June 16, 2015
Web presence is one of the essentials of any business in this day and age. In a previous blog post, I talked about using social media to promote your work. In this post, I’ll point out some of the various social media platforms that you should be utilizing and exploring.
The most popular of the social media juggernauts, Facebook is a blend of personal, product, and business accounts. According to the Pew Institute, seventy-one percent of adults online use Facebook. This means that your page has the potential to be seen by a substantial amount of people. While you may have a personal Facebook account, as an author it is a good idea to create a page for your book, or for yourself as an author. To create a page, click the upside-down triangle on the top right of your home page and select “Create Page,” where you will be presented with several options for what type of page you’d like to start. On this page you can share updates, such as upcoming events, pictures, reviews or articles about your work, or excerpts. Letters to Lida author Charlene Briggs is an active Facebook user. It is easy to invite your friends to like your page, and Facebook offers a DIY advertising package where you can pay to have your book seen by people who might be interested.
Twitter allows users to share 140 character tweets, short messages that get sent to their followers. Twitter is useful because it’s content comes in short, digestible packages. It also allows you to use hashtags, which create searchable phrases. For example, if you had a bookstore event in Rhinebeck, New York, you could use “#rhinebeck” and anybody searching for Rhinebeck on Twitter would see your tweet. Or you could do “#books” to reach people interested in that subject.
Goodreads is a strictly book related social media platform, which makes it the perfect place for authors to come into direct contact with potential or established fans. Goodreads has a few cool programs that allow you to reach out to the public. One, which I really like, is a giveaways program, that allows you to list as many free copies as you’d like to be “raffled” (although the winners are determined somewhat more scientifically) to site members who enter. This is very low cost publicity to you, since you’re getting your book into the hands of potential fans for only the cost of books and shipping. Providing a personalized note is also a great idea when sending books to winners, and asking them to review the book on Amazon or Goodreads. Like Facebook, Goodreads has a DIY advertising program; only in this case you’re sure to be exposing your book to lovers of literature.