Quick Tips for Marketing your Title on Social Networking Sites

tin can networkSocial networks are the fastest growing social media sites according to recent figures from eMarketer.  As a recent article in Publishers’ Weeklypointed out, many authors and publishers are beginning to experiment with these sites as a way to add to their book sales.  Below are some simple tips for creating an effective book marketing presence on a social network.  (For a good introduction on how to get started with a social network, check out Karen Post’s article The Social Networking Guide for Newbieson FastCompany.com.) 

  • Write a compelling profile
  • Point to your blog, book website or book video
  • Join and be active in networks that are in the topic space of your book
  • Establish yourself and your book as a resource
  • Solicit Amazon reviews from your “friends”

In addition to the large social network sites like MySpace and Facebook, don’t overlook LibraryThing and Shelfari.  While these two sites have smaller user populations, they are geared toward bibliophiles. 

Authors have attempted to devise many different kinds of networking techniques to get more exposure for their books.  For example, one writer describes using a “fake” event to promote his workon Facebook.   However, overt attempts at marketing can backfire – e.g. consider Sam Jordison’s account of his experience on Facebook in the Guardian.)  Key things to be aware of:

  • Make sure you can accurately target your audience on these sites
  • Don’t underestimate the time commitment
  • Be careful about violating the terms of service for these sites
  • It may be difficult to track your sales results back to specific social networking activities, unless someone (a friend)orders directly from your book website
  • Don’t expect big results – social networking should be just one component of your overall Internet marketing strategy

miss manners book coverProbably the most important thing to remember is that this is a new online space, whose rules and etiquette are still being worked out.  It’s easy to make mistakes.  So take your time, build your network and let your book sales develop at word of mouth speeds.


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