by Gillian Nicol
Nothing says reader appreciation like a good old-fashioned giveaway. Pairing a book giveaway offer with a holiday like Valentine’s Day is a sure way to attract attention and assure your readers that you care about them. Giveaways are a great way to engage readers while expanding your fan base to those who may not have picked up your book at first glance. Not sure where to start? There are many tools that authors can utilize to connect with their current and future readers.
1. I <3 Goodreads.
Creating your Goodreads author profile takes only a few minutes and is a great way to fuel a buzz around your book. This feature allows you to completely customize your giveaway; you decide the length of the contest as well as how many books you wish to give away. Potential entrants are able to sort through listings by popularity, most requested, recently listed and by giveaways that are ending soon. Goodreads takes in all of the information and will select the winners. Their algorithm uses data to match interested members with each book. Those selected are encouraged to write a review, so everyone comes out a winner. Unfortunately at this time e-books cannot be featured; we are hopeful that Goodreads will provide this option in the future.
2. Love me, love my kindle.
For authors that have released their book electronically, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is for you. This library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can borrow once a month with no due dates. If you publish your books with Kindle Direct, your books will still be available for anyone to buy in the Kindle Store, and you’ll continue to earn royalties from those sales. By giving your book away for free, you allow your book to climb the ranks of Amazon’s “Free on Kindle” book list, a massive perk for indie authors. This type of extra exposure is sure to get you noticed, which in turn may find you a new, larger and loyal following of readers.
3. Be mine, Freebooksy?
Need help getting the word out about your giveaway? Look no further than Freebooksy. Not only does this website promote book giveaways but they also advertise free e-books and audiobooks. They post a free e-book at least once a day and cover multiple genres so that there is something for everyone. Publishers and authors alike seek out their services that extend beyond giveaways: e-book conversion, author websites and book cover design are among them. With a Facebook following of more than 70,000, your book could easily be in the hands of thousands.
4. “Likes” light up my life.
If your Facebook and Twitter fan base is already going strong, feel free to host your own giveaway through these social media channels. Retweets and shares are powerful tools to spread the word about your book. Request that your fans comment on a specific Facebook post on your fanpage or tweet #yourbooktitlehere as their formal entry into the contest. Tracking the entries can be tedious but a random number generator such as random.org will select your winner once you have assigned a number to each entry. Your established followers and newcomers will keep coming back for more.
5. Wild about widgets.
A widget by definition is a small gadget or application, also known as your author website’s best friend. These little features come in all shapes and sizes and yes, there are widgets for giveaways! Contest Machine and Rafflecopter are only two among the many out there. Contest Machine is great and handles everything from collecting entries to contacting winners. It also gives you the option of building an opt-in mailing list so you can stay connected with your readers and notify them of upcoming events regarding your novel or series.
Rafflecopter works in the same vein as Contest Machine but has monthly plans (for a price) as well as free features. They boast real-time analytics, 1-click Facebook applications and the ability to increase Pinterest followers through their widget. You can even enter their contest and be picked to win a free month of service. We encourage authors to test out the free version of both contest generators first to find which will work best for you.
Book lovers will agree that the next best thing to spending Valentine’s with your sweetheart is curling up for some quiet, quality time with a new book. It doesn’t have to be all about chocolates and flowers, does it? Regardless of the path you take, hosting your first book giveaway shouldn’t be a stressful time. Between e-books and print copies, there are plenty of options and tools to explore as you begin planning. Best of all, your readers will love you for it!
Gillian Nicol is a publishing assistant and aspiring writer. She launched her publishing career at Pressque Publishing and currently works with PubSmart. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Connecticut and Florida. She holds a Bachelors degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. The beach is her favorite place to crack open a book and enjoy a good read.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Facebook continues to grow as the marketing platform of choice for just about everything – goods, services, and causes – so it’s an obvious place for authors to consider when you start marketing your book. To get the most out of your Facebook presence here are 4 things that every author should know:
1. Create a Fan Page
There are two types of Facebook pages – a profile page and a fan page. Profile pages are what individuals use to connect to friends, family, classmates and colleagues. Fan pages are used for promotion. They are perfect for building closer relationship with your audience and customers.
Every author should have a fan page. To set up a fan page, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and follow the step-by-step instructions. Now that you have a Fan page you can promote your page on your website, in your ebook and in press releases.
2. Ask People to Like You
Your goal is to have people “Like” your page. Once someone likes your page, any updates you post to your Fan page will be visible in your stream. This keeps your fans engaged and keeps you and your books “top of mind”. This makes it more likely that next time a fan is looking for a new read, or recommending a book – you and your work will come to mind. To get your first “Likes” send a message to family and friends asking them to like your page. Ask current fans on your website to Like your page. If you are on Twitter ask your Twitter fans to Like your page. Anytime you receive media exposure make sure to mention your Facebook page.
3. Install the Facebook App for Authors
There is a great FREE Facebook app for authors that you should install on your page. To install the app go to: https://apps.facebook.com/authorapp/?ref=ts. It takes less than 30 seconds to get the app onto your page.
The app has these great features:
- Allows you to import your book information directly from Amazon.
