Social Media Tips & Blog

Making the Reasonable Ask

Marketing your book is going to involve asking people for things. Whether it's cover blurbs, a foreword, testimonials, or reviews, it's far more practical to ask than to wait for volunteers.

How you ask makes a world of difference. My goal in this article is to help you do your homework so you have the best chance of getting a meaningful response. Note I didn't say a positive response; 'yes' isn't always the right answer, much as we'd like it to be. You can't be too timid to even ask, but it doesn't work to be so confident you come off as a jerk.

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Fall 2017 Nonfiction Writers Conference

The Fall Nonfiction Writers Conference, featuring the theme “Marketing Mastery for Authors,” happens November 9th & 10th, 2017. This event is completely virtual; attendees participate via phone or Skype. Speakers for NFWC FallCon 2017 include: Jim Horan – Opening Keynote: Ready for Your Author Business to Get Easy? Sandra Beckwith – Build Your Book Marketing Plan Connie Ragan Green – Website Secrets and Content Marketing for Authors Joan Stewart, Book Hooks – Fun, Timely, Creative Angles to Publicize Your Book Dennis Yu – Facebook Marketing for Authors Stephanie Chandler – Advanced Book Marketing Tactics That Get Results Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Keynote Gold: Speaking to Sell More Books Tina Dietz – Marketing with Podcasts and Audio Books The Nonfiction Writers Conference is brought to you by the Nonfiction Authors Association, an educational community for experienced and aspiring writers. If you’re ready to accelerate your author career, pull up a seat on your couch and join us for this powerful event! Details and registration: http://nonfictionwritersconference.com/fall-2017-nonfiction-writers-conference/The Fall Nonfiction Writers Conference, featuring the theme “Marketing Mastery for Authors,” happens November 9th & 10th, 2017. This event is completely virtual; attendees participate via phone or Skype. Speakers for NFWC FallCon 2017 include:

  • Jim Horan – Opening Keynote: Ready for Your Author Business to Get Easy?
  • Sandra Beckwith – Build Your Book Marketing Plan
  • Connie Ragan Green – Website Secrets and Content Marketing for Authors
  • Joan Stewart, Book Hooks – Fun, Timely, Creative Angles to Publicize Your Book
  • Dennis Yu – Facebook Marketing for Authors
  • Stephanie Chandler – Advanced Book Marketing Tactics That Get Results
  • Patrick Schwerdtfeger – Keynote Gold: Speaking to Sell More Books
  • Tina Dietz – Marketing with Podcasts and Audio Books

The Nonfiction Writers Conference is brought to you by the Nonfiction Authors Association, an educational community for experienced and aspiring writers. If you’re ready to accelerate your author career, pull up a seat on your couch and join us for this powerful event! Details and registration: http://nonfictionwritersconference.com/fall-2017-nonfiction-writers-conference/

13 Ways to Utilize Your Facebook Author Page

Facebook infographic

First step: set up an Author Facebook page, separate from your personal page. Set it up under your author name, not your book. That way when you write additional books, you can use the one author page for them all instead of creating a new page for every book. Here are 13 ways you can get started utilizing your author page.

  1. Claim your custom URL. Example: https://www.facebook.com/Author[YOURNAME]/.
  2. Create a Cover Image that clearly shows the type of book(s) you write. The image can include the cover of your book(s) as well as a short text description of your topic. This area is what people see first so make it count. You can even change it from time to time – when you’re offering your book on sale or have a special event or speaking engagement coming up.
  3. Use a professional headshot for the profile image.
  4. Call to Action button. Just below the cover image is a button that can be customized to say Sign Up, Contact Us, Book Now, Learn More, or Get in Touch. You can add a link to a page on your website where followers can sign up for your newsletter, learn about your services, or contact you.
  5. Use Tabs wisely. You can rearrange them as you like (Under Settings, Edit Page.) You can include a Services tab, Photos, Videos, Events and more.
  6. About Section. Write a brief summary about your book in the About section (though it is limited to 255 characters.) You can add more details in the Story section that include your keywords.
  7. Pin a post. You can pin any post or image to the top of the page so it’s the first thing visitors see. Just click on the drop-down arrow in the upper right-hand corner of any post and choose Pin to Top of Page. This can be changed periodically. Are you running a special? Pin that post to the top of the page. Did you just release a new book? Change the pinned post so people see that first.
  8. Post at least 3 times a week, preferably daily. Some ideas to get you started: post a short book excerpt, a relevant quote, a brief reader review, or ask a question to get conversations started. Get creative!
  9. Boost a post. Once you see which post is most popular, this may be a good one to spend some money on to Boost. This is one way to get your page in front of new eyes and increase followers. You might also consider creating an ad, particularly if you’re about to launch a book. You don’t have to spend a lot. Test the waters with just $1 per day.
  10. Check your notifications and messages daily. A reader may have asked a question, posted a comment, or sent you a message. You don’t want to miss any interactions. This is a great opportunity to engage with your readers.
  11. Check your Insights tab at least once a week. You’ll be able to see data showing how many people viewed your posts, how much engagement your page is getting, which posts are most popular, and much more.
  12. Create a Milestone. Did you just sell your 100th copy? Release a second edition? Or reach some other milestone? Under your cover image to the right of the Share button is a box with 3 dots (…). Click there and in the drop-down you’ll find Create Milestone.
  13. Add a Follow Me button on your website so readers can find you on Facebook. Include the link to your Facebook page in your email signature and at any other online networks as well as in any printed marketing materials.

There is a lot you can do with your Facebook author page. These ideas will get you started. I’d love to hear what else you’ve done with yours.

Build Book Buzz: Q&A with Sandra Beckwith

Sandra Beckwith is an author and national award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to save thousands of dollars by doing their own publicity, promotion, and marketing. You might have seen her on The Montel Williams Show or CBS This Morning or read about her in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. Her website, BuildBookBuzz.com, has been named a top website for authors and writers three times. Subscribe to her free weekly newsletter and get a free gift.

We had some questions for Sandra. She had some answers you can put into practice today and build into your ongoing social media marketing plan.

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Why You Should Avoid Digital Sharecropping

In the bad old days, some folks were trapped in a poverty-inducing cycle, farming land they could never own. Rich landowners allowed ("allowed" !) tenant farmers to work the land in exchange for a share of the crop. The rich landowner, simply because he owned the land, received a share of the crops as well.

The sharecropper could never make enough to buy the land. The system was designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

Eleven times a week I hear questions about "the best blogging platform." And I read recommendations of, not only various free blogging tools, but even folks who consider their Facebook page or other social media presence to be their online marketing.

If you don't own the land, you're sharecropping, building someone else's empire.

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