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Social Networking Your Way to Book Publicity

Author: Stacy-Deanne

Social networking allows means of promotion that authors cannot afford to ignore. There are millions of social networking sites, which make author promotion not just easier but even more fun. If you’re a published author such as I am, you may have heard different opinions about this from your peers. Some praise social networking as the “dawn of a new age” for author promotion. Others believe that social networking is a waste of time and will only give you promotion to a certain degree. There are points to both opinions but I find the last completely untrue.

I’ve been using social networks for years and only recently began to really pump up my book promotion through them. Being an author in the business for almost twelve years, I can tell you that online promotion works and today, social networking is the best brand of online promotion an author can use. The reason that some authors say social networking hasn’t brought them much exposure is because they do not know how to use them. There is an art to writing but there is also an art to effective publicity and exposure.

These are simple tips that will help you find readers on any social network you join. I’ll use My Space as a primary example.

Tip 1: Treat My Space as a database of potential readers.

Do a search for readers who are interested in books that you write. Go to the search section of My Space and do an extensive hunt for readers who read books of your genre. For example, if you write mysteries, in the search bar, type in “I love to read mysteries”, or “mystery books”, or “my favorite mystery authors”. What will you get in return? Lists of profiles of people who read mysteries and even detailed info about their favorite authors. How does this help you? Simple, most times people who read your genre are always looking for new books. Maybe they know of your new mystery, maybe not, either way you’ve found your audience. Reach out to them by sending friend invites. Do not send personal messages advertising your books. Even if you want these people to buy your book, do not resort to spamming. Most times just sending a friend request and allowing them to check out your page is enough. So, you’ve gained a potential reader and if not, you’ve at least gotten exposure to someone who wasn’t aware of your book.

Tip 2: Join the groups and discussions and participate.

I know writers are busy people. Whenever someone asks me advice about promotion, I throw up social networking in a minute. I tell them how they can’t just add friends or pop into the site once a month and expect to gain exposure or book sales just by being a member of a network. Authors should take social networking seriously. It’s a must-have for publicity and you must put as much time into it as possible to see positive results. You’ve got to participate and this is what some authors do not understand. The key is to promote yourself as well as your book. Join the groups and accept group invites. Participate in the groups as much as you can but do not plug your book. Just being in the group and participating will bring you exposure and possible sales.
You’ll receive more friend invites and invitations to more groups. You’ll gain exposure to media contacts that maybe in these groups and that will lead to publicity for you. You don’t need to plug your book at every turn. Sometimes showing people that you’re a real person and not just an author will bring you more fans than you could ever hope for.

Tip 3: Use your book cover as your profile picture.

What’s easier than promoting your book by having your book cover to be your main picture? This way, wherever you go or post in that network, people will see your book. Seeing your book cover is way more interested to readers than seeing your face. You can have your personal picture on your profile page but use your book cover to identify yourself throughout the network. This will definitely attract readers to your page. They’ll check in simply to see about what you’ve written. Once again, you’ve gained a potential reader. And if not, the least you get is exposure.

There are many tips for making social networking work for you. You should use it as a serious form of promotion, nothing to take lightly. Some authors claim they don’t have time to keep track of their social network sites. Do you have time to sell books? If you are serious about gaining book sales in an era of technology, you need to make time for promoting yourself online. There isn’t an excuse as not having time. Authors should remember that effective publicity is for the long-term. You want your books to continue selling and to stay in print for years to come. The least we can do is to keep our readers focused on our products. We need to promote ourselves as much as our books. If we lose interest in our own work, how can we expect readers not to? Last but not least we need to be patient. Good things come to those who’ve put in the time. Better things come to those that wait.

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About the Author

Stacy-Deanne is a best selling author and novelist. She’s been in the writing industry for twelve years. She is a novelist with Simon and Schuster. Stacy was featured in 2006’s “Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women in Writing”. She was born, raised and resides in Houston, Texas. You can visit her sites to learn more about her and her books.