Facebook. It can be a fun social tool, an addictive time-sucker, or both. It can also be a useful part of your author platform. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t come into the world of social media knowing exactly what to do and how to do it. And I’ll bet you didn’t learn Facebook in school. (Actually, Facebook didn’t even exist when I was in school. Neither did the internet.)
A lot of social media experts recommend promoting your book on Facebook. Some give good advice on how to do this. Some give bad advice. Over the past three years, I’ve learned a few things about using Facebook as a social and promotional tool, and I’d like to share them with you:
For some of you, this might be pretty basic stuff based on common sense. For those who are new to social media or book promotion, I hope you’ll find this information helpful.
If you’re looking for more advice on promoting your book or author etiquette in the blogosphere, I’d like to recommend this excellent article by Susan Toy: HOW to get promotion for yourself and your book. Susan’s blog is full of helpful information and straightforward advice. If you’re not already following her blog, I highly recommend subscribing to it.
If you would like more information on Facebook basics, please leave a comment below. I’d like to make a post sometime in the near future about Facebook fundamentals such as changing your privacy settings, creating a Facebook page, etc. Please let me know what information would be helpful for you. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting below, or if you have a very specific question, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Sometimes I stalk authors. If an author posts a particularly intriguing article on a blog, or if an author interacts with me on a social media platform, I might get curious about the author’s work. I want to find out more about their books. I might even want to buy one of their novels. If I’m already on an author’s blog, I expect to see their books either listed on the sidebar or on a separate page. If I don’t see their books listed on their blog, I’ll go to Amazon and search for the author’s name.
I’m pretty persistent. If I really want to find a book, I’ll find it.
Unfortunately, some readers aren’t that persistent. There are lots of demands on our time. It’s easy to get distracted. Kids demand our attention. Cats knock over a potted plant. The phone rings. By the time we return to our computer, we forget what we were looking for, and suddenly, that book we thought we’d check out might not seem so important.
Hundreds of books are published every day. If a reader can’t find yours, they won’t have any trouble finding something else to read. If you’ve been fortunate enough to attract a reader’s attention, don’t drive them away. Don’t make the reader have to search for fifteen minutes to find your books. They shouldn’t have to scroll down to the bottom of your blog or have to search through multiple posts in order to find information on your most recent publication. They shouldn’t have to leave your blog in order to find you on Amazon. Everything the reader is looking for should be right at their fingertips.
Your blog or website should be a one-stop-shop for all your books and social media links. In other words, your books should be accessible with a few clicks of the mouse. The fewer clicks, the better.
Things to consider when setting up your blog or website:
Basically, there are a million ways to organize your blog or website. You can jazz it up or keep it simple. Have multiple pages, or a one-page, streamlined blog. Just remember your blog or site is for your readers, so make it as reader-friendly as possible. Have fun with your blog, put your personal stamp on it, and make it uniquely yours.
We’re all busy, especially this time of the year. It seems we barely have enough time to pick up a book for a few minutes before we go to sleep each night, much less time to write a review once we’ve finished reading. Unless you’re an avid reader who is dedicated to keeping track of every book you’ve ever read, you probably don’t bother with reviews. Books gets hundreds of reviews, so yours doesn’t really matter, right?
Your review is essential. Unless an author is a famous best-seller, chances are their books could use a little love. A little attention. And YOUR review.
There are so many reasons why reviews are important. Reviews help other readers decide whether or not to purchase a book. They let an author know if they are resonating with readers, and what they’re doing right – or wrong. Reviews help a book get noticed. And they can give an author that necessary boost to keep them writing, or to remind them why they started writing in the first place.
Contrary to popular opinion, most authors aren’t rich. Most don’t make a living writing books. Most work day jobs and write at night. Some authors barely make any money at all. We write because we love it. On napkins. On scraps of paper during our breaks or lunch hours. During the quiet moments long after the rest of our family has gone to bed, after we’ve worked a full day, made dinner, and cleaned the house. We scrape together little snippets of time, feeling guilty all the while that we aren’t doing something more productive, like mopping the kitchen floor or folding that last load of towels.
Why do we do it if there is little or no monetary reward? Because we simply can’t imagine NOT writing. Though most of us hold out hope that one day we’ll be the next J.K. Rowling, we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that writing isn’t going to rake in the big bucks. Writing might not be lucrative, but there are other rewards. A thoughtful review is one of them.
A good review can make an author’s whole day. We live for a few words of praise scattered here and there. We love to hear from readers, whether it’s a message on Facebook or a comment on our blogs. Most authors have websites with a Contact Me form or an email address, and we absolutely love it when readers connect with us.
If you loved a book, leave a review. Tell a friend. Spread the word. Authors are so appreciative of every reader. YOU make it worth our while to do what we love – write!