I bet you already use Facebook. If so, give your friends, family, fans, connections and contacts a look at your new or old book and other products and services you sell online. If you don’t use Facebook, you are missing a free book marketing resource and public speaking opportunities. Did you realize, as a Facebook user, you are speaking in public?
Create a Facebook Fan Page for your book:
- Your Book Title
- Book Cover Image
- Search-engine friendly description
- Your Biographical Information
Invite your social media network to join and LIKE your Fan Page. In addition to a Fan Page for free book publicity, use status updating to alert your social media friends, family, followers, fans, connections and contacts that you have a new book, either in the works if you are still working on it, or about to be published. To build anticipation among friends, family, followers, fans, connections, contacts, social media channels and other online viewers, it may be helpful to let them know ahead of your book’s release date. When you Fan Page is up, post it in your Facebook status.
Don’t be shy, ask your social media channels to share your Fan Page with their friends, family, fans, followers, connections and contacts. Place your Fan Page link in your email salutation. Further, email your Fan Page link to a selected email list. But, do be very careful not to cause your contacts to think of your email messages as spam. Use email judiciously. Or recipients may become annoyed or offended at your frequent noise about yourself. Don’t you hate it when your email box is always filled with ads and other junk from this place or that from people you don’t know or care to know? Eventually, recipients stop reading the headings and delete those messages based on the all-too-familiar sender’s ID.
Create a professional author website, an ideal location to tout your upcoming book, accomplishments and honors to help you build brand and credibility, and generate excitement for your online content. Before your book is released, publicize yourself, your book, and services and products you sell online and off on your fan page. After the book is released, include on your fan page links to your author website on how to purchase the book. Find reviews of your book and post links to them in your Facebook status.
Do not be afraid to do a little bragging. It’s healthy to know your attributes and to play them up when it is appropriate to do so, but not so much so that you are a bore at someone else’s social event. You know how fast a braggart can clear a room? People are not interested in listening to someone tell them over and over how great they are. However, as a content writer, much of your bragging will be in the third person, tailored for the online viewer. This kind of bragging you can conduct in the form of press releases and news articles.
- Third-person bragging is acceptable
- Third-person bragging is necessary
- Third-person bragging sounds like someone else is doing your boasting
If you are an unknown author and not a celebrity, do not expect to earn a publisher’s advance or even a decent living from book sales. Basically, my book is an attractive, expensive calling card that allows me to command speaking fees and to get consulting contracts. Besides, I love to write. My pleasure with the writing process comes first. The money from book sales comes second, if at all.
Unknown authors, who are not experts in a popular field, will probably not get an advance payment, due to there being no competition for their books among publishers. In most cases, there are no advances and no marketing budget for unknown authors. You may fantasize about the national book tour, but that is what it is, a fantasy. Be prepared to do most of your own book promotion and content writing at your own expense.
I was fortunate that I have a cousin who was talented in promotions. She got her hands on my book and scheduled me to speak for various groups for a solid week. Not only did I sell a gazillion books, get press coverage like you would not believe, get a day named in my honor and keys to a city, but she charged very high fees for my services. Her work was better than any professional publicist any publisher could have hired or any fan page could have produced. Bach then, though, there was no Facebook or other social media.
In today’s literary environment, traditional publishing deals are becoming more and more rare. Look at the number of brick-and-mortar used and new bookstores we have lost. However, there is a lot of self-publishing going on, and online reading is growing in popularity industry-wide. And for budding authors, self-publishing has never been easier. Formatting with desktop publishing software can give you a professional and polished appearance in print and online, where excerpts can be shared on social media.
There are still occasions when you might want to have your book printed between covers. For example, a book of photography might look better lying on the coffee table than projected on a screen or viewed on a tablet. To find a printing service, do a browser search. If you have kept up with the online publishing industry, you know that many printing services in existence today did not exist a few years ago. Again, with an online printing service, be prepared to do some or all of the graphic design and formatting yourself to save money. Most online printing services are serve-yourself establishments or you pay for their services.
Be a blogger to build brand, get jobs and sell products online.
Build brand for your book by blogging. Blog posts attract online viewers. Post updates to your blog posts and invitations to your social media channels can build brand and create free book promotion. Blogging requires regular post updating or you might lose your prospective online customer. Blogging can help you advertise your book, accomplishments, honors, services and speaking availability.
There are free blogging platforms that even host advertisements that will earn you a little cash. But do not blog for money. If you do, you will be disappointed at how infrequently you receive a payment. Remember blogging may bring in cash indirectly. Point your Facebook friends, family and fans to your blog posts and place blog links in fan pages. Write a blog for reasons that include:
- Free Book Publicity
- Building Brand
- Showing off your writing skills
Like blogging, press releases, targets for free publicity, can be linked to fan pages. Have you thought of writing news articles and press releases about yourself and your book? Well, don’t just think about it, write a news article and press release and let your audience know what you’re up to. Writing your own press statement gives you control over your information. Nothing is worse than incomplete or inaccurate press distributed about you. Occasionally, your article or press release will be picked up by another service and given more circulation. Writing your own news also provides a link to place on your fan page.
Authors can create events in order to have news to release. In your press release, announce a public speaking event, book signing or release party. That is what an agent would do for you if you had one. Speak at your local public library. You probably won’t get paid, but you can announce the speaking engagement on Facebook. Better still, create a Facebook Event Page and invite your friends and fans. Ask them to share your event with their friends. Get the library to publicize the event on their web pages. Be sure to provide them with copy. Many institutions do not have personnel to write copy. Cross link articles, press releases, fan pages, Facebook Events announcements and status updates.
So, write your book, get into the social media game, and create a FaceBook Fan Page to grab your press and build brand.