As you gallantly parade along the streets of social media with your followers cheering on, you could’ve thought “Hmm, this social media thing isn’t that complex, I got it all figured out!” And the next reasonable step would be to expand your reach on the same road ‘til you own every corner and turn. But the thing is, there are other busy streets where a more targeted market hang around.
When you explore these covert alleyways such as Reddit, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and LibraryThing together with the magnetic noise of social media, you’ll rule the author highway. The most celebrated writers know its ins and outs, so we’ve collected their roadmap for your delight.
Advertise on Reddit as if you yourself were a member of Reddit. – @slhamlet
This is where Reddit’s uniqueness as an advertising platform comes through, because advertisers can and often do participate in these threads, directly responding to Redditor feedback about their ads
To leverage this participation, he tells me, some advertisers refresh their ad copy based on Redditor feedback, such as changing the headline based on a user comment. (“The audience loves that.”)
Unsurprisingly, the least effective ads on Reddit are campaigns that use the same media that runs in other places — not to mention any ad with, as Martin puts it, “An extra layer of what I’d call social media crap.” – Wagner James Au @slhamlet, How to Advertise on Reddit
After digesting the rules, browse through top articles and sort by relevance + links from all time. This gives us a perfect idea of what types of content performs best. – @JesseAarone
Reddit comment sections are information gold mines. They’re filled with opinions, suggestions, feedback, wishes, and complaints. It can be a heated place. Take note of how interactions start and end. Learn relevant acronyms, especially tl;dr (too long, didn’t read).
Plan Your Post. Most reports suggest submitting content between 9am – 1pm (EST) for best traction; however, others suggest it usually comes down to sheer luck.
Most Importantly, Engage Redditors. As the OP (original poster) we must continue the conversation. If we can answer difficult and sometimes “loaded” questions with answers that demonstrate honesty and brand stability, redditors will usually up-vote in appreciation.
Monitor and Measure Results. – Jesse Aaron @JesseAarone, How to Incorporate Reddit into your Marketing Strategy in 5 Easy Steps
First, a good headshot is essential. If you have an author photo for your book, you may use the head part of that photo for your LinkedIn profile. – @ZimblerMiller
Second, when given the choice of how you want your name displayed, choose your entire name and not your first name with the first initial of your last name.
Third, spend time writing the “headline” that appears under your name. You have 120 characters (characters, not words) in which to make yourself and your book attractive to your target markets.
It is important to use keywords in this “headline.” For example, instead of saying your book deals with “teenage eating habits,” say something such as it deals with “teen anorexia and teen bulimia.” This is a significant distinction because it is much more likely for people to search on Google for “teen bulimia” or “teen anorexia” than for “teenage eating habits.”
Instead of using this application to show the books I am currently reading, I show the covers of my three books on Amazon. (You have to click on “See all books …” to actually see all three books.) – Phyllis Zimbler Miller @ZimblerMiller, TGIF Book Marketing Tips: The Importance of LinkedIn Profiles for Book Authors
Choose a Descriptive Title – Take full advantage of this by providing a descriptive title, which can include your book title and even your website link. – @bizauthor
Complete Your Profile – LinkedIn users often use the search feature to find resources, and in order to get found, your profile should be loaded with keyword-rich content.
Feature Your Book – In the “Publications” section, you can list details about books you’ve written or contributed to, including a synopsis of each and a link to learn more about the book.
Start a Group – Consider starting your own group on LinkedIn, which is free and can provide excellent visibility. The best way to get started is to choose a niche topic that isn’t yet being covered.
Get Recommendations – Recommendations are prominently displayed on your profile and add an element of credibility. Reach out to your contacts and ask for recommendations. In return, you should plan to give some recommendations as well.
Use Endorsements –You can indicate the skills that you want to be known for by adding these when editing your profile. LinkedIn will automatically begin to ask your connections to endorse you.
Participate – For the best results on LinkedIn, and all of the social media networks, you should commit to participating on a regular basis. If you only login to Linkedin once a month, you will miss out on building your networks and staying active. – Stephanie Chandler @bizauthor, Social Media for Authors: 12 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn for Book Promotion
Don’t start so many sentences with “I”. – @CoachJudy
Your first profile probably needs freshening up. Make sure it engages your profile visitor. Show them the benefits of working with you, or buying your book.
Include recommendations near the top because they sell books.
Keep researching and adding groups weekly that fit your book or business. Find these through search words for help like “book writing” and “LinkedIn strategies.” or search words of your audience who will want your book. Hint: My best audience is business people.
Each time you contribute, the whole group sees your face and who you are. That’s great exposure to brand you or your book. You can contact individuals privately by email too, which can eventually lead to a sale.
