10 Great Resources Writers Need to Know

10 Great Resources Writers Need to Know

Here is a  list of resources for writers that I love and that I believe will make your lives easier. Some will save you money and others will help you to polish your books.

So let’s get’s started with my list of 10 great resources writers need to know about and in some cases start using today.

Make Banners and Images for Pinterest & Social Media

Canva

Have you ever experienced Facebook banner envy? You know, those beautiful Timeline banners that some people pay a great deal of money to graphic designers to create?

Guess what? Canva, a free application, is a tool you can use to create Facebook banners, Twitter headers, cards business cards, photo cards, other image-based messaging, and even book covers. It’s an easy, intuitive tool to use.

Here are a few samples of items I recently created with Canva. First, here’s my Facebook banner.


10 Great Resources Writers Need to Know

Here’s a promotional image I made for an upcoming promotional sale of my book.

I created this image for a client.

I also made this book cover on Canva.

Canva offers free and fee-based templates and images for book covers. See this sample.

Canva book templates

 

Find Canva’s book cover templates and image on this page.

Canva features some images that you can purchase for $1 or you can upload your own. Many of the images and features are free of charge.

PicMonkey

I’ve used PicMonkey to resize and crop photos. But recently I wanted to create some images for Pinterest so I upgraded to the paid plan, about $7.99/month or $71.88/year for the basic plan. Here are a couple of examples of my creations.

Write a Book That Inspires You

And here’s a holiday collage for Pinterest I created just for fun.

Holiday Collage

Once you create and save the images, you can share them directly to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, or Tumblr as well as send them via email to a colleague. You can also use this tool to create Facebook covers or perhaps a collage of some of the books you’ve written. You can also upload your own images.

Pablo

Pablo is a great little application from the people at Buffer, which is a scheduling tool. Anyway, Pablo is perhaps the easiest image app on the internet.

When you navigate to Pablo, you’ll see a column of free (yes free!) images. Just select the image you want to use, enter the text, select the size, and the contrast and your set.

Pablo

Here’s a simple image I made using Pablo.

What’s great is that once you create an image, you can schedule it to Buffer in one easy step.

Pixabay

Pixabay is my go-to place for copyright free images. When you need pictures for your blog or to use as a background for a quote, this is the place to go.

Images are free and in nearly every conceivable topic area. Upload your own images as you sign up for hassle-free downloads. You’ll love this site.

Social Media Scheduling App

SocialOomph

I’ve been using this social media scheduler for years and love it. It’s only practical for LinkedIn and Twitter so if you want to also schedule to Facebook (bad idea because Facebook downgrades scheduled posts in the newsfeed), or Pinterest or Instagram, then use Pinterest.

But with SocialOomph, you can schedule posts, set a recurring update so the post can reappear, have access to analytics, monitor interest channels, and see your feed without going to Twitter, this is the app for you.

As a backup, I recommend Buffer. It’s super easy to set up and use and the customer service is awesome. (The customer service at Social Oomph is great too.)

DIY Tools for Designing Your Next Book

DIY Book Covers

After writing your book you need a great cover. You can hire a designer or you can try to create a cover yourself.

Self-published authors on a tight budget might want to try a DIY tool. Cover designer Derek Murphy of CreativIndie Covers has put together a package of book cover design templates.

Although it sounds like an unlikely pairing, the templates look clean and professional, not only for simple non-fiction covers, but also for all types of fiction. If you’re familiar with using MS Word, customizing the templates to make them unique shouldn’t be difficult.

There’s even a tool on this website to help you make a 3D mockup of your book.

Endorsed by Matt Stone, Pat Flynn, and Joanna Penn, this tool is the real deal.

Book Design Templates and More

Joel FriedlanderAre you tired of paying the high cost of a graphic designer for the layout of your book? Joel Friedlander’s Book Design Templates let Indie authors quickly and easily create the interior layout of their books. There are templates for fiction, memoir, narrative non-fiction, reference, and technical and non-fiction books. In addition, there are templates for children’s books and more.

