Social Networking Helps Authors Before and After Book Release

social media for authorsSo many writers balk at getting involved in social networking, yet in this day and age the Internet provides the key to book marketing. That’s not to say that traditional book marketing, like speaking and radio and television appearances, doesn’t still help sell books; it does. But ignoring—or rebelling against—social networking can prove a mistake for any writer wanting to become a successful author.

Yet, many writers do rebel against social networking even though it can help them before and after book release.

Whether you realize it or not, book promotion and marketing are the most essential parts of becoming a successful author. You might write and publish a book, but if you don’t promote yourself and your book, no one will know it exists; that means not many will purchase it.

No better place exists to promote your work than on the World Wide Web. And promoting both yourself and your book in cyberspace can be easier than other promotional activities, especially if you are introverted like many writers.

According to bestselling author Guy Kawasaki, book marketing begins with social media. During a keynote speech at New Media Expo in Las Vegas, NV, he said, “Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus are the trifecta of book marketing.”

He should know. Kawasaki is the author of 10 books including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. His most recent book is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures, and the former chief evangelist of Apple.

Not only that, Kawasaki has over 4 million friends and followers on his social networks. He has 1,217,865 tweeple just on one of his two Twitter accounts. He’s also one of the most active users of Google Plus.

Depending upon your interests, however, your mix of social networks might be different than his. For example, you might find Pinterest or LinkedIn serve you better than Facebook.

The point remains the same: Build a network because the people in your network–your friends and followers–represent potential readers (book buyers). Not only that, they represent potential supporters of your work–people who will review your book and tell others about it. And…they can help you in other ways as well.

For his most recent book, APE, Kawasaki put this network to use benefit him before and after his book was released. You can use these same techniques if you get involved in social networking and create even a modest network of friends.

Pre-publication Use of Social Networks: Crowd Sourcing

When Kawasaki had a solid outline for APE, he asked 4 million of his “friends” to look at that outline and point out any holes they found. That’s right; he made the outline for his latest book public before he wrote it—and he showed it to 4 million or more people.

Then, when he was almost finished with the manuscript, he again approached his 4 million friends, this time asking them to read and copy edit the manuscript. Out of this total number, 250 people said “yes.” Kawasaki reported, “Sixty actually gave me full comments in a word document.  I entered their comments.” Each one of them is listed in APE’s acknowledgement section.

Pre-Book Release and Release-Day Use of Social Networks

Right before released he gave the book to 1,200 bloggers to read. Finally, to help promote the book’s release on Amazon.com, Kawasaki asked all those who had been involved with the book’s creation or had read it—those who offered feedback on the outline, those who edited the manuscript, and the bloggers who read the final version of the book—to post reviews on Amazon.com five hours before midnight.

“I got 50 reviews by the morning,” Kawasaki shared at New Media Expo. Those reviews provide social proof that boosts sales on Amazon.com. That drives the book up the Amazon bestseller list, which, of course, requires sales.

As your group of friends and followers grows on different social networks, you, too, can use the tactics Kawasaki used with APE. First, however, you have to become willing to build your online networks.

Check back on Monday to find out how Guy Kawasaki approaches social networking. You might find his attitude serves you and your platform building efforts.

 

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Photo courtesy of jannoon028 | freedigitalphotos.net

About Nina Amir

Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach, inspires writers to create published products and careers as authors as well as to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose and potential. She is the author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, both published by Writer’s Digest Books. A developmental editor, proposal consultant, author and book and blog-to-book coach, some of her clients have sold 230,000+ copies of their books and been published by major publishing houses. A popular speaker and workshop leader, she writes four blogs, has self-published 12 books and is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, also known as the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.

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