Social Media for Authors Podcast: Book Marketing Tips for Indie Authors

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Book Marketing Tips for Indie AuthorsYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 22, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo. This episode focuses on book marketing tips and social media.

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Let’s start with your weekly tip.

Too often, we wait until after we’ve written a book to start our marketing.

Not good.

Book marketing starts as soon as you put pen to paper or fingertip to the keyboard.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Book marketing starts as soon as you put pen to paper via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Book marketing starts as soon as you put pen to paper via @CaballoFrances”]

It’s always a good idea to involve your readership every step of the way. How? Ask your readers for their ideas for names of your characters or ask them to help you select a book cover.

Let your readers know when you spend an afternoon in the library or at a café writing.

Tell your readers about how you feel after a great session of writing, or after a day you struggled with your story.

Think about your favorite authors. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to make suggestions to them? Wouldn’t you want to be on the inside circle of their writing struggles and successes?

Use social media the way it was intended: to communicate with a growing community of readers and colleagues. Ask questions. Answer questions. Share your readers’ posts and tweets.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Use social media to communicate with a growing community of readers and colleagues” quote=”Use social media to communicate with a growing community of readers and colleagues”]

Too often, we can turn social media into one big ad campaign. You’ve seen it happen, especially on Twitter.

Author and editor Jordan Rosenfeld recently wrote a post on my blog on this topic, and this is what she said about book marketing on Twitter:

At its best, Twitter is like a big party where everyone is throwing out their best quips or one-liners, be they deep thoughts, funny jokes, or tantalizing snippets of information about a project that make one’s followers want to learn more. At its worst, it’s like walking into a bargain basement and having salespeople lob cheap products at you. Don’t be one of those.

To this I say, Hallelujah!

After all, you’re on Twitter to communicate with your readers. And if you sell some books while you’re there, great.

But remember this: social media is about communicating and attracting readers to our blogs. If your blog and website do what they’re supposed to do – convert visitors to readers – then you don’t have to worry about selling on social media.

Or turning social media into a bargain basement of $.99 deals.

Super Duper Book Marketing Tips

First up is The Definitive Guide to Pricing Your Book on Wise Ink’s Blog for Indie Authors.

Not sure how to price your book? As this blogger suggests, figure out your goals first. Do you want to get your work out there, or do you want to get the most money you can?

Each goal will bring you a different result in terms of readership.

Ending your price in $.99 has a psychological plus. We’d much rather pay $2.99 than $3, right?

However, selling your book for a price that ends in a different price, say, $.43 or $.27 “can make consumers think you’re selling your product for as cheap as possible.”

If you think that you worked too hard and paid too much money to price a book at $3.99, well, consider this:

…consumers don’t know or care how much it costs to produce a product, only how much the product is worth to them.

Next up is a post by Joel Friedlander titled Author Websites, Blogs, and Book Sales Pages.

I think I like this post because it’s so linear and clear. Joel uses a series of mind maps to illustrate what an author’s online strategy might look like.

For example, an author starts with a website that will have a blog, a book landing page, and other pages such as a contact page, about page, email opt-in, media page, etc.

Then he breaks down what a book landing page should have, namely:

  • Book cover
  • Headline
  • Call to action
  • Book trailer
  • Author Bio
  • Sneak peak
  • Blurbs, testimonials
  • Social media shares
  • Email opt-in

Be sure to look for this post. Like me, you’ll probably want to keep a copy for future reference.

Next up is Building Platform: What Most Writers are Getting Wrong by Anne R. Allen.

I love that Anne stresses the message that social media isn’t about racking up numbers. She then outlines what is important.

For example, she notes what four publishing professionals are looking for:

  • A level of professionalism in their online presence.
  • Literary citizenship.
  • Support of other authors.
  • Social media proficiency.
  • Good personality.

She then explains why you should never ever purchase email addresses, Facebook Likes or Twitter followers. Why? Because social media is about connection, interactions and conversations.

And I love Anne’s sense of humor. She says:

The thing most marketers don’t understand is that selling books isn’t the same as selling collapsible hoses, Sham-Wows or Perfect Bacon Bowls. Readers are quiet people. You need to gain their trust. You can’t influence them by shouting at them. Or by being a pain in the butt. So don’t.

I couldn’t agree with her more!

Finally, check out my post,

How to Stop Wasting Time and Focus Your Book Marketing.

I talk about why you don’t need to be on every social media network and why you need to understand your reader demographics.

And in How to Target Your Readership I discuss findings from Pew Research Center on where your readers like to hang out online so you’ll know which networks to focus on.

If you want to learn more about social media and be more efficient on it, take a look at my newest book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck. You’ll find some awesome tips in this book, which you can pick up for $2.99 on Amazon. And you can learn more about it here.

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Frances Caballo- Author of Avoid Social Media Time SuckYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo.Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. Loved this episode? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

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