Plus, Joel offers templates for book covers, and toolkits for blogging, social media, public relations, book launches, and self-publishing on Amazon. Here’s the link to all of his other toolkits, including mine.  😎

Joel is a book designer so self-published authors can trust that the templates carefully balance typographic beauty with ease of reading.

Although I haven’t yet used the template I purchased, a colleague has and she said the process was easy. If you need help, Joel’s team will upload your book into your purchased template. Finally, each template comes with different kinds of interior pages, section breaks, running heads, and page numbers.

These templates will save writers money and help them to produce books that appear professionally designed.

By the way, self-published authors should all become acquainted with Joel’s blog, The Book Designer. You will learn everything you need to know about self-publishing, social media, book covers, and book marketing by reading his posts.

Every Author Needs an Editor

Jordan E. Rosenfeld

Jordan

Jordan says that she has a simple philosophy in her editing, coaching and teaching: “Practice. Polish. Persist.”

She advises, “Make your writing life into an ongoing, deep writing practice that can survive the test of time, discouragement and change. Never stop trying to become better and polish your work, learn new things, take classes and feed both your muse and your craft. But what will set you apart is your persistence. Don’t give up. If you need help with any of these things, I’m here to help you.”

Jordan brings an editor’s attention to both the micro and macro aspects of your fiction project, but she also brings a writer’s ear—having been writing and publishing for two decades (author of the novels Forged in Grace and Women in Red and the writing guides Writing the Intimate Character, A Writer’s Guide to PersistenceWriting Deep Scenes, and Make a Scene & Write Free).

She likes to work with fiction writers at all stages—from the seed of an idea, to the final product—and at all levels, whether the writer needs coaching or a final copyedit. She is especially fond of developmental edits and critiques.

Robbi S. Bryant

Robbi S. BryantAnother wonderful and popular editor is Robbi S. Bryant. She says that an editor does a lot more than correcting grammar and sentence structure. “I am a content editor, which means I review everything from grammar to the breakdown of the story—including focus on plot, scene, character arcs, story arcs, pacing, subtext, dialogue, theme, and voice. In other words, I am a developmental editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader.”

As an award-winning author, she has honed her skills. Over the years, her focus has shifted from writing her own work to helping others write theirs.

She offers a free 10-page edit so potential clients can get a feel for her style.

Robbi says that it’s important for a writer to be comfortable with an editor. Trust is essential. She describes herself as a gentle, thoughtful, and light-handed editor. Respect is crucial as is communication.  She says that she offers all this and more.

Her books include a novella, four novels, five short-story collections, and one book of poetry. She has been published in magazines including Readers DigestRedbook, Penthouse, college textbooks, and several anthologies. As editor in chief of the Redwood Writers 2018 anthology, she supervised the creation and publication of Redemption: Stories From the Edge. Her work was also optioned twice for television’s Movie of the Week, and she appeared on TV’s Jane Whitney Show to discuss her article, “A Victim’s Revenge.”

Go Wide with Your Publishing

Draft2Digital

When you’re ready to go wide with publishing your books, Draft2Digital is the best service available to get your book on more venues than just Amazon.

What’s wonderful about Draft2Digital is that authors are in charge and because they’ve been where you are, they know how important it is to provide informative and quick customer service.

There is no fee for using this service. Draft2Digital will take a 10% commission when your books sell. But if you want to price your books at $0 permanently, that’s fine too.

The people behind Draft2Digital are truly cool and supportive. Try them out for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed reviewing my list of resources for writers. I’d love to hear about your favorite resources too!

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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

9 Best Practices to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn
Writers tend to be quick to build followings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but what about LinkedIn? Sometimes it seems as though this powerhouse of a social media platform gets overlooked.

When I first began to use social media, I started a Facebook profile and then a LinkedIn account. For quite some time, I poured a great deal of energy and time into LinkedIn because I loved the level of conversation in the groups I joined.

People graciously shared their expertise. Were they looking for clients? Sure. But they also disseminated information that I was able to put to use in my writing and marketing.

Lately, however, I’ve all but ignored LinkedIn except when I write a new post or use LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

My focus is instead on my Facebook page and Twitter, and to a lesser degree Pinterest and Google+. So writing this post is helping me to recall why LinkedIn is an important part of a writer’s marketing platform (including mine). And if you’re a nonfiction writer/editor/bookcoach/designer, LinkedIn is where you’ll most likely to find clients.

