Page, Profile, or Group?

Written by guest blogger-Rachael Storey

Where Facebook is concerned you have 3 different options you can utilize for marketing. You can use your personal profile page, create a business page and/or create groups. There are pros and cons of each, which have been outlined below. Some of this list and advice comes from a blog article written by Jane Friedman. 

Using Your Facebook Profile to Market Yourself as an Author

Pros:

  1. Managing One Account: If you already have a personal Facebook profile that means you already have friends and followers, all you have to do is convert them into clients. Change your Facebook profile to reflect your career as an author and start throwing in more author/business related posts onto your timeline. This way you don’t have to manage multiple pages and accounts.
  2. You can easily tag your friends and followers when you have a personal page. On your business page you can only tag individuals who have liked your page.

Cons:

  1. You have to be more conscious of personal posts. You need to make sure that your personal posts reflect how you want to be perceived as an author and that they project professionalism. You also have to find a balance between your posts about writing and selling your book and posts just about your personal life.
  2. The statistics and tracking provided for an official page are not available for personal profiles. There are also alot of other features available to official business pages that aren’t available with a personal profile. Here is an excerpt from Jane Friedman’s blog about this particular issue, “no information about how many people your posts reach, no access to the advertising tools…. You also can’t add new tabs to the page, and you can’t add a fancy call-to-action button (Buy Now, Sign Up, Subscribe, etc).”

Creating a Separate Facebook Business Page

Pros:

  1. You will have access to all of the tools Facebook provides to an official business page. Advertising tools, data statistics, and tracking.
  2. You don’t have to worry that you are posting too many things related to your author business, writing, publishing, editing, book sales, etc. People who have liked your page want to see those types of posts.

Cons:

  1. Your posts may not be as visible. Unless you are posting multiple times a day or paying to boost your posts, it is less likely that your followers are going to see your posts and engage with you. “With all the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, it can be hard to get your content seen, unless you’re willing to pay to boost your posts.”-Vanessa Cabrera

Creating a Group

Pros:

  1. Unless someone has their notifications settings turned off, every time you create a post on the group page, your members will be notified, thus increasing your visibility and the likelihood they will be engaged and participate.
  2. With a closed group or private group, you control who is apart of your group and what is posted by members of your group.
  3. There is data at the bottom of each post that tells you how many people saw your post and by whom. The people that are looking at your posts regularly are the ones you need to target.

Cons

  1. You don’t have the ability to advertise
  2. You have to establish rules for your members and what they can post and how they can behave in your group and you are responsible for monitoring that.

Don’t feel like you have to choose one over the other, you could have a personal page, a business page, and a group if you so choose. But hopefully this Pro/Con list will help you identify what benefits you can retrieve from each and pick the ones that will suit you the best.

 

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

Written by guest blogger-Rachael Storey

You should be able to describe your book in 15 seconds or less. This ensures that you retain the attention of your audience whether they be publisher, fellow author, friend, movie director, or journalist. The elevator pitch of your book should provide a concise summary without giving too much away, but also be interesting enough that your audience wants to explore more. If your book is too complicated to explain within the 15 second time frame, it is likely going to be confusing and difficult to read as well. Many people today have a short attention span and demand instant gratification. Keep this concept in mind when writing the book description that will go on your cover.

In the Cornell University Press Blog, Martyn Beeny says, “If you can’t tell people what the book is about in under 250 words, something isn’t right. It’s your elevator pitch for the book; don’t bore people to death before you sell them the book.”

Martyn says that the typical consumer will look at a book cover first and if they are interested, they will then pick it up to look at the back followed by the inside flap. This observation can help you decide what to put where. While layout and placement are important, so is the ability for your potential customer to quickly digest the key information about your book. Martyn mentions that a book cover shouldn’t be overloaded with text. “Don’t crowd the cover. Allow the words you write to breathe and have space to shine……If we’ve staked out our key piece of land and covered it top to bottom with a jumbled mass of words, we’ve just lost the ability to deliver our message in a convenient, easy-to-digest manner.”

I like to think of the old adage, “it’s not quantity that counts, its quality.” For example, you shouldn’t put every single positive quote or review about your book on the cover. Its not about how many quotes you have. Its about the best ones…the right ones. The ones that will showcase your book in the best light possible.

Your cover is a prime and powerful piece of real estate as Mr. Beeny would say. Use it wisely and display it beautifully.

 

Reaping Reviews

Written by Guest Blogger-Rachael Storey

I never purchase anything without first looking at the number of reviews a product has and how high it is rated. Regardless of what you are selling, you need reviews. “More than 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision.” But remember that both positive and negative reviews are essential for the growth of your business.“68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.” Positive reviews drive your business forward; they evoke feelings of trust and reliability. Negative reviews offer the constructive criticism you need to improve your product/book/writing ensuring your future as a writer is successful. Negative reviews also give you the opportunity to show off your skills as a problem solver and react appropriately. If people see that you react in a positive light and attempt to remedy the situation they will be more likely to purchase your book or future books and recommend you to others. “If a business resolves its issue quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers returns back to your business.” There is also the chance that a negative review will spur an uprising and people who support you will come to your aid and dismantle anything bad that has been said.

