over 100%, compared to photos or text. It ranks toward the top of the first page in Google searches, is popular across demographics, and builds an instant emotional connection with your audience.”

How the Twitter Timeline Works (and 6 Simple Tactics to Increase Your Reach) from Buffer: “Understanding the social media algorithms is important to social media marketers, especially since it can heavily impact a brand’s reach on social media. We’ve talked about the Facebook News Feed algorithm and the Instagram Feed algorithm. This time, we would love to dive into the Twitter timeline algorithm.”

Blogging isn’t Dead: 8 Reasons to Start an Author Blog by Anne R. Allen: “If you tell your non-writing friends you’re thinking of starting an author blog, you’ll probably hear some noise about how blogging is “totally over.” People have been pronouncing the demise of blogging for a decade. Google “blogging is dead” and you’ll see thousands of entries. But it turns out the blog is a pretty resilient medium.”

Amazon Categories to Maximize Book Sales + A Little-Known Secret! by Penny Sansevieri: “Everyone wants more exposure on Amazon. And understandably. Exposure drives book sales. But, as we seek more exposure, don’t spend all of your time focusing on great keywords. Why? Because, yes, although keywords are important, critical even, they aren’t everything. I often authors that they should focus on narrow categories to sell more books. This is because categories with fewer books have lower competition for the #1 spot. And, the top ten is a great place to hit, because Amazon’s algorithms kick in as you start to spike within categories.”

Authors: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Facebook Basket from BookWorks: “Everyone is still buzzing about the recent algorithm changes for Facebook. And with good reason—it’s a game-changer for social media marketing in general. Though Facebook and other social media networks are great strategies for book promotion, they should never be your entire marketing plan.”

How To Analyze Your Competition And Create Your Own Author Success  by Belinda Griffin: “Why does everything seem to just work for some authors? There you are slaving away, hustling to get each and every Twitter follower, Facebook like and, well, let’s not even talk about book sales. You know your books are good, just as good as those successful authors’ books.”

Quote of the Week

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances 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, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. 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

 

 

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How to Manage a Twitter Account as an Indie Author

How to Manage a Twitter Account as an Indie Author

Twitter tends to confound a lot of writers. I get it.

When I first jumped on social media about nine years ago, I asked a friend, “Did you really join Twitter?” She responded that of course she did and that I had to as well.

So I begrudgingly opened a Twitter account. And like a lot of people I made mistakes. But now listen to what I am about to tell you: Twitter is forgiving.

For example, you can change your username on Twitter as many times as you’d like but you can’t on other social media platforms. It’s just one of the many reasons I love Twitter.

What were my mistakes? I used a logo instead of a picture of myself for my avatar. Instead of using my name, Frances Caballo, I used the official name of my business, ACT Communication. (I try to hide the fact that ACT Communications is really my DBA these days so please don’t spread this secret around. Please!)

Then I created the crime of all crimes. I joined TrueTwit, which makes prospective followers go to its website, watch some ads, then type in a CAPTCHA code. Of course, my Twitter account stagnated.

But I continued to read blog posts about social media as well as books and over time I realized all of my errors. I remade my account changing everything about it. And I dumped TrueTwit.

My intent in telling you my sad story is so that you won’t worry if you make a mistake. And if you have made some of my mistakes, it’s not too late to change things.

How to Set Up Your Twitter Account

So let’s start at the beginning.

  • Use your real name when you open your Twitter account.
  • Make sure your username is no more than 12 characters.
  • Use a picture of yourself as an avatar and not a picture of your dog, bird, favorite coffee drink, or cat.

Keep reading this post I wrote for Joel Friedlander on his blog at TheBookDesigner.com

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances 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, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. 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

 

 

 

 

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