How to Build Your Author Platform with Online Marketing and Social Media

hi everyone this is Kristen with Ingram spark thank you for joining us this afternoon the webinar we're having today is how to build your author platform with online marketing and social media featuring Cheri stotch and I will introduce sherry in just a minute there's a couple housekeeping items that I want to check off the list here before we get started as always we're going to be live tweeting during the event so if you want to get involved with that there's a little module on your preview screen where you can type in your tweets and it will automatically tweet them out so you don't even have to be on the Twitter platform if you have any questions feel free to ask them we usually save a bunch of them for the end about 10 minutes until at the top of the hour is when we will ask the questions and there's a printable version of the presentation in case you want to print that out for after or maybe you already have printed it out for today's notes on that would be in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen and there's also a Q&A is where you'll you'll find that at the bottom I believe sometimes they get moved around but there is a module for Q&A so you just open that up and that's where you type in your question we're recording the webinar so there's probably a 48 hour time period where they the platform that we use takes the time to put it together and then we will list that on our YouTube channel and then you'll also get an email from us saying here's your recording and feel free to pass that along share that with anyone you want or visit our YouTube channel and make any comments there and then the last blessing is we're nearing the end of the year we have today's webinar and then we have another one in December so we typically will do these monthly and every month is like a new expert so spread the word and join us every month if you can so that is all I have for items and I would like to introduce sherry Scotch she is our online marketing and social median guru expert and she's been involved with publishing for over 33 years she's the creator of when writers win and without further ado here she is to talk to you today about my online marketing and social media thank you so much Kristen and thank you as always to the Ingram sparks folks I think you guys are doing just a phenomenal job getting authors out there in the right way with their words and especially providing you know all the support you know guys take advantage of these great webinars that they do I've been on several of them and there's there's always useful information and new stuff coming down the pike no matter how long you've been doing this yeah I'm it's not my first rodeo I've been doing it for a while I still pick up new and fresh stuff every single time so definitely get on the schedule to take advantage of those so as Kristen said yes I created a company called where writers win we work with emerging authors new authors predominantly independent authors and we do that in a number of ways our kind of our whole mission has been to help authors find readers and however that looks to an author and we do that in a number of ways we get involved with designing and/or improving and fixing author websites so that they actually can communicate with their readers we do one on one author social media training we do video book trailers we have a subscription platform that's called the winner's circle at the end of the call I'll give you a code for that too so you can get a discount on that if you want in that gives you access to live reviewers by genre book reviewers and book bloggers live book clubs indie bookstores it kind of creates a one-stop shop for authors and for literary publicists to get in and drill down to what they need to promote their work and find readers so that's what all this stuff is about when folks come to us there biggest concern of course is okay I know how to write I don't know how to market actually you do know how to market because when you started on this project when you embarked on your first book or whether it's your fifth book you still even in the back of your head even though you might not know it you have an audience in mind so the marketing part is just once you have that audience in mind how are you going to drill down to find them nowadays because of websites and all this online stuff social media platforms advertising platforms right up to and including Ingram spark all of that stuff is super easy for an author it and it is way less expensive than it used to be to go through these processes of of hiring a big team and spending money advertising and things so yes it will take you some time but again we also want writers writing so once you get past the curve of learning where you need to be and what's working for you then you can really then you can get more into the you know get engaged get back out get back to writing and we typically have authors you know engaging between 20 and 30 minutes maybe 20 minutes in the morning maybe 20 minutes in the afternoon or combination of those and and just kind of maintaining that process as it grows so today we're going to talk about ingredients for your author website about a lot about social networking platforms and some tips for you know posting content that's going to help you out and help you find that audience and we'll give you a few fun do's and don'ts too so 5 website ingredients if you don't have an author website yet yes we do them but you know you don't necessarily have to use us there are a lot of folks that that do them out there or you can set one up very easily yourself people come to us a lot and say but do I really need an author website can I just do this on Facebook and I'm typically going to say no because nowadays really that author website that's your calling card your business card and everything trickles down from there so you know we tell people a lot of times you know look Mark Zuckerberg has enough traffic he's doing fine on his own on Facebook your job is to use sites like Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter and LinkedIn to drive people to your site where you control the message where you can collect the visitors email address and then communicate with them on a more personal basis because we know that a lot of the social stuff there's a lot of noise going on around it so it's very very important for you to have kind of that home base that place where you're going to control that messaging where you can collect email addresses where you can post content about your books about your reviews about events you're going to about your opinions and about you whether or not you realize it yet as an author your celebrity that's why people go to book signings they want your autograph so even if you're not feeling like a celebrity yet you kind of are and that website is the place where you kind of need to start with that so five ingredients the first one we're going to talk about is about you this can include photos you can have an official you know like your book jacket photo that's fine but we also suggest some candid things again these these if you like to ski even if your books not about skiing and you have a great shot of you on the slopes go ahead and put that up on your website it's about building these connections with your readers and the more they feel connected to you personally the more willing and they are to want to read your work and get to know you better through your work as well bio we suggest getting something kind of anecdotal