After her speech at Writer.ly’s PubCamp, Peggy was asked if she tried to keep her personal and professional lives separate on social media. She responded, “I’m myself, all the time.” And she definitely walks the walk and talks the talk. Her Pinterest includes various Business boards and a Cupcakes! board.
Peggy believes that writers are naturally skilled with social media. In self-publishing, you are your brand. When the writing work is done, the promotional work begins. Too many authors think that a hard sell is the best way to go, constantly bombarding their audience with the message ‘buy my book! buy my book!’. She stressed the importance of arriving at your goal with a variety of media and messages. It’s always better to give your audience a choice in how they engage with you, including their preferred platform.
Customers and fans will be overwhelmed if every post and Tweet demands that they buy your product. Rather, if your content gives value to those potential consumers with information relevant to your topic, your audience will grow to appreciate and look forward to the information you share. Your audience also won’t be annoyed when you ask them once or twice to purchase your product within a reliable stream of otherwise useful information. To Peg, this is the difference between marketing your book and selling it.
As Peggy says, “As writers, you have every single tool that you need, right now, where you are.”
Tips For Book Marketing:
• Build a platform for your book sales
• Establish thought leadership in your genre
• Get to know other writers
• Learn more about the self-publishing process
• Collaborate and cross-promote! Work with a group for social media and conferences. Don’t see it as competition.
Tools For Social Media Promotion:
• Togather — Free. Create an online book tour. Connect with readers and people who have book clubs. Similar to eventbrite, combination of online and offline.
• Storify –Free. Using a hashtag or something else, pull together media and create a story (Tweets, Facebook posts, pictures, links to your book in there).
• Magisto — Free version and Pro version. Make a book trailer. Edit online and choose from royalty free music. Good for a book launch party or a reading at a local bookstore. Add some photos or video of your event, and Pin it, share it, Tweet it. Take it beyond that one day and make it a lasting resource.
• Google + Hangouts — Free. Turns your computer into a production studio. You can record a Hangout and use it for later. Peg suggests cutting the video into little pieces, making small 3-minute interviews. Interview people, have fans on to ask questions about the book, host a writers’ forum. Make sure you let people know you’re available for interviews and Google Hangouts.
• Shindig— Free. Host an online reading. Shows a library backdrop with profile picture bubbles of the people who are listening. 100% for authors.
• Goodreads — Free. Talk with your fans. From an author’s perspective, fill it all out and review other books.
• Pinterest— Free. Idea: create visually interesting quotes that link to your Amazon site. Tweet right from Pinterest. Boom! Free advertising.
Peg recommends Google+ mostly because there is no limit to the number of characters you can use. She also points out that Google+ is Google, so anything you post puts you higher up in the search rankings.
But here’s where she steps away from the well-worn social media SEO path. “Keywords aren’t the most important thing,” she said. “But definitely say you’re a writer and which genre.” The important thing is that people are reading and sharing your content.
Final words of wisdom:
• Don’t be intimidated by people with large followings.
• Be unique and original.
• Do what works for you. If you prefer Twitter, work it! If you’re a Facebook whiz, go for it! Do consider where your primary audience hangs out and if that platform is the best place to reach them, though.
Peg Fitzpatrick has managed social media for diverse business owners and authors, including Guy Kawasaki. Her favorite platform is Google+ and she is relentlessly positive. You can find her at pegfitzpatrick.com or @pegfitzpatrick on Twitter
Bonnie is a multimedia artist and writer based in Seattle, WA. Her stories touch on themes of distance and intimacy, revolution and acceptance. There’s no wrong way to tell a story, but her favorites are screenwriting, poetry, and installation art.