FB-TwitterIf you're an author these days, it's generally expected that you have a Facebook and Twitter account, among numerous other social media accounts. People rarely ask anymore, "Do you have a Facebook page?" instead asking, "What's your Facebook page?" or "What's your Twitter handle?"

As fabulous as authors are at writing stories, both true and make-believe, they often struggle with what to put on their Facebook page and Twitter feed. In fact, that's one of the most common questions we get from our authors.

Here's a post with some specific ideas to help move you along:

BooksFlyVirtual Book Tours, also known as blog tours, are an excellent way for authors to promote themselves and their books.

  • – Blog tours seem to use all the advantages of social media, plus the "tour stops" are recorded on the blogs and last far beyond the event date, so there's some real staying power involved.
  • – Good tour hosts are kind to the authors and their books, but they are also honest, so readers know they can trust the blog host. That lends credibility to the tour stop and the reviews.
  • – The biggest quandary for the modern author is deciding which is the biggest perk: how budget-friendly viritual book tours are or the fact that you can do them in your bathrobe and slippers.

PinterestTypewriterPinterest is the fastest growing standalone website ever. And while recipes, dream travel destinations, style tips, and adorable photos of cats seem to dominate the site's content, there is plenty of room for authors. If you are a published author or want to become one, you should be on Pinterest.

While Pinterest is a visual way to share online content, there are a surprisingly large number of readers and booklovers on the site. While images drive the pins, Pinterest is about so much more than pictures––it's about sharing your favorite things, finding inspiration, and building knowledge.

harshreaderAre you sitting down? I have some news for you: Not everyone is going to like your book. When they don't, you have two choices: 1) Move on or 2) Move into a cabin in the woods.

Nobody likes a bad review. Not you. Not your publisher. Not even the reviewer who most likely feels she wasted her time. But bad reviews do happen.

So what's the best way to handle the inevitable bad review? Do nothing. Seriously. PR experts across the industry agree that the best thing to do is absolutely nothing. Move on and keep working.

If you can't do nothing, then your other option is to take a deep breath, step back, and glean what constructive bits you can from the criticism. Learn from the reviewer and consider if there's anything you can apply to improve your work.

Use our handy pre-publication checklist to help you schedule your marketing and promotional tasks for your book. Make sure you get started early––some of the items on the checklist start as early as 12 months before publication!

pdfClick here to download the checklist.

You’ve finished your book. You’re in your last round of edits. You’re cover design is in the process of being finalized. You’re ready to pass out copies to friends.

And just when you thought writing your book was the hard part, now it’s time to promote your work. But don’t worry. We’re here to help.

The first step after publishing your book is to understand the importance of book promotion and starting early. And I mean really early, as in a year to six months in advance.

Are you tired of asking your friend’s kids for help on the Internet? Do you dread scheduling a post—let alone writing one? Are you embarrassed by your social media accounts?

You can stop worrying about that now. As a sneak peak into Pub Light: A Publisher’s Introduction to Selling your Book in 10 Easy Steps (available this month), this week starts a series of blog posts that can help you answer all of the questions you’re constantly asking yourself when it comes to social media. By tuning into our weekly blog, you will be able to learn about snippets from our latest book as well as instructions on how to revamp your online presence in order to build up your book brand.

First up: Facebook.

Having trouble keeping up with what’s trending online? Confused by all the hashtags? Want a key to all the shorthand messages? The second post to guide you through the social media universe is here. 

Twitter is essentially a timeline of micro-blogging. By tweeting messages of 140 characters or less, you can share, respond or interact with other users in real-time. You can form a relationship with your followers by becoming a “person,” not just a name on a page. 
You should use Twitter to share your thoughts and movements. Tweet what you’re doing, where you’re going, highlights from your life, and books you’re reading. Remember, Twitter is not a shouting media platform. It’s social media. So be social. All posts should reflect a personal, author brand that you’re trying to build.

Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform.

Users can post and edit images with captions or view the images of those users and friends that you follow. News organizations, magazines, events, interest groups and more use Instagram to share information. You can also use it. For example, you may post a sneak peak of your latest book cover. You may post a picture of a place where you write or create a contest to engage with followers. You can also create book quote images using one of the graphic creators we will cover later on.

Have the normal social media sites under control? Are you a Facebook genius, but want to branch out into something different? Or do you want to try something besides Twitter and FB to connect with readers? Then reddit is a great place to connect.

By now you know that using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a free and effective way to build an audience. Luckily, authors and booklovers have another option to connect with readers: Goodreads. Goodreads (Goodreads.com) is a book lover’s social media haven where members can keep track of books they love, books they hate, and books they want to read. Friends can share recommendations, readers post reviews, and members can even sign up to win books through the giveaway program.

Cover Reveal Blog Title

Everyone has heard the cliché “Don’t choose a book by its cover.” But we all still do that to an extent, don’t we? People do judge a book by its cover. Most people let their opinions of a cover at least subconsciously shadow their perception of a book.

Looks matter. Thus, the cover matters.

Author Newsletter

Another way to spread the word about your new book and keep readers updated is through an email newsletter. That’s right. Don’t just send one email. Send many. Invite friends, family and readers to sign up for your newsletter either online or at your launch party. If you commit to writing a newsletter you should send it quarterly, monthly, or weekly depending on your schedule.

 

Social Media ContentSo now you have all of the accounts set up—but maintaining 2 to 3 social media platforms isn’t as easy as it seems. Creating original content for each individual site can be tricky. Do you always and only find yourself retweeting on Twitter or sharing other people’s posts on Facebook? There’s another way to engage in social media! Using one or a combination of the tools in the next section:

By Fauzia Burke

One of the nation's leading online book marketing experts, Fauzia Burke recently published Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step by Step Guide. Sharing her expertise of online publicity, book publishing and social media, Fauzia points out trends authors should focus on. 

Important Trends and Statistics for Authors

When authors stay on top of trends, they can use the information to develop more effective online marketing strategies. Your author platform is your ability to reach your readers and build a community. Here are 12 trends to note for authors:

By Kylee Wooten

The biggest “do” of all: You should need to be on social media. These days, having a Twitter account and a Facebook page are almost as essential to your success as an author actually having a book.

One of the things that we continue to stress to our authors is the importance of a strong presence on Amazon. Amazon has a dedicated "Author Central" page, where authors can "claim" his/her books, post a bio, updates and trade reviews, and more. As one of the largest book retailers in the world, we believe in the importance of utlizing Amazon to its full capacity. Brooke Warner breaks down the most important misconceptions, little known facts and valuable tips for authors to consider when they are navigating the world of Amazon. This article was orignially featured in Huffington Post.

What defines success for an author? Is is the number of books sold? The number of awards they recieve? Authors Brad A. LaMar and Susan Örnbratt join us for this week's Ask the Authors blog post on defining and finding success as an author. If you have any questions you'd like to ask our authors, make sure to leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter!

One of the biggest misconceptions that authors face is that their work is done once the book is published. Whether you’re self-publishing or you have a world-renowned publicist, you should expect to spend as much time marketing your book as you did writing it.