Four Facts About LinkedIn You Need to Know

Presently, LinkedIn enjoys more than 500 million users.

  • When I review the demographics for LinkedIn, I realize that considering the education of most users and their average salary ($50,000), most of these users are probably avid readers as well.

Sixty-one percent of LinkedIn users live outside of the U.S.

  • Wouldn’t you love to sell your books everywhere English spoken? LinkedIn can help to promote your books to an international audience, just as Twitter can.

Two new users join LinkedIn every second.

  • This network continues to grow. It’s important to be on social media channels that are dynamic and resistant to stagnation.

There are 2 million groups on LinkedIn and 81% of users join at least one.

  • If you’re not in a group, join a few today. This is where you can share your expertise, help others, make new connections, gain more Twitter followers, and join in conversations that will further your understanding in your niche.

9 LinkedIn Best Practices

 Reacquaint yourself to LinkedIn by following these best practices.

  1. Think about keywords when you review your profile. What words is someone most likely to type into a Google search bar in order to find the type of book you’ve written? Have you published a book about gardening in Northern California? Then use those keywords.
  2. Use bullet points to make your specialties stand out. The human eye does not like long blocks of black text. Type your specialties in Word or Pages and then cut and paste them onto your LinkedIn profile.
  3. Connect with people you know. Are colleagues from your book club and writing groups on LinkedIn? Look for them. Did you make new friends at a writers conference? Search for them. Connect with as many people as you can.
  4. Give (and receive) recommendations. Did you hire one of your connections to edit your most recent book? Why not offer a recommendation? If you give testimonials, they will be easier to drum up for yourself.
  5. Personalize your LinkedIn URL. For example, mine is www.linkedin.com/in/francescaballo/. Once you personalize your URL, include it in your email signature to encourage your colleagues to connect with you.
  6. Update your status daily. It’s best to post between 7 and 7:30 am and 5 – 5:30 pm, M-F. However, on Fridays the afternoon post should be no later than 3:30 pm.
  7. Join groups. After you join couple, try to remain actively involved.
  8. Install special features that LinkedIn offers, such as the publications feature. This will help you to showcase the books and stories you’ve written.
  9. When other users endorse you, be sure to thank them and given them an endorsement as well.

Fiction Writers

LinkedIn is not a site that fiction writers need to update regularly. However, I do recommend that you create a complete profile and join a couple of groups to continue your education on writing and marketing your books.

Continue your learning cover on LinkedIn and other social media platforms by buying Social Media Just for Writers.

 

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.

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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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7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

3-10-14

Don’t you get tired of broadcast media?

I unplugged my Comcast cable eight years ago, and I’ve never regretted it.

Television programming would interrupt my favorite shows with annoying and idiotic commercials and cancel the few programs I really liked.

The worst part is that I had to conform my personal schedule to my favorite program’s schedule.

In comparison, social media is perfect.

There are no interruptions, and I can visit the networks whenever I have time and the inclination.

And it allows me to interact with colleagues and friends across the country and around the world.

Most importantly, social media enables me to nurture relationships with readers and friends. Petty cool, huh?

Just as a reminder, setting aside time to be social is the fourth step in my four-step cure to social media suck. Here are the four steps:

  1. Be where your readers are.
  2. Curate information in your niche every morning.
  3. Select an application and schedule your tweets, posts and updates.
  4. Make time to be social every day.

Make Time to be Social

Social media is all about nurturing relationships.

Did someone retweet one of your messages? Find a tweet they wrote that you like and return the favor. While you’re at it, consider sending a note of thanks to everyone who retweeted you.

Do you have new followers? Spend some time getting acquainted with them by reviewing their profiles or visiting their websites. (It only takes a second or two.)

Is there an agent or editor on LinkedIn with whom you’d like to connect, but can’t because they are a third degree connection? Ask a friend to introduce you.

Did a colleague just publish a new book? Help her promote it by informing your friends and connections about it.

Socializing on social media involves these three steps: meet, connect, and repeat. You are constantly meeting new people, connecting with them, and then repeating the process with someone new.