in there versus encyclopedic tell readers about your passions with your bio how them maybe what led you to write this this recent book as part of your bio or tell them you never thought you could be a writer because you know there's lots of ways to go about this to make it a little bit more interesting and frankly to give readers a better sense of your voice of your writing voice biography biographical information so-and-so was born at such-and-such you know in a small town that that can be useful in some cases it's more important maybe on your CV or your resume less important in that actual narrative bio we want a narrative let's show readers that you can tell a story and this particular story is about you okay doesn't have to include your whole life story but just something that's that's going to get them feeling closer to you also you know hobbies dreams charities charities is a big one nowadays I you know if you have a favorite charity I'm all the better if it does align with issues in your book so an example I have a literary fiction author who has cows figuring yes cows Moo cows they dream predominantly in her current book and through that she started connecting with other animal groups and animal rights groups she has aligned with some of them as charities for her work so a portion of the proceeds of her sales go to fund those organizations what that does and that aligning of your charities also gets you to people who have an affinity for their particular charity so it can very quickly widen your audience and also lets people know that you know you're trying to give something back in the process of being an author so those things can be important as well the next big step – you're out there website of course are your words so for your recent book and typically we want people showing their most recent work on the front page of their website I tell I tell others a lot online reading it's it's what we call drive-by reading you have mere seconds to capture their attention so if they're going to happen past your site and they're not going to go to other pages right off the bat or they're in a hurry or they just happen to see a link and click on it you definitely want that homepage to be showing your most recent work what's your what you're currently selling look there's nothing that sells a second book better than a first book let's start with with promoting your most your most recent work you'll want to include a very brief synopsis again think drive-by reading this is more your back jacket copy the same stuff that people would see if they're looking at your book at the description online or if they're walking through the bookstore and picking up books and looking at the back of them include the cover photo a picture is worth a thousand words that's that's always true and then if you have reviews definitely post those we do suggest that you have a section for your ongoing reviews a separate section you're in your work but put the best one two or three right on the front page of your website just as you've seen other books where maybe you'll see a really cool review or blurb on the front cover both of a book two or three more on the back cover and then several more inside I keep that same thought in mind with your website if you don't yet have reviews if your books not yet published you can do blurbs on there find other authors who are willing to say something cool about your book and get those quotes out there anything that can help you let other people know that that this work has been vetted a little bit that there's other people out there saying good things about it that's not going to be their primary reason for a buy typically but it does factor into about thirty percent these days I hear through surveys being done of you know fellow peer recommendations can be useful so don't leave home without them list build so you know I mentioned that earlier list building is is sort of the Holy Grail these days of online marketing and the reason for that is is because social media became really big it was this big fat bubble and then it got so big that there is so much noise so many things going on it's hard to capture a reader's intention and they're very easily distracted we're all very easily distracted by this so the list build is where they can get to your website from that link on Facebook and Twitter and wherever else you're engaging they can very quickly by typing in their email address sign up for your list and hopefully you will incentivize that sign up because that's what will grow the list of fastest and by incentivize I mean offer them a white paper maybe if your nonfiction or if your fiction the first few Apple chapters of your book something to what their appetite we engaged them to trap that email to get that email those emails work ten to one over social media engagement so if you post a link on Facebook and ten people to buy your book and ten people click on it if you posted that same link to your email list and sent out an email by the way there's a great event going on this weekend checking check it out and you sent to the same numbers of people you would have ten times the response via via email which is very very important to have that that's why it's important to have this website to be able to develop those lists and the incentives is really big and once your incentive gets old maybe you want to come up with other incentives and it doesn't have to be book content though we do suggest that most online marketers will tell you you can give up to 30% of your content away to drive a sale over that might be a little bit too much under that might be not quite enough but if you get them hooked then they will want to click that button that says now let me read the rest the other big item and people hate it a lot of authors initially hate this when I say it but it doesn't have to be the scary thing that it is is that blog okay so that blog or journal that blog bit on your site that's what in the business we call keeps the site in motion okay there are a lot of things on your site that aren't going to change on a daily basis your reviews will change here and there as you add new reviews but your bio isn't going to change every week certainly your contact information isn't going to change every week or your home page but this blog is something where you can be putting up new content every week whether you're opening on issues they're important to you or you're talking about things that you know your readers love or you just want to post photos and descriptions of cats by the way that's the number one shared thing on Facebook just know that cats if you when in doubt post a picture of a cat but this is a place that the thing that keeps your site in motion meaning whenever you post new content on your website and those search engine crawlers Google and Yahoo are around searching they pick up that there's new content it helps you get discovered it drives your traffic it drives your ranking it drives your discoverability by readers so it's important to have that fresh content on there now again blogs aren't b-12 1500 word flowery essays of you know decade or more ago as this becomes more and more driving space it's important that you keep it shorter so typically 350 to 700 words is more than sufficient once in a while you'll have a subject that dictates that it needs to be long-form and that's okay if you have the kind of the type of readers that want to read long-form and if you think that you don't sometimes it bears breaking that blog post into two parts part 1 and part 2 it gives you 2 