Book Marketing 101 – The 5 Basic tools every Author should have

May 28, 2011

My Writing Posts

So you have a book. And what a book it is! The plot is rivetting, the characters are almost life-like and the cover is magnificent! There’s only one problem: You don’t know where to start with marketing it online. I know how it is. I was there.

With my second child born the same week my book was released, I barely had any time before to it or after the event to delve into marketing and promoting my other baby. Although it was my very first published novel and I was extremely proud of it, I had no idea the sort of beast marketing was and what kind of tools i could use to help me tame it.

Shy by nature, I drifted towards the online marketing tools, not being too keen on book signings and such (although they ARE a very important part of your marketing strategy). Here are a few tools that I discovered through other authors or research, which I think are invaluable to any author out there looking to connect with their full potential.

Twitter and TWEETDECK

Twitter is probably one of the most used networking platform by authors. Yes, even more than Facebook (!) Why? Because it allows you to discover a whole new community and participate to discussions, share your work and your thougths and find out more about other writers easily by using simple key words instead of looking for people in particular.

But when I first started my twitter account, I almost got discouraged from the get go. The more (awesome) *tweeps* I met and added to my list of people I wanted to follow, the faster my feed page would change. It got to the point where I could barely keep up with anything or anybody, and it felt like Twitter was just a big waste of time. That was, until somebody pointed out TweedDeck to me.

Halleluja! TweetDeck immidiately became my favored platform. Here are it’s key benefits in a few words:

  • The ability to incorporate and follow your different accounts all at the same time
  • The ability to create collumns for every hashtag (#) you want to follow (I have over 10 collumns!)
  • The ability to follow/unfollow tweeps, send @ mentions or Direct messages
  • The ability to create lists and sort people through them effortlessly (and share the lists as well!)
  • The ability to create timed tweets, releasing them automatically at predetermined date and time.
  • Automatic shortining of links, optional shrinking of messages, and ability to post more than 140 characters
  • The ability to follow and post onto your facebook account directly (yay!)
  • Available Cross-Platforms (PC, iPhone, Android)

    Credit: Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET

Convinced yet? I was convinced the minute I was told: If you are using Twitter via the twitter.com page, you are doing it wrong. There are many other programs similar to TweedDeck out there and everybody has their own preference. I encourage you to try it out as well as HootSuite and tell me what you think! Check out this link for a comparision of the different clients or head on over to TweedDeck right now to grab it today.

Facebook and PAGEMODO

Facebook is quickly becoming a major player in online marketing. Many of us have a personal facebook page which we use to connect with friends and family. Some of us have a book or author page which we use to network with other writers and readers and market our product to the world. Interestingly enough, I find that almost half of my tweeps do not have facebook or will not follow on facebook and simply keep the relationship to twitter (I have over 1,300 twitter followers and less than 300 facebook fans!).

So that being said, I clearly cannot call myself a facebook marketing expert. But one thing I learned is that in order to market your product effectively, you need to brand it and make it stand out. Facebook allows you to do just that via the intermediary of third party applications such as PAGEMODO.

PageModo basically allows you to fully customize one or multiple facebook pages on your product’s Facebook “Fan” page, giving you the options of imbedding videos, pictures, text all while using a beautiful, professional layout.

Credits: practicalecommerce.com

Although the use of one custom page is free, you will need to accept PageModo’s logo on your page. If you decide that you want to push the use to its full potential, PageModo offers paid services which allow you the use of multiple pages, embedded videos and the removal of their logo.

I found the service to be very user-friendly. You can log in easily using their Facebook link, and the page creation process was as easy as 1-2-3-4 (like you can see on the picture!) Once you are done with that, you are also directed as to how to make your new creation the “landing” of your Facebook.

There is much, much more which can be done with Facebook, and at little cost to you. Check out this page about  “Six Facebook Application to Sell Your Products“, a Practicalecommerce.com article for more information about the powerful tools available through the Facebook platform.

GoodReads

GoodReads is probably one of if not THE most significant recent discovery for me. Until last month, I had an account there but barely did anything with it. And then some reviewers started posting their comments on Element Keepers on GoodReads and I realized how much potential was hidden behind that portal.

Not only does it allow you to automatically find people you are already following on Twitter, Facebook and via your email address book, it also create cross links between books, genres, thus allowing you to connect more easily with people of same taste.

As well as providing a powerful networking tool for authors to connect with readers, GoodReads allows members to create discussion groups about different subjects and share their own tools (check this great post about character creation outline for a nice example)

Among the other tools and features that you will find on GoodReads, here are my favorites:

  • Newsfeed similar to Facebook’s
  • Email/Direct Messaging system
  • Forums
  • The ability to Rate, Review, Comment and Suggest books to other members.
  • The ability to create different lists of read and to-read books much like Amazon’s system.

You will find other websites similar to GoodReads, more geared towards networking like Authors.com but I think you will be hard pressed to find anything surpassing the quality and vast membership (= networking potential) of GoodReads

Amazon Author Central

One of the many recent creations by Amazon to help authors promote and manage their products is the Author Central. Geared more towards marketing, it allows authors to link their profile to their books available on Amazon.

Once that is done, you are then able to easily track data related to your book sales. For example:

  • BookScan: allows you to visualize how many books have been scanned and sold in “Brick&Mortar” stores across the US, divided in States
  • Rank History: a day by day tracking of your book rank compared to the total list of books with easy to read visual statistics
  • Comments, Reviews, etc left by buyers and readers

The Author Central also allows you to link your profile with your blog feed (RSS or other), making it possible for buyers and Amazon customers to also follow your latest blog posts through the website.

Google Book Blog Search Engine

Last but not least comes the Google Book Blog Search Engine. The title is very self-explanatory. It is a customized google page allowing you to search for key words within book blogs, making your search for the next reviewer ever so easier 🙂

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I hope that you enjoyed the read and found some useful information. I would LOVE to hear back from you and any other tips, tools or websites you like to use to network and promote your book to readers.

Yours Truly
E.P. Marcellin

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About Elizabeth Marcellin

Author of Element Keepers fantasy Novels

View all posts by Elizabeth Marcellin

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5 Comments on “Book Marketing 101 – The 5 Basic tools every Author should have”

  1. Briana Pierce Says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tips! The google book blog search engine is new to me. 🙂 I am currently using HootSuite, but have used TweetDeck as well and really enjoy both of them; the one feature I prefer so far is HootSuite’s ability to create “teams” – so that multiple people can tweet on the same account! For simple posts (like sharing reviews and such), this allows authors to have other folks help out. 🙂

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Marcellin Says:

      Thanks Briana for sharing! I’ve tried HootSuite a little but I must say I was already very biased towards TweetDeck. There is however a tool for every one out there, and I love to share and learn from others as well! Have a great week!

      Reply

  2. eden baylee Says:

    Excellent post, comprehensive and easy to follow.
    eden

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. #Book #Marketing: Expectations vs Reality | Pen Dragon - June 22, 2011

    […] you have heard about those before I’m sure! So why not visit Book Marketing 101 for a few more in-depth ideas to promote your book […]

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