Indie Author Weekly Update – March 8, 2019

Indie Author Update - March 8, 2019

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. You’ll find information on blogging, Facebook, and book marketing. I hope you enjoy all of the posts this week.

And if you live in Northern California, I hope you are dry and safe.

Blogging

How to Write for a Blog: 10 Tips for Writing Strong Web Content by Anne R. Allen: “These days, pretty much all writers need to learn to write Web content. Yes, even if you’re a Victorian romance author whose readers care more about reticules and spatterdashers than retweets and SEO.  Even if you don’t have your own blog. Any website needs content. Plus you may want to plan a blog tour to promote your book launch, or guest on a blog for visibility.  (Guest blogging is one of the best ways to market your book for free.)”

Facebook

10 Facts about Americans and Facebook by Pew Research Center: “It’s been 15 years since the creation of Facebook, a platform that revolutionized social media in the United States and around the world. While Facebook remains immensely popular – and highly profitable – it has attracted scrutiny in the U.S. in recent years because of concerns over its ability to keep users’ personal information private and its role in the 2016 presidential election.”

Facebook Announces New Themed Stickers and Frames for Women’s History Month from Social Media Today: “Following on from the themed stickers and tools launched to mark Black History Month on both Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook has this week announced a new set of visual tools for Women’s History Month in March.”

Book Marketing

Planning Your Own Book Launch from Writer Unboxed and by Sophie Masson: “Your book is coming out soon and you want to mark its entry into the world. You don’t want it to just slide out unnoticed amongst the serried ranks of ‘New Releases’ in the bookshops. You want it properly launched. But your publisher isn’t keen to do a launch. ”

Marketing: Think of Your Readers’ Tastes & Habits, Not Your Own from the Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Jill Marsh: “Bestselling crime writer JJ Marsh, based in Switzerland, describes the light-bulb moment when she realized that marketing wasn’t about her, but about her readers, and describes how this became a turning point in her fortunes as an indie author.”

Quote of the Week‏

Indie Author Weekly Update

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

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.

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Authors: Just Be Where Your Readers Are

Find Your Readers by Frances Caballo

 

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

― Michael Altshuler

The new marketing dictum for selling your books or anything else is this: You don’t need to be everywhere; you need to be where your readers are.

Remember that. Otherwise, you’ll waste time. Focusing your energy and time on the social media websites where your readers network is your first rule.

There are plenty of experts who disagree with this theory. But think about it. No one has the time to be everywhere. Let me qualify that. If you have a virtual assistant, housekeeper, personal chef, and driver, you have the time to be everywhere online.

But Indie authors like you do everything themselves. To be economical, many writers create their book covers. Every author, once a book is published, then handles the marketing and publicity.

Don't be everywhere; be where your readers are @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

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