weeks or 2 months or however often you're blogging of copy to get out there and let you and let you still keep it short and concise enough for your readers to get in and get out and feel like they didn't go down the rabbit hole on your site maybe they don't want to come back next time because it's going to take up too much of their time ok so it's it's not just useful for you but it's also courtesy to your readers in building your readers as far as what to blog the sky's the limit and you know some writers have taken to blogging the publishing process others talk about issues that are relevant so that that author I told you about writing about animals she writes a lot about animals and animal issues I have historical fiction authors that blog scenes from the cutting room floor so fun facts about historical figures that they've uncovered that all obviously couldn't make it into the narrative of their historical fiction but are still fun interesting things to share some authors share lists maybe if you're a vampire writer you want to share a cool list of the other top 10 vampire books out there or other why a list some authors contribute to helping their fellow authors and themselves by book reviews of other books in the genre in which they're writing there is no one right answer the more creative and innovative that you can be to stand out in that space the better and again what you blog in how you blog is going to be very very dependent upon your audience one of the most famous author bloggers out there is a sci-fi writers name is chuck wendig's he's out there pontificating all the time he swears profusely drops f-bombs at least once or twice every blog post I would not do that in my own blog post I don't think that it would suit me or my readership that's not who my readers are but that's who his readers are and he has a huge huge following so kind of know your readers in your market before you endeavor to jump in there and blog so that you're really appealing to them also while we're talking about this drive by reading let me make one more mention especially in blogging but really anywhere on your website or your social media shorter paragraphs so just like we talked about the shorter posts for the drive-by reading you also want shorter paragraphs break them up with into chunks you're going to write more newspaper type paragraphs than literary paragraphs because big blocks of type turn people off they tend to skim over those especially online so you always want to think in terms of shorter paragraphs shorter sentences shorter words make it as easy as possible for folks to get in and get involved and connect and engage with you and then contact info and I apologize I have this number this number wrong somehow because I guess I can't count but so your contact info please don't ever put your home address online that's going to come up when you have to provide a email address and a physical address to your your list building places like Constant Contact or MailChimp use a Pio box use a publisher's address using office address that will let you please don't ever put your home information up there for obvious reasons same goes for home phones but do allow as much interaction as you can I am a big anti contact form person if you have a contact form and you love that that's wonderful but also put an email address where folks can reach out to you because there are certain folks like me and frankly a lot of people I know that hate the whole idea of a contact form they feel like they're kind of going into cyberspace and never getting 21 frankly because they're often going into cyberspace and never getting to anyone they've proved dysfunctional in many many cases no matter how good a contact form you think it is so again have an email address there and a business phone if you have one for dedicated lines for those folks and then allow site interaction encourage comments in your blog posts ask questions that folks can answer ask them to weigh in with their opinions that's really important especially as you begin your author website you really start to develop a following out there it's going to get you search more in your prove your rankings – the more time people are spending on your site and the more people that are engaging with site and now we're going to leave websites a little bit and talk to talk more some more about successful social platforms here's the thing that social media again is everyone says okay now I have this gorgeous website it has all this fabulous stuff out there and I'm blogging once a week and my blogs are phenomenal they should all be given writing awards and that may very well be true but how are we going to get them seen and that's where the social comes into play we're going to use those other platforms to drive people again back to your website where you control the messaging now the first thing of course folks ask is you know which do I need to be enjoying need to be on all of them now but you do need to be on some of them and initially you're going to want to open accounts up for most of them and get a feel for them and get to learn them that's a big part of what we do with our one-on-one social media training is you know to to kind of get that learning curve down because I'll tell you what the first thing every author who comes to us says okay I'll do any of this I don't want to do trip Twitter and I totally understand that because I was you and I and I get where you're coming from I was one of those people like many authors who thought you know how can an author possibly conceive of conveying any sort of valuable message in 140 characters on Twitter well number one you can because you use links and number two folks do and number three that is that is probably the fastest way you're going to find a lot of your readers because Twitter's are very what we call open platforms unlike LinkedIn where you have to prove a connection or your website we have to prove approve a comment on Twitter you can follow and unfollow anybody unless they've set their things to private which most folks don't so you can again back to the silly vampire example but if you write vampire fiction there's a lot of great vampire fiction out there where are you going to go on Twitter well obviously you're going to go to Anne Rice's page or you're going to go to Stephenie Meyers page if you're writing to a younger vampire fiction lover and you're going to see who's following them why are they following them because they like this sort of work you're going to follow some of those folks and some of them when they see that you've identified is that vampire author they're going to follow you back because now you're giving them another outlet where they can read their favorite genre so you're going to start with those other popular authors in your genre search their followers and also who they're following who they things of value you can see anything we call it stealing but it's really bowring you can see anything that anybody writes about anything on Twitter very very open source you can also use search terms on Twitter so if you're writing about a certain issue you can search that issue or you can search that topic or you can search that if you're writing about cars you know you can search 1960s automobiles and you will find people talking about those things on Twitter very very easy to find follow some of those folks have some follow you back so that's my that's my kind of a soapbox for Twitter because I really we'll love it after you get to it and it's going to lead you to other folks websites to where maybe there's