Remember to be positive and open-minded and stick to neutral topics.

If you have an iPad, iPhone, laptop or Android, you can socialize online whenever you have some idle time. (If you don’t have idle time, then it’s important to schedule some in.)

[Read more…]

3 Basic Rules of Social Media Plus 5 Best Practices

3 Basic Rules of Social Media Plus 5 Best Practices
Dan Zarrella, author of The Science of Marketing, said in his book, “I’ve long been interested in the idea that engaging in conversation is the single most important function of social media marketing.”

He’s right. That is why it’s so important to schedule time in the afternoon or early evening to converse with our readers, friends, and influencers in your sphere. If you don’t allocate time to converse, you are missing the point.

Social media at its essence is social so to engage in social media and not allocate time to socializing, well, it’s antithetical to the very premise of social media.

Social media at its essence is socialClick To Tweet

Take Twitter, for example. It began as a texting platform. Sure, it’s matured, evolved, and changed. You can include images and video now, and you can even advertise. But at its essence, it’s still a medium for conveying messages.

This premise is true with other social media platforms as well.

Which takes me to those 3 basic rules of social media I promised to discuss.

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Social Media Marketing for Authors

Episode 9 - Social Media Tips for Indie Authors by Frances Caballo-3Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment includes summaries of four blog posts, and of course, your social media marketing tip of the week.


Let’s start with your weekly tip.

This week’s segment includes social media tips you’re going to love, and of course, your tip of the week.

Let’s start with my weekly tip.

There’s an app that you’ve heard me mention on my podcast and my blog, and that’s SocialOomph.

I wouldn’t use any other app to schedule my posts. Here’s why.

Once you connect your accounts, scheduling them is super easy. You can select the exact day and time and choose to publish your tweets on multiple Twitter accounts.

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Image Resources for Indie Authors

Episode 10 - Pinterest for Authors

Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors tackles the topic of marketing your books and blog with images. Keep reading to learn more.


If you joined Pinterest in the early days and opened a personal profile, you need to upgrade to a business account.

Wait, you’re not a business you say? Of course, you are. You’re in the business of writing and publishing books and if you’re an Indie author that means you’re also forking out some big bucks for editing and design costs. Right?

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

10-31-14 Frances CaballoEvery Friday I compile a list of online resources for Indie authors to help newly published writers market their books on the social web. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.


Smart Ways to Manage Time on Social Media by Rebekah Radice: Do you struggle to find enough time in your day to manage social media? Does the thought of juggling your social media tasks make you break out in a cold sweat? Let’s face it, business professionals are busier than ever. Between email, phone calls, projects and team meetings, adding social media to the mix is a recipe for overwhelm.

The 3 Most Important Factors For Growing Your Social Media Community by Robert Caruso: It seems that almost daily we come across social media marketers, enthusiasts and brands that still seem to have limited understanding of social media best practices. Often the social media “consultant” is even missing key factors in their own social presence that hinders their community, reach and growth. You’d think we would be beyond this in 2014, but sadly that is not the case.

The 2014 Social Media Glossary: 154 Essential Definitions by Hootsuite: Welcome to the 2014 edition of the Hootsuite Social Media Glossary. This is a living document that will continue to grow as we add more terms and expand our definitions. If there’s a term you would like to see added, let us know in the comments!

How To Get Your Book Into Costco (and other specialty stores) by Penny Sansevieri for The Future of Ink: In order to be considered for national in-store distribution, you need to pass several (many) checks and your book needs to go to their book buyer who is super particular about what she buys for the stores. Understandably. Product needs to move fast in Costco which is why you may see something one week but not the next.

Related Reading:

Save time on social media with Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Learn about blogging with Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo Credit: Lee Scot via Unsplash.com

How to Blog Like a Pro

10-20-14 How to Blog-2
Would you love to know the secrets of blogging queens, kings, princes and princesses? You know, those who have hundreds of comments on their blogs and receive thousands of retweets?

Well, Denise Wakeman recently interviewed digital marketing expert Rebekah Radice of Imagine Wow whose topic was how to blog like a pro.

First some background.

