No big surprise here. Social media is huge now, and as more and more people discover its power the more information is freely exchanged. That’s great because you’re now exposed to a huge audience; the only downside is that your voice can get lost in the crowd.
iUniverse has many high-priced marketing products, ranging from ads in the New York Times to custom email broadcasts. Both of these can raise people’s awareness of your book, but with the current royalty structure it’s not very likely you’ll make your money back. Even advertising in newspapers yourself can raise exposure but will you sell enough books to justify the cost?
Thus the biggest advantage of social media marketing: it’s free.
With the wealth of information already available online I won’t go too deeply into what you can do but will instead introduce you to my setup. Many of my own sites are in various stages of development but you’ll get the idea.
This blog is the centre of everything and one of the main sources of traffic being driven to my website. To maximize readership I’ve registered this blog on such blog search engines such as Condron.us, Technorati, Networked Blogs(which is connected to Facebook) and MyBlogLog, and it is also an important part of my Amazon profile. Don’t forget about your Canadian audience; create a Chapters-Indigo profile to serve those readers. You can also set up Blog Tours, where you appear on many different blogs over a span of days. I am planning one for this summer. It’ll be like my book tour last fall…but from home!
Of course, there is my Facebook Group and my Twitter profile. Facebook is the biggest social media site out there, so networking there is a must. Twitter is something I haven’t mastered yet, but I keep hearing about how powerful it can really be to get your message to the masses and drive web surfers to your blog.
Check out Authors on the Net. Their site features loads of information on setting up social media campaigns. It’s geared for writers but it looks like anyone can use the tips contained within.
It’s a good amount of work to set up an online campaign but once it’s done maintenance is low so you can concentrate on your live appearances or working on your next writing project.
Tip of the Week: Be bold. Start blog conversations on other blogs that are irresistible to reply to. The more people you meet, the greater the potential of people hitting your blog. It really is a numbers game where the law of averages can really work for or against you.
The jury is still out on whether or not social media campaigns result in actual sales. Stick to it. You may gain a significant following that could reap rewards for your next book. And speaking of next books (mine in particular), I’ll discuss my thoughts on self-publishing The Orphans of the Creek in my next post.
Richard S. Todd is the author of the critically-praised Raincloud: A Novel and gives talks on self-publishing. He spends his time blogging and writing his next novel, The Orphans of the Creek. Learn more at his website: www.richard-todd.com.
Coming Soon: Adventures in Self-Publishing Part Nine: Would I Self-Publish Again?
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