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

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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.)

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So You Think Social Media Won’t Sell Your Books?

sell your books

Every indie author hears the message, “You have to use social media to sell your books.”

But is it true?

In any language, social media is the queen of discoverability. But – and this is a huge but – does social media marketing sell your books?

Hmm. Let’s consider this question.

If we look at great literature, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and even Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the first novel, we already know that they succeeded in publishing.

They didn’t have to worry about Tweeting regularly or posting status updates on a Facebook author page twice a day.

It’s a silly issue to consider, isn’t it, since social media wasn’t around in 1610 (in Cervantes’ case)? All of the above authors rose to fame without the benefit of what’s considered – in today’s world – as marketing requirements.

If we were to look at Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train andInto the Water, I can’t tell at this point whether Goodreads or other social media fueled her success, or whether it was just the book that caused her book to skyrocket toward financial success with social media helping along the way.

However, she was the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards winner, which readers vote for, so on Goodreads, she had a considerable presence, and that must have played a role.

There are several commercially successful authors today that according to a HootSuite article, use social media to further their engagement with readers. They are Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho, Stephen Fry, and Neil Gaiman. I would add Hugh Howie to that list and Isabel Allende, who has an excellent Facebook page that she updates herself.

Okay, this is what I think: Neil Gaiman, Hugh Howie, and Isabel Allende, all bestselling authors, use social media to further their success. Hugh Howie is, I believe, the only author on this list who self-publishes.

Then we can look at another group of authors – Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, and Nick Stephenson – who are also popular and sell hundreds of thousands of books as self-publishers. They not only make money off of their book sales, but they also sell courses to help other indie authors find similar levels of success. Hasn’t social media played a huge role in their success?

If your listen to Joanna Penn’s podcast, you know that she credits a lot of her early success to social media, and especially Twitter.

So, let’s end this diatribe of mine and look at our original question: Does social media marketing sell your books?

Five Tips to Help You Sell More Books

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Are You a Social Media Cynic?

Social Media CynicSo, are you a social media cynic? You sort of need to figure that out.

This past week, someone in my community hired me for some one-on-one tutoring. She asked the questions and I answered them.

Because people new to social media sometimes don’t know what to ask, I also filled in gaps with what I thought she might need to know.

At one point, I wanted to say to her, as lovingly as possible, that she needed to admit that she was a social media cynic.

Why lovingly? Because the fires that ripped through Northern California devastated my community. One thing I learned from this experience is that we all need to be as kind as possible, especially now.

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Top 10 Tips to Stay Motivated During NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

With National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) fast approaching, now is the time to prepare for the marathon writing season.

You’ve heard of NaNoWriMo of course. It’s that time of year when many authors try to write an entire novel – yes an entire novel – in the space of 30 days. Is it possible? I know people who have written a novel during November so, yes, it is possible.

But you have to be organized, prepared and know how to persevere. NaNoWriMo isn’t an effort for wusses. It’s hard work trying to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. Damn hard work.

Plan for #NaNoWriMo in October Click To Tweet

I once tried but gave up. (Confession: It was really a nonfiction book.) So there, I admit it. But you know what? I didn’t prepare and wasn’t clear on my objective. So from my experience and those whom I know, I offer the following advice.

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How to Crush It on Social Media as an Introvert

introvert

Are You an Introvert? Here’s Your Dilemma

Selfies, bad grammar, cryptic status updates (“some people don’t deserve my time…”) and verbal diarrhea. Ugh. What is the obsession with social media? How can anyone enjoy this drivel?

And who has time for it? With everyone competing for attention no one is going to pay any attention to you, right?

Why would you put yourself ‘out there’ only to be ignored, or worse, ridiculed?

Using social media for book marketing can be an intimidating prospect for any author, but especially a self-published introvert. Fortunately, you can learn how to make it work for you.

Using social media for book marketing can be an intimidating for introvertsClick To Tweet

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Indie Author Weekly Update October 6, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update contains every topic from Pinterest hashtags to selling books when you don’t have an audience. How? Keep reading to find out!

Go Local: Marketing Books to Targeted Communities by Jane Friedman: “When I hear professional publicists and PR people offer advice to authors, one theme that comes up again and again is: start where you are. Use the power of your community—and the people you know—to gain momentum.”

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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.

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How to Sell More Books with Less Social Media with Chris Syme


Last week, Chris Syme of CKSyme Media Group was my guest on Conversations with Frances. The hour-long webinar was wide-ranging but mostly focused on Chris’s belief that social media needn’t be time consuming as long as you have goal-focused strategies.

Here are a few notes from the webinar. Be sure to watch the video to hear all of Chris’s advice and suggestions.


The best ways to use social media to sell books: Use social media wisely. Social media is just another tool; a community-based tool that has revolutionized everything. It is a powerful tool for both sales and engagement. It’s the only tool that does that.

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The Way We Think About Social Media Is Broken

Why what we think about social media is brokenWhen you first write a book and brave the waters of social media, what are you thinking about?

Be honest.

I know what I was thinking. Sales. Readers. Clients.

It’s a mistake that we all make. We’re enthusiastic. We believe we just wrote the best book ever and we’re eager to turn all those hours we labored over every sentence into something tangible: green dollars. Or euros.

Or maybe we’re more altruistic. What we want is for people to enjoy our book, appreciate our craft.

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 14, 2017

Social Media Weekly Update

This week’s Social Media Update covers everything from ebook production to making more money with your books to book why the news feed may be outdated.

Are you enjoying spring yet? We got a taste of it one weekend, followed by days of rain again. I hear that hiking the local trails — one of my passions — will be less fun due to the abundance of ticks and poison  oak. However you spend your time on weekends, I hope you stay safe and have fun.


Indie Author Updates

4 eBook Platforms Offering Cool Data, Distribution & Marketing Tools from BookWorks and by Carla King: “There are a lot of eBook platforms out there—how many do you know? I bet you haven’t heard of Kbuuk, PublishDrive, Scribl, or StreetLib but I’ll also bet you’ll want to try at least one of them by the end of this post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your existing service (IngramSpark, Smashwords, Amazon KDP), but add one or more of these to the mix.”

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