If you haven’t come across Denise Wakeman online yet, you might want to connect with her on Google+ and subscribe to her weekly Hangout called Adventures in Visibility.

If you prefer podcasts, you’ll find her on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud as well.

Every week, Denise interviews top pros in the field of online marketing. Her program is consistently good, and she has quite a following.

How to Blog Like a Pro

Rebekah started blogging in 2004. As she explained, she’d always been a writer and at first blogged for the fun of it. Then she saw what an opportunity blogging provides for marketers.

Would you like to know this social media whiz’s secret to great blogging? It’s pretty simple, actually.

Develop a habit. Yep, that’s it. Years ago she knew she needed to be consistent in her blogging, and she wanted to cover big-picture topics while also providing the nitty-gritty details. So she committed to posting one, lengthy blog post every week.

She doesn’t miss a week either. Whenever she schedules a vacation or travels to a conference, she knows that she has to write those posts in advance.

After all, consistency is a major key to blogging. Here are other important factors to successful blogging:

  • Grab people’s attention.
  • Don’t be too wordy.
  • Focus your points and provide as many tips as possible. People love bullets with tips.
  • Create an editorial calendar for the next three months but be open to accommodating new topics.

Now let’s turn the question around. What contributes to a blog failing?

  • Lack of Consistency.
  • Lack of Goals.
  • Lost of focus
  • Not knowing what you’re passionate about
  • Not establishing a blog calendar.

10-20-14 2nd image Frances Caballo

How to Get Your Audience to Share Your Content

Rebekah’s number one tool for increasing shares is that she endeavors to build a relationship with her followers.

That’s the beauty of social media. Unlike any other method of marketing, blogging and social media enable authors to get to know their readers.

When we blast our content, and never ask questions, we relinquish occasions to learn about our audience.

Select one typical person in your audience. What does that person need to know? How can you help that individual? What challenges face that person?

Michael Hyatt describes his audience clearly. He writes for men of a certain age and a certain income bracket.

Rebekah says that once you determine who that person is, it becomes easier to write for that person.

Social Buzz Club and Triberr

Rebekah also mentioned Social Buzz Club and Triberr. Triberr is an app that enables Twitter followers to form groups. The purpose of the groups is to share each other’s content communally.

Similarly, Social Buzz is another collaborative network of professionals who blog. Communities form to engage in reciprocal sharing.

Further Your Brand with Images

As you may have noticed, I’ve been creating a lot of my own images for this blog. Listening to Rebekah, I discovered what I’m not doing: being consistent with the colors of my brand and the font.

That needs to change.


 “There’s enormous value in niching down.”

Rebekah Radice


Finally, she encourages people to “niche down.” Not everyone wants what you have to offer and besides, when you don’t define your specific niche you don’t reach anyone because it’s impossible to market to an unruly audience.

Further Reading:

Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Writers

10-17-14 Resources for Indie Writers

Every Friday I compile a list of online resources for authors to help newly published writers market their books on the social web. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.


Using Backstories as a Way to Connect with Your Audience, from the Content Marketing Institute blog: Who doesn’t love a good backstory? If you’re hearing the story, it feels like you’re getting information that no one else has. Or, if you’re telling the story, you get to make a connection that can’t be achieved in any other way.

Think Call to Reward NOT Call to Action, from the Engaging Brands, from the Engaging Brand blog:   Fans, followers, email lists are the customer giving you permission to talk to them. They are saying “I am aware. I like what I see yet I still need reasons to buy from you and the chance to actually buy from you.’ They are not a sale. They are not money. They don’t pay the bills. That is the bad news. The good news is that like debtors on your balance sheet…. Fans/followers are assets that can be turned into money IF …

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine: Social Media Marketing Cheat Sheet, from the AllTwitter blog: So you want to use social media to market your brand? Sounds like a smart plan. The top sites collectively have billions of people actively using their platforms each and every day, and many of them come armed with credit cards.

How To Choose A #TwitterUsername When Yours Is Taken by Keri Lynn Engle on the Blogging Wizard blog: The new Twitter design now gives you the ability to pin a tweet to the top of your profile. Now any visitor to your Twitter profile page will see the pinned tweet first, and all your other tweets—including newer ones—will be below.

