Social Media Tips & Blog

Is a Book Signing for You?

Is a book signing worth it? That's really up to you to decide. I know some authors who have had quite a bit of success with book signings, selling quite a few books. Other authors say it's not worth it - that it takes too much time and effort with very little results. I say it depends on what your objectives are. A book signing event can be a great way to have your book and face get noticed by people who might not otherwise know you or your book. You can leverage the event on social media - posting about it before hand, during, and after the event.

book signing barnes & nobleRecently we attended a book signing by a local author in Arizona we've known for nearly a decade. Brian K Wright hosts Success Profiles Radio and has written three books. For his most recent book, Success Profiles: Conversations with High Achievers Including Jack Canfield, Tom Ziglar, Loral Langemeier and More, he held a book signing event at Barnes & Noble in Mesa, Arizona. I spoke with him about what it took to get the event booked, and followed up to find out how things went. … more … "Is a Book Signing for You?"

When are the Best Days and Times to Post?

When are the best days and times to post?The question of what days to post on social media and when (time of day) has been a topic of much discussion. Answers vary depending on who you ask: Thursdays and Fridays late afternoon and evening; mid-week - Wednesday morning; first thing Monday morning, and it goes on.

My answer differs from many other social media consultants. There are two factors I encourage you to consider:

1. Is your business local or worldwide? Does your business cater to your local area or do your services reach a wider audience? As an example, a local hair salon located in Seattle, Washington may post at different times than a New York B2B consultant with clients in Asia. The Seattle hair salon isn't likely to get many customers from outside the area. Even visitors from outside the area will be expecting the salon to post within local business hours. It makes sense then for the majority of their posts to be within their local business days and hours. If they are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, that's when I'd expect them to post. The New York B2B consultant however will not limit her posts to local New York time. She has clients in Asia and elsewhere in the world. If she only posts at local New York time, it's likely her clients in Asia won't see her posts. Since her audience is really worldwide, she can post any day at any time.

2. Test different days and times. If you think posting on a particular day or at specific times are best, test it. Try that and see what sort of engagement your posts get. Then test some different days and times outside of the norm for you. Did your posts get the same engagement? After you've tested and reviewed your results, you'll have a better idea if it really makes a difference when you post and you can adjust accordingly.

Don't jump on the bandwagon of posting only on a certain day or at certain times until you're sure it's right for you. For my business as a social media marketing consultant, I have clients all over the world and a large worldwide Twitter following. As far as I'm concerned, I can post any day and any time and get engagement.

What I have found seems to be fairly consistent - weekends are more for fun posts rather than business posts. Of course the weekend for my client in New Zealand starts on my Friday here and her Monday is my Sunday - so that could get tricky!

My advice: be consistent and spread your posts out - particularly on Twitter (morning, midday, evening). Consistency is more important than when you post.

P.S. I recently read Daniel Pink's book "When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing". No, he doesnn't tell us the perfect time to post on social media. It did give me some great ideas on how to be more productive in my work though. Check it out.

Checklist to Get Ready for Your Book Launch

rocket book launchThis is not an exhaustive list of everything you might do for a book launch. It focuses primarily on what you can do using social media. There may be other things you need to do if you are having a book launch party, need additional publicity such as getting on radio, TV, in newspapers. I can recommend a great publicist for traditional publicity. Her name is Joanne McCall and you can learn more at her website.

Book Launch Planning

Have on hand:

  • a digital copy of your book
  • your photo
  • a high resolution digital version of your book cover
  • your bio
  • copies of all your existing physical marketing collateral
  • links to all your online accounts

Expand Your Audience of Potential Readers

One way to do this is to cross-promote on all your social platforms. On Facebook post a message periodically inviting your Facebook fans to follow you on Twitter, Instagram, etc. On Twitter post a weekly message inviting your Twitter followers to connect with you on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn periodically post a link to your Pinterest boards and invite your connections to follow them. Examples:

“Follow my Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/sueawesome/social-media-tips-for-nonfiction-authors/

