Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Location: PR Office, The Woodlands, Tex.
Are you Twittering yet? I certainly hope so!
That means you’ve dipped your toe into the pool of social networking. Bravo! Now what? Send your Twitters out where they will reach a broader audience, namely onto your Facebook page. Don’t have a Facebook page? MySpace? Surely you have a Shoutlife page. If so, bravo. If not, here’s why you need at least one of these:
1. Networking via the Internet is quick, easy and free. And what writer doesn’t relish free anything? With a click of the mouse you can find friends, relatives and countrymen from all walks of life. Use the search feature to connect with high school and college friends, former neighbors, and people from previous churches or offices. In essence, anyone you’ve lost track of is fair game on these sites. Find groups for these areas-Edgy Fiction Lovers (www.edgyfictionlovers.ning.com) is just one of many examples of site specific content-and plug into them. You’ll be amazed by the number of people you’ll reconnect with, each of whom will now know about your books as well.
2. Fresh content will drive readers to your page and, in turn to your books. Post regularly. Be sure your book covers are displayed prominently along with at least one press photo of you. If you feel comfortable with adding photos or video, do it. A word of warning from last week is pertinent here: Don’t over share or go beyond the lines of propriety or safety.
3. Going along with the previous idea of fresh content, set your Twitter account to post onto your Facebook page. That way those who are following you on one will find you on the other. It’s a simple series of clicks to accomplish this, and the instructions are right on the Facebook site.
4. Use your page to announce book releases, signings, or to create events such as launch parties and author gatherings. Robin Jones Gunn does a great job of this with her multi-hour book launch parties for fans. Other authors give seminars or create fan clubs. Think of social networking sites as an extension of your newsletter, and use it that way.
5. Cross-post your blog with your site and be sure to note the links so a reader can easily travel between the two. Make your website address prominent on both for the same reason.
As you can see, your social networking site is really an extension of you. Keep it personal but professional, current, and filled with information that will draw readers and create new ones. Link Twitter to appear as posts on your page. Add your blog to Shoutlife and Facebook, and provide information on events. The purpose is to tell and sell your story.
And in the world of publicity, word of mouth is still what sells books.
How have you utilized these networking options to promote you and your work?