an opportunity to to do a book signing or to get a review Twitter also lets you build lists there's a little gear wheel function next to the follow button where you can punch that click on that little gear wheel and put people on a list so we're writers win we have a bunch of different lists built on Twitter we have one for literary agents so that you can see what they're tweeting about which I can tell you is mostly about what they had for lunch you can see what book reviewers are talking about we have a whole list of people tweeting book news you can go to those lists and see very quickly who's tweeting about what definitely go after those reviewers on Twitter as well there's a lot of them Goodreads obviously a place where every especially for fiction every author needs to be Goodreads is the Facebook for readers and the power in Goodreads besides tricking out your Goodreads profile page with links to your website and your blog and a video book trailer if you have one of those and kind of any of those things that you can do on your Amazon author central page you can also join your Goodreads page but then Goodreads has the added bonus of being able to search for groups who are basically like online reading clubs and there are groups for any kind of genre you can imagine and subdivisions of those genre if you just want to read about World War two history there are groups for those or World War one history or Civil War history or sci-fi fans or paranormal there are tons of groups for each one it's a place where you can start to join the groups and when you join the groups start following some of those folks you don't want to barge in with the conversation right away like here look at me come buy my book it's a more gentle form of communication you want to start connecting with those folks weigh in on the conversation where you can and start building more connections I can all of this social media I've done articles on this in the past that social media is like a giant online cocktail party okay so just like a cocktail party you walk in you talk to a few people you talk to more you don't run stand in the middle of the room and shout I'm here somebody bring red drink the advantage of the online cocktail party is we don't have to get dressed we don't have to put on makeup we don't have to put on clean clothes or shoes we can do it right from the comfort of our own library or cozy spot on the couch and slowly start to build these connections Facebook for obvious reasons that that's totally some people's audience Google+ less so more unless you're more kind of artistically or tech inclined but still we encourage people at least initially to also be posting things on Google+ because guess what any link posted or post put up on Google+ gets searched and indexed by you guests at Google so it is helpful to develop your initial traffic LinkedIn very valuable if you're looking for speaking engagements very valuable if you're looking to communicate with or speak to larger groups or organizations if your book appeals to women you might want to search out women's groups LinkedIn like Goodreads has a group for virtually everything not necessarily for authors but people interested in that space and LinkedIn authors are very very connected to their groups and they tend to be very active very engaged because it is a more professional site more than just a fun social site Pinterest is my absolute favorite to talk about because interest has surprised so many of us and just a quick anecdote analogy or anecdote to give you an idea of that I was a huge fan of Pinterest when it first came out just for myself because I thought it was big fun and then I came up four hours later and realized I wasn't going to get those four hours of my life back and I got kind of aggravated and I sort of on the business side with authors with limited time felt like okay it's probably not the right play for most of our clients and I really felt this way unless you were you know cookbook author or children's book author somebody who had a lot of graphic visual contents in their work and it really wasn't recommending it too much and then because I also attend a lot of webinars and seminars to up on all the new Intel that's coming out for the benefit of our authors I was hearing a lot of no you have to be on pen chest it's getting searched as much as Google Oh Pinterest is amazing it's wonderful and still I kind of turned a blind eye to that but lo and behold one day I went into my own my own analytics and that's another thing that that's useful with your author website you can check your Google Analytics and see exactly where your traffic is coming from and Here I am posting every single day on Facebook and every day or retweeting something on Twitter and I have very big audiences on both of those I have a very tiny audience on Pinterest I hadn't been there in probably four or five months and yet for some very strange reason I had more traffic coming to our where writers win website then Facebook and Twitter combined and at that point in time when the numbers tell you that that's where people are coming from you have to react to that so we do a little bit more on Pinterest now I still don't spend a lot of time there but again it consistently outranks everything else that's pulling folks to our website so people like to get in there it's very easy to click through on links so be mindful of that how do you do that as an author we have some examples you can search in the search button near the bottom of our page on where writers win you can search the word Pinterest and you'll see articles that we've done on it and examples of what other authors are doing the most successful that I've seen are authors that are taking scenes from their books finding either taking the photos themselves or finding scenes from those books online and then pinning those with a line from their book that takes place during that location that geographic locations or scene in their book and matching them up and then having a links back to their site it lets them get something visual out there even if their book is not visual and lets them tote a few lines from their book and then drive people back to their website and they've found that to be very successful and then of course there are the other visual sites like Instagram some authors Elora McNeil is one should a great job doing different Instagram things out there and gets a lot of following that way there are instable Booker's right now just like there are you look tubers people that post book reviews on YouTube there are also people that create just gorgeous layouts and photos of you know stack of books with the newest book they're reading on them those search books on Instagram and you'll see how a lot of reviewers are are doing that to reach out to readers and if they're doing that innovatively that might be a reviewer that you want to connect with to they'll help you connect with those influencers those reviewers and book bloggers that are talked about the type of book that you write so backtracking just a little bit so why is it critical social media media is critical because it lets you connect directly with those readers and get that instant feedback so we have a lot of authors who use their social media to do cover contest you know the the publishers trying to decide between two covers which do you like better it lets those readers engage and it gives you some Intel it could be helpful for you authors have done that with words to just saying you know I'm doing this a little bit what do you think of this or ideas and