Marketing Monday

This week I’m going to cover marketing with Facebook.  

As authors in a highly competitive business, whether indie published or traditional, you have to attract as much attention as possible.  One of the easiest ways to do so is Facebook. The social media giant has been a staple in modern life for years, increasingly becoming a larger part of how we communicate and connect with the world. While Facebook does sell promotional services, promising to post your ads prominently in exchange for a fee, there are many ways to utilize the site for free.

A big part of building an audience and readership is connecting with people on a personal level.  Join Facebook writing groups and critique groups, participate in threads and engage in meaningful conversation.  Writers are also readers, and if they are invested in you on a personal level, they will invest in your work.  You also get the added benefit of sharing the experience and wisdom of many other authors, helping each other grow and improve.  

Do not spam your Facebook friends and colleagues with endless requests to buy your books, read your blogs, or edit your manuscript for free.  One, that’s just rude.  And two, the relationships you’re fostering should be mutually beneficial.  For every person who agrees to critique your work or share your links, be prepared to do the same for them.

Some groups are for marketing only, and you should join several groups that cater to your genre.  The purpose of these pages is not to socialize and educate, but to shamelessly self-promote your work, blog, and any other artistic endeavors you may be pursuing.  Readers are aware of these groups and will browse the feeds looking for interesting new books to check out.  Try to post once a week to keep your books visible.

When you are releasing a new novel, you can also use Facebook as a virtual venue for release parties and launches.  Events are incredibly easy to create.  Invite all your friends and encourage them to invite others they know who may be interested.  Offer prizes and giveaways in the form of free ebooks, swag, or exchange services.  Have fun little contests like asking commenters to caption a funny picture, or share personal stories.  If you have enough ebooks and swag, hold a raffle at the end of your event that includes a gift basket of 6 or more items. This will encourage people to stay to the end in the hopes of winning.  

Invite author friends to share the attention, promoting their own books to attract a bigger crowd.  Post ‘ask me anything’ questions and connect with your audience.  Do on the spot interviews and post links to all your websites and the sites of fellow authors who have helped you.  The more authors you can get involved in your book release, the more potential readers you can reach.

All of these methods cost nothing but time and witty commentary.  It is a long process, but all of marketing is.  You’re in it for the long haul, so do what you can.  By publishing excellent writing and staying in the forefront of readers’ minds, you can succeed in this competitive business.

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