Friday, November 6, 2015

Advice for Using Social Media to Promote Yourself and Your Books

Recently Writers Circle hosted Tara Lynne Groth who taught a three hour course in Hayesville, NC on marketing and publishing.

Some of those present were lost in the social media language,  and I realized how many of our mature writers in our area who have written good books that are available for purchase are stymied because of their lack of Internet skills and, especially, social media skills. 

Below is a short article from WritersMarket.com by Penny Sansevieri who has a background in marketing and writing books on this subject.

I am happy to see that she doesn't recommend you try to be on all the Social Media that is available now.



"First off, authors should view the Internet as one big networking party and much like a networking event you want to seek out people who you have a common interest with and who will be interested in your work. 

When it comes to social networking sites my suggestion always is: less is more. A lot of authors want to do all of it--by "all" I mean a lot of social networking sites, etc. Really overextending themselves. I don't recommend this.

Once you are on these sites stay active, you don't want to look like you've abandoned the site or your work and it's easier to stay active if you're not on 35 different sites."


Tara Lynn Groth caught my attention when she said, "If you have an account and you never go there, people will think you died or quit writing."

Penny says, "Next, lead with helpful information. You should never start your Internet marketing campaign saying: please buy my book. But you should start it by saying "how can I help you" this will get you much further online. 

Engage, network, entertain, enlighten and always, always, stay active and be helpful."


This is the same advice I give to those who ask me, "How can I get people to buy my book?"

First, the reader needs to have a good reason to buy your book. If he knows nothing about you as a writer or a person, why should he fork over his money for your book? That helps you, but what does it do for him?

C. Hope Clark says the author needs to build a fan base. Like a TV celebrity or movie actor, the author should work on building a group of people who like her, who like her books and will recommend them to others. She also says an author needs a website. The first thing people do when they want to know who you are is google your name.


The Internet is a great tool if used properly. But writers must be careful they don't come across in a way that alienates the very people they hope will read their books. I get turned off if an author is extremely political on Facebook, especially if I disagree with their politics. Why post all the wild and crazy political verbiage you find online? Talk about yourself, your likes and what makes you unhappy. Talk about your writing schedule, where you like to write and what time of day. Discuss your travels and research as author Deanna Klingel does.

Be aware that whatever you post on FB or Twitter is the same as writing a letter to the people you want to read your books. Tell them what you want to say and do so in a way that makes them come back to hear what you will say next. 

I find that I have the greatest number of comments when I write about my dog, post a photo of her and me. Those people relate to me because I love dogs and so do they. 

My blog, Writing Life Stories, is popular with people who have families and want to write about them whether as genealogists or the desire to leave a written legacy. I share my personal life, my family stories, and family history on this blog, and then I share it with Face Book. I have some readers who say when they see my blog post in their Inbox, that is the first thing they open. 

Show your generous side. Give and share information that helps others, things you have learned along the way. As you share with the world, they will like you as a person or they will not. Don't be afraid to praise other writers, help them promote their books by giving them a lift on your page. They will, in turn, do the same for you. But, if they don't, your readers will be impressed that you are generous and helpful to others. Your readers want to know what kind of person you really are.




Penny Sansevieri has taught extensively on publishing and book marketing.  As CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts (www.authormarketingexperts.com), Penny’s been in business for over 10 years and her firm specializes in organic Internet marketing.

3 comments:

Mary said...

Tipper,

Your article gives excellent advice, not only for writers, but for all online businesses.

I'm sure you will help many people with this article.

If you have time, drop over to my Writing Nook. I actually posted again today.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Mary. I am a fan of Tipper's blog, Blind Pig and the Acorn, but this blog is not Tipper's. This is Writers Circle around the Table and I, Glenda Beall, am the writer of this blog.
Thanks again for your comment and I hope you will come back often.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I enjoyed Tara's workshop very much. This is a great posting and I enjoyed it very much. This is great advise for writers.