Get people curious about your book. They will respond. Offer one comment at a time. Or offer a blog link to a piece that relates to the discussion. This is the one link that is not considered promotion. Remember these groups are for education and help – not to sell directly to. – Judy Cullins @CoachJudy, Book Marketing with LinkedIn – Top Mistakes and Solutions
People really love to help out and connect people on LinkedIn! It’s like a big online networking party. – @TiceWrites
The thumbnail version: I sent nearly all of my 800+ LinkedIn connections a personal-looking email asking if they would brainstorm with me about ways to promote the book.
And the thing about InMail is LinkedIn has reported it gets as much as a 30 percent response rate. Where in traditional marketing, people get excited about topping 3 percent response.
I just wanted their input on what I should do. That’s important. I think directly asking your connections, “Hey, plug my book please!” would be obnoxious and inappropriate.
To sum up, if you have a book or ebook you’re getting ready to sell, ask your network for ideas before you launch. You’ll get a bigger group of people on the inside track of knowing about your book — and a million suggestions that will help you sell it. – Carol Tice @TiceWrites, My Best Book Marketing Tip for Creating Maximum Buzz
Serious readers live on Goodreads.com, the giant social reading site, and so should serious authors. – @CarmenConnects
The key to Goodreads for authors, which has had some unfortunate incidents of fake review bots and author bullying, is to establish and maintain a professional and polished author presence.
Goodreads has a set of pre-made questions for you to answer, plus you can salt this easy “interview” with your own question or two. It’s a way for you to talk about your writing style, next projects, and inspiration.
If your books are published and listed on Goodreads, then Goodreads will prompt you to make your ebook a lengthy excerpt. If your book is enrolled in KDP Select, no more than 10% should be uploaded.
Even if your ebooks never rise to the top on the aggregated page, they are a great marketing tool. Publish links to your ebooks on all your social media accounts with the hashtag #goodreads.
I especially like the fact that popular tags are listed on the bottom of the genre page, which you can add when uploading additional images and writing blog posts (you linked your blog to your Author profile, right?!) – Carmen Amato @CarmenConnects, 3 Hot Tips for Finding Your Audience on Goodreads
The Listopia section of Goodreads has a list for every kind of book imaginable. Make sure your books are on the appropriate lists. You can find this section at http://www.goodreads.com/list. Often the difference between 30th and 10th on these lists is only a few votes. So feel free to invite your readers to vote for your books as well.
Goodreads has a powerful book-advertising program that allows you to target people who have highly rated specific authors. The ads can cost as little as $0.15 per click. This is one of the cheapest ways to let your readers know about your new book.
GoodReads features books based on the number of reviews. So the more reviews the better. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. Those actually help boost sales. – Thomas Umstattd @ThomasUmstattd, 8 Ways Authors Can Use Goodreads to Promote Their Book
Switch on “Ask the Author.” – @cincindypat
Search for your book via ISBN or ASIN, then click on your name; scroll to the bottom of the profile page and click on “Is this you? Let us know!” and complete the information. You’ll receive a “Welcome” email once the request has been approved and get access to your author dashboard, where you’ll see many of the promotional tools you’ll use on Goodreads.
You can run giveaways for your older books too! You can run as many giveaways as you want for any book. Of course, you will want to spread them out so you reach different people.
Run the giveaway for at least a month. This will give you time to promote the giveaway, and allows more readers to discover it as they see their friends entering. – Cynthia Shannon @cincindypat, Marketing your book on Goodreads
It’s a site for readers. Writers are more than welcome, but only if they remember that. – @DavidGaughran
In short, don’t promote your book. In fact, don’t even mention your book unless directly asked about it. You aren’t even allowed a text signature mentioning your books or your blog. You must enter with your “reader” hat on.
They have a section of the site called Member Giveaways – which are an informal way for members to give away copies of books to other members. Authors can use this to give away copies of their books in the hopes of getting a review.
You upload the cover of your book, add the blurb, as well as a line saying something like “reviews are not compulsory but would be greatly appreciated”.
In any event, to get the best results, you should engage with the site first. It’s reasonably intuitive, and if you are familiar with Shelfari or Goodreads, you will pick it up straight away.
You can add books to your personal library, as well as rate and review them, and see members with similar interests. You can upload a photo, you can make friends, you can write on other people’s walls, and you can join groups.
There is only one major con, aside from the time involved. LibraryThing reviewers are a lot harsher than your average Amazon reviewer. 3 stars on LibraryThing is a good review. On Amazon, that’s almost considered a negative review. – David Gaughran @DavidGaughran, Promo Tip: LibraryThing Giveaways
What other platforms do you use to widen your funnel? Let us know in the comments section below.