Social Media and Your Book Release

Often, authors ask me what they can do to put their book in the social media limelight. While it is not difficult to accomplish, as we have discussed before, there are a few important steps that you can take to ensure that your book receives the attention it deserves. Here are a few ideas that scratch the surface…

1. Start Immediately I had a client named Dan (all names have been changed to protect the innocent).  Dan had a wonderful book coming out in about six months.  He was so excited, I am sure he felt like he was going to give birth to a baby, or as close as guys get to this feeling (besides kidney stones).  Dan wanted to wait until his book came out to get all social media going.  Although waiting can still be effective, I don’t advise this or think it is best. Make sure you are lined up with all of your social media accounts now. Do you have Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, and maybe even Google Plus?  Make them look pretty. Get your friends and family on board and let them know what you are doing, so they can be your biggest cheerleaders.  Don’t wait. Start today.
2. Start Blogging and Guest Blogging  Here are my three simple rules for having a successful blog:

* Be consistent. Same time, same day.

* Don’t be too wordy or too simple.  500 -700 words is a good mark. Don’t over blog. Sadly, I just unsubscribed to one of my favorite blogs because I would receive two or three updates from that person a day. Save the poetry you like for your Facebook page.

* Be consistent. Oh, I said that? But it is valuable. I want my blogs in my inbox the same time every week.

Guest blogs need to be done strategically.  Pair up with friends who blog as well. Showcase yourself.  It can be a win – win for both of you. Promote it well,  and you both will end the day with a bigger audience.

3. Create A Data Base. Compile an email list and blast it out to all your friends and family.  I use Mail Chimp: it’s easy, it’s free and it does a great job managing a database.  There are some other ones that people have told me about,  author Lucille Zimmerman said that AWeber is great.  Celebrate great reviews, talk about new projects, and keep people on the inside of your circle, making them feel valuable.
4. Give Away Books. When your book is going to come out, encourage your friends and family to buy a copy.  Sure if you are REALLY close to them, you can give them a copy for free, but still get them to buy one and give it to a friend.  (Ever heard of Guerilla Marketing?) If your publisher gives you books to give to your friends and family, tell them they can only have one if they agree to write a review on Amazon after reading it. If your book is about the church, give it to church leaders ask them to help promote your masterpiece.

Get your books in the hands of “tastemakers.”  What is a tastemaker, you ask? Acoording to Urban Dictionary, “Tastemaker: An individual who’s determination of what’s stylish influences a significant quantity or quality of people resulting in a supportive trend.”  A tastemaker is someone who is savvy and all-knowing. It could be your best friend or your coffee shop barista. You want your tastemaker friends to talk about your book; people listen to tastemakers.
What is your best tip to be socially media savvy? 

Ingrid Schneider is WordServe’s resident Marketing Maven. With a specialty in social media, Ingrid loves helping authors find and manage an online tribe of readers. After spending the last 15 years managing and marketing restaurants, people, and businesses, Ingrid knew that helping people market themselves via social media and online platforms was a passion and something at which she excelled. Now doing social media marketing for some great-named authors, Ingrid also loves to imagine that she is a secret agent, because she can’t disclose with whom she is working. (Believe us when we tell you that Ingrid handles some big names, but for anonymity’s sake, we can’t disclose this TOP SECRET information.)  Imagination and creativity is something Ingrid is serious about and loves to incorporate into her work with her clients.

The One Essential “Ingredient” to Successful Marketing

The closer I come to the release of my first fiction (The Soul Saver, Barbour Books) in May, the more I find myself fascinated with marketing. Specifically, what it all means and how does it all work. Not to mention the endless and overwhelming choices. Where do we start?

I will confess, I’m thankful to have had a nonfiction book (Winning Him Without Words, Regal Books) to market first. Through that journey, I learned that even the most well planned and thought-out marketing plan won’t succeed without one essential ingredient.

God.

Speaking for myself, self-promotion doesn’t come easy and I’m actually glad about that. I have to examine my motivations on a regular basis to make sure prickly pride hasn’t wormed its nefarious self into the scenario. I could easily make it all about me.

However, our marketing is vital to the spread of our message, be it fiction or nonfiction. The thing is, we tend to put it into this category that doesn’t include God because we somehow think it might repulse Him in some way.

I’ve noticed I’ve done this and have recently found Paul to be a great example of an effective marketer. His letters are in the Bible! That’s pretty successful marketing in my book (and God’s obviously).

Paul wrote letters and traveled, “promoting” the message of Christ’s salvation every chance he got. He put himself out there as a teacher, a speaker, a writer and a mentor. He’s a great example for us because even in the midst of his promotion efforts, Paul’s focus remained steadfast on his message.

On Jesus.

Are we any different really? Yes, we want to sell books. Yes, we want our work to reach the minds and hearts of those who need encouragement, strengthening, or just a glimpse of what God’s grace looks like. Doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or nonfiction. God uses whatever He wants to get His Truth out. To share His Son.

So, marketing doesn’t have to be the “necessary evil” of publishing. If we believe in our work and feel God has placed us in such a time as this to share subtly or overtly, through fiction or nonfiction, through articles or Bible studies, then why not start our marketing endeavors with God, seeking His design and will for our efforts? If I’m to believe and trust in His hand, which has brought me to where I am now, what makes me think He won’t be in the marketing mix as well?

How about you? What has your marketing journey taught you about faith? Or vice versa?