Book Promotion Part III – Social Networks

This week, I’d like to talk a little bit about social networking. Those of you who follow the blog, know that I’ve talked about this before HERE and HERE. I love connecting with people online. The question is, does it sell books?

The answer, like most everything, is… it depends.

There are many social networks to choose from. Some have a more targeted audience. Others have a broader appeal. In fact, according to this website, there are at least 350 places on the internet where you can network with others. I’m sure there are more.

So, what’s an author to do? Do you go on the big ones like facebook and twitter? Or try to target people through book readers’ sites like goodreads and shelfari? What about groups and loops on yahoo and google? Or social forums? As you can see, a person can lose a lot of time jumping from site to site to promote their books.

heartbook

 

So, what’s an author to do? This question came up recently on the Romance Divas forums. An author wanted to know which sites she should join. Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert in this area, but I have suffered from burnout from being on too many social networks.  My advice is to start small. There is no way that you will be able to keep up with ten or more different sites so don’t even try. Pick one or two and focus on those. Get to know the readers/viewers and become part of the community. As a reader I find that one or two lines in a poster’s signature is much more affective than a blanket “drive by” promotion post. I can’t tell you how many author’s websites I’ve checked out because the person offered advice, or chatted with me online.

 

woman and computerYes, getting to know the members of these groups takes time. One of the wonderful side affects of this method, however, is that you make friends. These are the people who will help you when you are struggling with your writing career or with life, the ones who will cheer with you and your successes. Writing is a very lonely job. The more friends you can pick up along the way, the greater your chances of sticking with your dream and meeting your goals.

But you can’t use a signature in places like facebook and twitter, you say. This is ture. Can accepting drinks and playing Mafia Wars really lead people to your books? Yes and no. You have to be smart. Put your website up as part of your profile, or start a fan page. Connect with others and offer areas where they can see your work. Just don’t do what some authors do and constantly spam your followers with promotional status updates and emails. It can annoy potential book buyers and drive people away from your work.

 

clockWhatever social network you choose, pick what you feel comfortable with, set a timer for ten or fifteeen minutes. Walk away when your time is up. Seriously. That way, you can prioritize what’s most important: writing your next book.

 

 

So I want to hear from all of you. What social networks do you use? How much time do you spend on social networks? Do you think they are affective? Tell me. I want to hear about it!

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Comments
9 Responses to “Book Promotion Part III – Social Networks”
  1. I’ve confessed before that I’m a total Facebook addict. Not sure if it sells books, but, Lord, I love it! It’s like an RWA chapter meeting every single day. I’ve discovered many wonderful authors and new friends there. I’m constantly inspired and amused.

    I agree that you have to be careful about the time suck, though. I don’t participate in the games and only occasionally get lured into quizzes. Mostly I enjoy the status updates and hearing about what other authors are up to:)

  2. Dawn McClure says:

    I think I enjoy Yahoo groups the most. I’ve met great friends on the FF&P special-interest Chapter of RWA. I Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. I really don’t know what works. lol

    The one thing that helped me sell books, was to go in with a few other authors and slap my cover in the Romantic Times magazine. I noticed a huge jump in sales that month. I believe it was with All Romance E-Books.

    As for meeting other authors, nothing beats joining RWA.

  3. susan leech says:

    This is a reader’s point of view. I like yahoo and google best and because of the blogs from authors I have went out and purchase books that I may not had done otherwise. I feel knowing an author if just a little gives me a better view and makes me want to read her or his books more. susan L.

  4. Suzanne Rock says:

    Hi barbara! I know that you are addicted to facebook – it really is a great resource for networking. I like twitter better, I think because it’s more of a live feed, but facebook allows you to be more verbose nad interactive with people. thaks for sharing!

  5. Suzanne Rock says:

    Hi Dawn – I don’t know what works, etiher. LOL. I agree that yahoo loops are a great thing, too. My publisher has author days on some readers loops and they are always a lot of fun.

    I agree that RWA is a great way to meet other authors – probably the best way. I like how it has individual chapters so that people who share common interests or who live close by have an opportunity to connect.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Suzanne Rock says:

    Hi Susan – I agree that making a connection with an author can lead me to seek out their books. The problem is that I’ve met so many great authors on twitter, yahoo loops and facebook, that my pocketbook is feeling the pinch, LOL. I have discovered some great stories this way, though. Thanks for posting!

  7. hotcha1 says:

    WOW BETH! I AM EXCITED FOR YOU, JUST SIGNED UP, AND I WOULD JUST LOVE TO READ YOUR BOOK! I BLOG, BLOG, AND BLOG BUT NEVER KNOW IF I WON AS I FAIL TO LOOK SINCE I DELETE MESSAGES SINCE I GET OVER 300MESSAGES A DAY!

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

  8. I am a new author and I have visited many blogs to discuss promoting a new book. Some are helpful and others only want to discuss books by well-known authors.

    I have made some contacts to get reviews of my book posted to popular blogs where avid readers will learn about it.

  9. Being a new author and I have visited many blogs to discuss promoting a new book. Some are helpful and others only want to discuss books by well-known authors.

    I have made some contacts to get reviews of my book posted to popular blogs where avid readers will learn about it.

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