“For more detailed information about me and what I do, like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AusomaSocialMediaMarketingforNonfictionAuthors/

“Are you on LinkedIn? Send me a request to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suecanfield/

“Let’s connect on Twitter! https://twitter.com/sueawesome

“Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suecanfieldausoma/

6 Months Before Launch

  • Hire a book launch specialist if you can
  • Setup a book page on your website if you don’t yet have one. It should include:
    • expected release date
    • list of other books you’ve written
    • links to your Amazon page, Goodreads and all social media accounts
    • link sign up for your newsletter
    • a pitch to ask readers to post a review of your book wherever they purchased it (Amazon, Goodreads, etc.)
  • Set up Twitter if you don’t yet have an account. Tweet relevant tips from your book and retweet relevant content from others. Follow relevant profiles to expand your audience.

 4 Months Before Launch

  • Set up your Facebook Author page if you don’t have one yet. Start posting about your upcoming book launch.
  • Setup an email list if you haven’t yet. I recommend using MailChimp.
  • Reach out to bloggers who interview authors to plan a virtual book tour the week the book launches.
  • Write articles to post to your blog weekly, or more often, related to your book’s topic. Some of these could be re-worked to use as guest posts for the bloggers who interview authors. Your bio paragraph can include information about the book. You could even submit these articles to online article submission sites.
  • Contact podcasters for interviews.
  • Request book endorsements
  • Create photo memes (images to be shared on social media). Each social media platform displays photos best when they are sized correctly for that platform. These sizes change periodically. You can learn more about photo memes and download an image size guide here.
  • Setup a Pinterest board for your book and add all created Photo Memes.
  • Setup Instagram if you haven’t yet. Add all photo memes.
  • Consider doing a book trailer and posting on YouTube. This can be video of you talking about the book or it can use images and graphics with voice over. You want it to tell the reader why this book benefits them. Here are some examples of book trailers Joel has done. https://youtu.be/DHWyi5drV64 https://youtu.be/2gLSiwKoFgs https://youtu.be/sIHJpRFdIGg https://youtu.be/dA8JeVL3Vck

2 Months Before Launch

  • Setup your Amazon Author Central account if you don’t yet have one.
  • Post book cover image all over social media.
  • Create bookmarks and/or postcards around the book for your book launch party.
  • Create a hashtag specific to your book for use in social media messages. (i.e. my client, a retail consultant, is using #fivelawsofretail for his book, The Five Laws of Retail)
  • Reach out to a small group of people to be beta readers who will post a book review on Amazon on book launch day.

1 Month Before Launch

  • Update LinkedIn Publications Section
  • Let your email list know when the book will be released and ask them to share the announcement with their networks. See an example here of how one author leveraged her email list for her book launch.
  • Write a blog post about your book launch and include a short excerpt from your book.
  • Set up Google Alerts and monitor mention of your name, book, and topic.
  • Give away a sample chapter to new email subscribers to help build your list.
  • Share relevant links related to your topic. Mention how your book will address that topic.
  • Write copy about the book that your audience can share on their social media platforms on launch day. Send it out to your list with sample tweets and Facebook messages they can share with their audience. (Example of one of my client’s books for Facebook: “If you’re a mom, you’re worried about your daughter. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the question remains: How do we protect our daughters? By tackling the subject of sexual assault head-on, The Way of the Warrior Mama offers a roadmap to navigating one of the most treacherous parts of the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Learn more about the book: http://ow.ly/Irv130kGeVM” and for Twitter: How do we protect our daughters? By tackling the subject of sexual assault head-on, The Way of the Warrior Mama offers a roadmap to navigating one of the most treacherous parts of the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Learn more about the book: http://ow.ly/Irv130kGeVM”

