No marketing plan is complete without a social media element. In fact, over the last few years, social media marketing has become one of the largest parts of any book marketing plan. Additionally, it’s the foundation of any savvy nonfiction writer’s author platform building plan, which means the pre-promotion of your book.
If you don’t write books, you still want to use social networking to become more visible as a writer or an entrepreneur. It helps build your expert status and authority, and it can land you both online media and traditional media gigs.
Today, on Day 24 of National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), social media strategist, trainer and author Frances Caballo provides you with a variety of ways to keep your hand in the social media marketing game during the remainder of the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge and all year long. Additionally, she offers some super tips on how to market you book online using a variety of social media platforms. I hope you’ll put this advice to use. It will also come in handy if you have grander visions for yourself—visions of becoming an authorpreneur or a writerpreneur. We’ll be talking about this for the remainder of NaNonFiWriMo.
13 Ways to Use Social Media to Market Your Book and Yourself
By Frances Caballo
To reach your writing goal this month, you’ve probably been meeting with like-minded writers in cafés or rising two hours early every day to help you squeeze more writing time into your schedule. Your word count is climbing and you’re feeling quite proud of yourself, right?
What are you doing to publicize your efforts?
Granted, writing a book (or even some other type of nonfiction project) in one month—even if it’s the first of several drafts—is a huge feat. Participating in National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), aka the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge, takes time, dedication, and the will to say a firm “no” to other activities you would otherwise love to do.
But this is no time to neglect your marketing.
6 Ways to Publicize Your WNFIN Progress on Social Networks
There are a number of easy ways to keep up your marketing momentum by simply sharing the fact that you are participating in the WNFIN Challenge with your social networks. Here they are:
- Tweet your word count whenever it reaches a new level and be sure to use the hashtags #NaNonFiWriMo #WNFIN #wordcount.
- Are you having a case of writer’s block? Reach out to your community on Twitter by using the hashtags #NaNonFiWriMo #WNFIN and #WritersBlock. You can send a tweet that says “Help me out!” Or use the #WritersBlock hashtag to find articles on this topic to help you move past this temporary phase. (Or read the articles published here this month that relate to this topic, such as this or this.)
- Start a Facebook group where writers you know in your community as well as those you’ve met online can share their experiences and suggest great cafes where they can meet. (Or meet in the Write Nonfiction in November Facebook page or forum.)
- In one of your LinkedIn writers groups, start a discussion by asking members of your group what conditions help them to be the most prolific in their writing? Do they need the background noise of a café, complete silence, or a TV blaring to help them achieve their writing goals?
- Don’t forget to share your progress on Google+.
- Have someone take a picture of you writing and upload it to Pinterest. Then add it to a pinboard labeled Write Nonfiction in November.
7 Ways to Promote Your Book Online Pre- and Post-Publication
Seth Godin, a marketing guru, has said that writers need to start marketing their books three years before they are published. Michael Larsen, a Bay Area literary agent, says marketing should begin two years before publication. As you can see, it’s not too soon for you to start publicizing your book right now. Here are some tips you can use that, again, utilize social networks:
- If you haven’t yet done so, create a Facebook author page. If this book differs widely from your previously published books, you may want to consider creating a Facebook page just for this book. If it is on a similar topic as your previous titles, consider starting a Facebook author page because it will save you time and help you to be more efficient in your marketing. Once your page is established, share your various stages of progress toward publication. As your designer sends you various book covers, query your fans to find out which one they prefer. Don’t forget to create milestones for when you started writing the book, when you turned it over to an editor, when you uploaded it to Smashwords, Lightning Source, or Create Space and when it was ready for purchase.
- If you don’t have a Twitter account, start one today. Use JustUnfollow or ManageFlitter to help you follow 50 new readers every day and unfollow those individuals who aren’t following you back. Reply to people’s comments, ask questions, thank people for retweeting, and retweet your staunchest supporters and retweeters. Don’t use this platform—or any other social media network—to simply self-promote. Engage other users, promote your Tweep’s books and blogs, and don’t talk about yourself in more than 20 percent of your posts.
- Go to your LinkedIn profile—or start one if you aren’t yet on LinkedIn—and send a personalized request to connect to everyone you’ve ever worked with. As LinkedIn sends you suggestions for new connections, follow up. Your message can say, “I know it’s been awhile since we last spoke, but I would like to reconnect on this platform and keep up with your career.” Join a couple of groups and join in the conversation. Look for members of your book club, critique group, and the writing group that supported you throughout November.
- Make sure you have a profile on Google+ and add friends and colleagues to your circles of followers. Share their posts and give them a +1 when appropriate.
- If you’re not yet on Pinterest, start an account today. No other social media network is as effective at generating website traffic than Pinterest. Create pinboards that reflect your books and interests. In addition, create a pinboard of your favorite books and include your colleagues’ books. (In other words, be social!)
- Can you manage another platform? If so, start a Tumblr account where you’ll be able to share your blog posts.
- Don’t forget about Goodreads. It has 20 million readers who love a variety of genres. But don’t join Goodreads to promote yourself. Start by being a good reader: List books that you’ve read, rate them, and write honest reviews. Once you’re established as a reader, slowly start to introduce your own books.
About the Author
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books. This post is an excerpt from her new book Social Media Time Suck: A blueprint for writers who want to create online buzz for their books and still have time to write, which will be available in January 2014. socialmediajustforwriters.com