Now that you know how important reviews are, you need some tips as to how they can be obtained more easily.

  • Trade reviews with other authors and/or business owners-They are trying to get reviews as well and it’s not easy. Trading reviews gives someone an incentive to read your book/try out your product in hopes that you will in turn buy into their business and leave a review.
  • Ask family, friends, and co-workers
  • Track who purchases your book and connect with them, asking them to leave a review
  • Offer a free book for a limited time to book groups if they will read and review your book

There are also companies that you can pay to get reviews for you or you can do the grunt work yourself.  Here is a list to get you started. …. You can visit these websites and search for your genre and a list of bloggers/reviewers will pop up that are currently accepting books in that category. You then reach out to them and see if they will read and review your book.

Meet Our Authors Forum on Amazon-you can introduce yourself and request reviews within forums that match your genre.
Visit this link to the Creative Penn blog for other great tips.
There is also a website called Podium, where you can connect all of your social media and web accounts and track your reviews all in one place. You can see who is providing them and where and how many you have each month. This is an easy way to keep the data about your reviews all in one place, but also allows you to see exactly who is leaving reviews so that you can connect with them, potentially turning them into future customers/reviewers.
Reaping reviews may seem like a daunting task, but you CAN do it, you NEED to do it, and you SHOULD WANT to do it so that you can be successful! Good luck out there! I hope this blog helps you!

Be Proud of Your Work

Even if your book is not a best seller, you should still be proud of your work and what you have accomplished. Writing a book is HARD. It is physically, emotionally, and spiritually straining to write a novel. I imagine that many aspired authors quit before they are finished because of the toll it takes on their psyche. When you finish a novel you should be proud that you endured, that you were disciplined, creative, and inspired. Joanna Penn offers 7 specific reasons why you should be proud of your work, even if your book is not a best seller.

  1. You Completed Something-Not many people can say that they accomplished something as difficult as writing a novel. Be proud and smile for the fact that you did it!
  2. You Created Something-you had an idea and you followed through to create something inspired and artistic.
  3. You Were In Flow-Joanna describes this as having states of deep concentration and lost sense of time. “Although emotions are absent at the time, flow states are associated with long-term happiness… Not everyone experiences this wonderful, magical state.”
  4. You Learned and Grew as a person and author-any experience can be counted as a learning experience.
  5. You Failed-(although I don’t whole heartedly agree with this one). Not having a best seller is not a failure. You can count the release of your book as a success and even if your book or books are not best sellers you can still be successful as a writer and count your process as a grand learning experience.
  6. You Found Your Author Tribe-you likely had the opportunity to network with other authors, publishers, or editors during your writing process. The relationships that you established will be helpful during your future writing sessions and your future success as an author. These people can be there to offer advice, encourage you, allow you to vent or confide in them, or even introduce you to more people who can offer assistance along the way.
  7. You Showed Courage-Joanna’s quote is beautiful, No matter what type of book you write, you reveal some of your authentic self…A book is a window to the writer’s soul.” By making your work of art public you are allowing others to truly see you. As a writer you are exposed and it takes courage to keep putting yourself out there.

So please do not be discouraged if you didn’t sell as many copies as you wanted, or received as many reviews, or there was that one person that was critical of your book. Take everything in and use it constructively to create your next work of art. BE PROUD of who you are and what you create!

 

Be Aware

Written by Guest Blogger-Rachael Storey

Part of being successful is being aware. You need to be aware of your competition. You need to be aware of events that pertain to your career so that you have networking opportunities.You need to be aware of any publicity you receive online. This could me a mention of your name or your book on social media, in a news article, in a blog, or in a comment. If you aren’t aware of the publicity you receive or what your competition is doing to be successful, how can you use it to your advantage? How can you reply back? How can you share news with your followers? How can you implement ideas into successful marketing strategies? Here’s how…

Google has this amazing feature called Google Alerts. You can set up alerts to track your name and novels online. Any time your name or book is mentioned you will receive an e-mail notification. You can also set up alerts for upcoming writing conventions, festivals, contests, competing author’s names/books, author news, new marketing ideas, etc. The options are endless. Here are the steps for setting up a google alert:

1. Sign in to your gmail account and/or create a gmail account and sign in
2. Go to www.google.com/alerts in your browser
3. Enter a search term
4. Click the drop down arrow that says ‘Options’
5. Here you can specify how often you receive alerts and from where
6. Hit Create Alert

You can repeat these steps for any number of keywords/searches. Once you have followed all of these steps you will begin receiving e-mails to your gmail inbox whenever your keyword alerts appear online.

The Boy Scout motto for being successful in business, I like to think, is BE AWARE! Check out this article for more tips on how you can use Google Alerts to your advantage.