lets you build relationships in that fan base obviously of course driving readers back to your website and building your email list and of course ultimately selling more books that's the name of the game so engagement tips what we tell every new client when they get started with us is say look I want you to pick a number in your head and your number can be one or it can be three or it could be 10 or to be 20 right now my number number typically hovers around seven and that means at the end of every day seven new people are going to know the name of our business are known my name I'm going to connect this directly with with seven new people how am I going to do that obviously for social media it's the quickest way on those days where I have very little time Twitter is the fastest way to build that following I'll go to other websites or excuse me other Twitter pages that are offering up writer advice I will retweet their stuff because the more the merrier and I will look at who's following those folks because those are obviously other people and need a writer advice and I'll follow a number of them some days it might be connecting with Goodreads growth writers groups or LinkedIn writers groups or Facebook writer's groups but again however you do it it doesn't matter so much it matters that you're doing something every day and that takes a little bit of pressure off of you too to say okay I just don't have time to get into Facebook and Twitter and Google+ today you don't have to you know today you have ten minutes alright jump on Facebook see what those groups are up to take the pressure off of yourself it's more important to pick a few things where you think your readers are and more closely connect with that best engagement content I want to talk about especially this this comes under both your blog and your social media posts so think about us as humans the things that we like to read if I see a headline that says I'm going to teach you every social media tip ever written my we brain cannot get my arms around that so I'm going to get very tired very quickly and I'm probably just going to blow past that post versus even even if it's not consciously even if it's my subconscious brain saying okay I gotta leave in 20 minutes what do I have time for write that post that says three tips or five tips or nine ways is going to attract my attention every online marketer knows this and that's why you'll see every post that you go to especially advice post at least 75% of them are going to contain a number in them five ways to fix things you need to know five do's and dont's all those sorts of things so think in terms of numbers that's one way to attract readers you know five books in this genre that you definitely should be reading or five things I wish I knew before I publish my book you know any of those sorts of if you're doing advice and/or even entertainment try and use those numbers the other thing is asking a question of your reader so what do you think about this now you can't again because subconsciously we're all in a time crunch so it's hard to ask like those really deep philosophical questions maybe on a blog post occasionally if if those are the types of posts that you write deep philosophical types of posts that demand those sorts of reflections but more something that a reader knows right in their brain when they read the question oh I have something to say about that and I can say really fast like what's the best sci-fi book you ever read boom I can answer that really quick or what's the what's the coolest thing you learned in kindergarten whatever that is asking that question encourages people to engage we're humans we have egos all of a sudden we know that an author asking us this question they must think that our opinion is valuable that automatically brings us closer to our favorite authors and then offering a provocative statement is also a useful way to attract attention now it can't be outrageous or untrue you know you can't write a book about your five favorite sci-fi books and have the headlines say you know I saw Elvis last week no for real those don't work but something that aligns with your situation that allows you to ask that provocative question or make a provocative statement again provocative meaning provoking provoking their thought provoking their interests those are very very useful ways to connect with people and it doesn't just go for those blog headlines it's that social media stuff too so if I just say you really should go to this webinar at and provide the link that's kind of all right number one I'm telling them what to do I don't know about you I don't like being told what to do doesn't get me there but you know it's more along the lines of have you seen these cool top five social media tips you might want to check out this free webinar you know give them a reason to go and visit your site or to visit the link that you provided to them all right social media do's and don'ts these are always my favorite we actually in lie discussions we get into some pretty funny discussions of these but i'ma do side I mean it's pretty obvious stuff I'm going to tell you anyway so right be authentic if I'm not chuck wendig's I'm not going to try and be jug winded yeah he might have a big audience but that's not going to work for me is it respect your fans and that's very important in terms of both being kind but also acknowledging them so if somebody posts on your blog or your social media typically it's very kind and thoughtful and and frankly smart to use their names Wendy I'm so glad you mentioned that thanks for weighing in on that subject people like to see their names in print again we're humans it's ego include photos visuals they've proven this over and over again if you just put up a link and then side by side on a site with the exact same audience you put up the exact same link but with a cool visual it will get it will get clicked 8 9 I don't know the exact numbers right now but multiple times that link alone will again picture is worth a thousand words and pictures get attention and of course folks like Facebook know this you know and Google Plus the algorithms are there where those are the things that are going to show up on other people's timelines first the things with cool photos or graphics or visuals or or videos especially videos nowadays share others content again like the cocktail party so what do you do for a living it isn't just about shouting about yourself ask other people's questions but but also share their content the typical rule in marketing is an 8 out of 10 ratio so 8 out of 10 posts that you make will be about other things that you see and then one or two will be about yourself by the way if you like this you might want to check out this link act and then give them a link back to your own site but if you're talking about farm animals maybe you're going to send them one day you're going to shoot out a link to the Farm Sanctuary or a tweet that they've posted or if you're talking about other writers you're going to shoot out links to those different sites the more you share the more people know that you're there to be social you're less of a threat of somebody who's going to just be sending them a lot of spam number one number two they have they realized that then they have a chance of having their own stuff shared and it's all very symbiotic and kumbaya and folks love that and number three you're going to make connections that way too just by when you show people that you're tweeting out their stuff they're going to pay attention to your stuff more – and