Are You Minding Your Manners?

Social media is a powerful tool to connect with people and enlarge your promotional reach. However, it only works if you use it correctly.

I am amazed at how many self-published authors misuse social media. Instead of adding to a conversation or making a thoughtful comment and subtly including information on a book, website, or blog, many self-published authors simply post a shout about their book on someone’s wall.

This actually happens quite frequently on Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) Facebook page. A self-published author will become a fan of CSPA’s Facebook page and within a day or two post an obnoxious message about his new book. What surprises me the most is often when I delete this message from the page; the author comes back the next day and re-posts it.

Here are a few examples of what NOT to post when using social media to promote a book. Please note that these are not the worst of posts that shout rather than add to the conversation. Most of those I have deleted, so I no longer have access to them.

In this example, this self-published author places a link to his book on CSPA’s page. That’s it, just a link that shows the book and includes the description of the book. He doesn’t use a teaser to entice people. He doesn’t make a call to a specific audience the book is geared for. He doesn’t add anything to the information on publishing and marketing that is presented on CSPA’s Facebook page. He just shouts.

In this second example, the comment has nothing to do with the post that the person is commenting on. The first person writes an appropriate response, but the second comment, reporting that a book is available on Amazon, has nothing to do with the post.

Trust me. These types of posts on social media do not encourage people to look at your book. Instead, they make you look amateur and self-published, generating a negative response from the reader, which will not lead to book sales.

So what is the best way to promote your book using social media?

I suggest that you make a thoughtful contribution to a post or conversation and use your contribution to subtly promote your book. Say something useful and relevant. Do not give the impression that you are just there to promote your book.

Above all, remember that you are a guest on someone’s page or profile. Be respectful and use your manners!

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