Launch Day

  • Your blog – schedule a promotional announcement the day of the launch.
  • Your newsletter list – schedule a book launch announcement the day of the launch.
  • Facebook Author page – post 3 unique posts, morning, midday, evening.
  • Twitter – post 12 unique tweets – 1 every two hours. All can be scheduled ahead using a tool like Hootsuite. If you don’t use a tool to schedule ahead, then you can post those 12 tweets closer together, but no more than 2 in one hour. Be sure to use the specific hashtag you created for your book in your tweets. Monitor your account on launch day for any likes, retweets, mentions, comments. Be sure to respond to any comments and thank anyone who retweets and shares your posts.
  • LinkedIn – post 3 unique posts, morning, midday, evening.
  • Instagram – post 3 unique posts, morning, midday, evening.
  • Pinterest – pin 2 unique images relevant to your book.
  • Consider running a giveaway on Goodreads.
  • Remind your beta readers to post their review on Amazon.
  • Interact with your audience. Respond to comments and questions. Encourage your audience to ask questions.
  • Have fun! Celebrate!

The Day After

Celebrate! Relax! Don’t stress if things didn’t go quite as planned. Book marketing is an ongoing task. As long as your book is for sale, you’ll want to continue marketing it. So make plans to do that. But not today. Today – breathe! Enjoy the day!

Learn more about our Social Media Book Launch Support packages.

Download this checklist as a PDF.

Starting Social Media from Scratch

Sue and I are surprised when we meet an author who has essentially no social media presence—but we're surprised less and less as time goes by, because we keep meeting you!

It occurred to me how overwhelming it must be to be told "ya gotta be online" and have no idea where to start.

What if another author, with decades of experience online and years of marketing experience, could share what they know is the right way to start?

Well of course that's what I'm doing today.

Shortlisted

You need

  1. a website with a blog, and
  2. a newsletter.

I recommend, in the strongest possible terms, WordPress, on your own web hosting, and MailChimp for the newsletter.

I also recommend Charlottezweb for your hosting, because Jason has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty, surprising Sue and I with the quality of care he provides and yes, I'm talking about web hosting, not a server in a fancy restaurant, but that's how he makes us feel. Yes, that's an affiliate link and if you use it, we'll get a share of what you pay Jason. Won't cost you a penny extra.

If you use Charlottezweb for hosting, simply ask Jason to install WordPress for you. Setting up MailChimp takes a bit more effort. If you need help, just ask (or for a fee, we can do all this stuff for you.)

That's it, as far as the stuff you need to do yourself. Everything else is latching on to existing platforms.

A Presence on Every Major Platform

Note the word "presence." We'll come back to that in the next section.

For each of these popular social media platforms, make sure you have an account and that your profile is complete and consistent.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Goodreads

Our DIY Audit Packages include a checklist for everything you should include in your profile. It's the same checklist we use to do our $297 Peace of Mind Social Media Audit and Consultation.

Choose a Focus

Pick one of those platforms, the one you feel most comfortable with. Use it consistently. Get good at it. Do not try to add another platform to the mix until use of the first one is automatic and effortless. Don't add another platform until the first is running like a well-oiled machine.

Just having a presence on each of them lets folks find you on their favorite platform, even if you're not active. It's also possible to automate things like adding your blog posts to most of those platforms, meaning you're active there as long as you're blogging regularly, a practice we strongly urge you to develop.

When you feel comfortable spending more time on more platforms, take it slow and easy. Don't overwhelm yourself. Consistency is far more important than erratic broadcasting.

You CAN Do This Yourself—But You Don't Have To

If you can send an email you have the tech skills to make all this happen, perhaps with a little support.

But if you'd like help getting to this point, having a complete online social media presence you can start using, we can do that. The $697 Pro Setup for our monthly service packages covers creating and optimizing your account on all 6 of the social media platforms above (which includes your website and blog as the 6th platform.)

And THAT'S What Makes Our Audit & Consultation Great

A few days ago I interviewed Sue about her audit and consultation process. Frankly, although I sit next to her all day every day, I'm busy creating stuff and don't get into the technical details of her work very often.

I was surprised more than once. Don't tell anyone, but after I found out how much work she puts in and what the client gets back, I'm going to suggest raising the price.

Here's that interview: http://dl.ausoma.com/Ausoma_social-media-audit.mp3