start tweeting or sharing your stuff on Facebook so there are a number of reasons that it works but it works in every single case so be open to sharing lots of other stuff out there what I do is I have a list of sites that I think are kind of cool and then I also use a program through buffer to post things where I've just set some algorithms you know post interesting things on social media marketing that kind of thing so even what I'm not around that kind of stuff is is being posted because I don't have every answer but I know there's a lot of awesome sites out there to do so let's arm authors with as much as they can find and it's useful for everybody on the don't side please don't overwhelm yourself I understand the temptation especially even when you first get into Twitter and realize how useful it is there's that tendency to go after the Cosco size super-sized bag of mms just start with the snack size set the timer if you must I frankly I must sometimes on sites like Twitter and Pinterest where I know I'm going to go down the rabbit hole and I don't want you coming back hating me that you just spent eight hours of your life on Twitter so you know set the timer for 20 minutes jump in and jump back out you don't need to dedicate your life to this it's it's little but consistent bits of working on this piece just like it was a little inconsistent books that brought you to or bits that brought you to writing your book right you didn't get it all done in a day you chopped it off chunk after chunk is the same exact thing goes with your overall social media goals if you have a goal of 10,000 followers that's great you're not going to get them all in in one day just you know go after them slowly and build better connections the better your connections the more those people will also want to share your stuff with their audiences and it will begin to grow exponentially don't I think we covered this in the dues but you don't want to spam your readers so not every post needs to be by my book check out my book on Amazon see my sale on Amazon I just did that events intersperse those with other things if you're doing a signing of the book start talking about your signing at the bookstore but maybe also talk about other signings that have been at the bookstore or why you love this book store or the coolest choirs quietest corner of that bookstore there are lots of things that that you can do to say more about others and keep those conversations going especially this comes especially on sites like Twitter and Instagram but more and more folks are using them on Facebook now to use those hashtags and a lot of folks don't understand what a hashtag is it's simply a way of defining a bit of subject matter so if somebody hashtags Freaky Friday then there'll be all kinds of weird you know maybe horror things or whatever but they're using that hashtag or if they hashed AG vampire fiction then they know that what you're talking about in that particular tweet or even through that link is going to be about vampire fiction what this does is it helps expand your audience because people go searching for certain hashtags of things and you can find the most popular hashtags on Twitter they'll give you the things that are trending all the time or you can just search for hashtags related to your genre so if you're writing you know best business book you can search that hashtag and up will come people who have tweeted about that particular thing so if you tweet using a hashtag and somebody else is searching that hashtag even though you're they're not your followers yet they're going to happen upon you because you're part of that community's conversation revolving around that hashtag and then of course don't forget to spell check this is the one this is a well there's two areas I'm going to add one to the don'ts we're going to talk a little bit because we've got a couple minutes time to talk about trolls you know don't get involved with the trolls the people that make snotty comments on your on your site or on your social media you typically won't win you know and people can disagree with you and you can say yes thank you for that opinion Joe I'm glad you know I hadn't thought of that I'm so glad you brought that to our attention answer them once if they answer back oh well great I'm glad I was able to help well then they genuinely had a differing opinion if they answer back well you're stupid for not having thought of it by the way I don't like your hair that's kind of more of an internet troll those are the folks you want to avoid there is this overwhelming tendency to think that you can be more rational than them rational excuse me than them and win the argument and you won't they're not rational and they have a lot more time than you so don't get involved but also yes please don't forget to spellcheck everything there's a tendency for us too because it's drive by reading go really really really quick but we're going to be held as authors to a higher standard than anybody else out there and if your tweets or your blog posts are full of errors you know read them out loud double-check them use a spell checker use grammerly take advantage of these different tools because if you have a lot of spelling errors in there then your readers are going to assume that that you're careless and then the carelessness might be in your writing too and maybe that's not something they want to plunk down $9.99 to read okay and that's basically we're going to take some questions I wanted to let you guys know you can find us Facebook Twitter Linkedin we have a special Ingram spark a landing page as well to that anger spark can provide to you it's up on their website as well or you can email me sherry sha RI at writers wyndcomm and please feel free to ask questions we're happy to do 20-minute consults with folks that's completely free we're happy to send you to other resources we really really do I have the coolest job on the planet I get to work with authors we really do want you two to have fun with this process and to engage that readership and and have a good time and then again just to wrap up on the final thoughts learn from others with their big audiences provide interesting valuable content please stay upbeat nobody wants to be a downer in the entertainment space yes there'll be issues here and there it you know what I tell folks is they say well but this is a horrible issue I have to write about it well that's fine but right there is no problem without a suggested solution so at least try to if you're if you're digging deep on those things you know offer up suggested solutions and offer up that input from others as well share other folks content and again be patient be patient have tons of fun with it this should really be a fun thing for you now I'm going to turn it back over to spark folks and let's jump in with any questions okay Thank You Shari that was awesome I have a few questions for you to answer Nour okay the first one was about blog frequency so for a publisher author what weight would you think is the ideal blog frequency yeah that and that's an excellent question and I have some blog some authors who blog once a week I have others who blog every couple of weeks some only manage once a month some do daily the more important I mean and if you can do daily and you want to do daily have at it go for it we used to blog three times we used to blog every other day actually then we dropped it down to three times a week now we only do once or twice a week because I felt like our audience was getting a little bit overwhelmed hey but you know