“Webify Your Book Marketing” was the title of Karen Clark’s excellent 90-minute how-to program to about 80 book publishers at the 5/12/12 meeting of BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers), in San Rafael, California.
The most pressing questions that Karen answered, with humor and clarity, were (1) what were the most effective social media for promotion, (2) how did each enhance book sale, (3) how to get the media integrated, and (4) how much time was needed per day to make this approach worth doing?
An N.S.A. (National Speakers Association) professional who has offered similar programs for several years, Clark divided her program into six segments: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, email marketing, YouTube, and Linkedin. She also mentioned that Pinterest, while fast growing, is only marginally valuable for product promotion right now. (You can post your book covers there, with a link back to the book’s website info.)
Here are the key points in each category that I found particularly valuable.
Website: (1) Be sure to have links from your website to every marketing piece (and on every marketing piece too); (2) explore and use the mysterious (yet free) QR codes that point to your website, shopping cart, or sales page—you can even put them in every chapter, adding more specific information or resource directions. See http://www.qrstuff.com. If your buyers are Luddites or immobile, hold off. I understand the QR codes only work on mobile devices, and (3) you can create your own Website rather quickly and simply (and also use Word for direct corrections) through Web Press.
Blog: (1) Create blogs from you own book excerpts, with additional commentary; (2) write guest blogs for other bloggers in your market, and (3) Word Press is also great for creating blogs (see this blog), although Go Daddy, as a host, isn’t W-P friendly.
Facebook: Karen was particularly enthusiastic about Facebook, and suggested to (1) focus on the business (fan) segment; (2) fill in the About (profile) page fully; (3) add info every day, mostly tips and advice; (4) if you just plug products, particularly your own, even your friends will go elsewhere, (5) check into selling through Payvment at Facebook, and (6) don’t post at Twitter and have it sent to Facebook—do it the other way around.
Twitter: Clark was a booster here too, suggesting that you (1) set up daily tweets (book quotes or part of your story line) and how they can read more; (2) find folks like yourself and follow them, so they might follow you back; (3) set up a month (or a year) of posts in advance to come out three times a day, through hootsuite.com; (4) drive tweeters to your blog, and (5) check and respond to commentaries from others.
E-mail marketing: Here, (1) you create a monthly newsletter, short and full of value; (2) offer some free .pdf reports or a free chapter if they will send back your opt-in free subscription box to your auto responder; (3) put that same sign-up info box at your website, blog, and Facebook page; (4) include information in the newsletter regularly about your products and related knowledge—the purpose is to fill up a long e-list with the names of (buying) fans, and (5) draw Twitter and Facebook folk to your free newsletter.
YouTube: (1) Owned by Google, a great way to get “found,” (2) but you need your YouTube channel customized with your own info (fully fill out the description of the video, then tell how to get your products); (3) think 1-3 minute videos—a “talking head” video with you holding your book is OK; (4) be sure you add lots of info under the video: description and tags/keywords, and (5) mention your videos at Twitter, Facebook, your blog, and your webpage.
Linkedin: The most enigmatic, best used (1) by filling in your profile completely, with keywords throughout; (2) taking part in groups, and (3) answering questions. In your profile, your most recent job (or what you’re doing now) can be your most recent book!
As for how much time you might have to spend for social networking to pay off, Karen Clark’s answer is 10 minutes a day. That brought a collective laugh from her listeners. But she held to it. I assume she meant 10 minutes a day after you were all linked up to the many networks and you’d filled in the profiles and formats. Karen said that she uses a timer to make sure she doesn’t exceed that time limit.
There didn’t seem to be a distinction on whether social networking worked better to sell your products or yourself, to speak. (Often when you do one you soon do the other.) Her talk was aimed at displaying you, helping you establish and share your expert knowledge (or experience), and driving the reader to a link that led to you, your e-list, or your order form. Or all three! The end result of using the social network well was to attract others sympathetic (or at least attuned) to your cause, to speak with you, to book you to speak, or to buy your product. Best yet, again, or all three!
That’s it. For direct information from Karen Clark, see www.MyBusinessPresence.com.