All my eBooks are now priced at $2.99:

Blogging Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Social Media Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

How to Target Your Readership

10-13-14 Main 625

In last week’s post, How to Stop Wasting Time,  I discussed the importance of focusing your energy and time only on those social media networks where you’ll find your audience.

For example, it doesn’t make sense to invest your time in Tumblr if you’re not writing YA or New Adult novels. If you write Romance novels, you need to have a presence on Facebook and Pinterest.

Today I’m going to share with you data from the Pew Research Internet Project that further supports my argument.

Study Audience Metrics to Target Your Readership

As of January of this year, Pew Research determined that 75% of adults who engage in online activities use social media.

Women hold an edge over men in social media and younger generations, especially Millennials, dominate. And it seems as though users with the lowest income and those who make more than $75,000/annually, are more active.

10-13-14 Pew 1Of those adults who use social media, 19% of those adults use Twitter. What’s interesting about this chart is that the income level starts at 79% for those making less than $30,000/year but climbs back to 78% for those earning $75,000/annually or more.

As a client who works with chief technology officers told me, she couldn’t connect with that demographic on LinkedIn but she could find them on Twitter.

10-13-14 Pew 2

Among those adults engaged in online activities:

  • 71% of online adults use Facebook
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 22% use LinkedIn
  • 17% use Instagram

While Facebook remains the shopping mall that everyone likes to visit,  Instagram is considered the fastest growing social media network.

In the graph below you can see social media’s tremendous of late. Again, the 18-29-year-old users lead the pack by older adults, including those 50 years old and above, are making great gains.

10-13-14 Pew 3Are You Ready for Mobile Networking?

If you’re buying Facebook ads that appear on the right column of the news feeds, it’s time to change that habit. Increasingly, the social platform is becoming mobile and everything you do – from your website to your blog to your social alertness – needs to accommodate that transition.

This is what the Pew Research Internet Project says in its Social Networking Fact Sheet:

“The growing ubiquity of cell phones, especially the rise of smartphones, has made social networking just a finger tap away. Fully 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day.  Young people, blacks, Hispanics, the highly educated and those with a higher annual household income are more likely to use SNS on their phones than other groups.”


Learn how to save time on social media:
Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write – Now Just $2.99 on Kindle


Why Do People Use Social Media?

Our primary use of social media is to keep up with friends and family members. At least that’s what two-thirds of online adults told Pew Research.

About 14%, mostly middle-aged and older adults, said they use it to connect around shared hobbies or interests.

So what are we as authors doing on social media? It has to be more than just hawking our books.

The reason social media use is climbing isn’t because we rush to Facebook or Twitter to see what Mercedes, Coca-Cola or United Airlines is selling. We go to social media to connect with other people.

Those companies who are successful at social media marketing, such as shoe retailer, TOMS, excels at social media because they connect with people.

For every pair of shoes that a customer purchases, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in a Third World country. Their mission is clear, and their fans are fanatical about them.

TOMS, Mercedes and Coca-Cola may be brands, but they humanize their social media outreach and client experience. They don’t simply preach their mantra to audiences everywhere. Instead, they target their audience using metrics and experiment with messaging that encourages more sales.

Authors need to follow their lead.

If you write a nonfiction book, your audience should be easily and clearly defined. But what if you write literary fiction, romance, sci-fi or other types of fiction? Find out who your audience is and then meet them on the social media platforms where you will find them.

Once you’re there, experiment with your messaging. Here’s what Stephanie Chandler has to say on this topic in her book, Own Your Niche. Wherever she says business, substitute the word with author.

“Everything about marketing comes down to the audience—your target audience. And the audience is different for every business. Once you identify your audience, every marketing decision you make becomes easier ….”

Look at who attends your readings, follows you on Twitter or joins your LinkedIn groups. Review studies that track social media affinities by age and other demographics and then focus your time on those networks.

For social media not to be time-consuming, it must be targeted.

Also see:

Marketing Advice from Jane Friedman

Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write

7 Reasons Why Writers Need to Use Social Media

56 Social Media Terms Writers Need to Know

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web