I've let them know we're going to you know we're going to be blogging less and stuff the problem with this online audience is they're fickle so you know if you start out blogging every day and they come to expect it and then all of a sudden you disappear for a month it's three times as hard to get that audience back if you've lost them and you know I tell the anecdote of you know when we're when a lot of us were little girls we got these Diaries and you know on January 1 we wanted we swear we were going to write in them every day and by the third week well maybe only a couple of times a week and and by March we couldn't even find the stupid diary so you know it's the same kind of thing don't set yourself up to fail it is much better especially with the ease of today's blogging platforms we typically use WordPress for work for our folks they're very search engine optimized about you can pre-schedule a bunch of stuff in there so if you're a free day go ahead and throw up 1012 blog posts you schedule them out over the next three months or whatever more important just to decide in advance how consistent you want the blog to be and what that consistency is going to look like to you in your audience so to kind of follow up on that sherry another question that we got was is there particular days that are better to vlog than others you know they switch around they switch around a lot and it kind of depends on what space you're in and I go through this all the time and we've adjusted ours a few different times so it used to be like Thursday was the cool blogging day or to release blogs or emails and then what happened is everybody knew that so they all started blogging on Thursday and people got overwhelmed so they tried to find an alternative day sunday became the next big blogging day because oh guess what people are home they have a little bit more free time on Sunday to read their blogs that is still a big one too so but that can change so that's one of those things that you know right now we try to blog on Sundays sometimes Tuesday sometimes Thursday but then if your blog ties in with you know manic even with certain hashtags for example if you go looking at those hashtags on Twitter every day of the week and you'll see you know Manic Monday or you know two for Tuesday or any of those things going on if you write an inspirational kind of blog you want to blog when you can take advantage of some of those things too so I encourage folks to go google searching and see what's going to work best for you their third there are no hard and fast rules and the hard and fast rules do change great so I know you kind of touched on this a little bit in your presentation you mentioned if you're on different social media channels like put a timer on for 20 minutes or so do you have any other suggestions on how authors can manage their time on social media yeah the biggest thing that I suggest again once you learn them and you're allowed to go down the rabbit hole a little bit as you're learning you want that learning curve to kind of help you decide what's most valuable to you and then you know if all things are equal when you're engaging on all these things checking those Google Analytics to see so again if I go to Google Analytics and I'm posting equally on Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter and all my traffic is coming from Facebook really how much time do I want to spend on Twitter I'm not getting any people coming over from there if that's my case the summer that's going to be dictated by your traffic what we suggest is you start with one or two and feel good and comfortable with them before you add in others and then we also suggest that you use an aggregate and there are two different aggregate sites that I use right now one is buffer and one is HootSuite now you can use both and put different sites on them to still use the free versions to learn more about them so HootSuite lets you put up a number of different they'll let you only put up three platforms for free but on the paid version which I think is still sitting at like $9.99 a month it is the best $10 a month that I spent because I have load you know I put up my URL for my personal Facebook my professional Facebook my personal Twitter my professional Twitter my personal LinkedIn my professional LinkedIn there'll be some things I want to post to all those and some place where I only want to post to a few and I can pick and choose excuse me but it lets you post to everything from one central dashboard so you don't have to log in and out of every single site that is the number one time savers a site like HootSuite buffer lets you do similar hosts we'd also by the way so they include Facebook pinch know is a Pinterest I think maybe Instagram LinkedIn Twitter so it there are a lot of different platforms and you load them up all into one place so that you and you can create just the kind of dashboard that you want to see so if you only want to see people who have tweeted about you or or mention you on Facebook or whatever you can see those things or you can see conversations going on buffer is similar buffer lets you plug in like a predetermined schedule so if you know that your readers are night owls and you want to be tweeting maybe once in the afternoon a couple times in the evening and you want to hit Facebook folks in the afternoon and you want to hit Twitter you know once in the morning once at noon and once in the afternoon once in the evening which by the way you should hit them multiple times because different people have different Twitter behaviors and if you think that you're going to know somebody by doing that and somebody comes back to you and says why why did I see this four times they're on Twitter too much so I wouldn't concern yourself with that too much every Twitter expert will tell you post several times a day but buffer lets you schedule those out it lets you predetermine that schedule so that whenever you put up anything up on buffer it just plugs that messaging into the next available time slots which also takes less of the you know decision-making out of our hands because we sit there you know frantically oh gosh what should I post this and and you know even even making those decisions at the time sucks so it helps you with some of that great uhm do we set up social media and website branding for us as the author or the book or in the name of the book what are you what are your thoughts on that my thoughts are typically on that if you have one book and you plan to be a one-hit wonder and look there's nothing wrong with that ask a lot of musicians but if it's just one book then you can brand around that book absolutely if you plan to have a number of books either in the same genre or especially with varying genres and stuff and you really want a brand as an author that doesn't mean that you can't also at least in terms of your website have another link going in so in other words you establish your website is Jane Jones calm but your newest book is why I love dogs you can also buy that domain name for why I love dogs and also have it pointing to your Jane Jones calm web site that kind of covers you know getting a little bit extra juice for the newest book that's out there and then you know if that book if you think that that's going to go viral or deserves a conversation all its own you can also set that up you know it if you want as a separate account what I caution people on and I didn't used to believe this but I talked to Porter Anderson a lot who's a big pundit in the other social media space is that people want to