You can read part one here.
When I mentioned that I was making a Facebook page and Twitter account for my book, a friend replied, “Why? People don’t buy books that way.”
I don’t understand that line of thought. You’ve heard the term “wear many hats?” Well, I prefer to think of it as independent authors wearing one big hat, and we should use whatever is available to us to get our books into as many hands as we can – especially when it costs us nothing.
I created a fan page for my book, The Twin Prophecies: Rebirth, an author fan page for myself, and a Twitter handle. It’s a great idea to make sure you include those in your book (in your About the Author bio, perhaps). People like to feel that they’re heard and it gives readers who may have found your book via Amazon’s top-selling list or a friend’s recommendation an avenue by which to reach you.
The Twitter handle is for the book (@twinprophecies), but the picture is my author photo. I find you get a better response and more followers if people can see a human face, but the Twitter profile background is the book’s cover. The old adage about judging a book by its cover should be – and is – ignored. People most certainly judge a book by its cover and if someone stumbles upon your book via Twitter (perhaps you’ve been retweeted by someone they follow), and they’re taken in by your cover, they’re just another click or two away from making a purchase.
On the other hand, your book’s Facebook profile should be the book’s cover. Keep the Facebook page updated with news on giveaways (more on those next week), where you are in the writing process for your next project, any book events you may be attending, etc.
Stay engaged on Facebook and Twitter. Keep a hash tag search for your book’s title. People who update what they’re reading, have read, and want to read via Goodreads, often post those statuses on Facebook and Twitter. When I see that someone has tweeted that they’ve read my book, I make sure to tweet them a question like, “Thanks! Who was your favorite character?” or “Book two will be available this Christmas!’ It sets up a dialogue and readers like having that instant connection with the author. Be warned though: People can also use this to instantly tell you when there’s something they don’t like.
I received this tweet once, “Just started your book and I’m having trouble getting into it.” My first thought was, “Um, okaaaaay.” But this comes with the territory. There was a time when if we were disappointed with Stephen King’s latest effort, the most we could hope for was writing a strongly-worded letter, dropping it in the mailbox, and then wondering if he – or a staff member – ever got around to reading it … and then cared if he did.
You’re making yourself readily available to people who have plucked down a few bucks of their hard-earned money. You have to be open to all that means. Turn a negative into a positive. “Sorry to hear that! Hope it gets better for you!”
The most important thing to remember for both Facebook and Twitter is to keep it updated – use your author page to talk about other books you have in the works, respond to comments and questions – and keep it fun. Not only do the readers have unprecedented access to you, but it works the other way as well. Take advantage of this instant access and feedback.
Next week: How to use Facebook and Twitter to promote your contests and giveaways, the best kind of giveaways (my favorite!), Goodreads, and the elusive book bloggers.