I’m pleased to have literary promotion experts Babs Hightower and Barb Drozdowich with me today to give a little insight into the world of social media.
Babs has been helping authors since 2000 with her book review blog, Babs Book Bistro. As well as the beginning of helping authors promote themselves, it proved to be her start in PR. In 2012, she commenced working for Entangled Publishing and is now Publicity Director for the Scandalous Imprint. She is also publicist for World Castle Publishing. When not helping others, she writes historical romance under the pen name of Morgan Kincaid. She has published 2 books to help authors understand more of what goes on in publishing and Goodreads.
Social media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught at colleges
and universities, trained technical personnel in the banking industry and, most recently, used her expertise to help dozens of authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular Romance Book blog, Sugarbeat’s Books. Barb has published 4 books specifically to help authors understand some of the technical issues that they come across when promoting their books.
I’m happy to have them share some of their knowledge with you.
Authors love to get comments on their blog posts – don’t we all? Comments are lovely! We often see comments encouraged in blog tours that are posted on our blog as well as others. In the big scheme of things, however, comments are not very important. Sharing is hugely important. Sharing buttons are those little icons that sit at the top or bottom of post or maybe float along the side. Ideally, they have icons for every social media platform known to man.
It’s your job to create great content that your readers want to share with their friends and followers. We don’t care if you don’t have a Stumbleupon account. Maybe your readers do and that’s where they want to share. You just need to make the content interesting and easy to share. You want your readers to share your post on Twitter, on Facebook, on Stumbleupon and on whatever other social media accounts they favor.
So why do we think that sharing is more important than comments? Because Google thinks that sharing is more important than comments. Although readers will find your blog from many sources, some will find you from a Google search. You want to do everything that you can to make your blog rank as high as possible in a Google search. Think about it – most people will only look through the first few pages of a Google search. So, you want to be on one of those first few pages.
Understanding some of the technical aspects to promoting your books is challenging for many authors. Authors write beautiful stories – that’s what they do really well! You wouldn’t hesitate to take a writing course or go to a workshop. Likewise, don’t waste your valuable writing time wrestling with technical issues; ask for help.
Babs and Barb have kindly decided to give away copies of any one of their several books to two lucky people leaving a comment or question. The winners are Rolynn Anderson and Ashantay Peters. Thanks for all your comments!
Babs can be found:
Babs Book Bistro website: http://www.babsbookbistro.net
Babs Hightower PR website: http://www.babshightowerpr.com
Author website: http://morgankincaid.com
Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/authormorgankincaid
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102563748897854093407/posts
Barb can be found:
Bakerview Consulting (Business Site) http://bakerviewconsulting.com
Barb Drozdowich (Author Site) http://barbdrozdowich.com
Sugarbeat’s Books (Book Blog) http://sugarbeatsbooks.com
Facebook(Author blog) https://www.facebook.com/BarbDrozdowichAuthor
Thank you for having us it was a pleasure.
You’re very welcome, ladies.
Thanks so much for sharing our information 🙂 Much appreciated!
Lots to think about. I confess my eyes glaze over when a signature on an a blog post or an email is followed by half a dozen links to different social media platforms. Too many links and my brain switches off.
Thanks to Babs and Barb for sharing your hard-won knowledge. Would either (or both) of you comment on how to create content that attracts readers? I know, it’s the dreaded “how do you attract readers” question. Sorry, but there’s always one of us in the crowd.
Also, are key words important in attracting shares?
If a writer doesn’t have a blog already, should they start one or look for other avenues, such as guesting?
Thanks for your input!
Really great insight on the importance of sharing. I’ve neglected to do this in the past but am going to start pushing those buttons when I read great content like this. Thanks so much Andrea, Barb, and Babs.
Aack! I was taught to ‘share’ at an early age, but I must admit I’m not ‘sharing’ well now. This is something I have to learn to do automatically. And finding topics that are riveting and shareable…now that’s hard work!
I feel your pain! Since I’m not very good at coming up with a useful comment, I actually like the sharing buttons! I find is so much less stressful to click on some buttons and share the post with my friends and followers than to say something other than “Thanks for sharing” 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!
First of all, I think that a blog is essential! It should serve as the central hub of your platform – the place that all links lead to. Attracting readers comes naturally when you share a bit about yourself. I suggest posting no more than twice a week with one post being simple and one being a bit more involved. I suggest staying away from Politics and Religion unless that is the topic of your books. Readers want to know about the public you. If you are a dog lover, share pictures of your puppies. If you are a photographer, share your pictures. If you love to travel, share stories of your travels. Then network, network, network. Visit other blogs and say ‘Hi my name is…” Don’t promote your book when visiting other blogs – be a reader looking for friends.
Guest posting or touring is a good idea, but work on creating your own audience first and then branch out.
Lastly – I don’t worry about keywords. I try to create blog titles that either attract attention or are descriptive and picked up by google. For example if I am posting a book review I create a title that says “Book Review – title ABC by bestselling romance author XYZ” If anyone is searching for a book review – that is in the title, so is the author name and the title of the book. Will be picked up on quite a few searches.
There is more to SEO than that, but this is a good start. I’m always happy to chat with authors – either beginning ones or ones ready to take the next step. Start small and simple and grow.
From my point of view it is so much easier to click on buttons so that my friends and followers can see what I found so exciting, than to come up with something insightful to say….
Thanks for sharing. promotion and sharing are things I find so difficult to contend with, but your post made it seem a lot more simple. Thank you for that.
Lots of food for thought in this article. I actually had to go my blog and see if I had a “share” button, which I do. Now, to start to utilize that feature.
Aargh! Blogs! I know they are a necessary evil but I feel so ‘blogged down’. Social media as marketing tools are my nemesis. Maybe someday it will all make sense! I really admire those of you who seem to have it under control and I will keep plugging away at it. I’m not stupid, why do I feel this way???!!!
Short, sweet, to the point and so helpful. Speaking of sharing, I’ll make this short so that I can share before heading to work. Doris
How kind! Thanks Doris.
Hi Rolynn! Thanks for dropping by and commenting! Sharing gets easier and easier, I think. Sometimes it’s difficult to find sharable content, but lately, I’ve been finding lots. Maybe this goes in waves…..who knows. But keep on the lookout!
Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Much appreciated! Not many authors are born marketers. It doesn’t come easy to many of us. I find just chatting with others to be productive. I love Goodreads, for example. There I don’t have to be an author – I’m just a voracious reader chatting books. My bio is there for anyone who is interested in what I write, however….
One of my pet peeves is share buttons that are hard to find, or blogs that only have a Facebook share and nothing else. I think that the more the word gets around, the more that will change…..fingers crossed!
Oh dear, are you looking at me?
Not everyone can be skilled at all aspect of writing books. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. The way I look it, an hour or two with a professional teacher is worth not wasting hours and hours of potential writing time!
my 2 Cents
Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing!
Not at all! I find sharing easier on WP than on Blogger. But then I prefer WP and spend most of my time on it so I’m likely biased!
Thanks for the input! I really need this advice because I just really don’t know where/how to get started. I never know what to say, either, so thanks for giving ideas. I need to do more reading and learning on this topic!
Hello everyone thank you for the great comments and Barb for answering for us both today. Sorry I was out of commission with my dog.
Such a valuable post – thanks!