connect with people not with brands or companies so even though we're writers Winn is my bigger Twitter site I spend more time there than on my personal site I also have that tagged in my where writers one description it also says at Shari J stock in there so people know if they'd rather connect with me personally they can do that so again think in terms of connecting personally and if you're you plan to write one more book on another book even if it's five years from now I would still start branding now as an author great we have just two more Shari I don't think one of them you can probably answer pretty quickly so I'll start with a longer one what are a couple of things that an author must do to launch a book for marketing it oh you know the thing that I didn't mention that I think in the slides too is you know develop your book club questions that's something we've written about extensively you can look it up on our site search book club questions you'll get sites where there are plenty of examples of them of generic ones that you can use a starter dough but that's one of the big things especially if you're a fiction read you know even if you don't end up being a huge book club pick the important thing is to have that tab on your website and be able to link to that on social media once in a while that says you know I've developed you know ten new book called questions for you know why I like dogs to facilitate your discussion this not only sets you up as you know book club worthy but there is that subliminal that yeah you know on your website oh look that book club questions it must be a book that that people would like to discuss there's that subliminal out there and that's something that you want to put you know you have to pay attention to that back there once the book is printed of course then it's too late you can still put on your website and social media and stuff but if you're still in the pre publication process pay attention to that front matter and back matter pay attention to trying to get blurbs from authors pay attention to building that platform you know you know a lot of authors say well I'm going to write the book first and then once it's published I'm going to start the author website and then I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that I need to be starting those things coincidentally or you know three to six months before you publish optimally because once that book comes out you want that ready-made audience that you can that you can blast it out to well we get we got one more in so the next one that was in mine was what method do you use to get your blog list set up and then ask is that Feedburner uh to get your blog set up to be on other blogs is that what they're asking I know it just says to get your blog list set up well yeah I mean your blogs automatically get in our winter circle we have a whole list of blog directories that we feel are valid and you do want to set up your blog typically your blog address I know your blog address if it's if it's a wordpress site it's always going to be you know your blog names /f is and frank EE D is and david slash feed so it'd be jane don't you know HTTP colon slash slash Jane Jones comm slash feed and then wherever you can put that address yeah that's great so there are lots of different sites where you can you know you can put in your list mostly when you set up a new site lease through word site use for su your kind of search by a lot of those sorts of places already but you can set your your site up on you know all top and there's lots of different blog directories out there that I don't personally use blog directories myself but they all have great traffic and it does create more inbound links to your website from other sources most important of course is to have your your blog your website feed URL listed on your Amazon author page in your Goodreads page okay sherry we're about out of time but we just got one in that I think is worthy of a quick answer our chores the asker says I have an author website and publisher website which communications has come from the author and which should come from the publisher super out well really means yeah I guess that's pretty easy so the author website is going to be where you are going to communicate with your readers the people who ultimately read your book and the publisher and I have another client actually going through this very thing right now and he's trying to do both from one site and he's basically going to divide his blog postings into categories so he has a site for the books that are out including his and then he has a site that appeals to authors who might be looking for a publisher and those advice bits are separate too so you know anything that's going to relate to keywords surrounding your book to optimize for your book so again if you're writing about dogs dogs dog food dog leashes any of those things that's what you want to be saying on the author site versus the publishing site you know publishing deadlines and back matter and and all those terms that relate to publishing so that's that's kind of going to guide you really itsu your your audience in all these cases your audience is going to dictate what you do you know whether it's your author website or publisher website or your social media you're you know just putting yourself it's really putting yourself in the shoes of that audience if I'm going to a publisher website what do I want to be able to find what do I want to be able to see you know what what do I want to hear that publisher saying to me versus what my favorite authors are going to be saying to me all right and that is all that we have time for right now I'm sherry well before I thank you and we wrap up here I do want to say a couple more housekeeping things if we didn't get to your question we will be posting some of those questions on our YouTube channel in the comments action so what we'll do is we'll sure you answer all the email all the questions and then within like 76 hours it will be posted on our YouTube channel in the comments section of that video and then also everyone that's registered and on the call today will get an email 48 hours after today with the recording in it too so you can go back for view or share it with anyone that you'd like to do so that's that's it for the housekeeping stuff and sure this was wonderful information I think we had a lot of engagement in it so I think you helped a lot of people kind of formalize and wrap their head around what they shouldn't shouldn't be doing with social media and digital marketing thank you thank you so much and gang I forgot yes I was going to give you the coat so if you do want to join the winner's circle it's it's very easy at the VIP it's a very important person right VIP w20 just use that code and that'll they'll get you right in there or you can use this Ingram Sparks code which is also on their website either one will get you there it's spark 20s PA RK 20 that gives you $20 off the first year it's normally 59.95 per year so that makes it 39.95 for a full year to get in there but yeah any other questions I'm happy to put them on the the the comments page and then Thank You Kristen as always I love doing these webinars I adore your webinar platform you guys have a great webinar platform out there super user-friendly for authors we appreciate it all right thank you sure you so much and thank you to everyone else for joining us today we will catch you next month and everyone have a happy Thanksgiving yes all right take care

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