The Power of Sharing

Goodreads is the largest social networking site for book lovers. It provides a powerful marketing tool for authors and publishers who choose to use the site to promote new books. If you are not harnessing the power of Goodreads, I encourage you to begin doing so.

Check out this slideshow from a presentation that was made at The Bookseller’s Marketing & Publicity Conference in July 2013 in London. It details how best to use Goodreads to drive discovery of new books.

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Discovering Books via Social Media

Later this month, I will be presenting a seminar on “Marketing Trends in Selling Books” at Publishers’ Institute: Tools for Success at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). Publishers’ Institute is a workshop hosted by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) for publishers or anyone interested in publishing books.

One of the areas I will be talking about in my seminar is social media. Social media is not a fad. It is here to stay and it is a marketing trend in selling books. As such, social media should be an integral part of every book’s marketing plan.

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The number of books being discovered via the Internet is growing. As recently as two years ago, one-third of new books were discovered in physical bookstores. Now, that number has shrunk to one-fifth. While physical discovery has decreased over the past few years, digital discovery has increased. Today, about one in six new books are discovered online in some form.

Social media is one way that books are discovered. People who read love to share the books that they like with others. They do this not just on book social networking sites such as Goodreads, but also on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

One of my friends on Facebook recently shared a book that she was reading called My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife. Before she shared this book and it showed up in my News Feed, I had not heard of the book. The title caught my attention, which made me take a few minutes to learn more about the book and consider reading it myself. Book discovery does happen on social networking sites.

Interestingly, the younger the reader, the more likely they are discover books via social media. According to the survey by NextMarket, ebook reading consumers aged 18-29 are two times more likely to use social media for book discovery than those aged 45-60, and over three times more likely as those aged over 60.

What about you? Are you pursuing connecting with others via social networking online to help increase the discoverability of your books?

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Twyndication

Have you heard of Twyndication?

Twyndication is a service that allows authors to take content from a book and break it into bite-sized pieces that can be tweeted. The service then gets these tweets out into the Twitter time-lines for thousands of Twitter users.

This bite-sized Twitter content is geared to hook people into getting more information or learning more about your story, hence, creating an interest in your book. Twyndication’s goal is to help you gain more exposure for your books via Twitter.

The service has both a free and a paid component. Watch this video to learn more.

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What Google’s Super Bowl Ad Says about Marketing

Google is the top- ranked search engine on the Internet. Over 60 percent of all searches on the Internet are done using Google. I admit it. Google is my search engine of choice.

If Google is number one, why did they spend $3 million dollars for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl?

I believe Google understands an important fundamental about marketing.

Marketing is a never-ending process for a successful business. The number one place Google maintains can easily slip to number two or three if they become complacent.

Consumers are fickle. In today’s world, consumers are bombarded by so many choices that sticking to one brand or one website is no longer a guarantee.

Consider Myspace. When social networking first became popular, Myspace was the top social networking website. All through 2007 and 2008, Myspace had more daily visitors than Facebook. In 2009, Facebook became the most popular social networking site and Myspace is now ranked a distant second behind Facebook.

Have you ever found yourself reminded of a product brand or website you used to use but somehow it just dropped off your radar? I have, and when I was reminded of the brand, the next time I wanted that product, I once again purchased the brand that had fallen off my radar.

Google understands this. They know they must stay vigilant and keep placing their name in front of consumers to maintain their number one place.

What can authors and publishers learn from Google?

It’s simple. Market, market, market, market and never stop marketing as long as you want to sell books. Keeping your book in front of buyers is essential for making sales.

If you have not seen Google’s Super Bowl ad, watch it now.


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Are You Easy to Find?

I recently listened to a webinar on social media. The two people presenting the webinar had developed a program to help individuals use social media to promote their business. Of course, the program cost money, but the webinar to get people to purchase the program was free.

The presenters covered many basics in using social media to promote products including the importance of developing a strategy of how you will use social media and deciding what you want your return on investment to be. They also discussed common mistakes people make when using social media to promote products.

I was not interested in purchasing the program, but I was interested in following the presenters on Twitter and Facebook; two social media sites that they use.

I visited both presenters’ websites and blogs to find out how to follow them on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. I was shocked to find that their webpages and blogs did not provide any links to their social media presence.

I wonder how two individuals who have developed a program to help people use social media have missed such an important element of social media strategy.

One of the most important strategies in Internet promotion is:

Make Yourself Easy to Find.

Your website should host links to your blog and your social networking profiles like Twitter, Facebook, and your YouTube channel. Your blog should host the same links.

Social media is not just about finding “new” customers; it’s also about staying connected with your established customers. If your customers can’t find you on social networking sites via your business website or blog, you have missed an important element of a solid social media strategy for promoting your products.

It’s actually very easy to find free icons for social media sites that you can use on your website and blog to encourage your customers to connect with you on social networking sites. These icons are set up so that customers who click on them will be taken directly to your profile.

Check out the following websites for some great icons for the larger social networking sites:

These sites either give you a jpeg of the button for you (or your webmaster) to put on your site and add a link to your profile, or they make it really easy and do all the work for you. For example, Social Media Buttons lets you pick a button you like, then you put in your Twitter or Facebook profile name on their site, and the site generates an HTML code that you can put on your website or blog to display the icon.

Of course, you can always just use a text link if you don’t want images. Whatever you do, make yourself easy to find.


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