- Allows your fans to buy your books with one-click.
- Allows you to offer a free chapter of your book.
- Allows you to collect email addresses from your fans so you can send email updates.
- Allows you to highlight upcoming book signings and event you are holding.
To learn more about the app you can visit:
4. Stay Engaged
The key to a successful Facebook page is to consistently update your page. You can decide on the frequency – at a minimum you want to post something new once a week. Your posts can be simple: something that inspired you (a picture, a quote, an interaction); an upcoming event you are holding; an update on the new book you are writing; a news article that you found interesting. It’s more important to post something than to post the perfect thing, so don’t spend too much time obsessing over what to post, rather, just put something out there.
By following these four simple steps you will be on your way to using Facebook as a successful marketing tool!
Tell us what you think about the Author App!
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
We're on day #4 of our social media challenge and today we're going to post a comment to a Facebook fan page. Yesterday you should have set-up your own Facebook fan page and “liked” the Infinity Publishing fan page. Congratulations on coming this far!
Posting a comment to a Facebook fan page is just as easy as sending out a Tweet. You can post on your own personal fan page OR you can post on other Facebook fan pages that you have liked. Creating a post is a wonderful way to stay connected with your fans and friends.
How do you post a comment on a fan page?
1. Go to the fan page of your choice, in this case the Infinity Publishing fan page:
2. Click on the box at the top of the page that says, “What’s on your mind?”
3. Type in what you would like to say and hit enter. It's as simple as that.
What is the value of posting on a fan page?
It gets you connected with your fans and friends, giving you an opportunity to promote your book, your thoughts of the day, or to respond to what someone else has posted. It also keeps you active online and out in the social media world.
What should you write about?
Talk about what other people are talking about. If you’re on fan page that talks about self-publishing for example, jump in and talk about your experience with independent publishing. If you’re on an author’s fan page, post a book review or give the author your feedback on their latest blog post. Use your comments to promote your own work and also be courteous and share compliments as you see fit.
How long should your comments be?
You can post one sentence to a few sentences. Don’t get too crazy with long-winded posts. You don’t want to get banded from someone fan page because you go on and on. Be direct and to the point.
Today’s social media challenge task of the day.
Post a comment to promote your book on the Infinity Publishing fan page. Tell the world why your book is such a good read or promote an upcoming book signing. It is up to you. Either way, it is all about your book. Put your marketing cap on and go for it. Keep your post to about 30 words and don’t forget to include a link to your own Facebook fan page and website. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Infinity-Publishing/134269466589558
Copy and paste what you post on the Infinity Publishing fan page and repost in the comments section below. This will give you a link back to your page and added exposure to help promote your page.
Infinity Publishing’s gift to you. We’ll respond to your Facebook fan page on the Infinity Publishing page and also post on your personal author fan page.
Next challenge, blogging (Challenge #5).
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Welcome to day #3 of the Social Media Challenge. Today we're talking about Facebook. You may already be on Facebook and using it to connect with your family and friends, on a personal level. As an author, Facebook is a wonderful social media tool to utilize to help better establish your professional online presence. To do this, you will want to create what is called a Facebook fan page. This is an extension of your personal account. You do not want to use your personal account to promote your book(s). It is one thing to connect with your personally with your family and friends, but for any marketing of your book to the public, you want to use a fan page.
How to create a Facebook fan page?
To create your Facebook fan page we’re going to refer you directly to the step by step instructions at Facebook. Click here for detailed instructions on how to set-up your author Facebook fan page. You must be logged into your personal account to set this up. If you do not have a Facebook account set-up, go to www.facebook.com.
Facebook fan page “likes”
Once you have your fan page set-up, your goal is to get as many “likes” as you can to your page. The more people that like your fan page, the better. You’ll see a button at the top of the fan page that says “like” and that is what site visitors will click to show that they like your page.
How to name your author Facebook fan page?
As an author just getting started, your first step will be naming your fan page. Once you pick a name, you cannot change it, so be sure to get it right the first time. You should consider including the word “author” in your fan page name. Examples: facebook/pages/john-doe-author or facebook/pages/author-john-doe. Keep it simple. You want to use your author name vs. your book title, particularly if you have more than one book. You’re creating this page to drive readers and fans to “like” you as an author. On your fan page you want to promote your individual titles.
Why is Facebook so important for an author?
Facebook is a driving factor in online marketing and search engine optimization. Google search and other search engines are factoring in key words driven from social media sites, like Facebook and using them as a factor in online ranking. The more popular your Facebook fan page is, meaning the more “likes” you have on your fan page, the higher you’ll rank in the search engines. You must be on Facebook, there is just no getting around it.
Facebook Marketing Author App.
Take your fan page to the next level and install the free Facebook Marketing Author App to your fan page. It will help to better market your book. To install the app go to: https://apps.facebook.com/authorapp/?ref=ts. It takes less than 30 seconds to get the app onto your page.
Today’s social media challenge task of the day.
Like the Infinity Publishing fan page. Here is the link to our fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Infinity-Publishing/134269466589558
Post the link to your Facebook author fan page in the comments section of this blog post. This will give you a link back to your page and added exposure to help promote your page.
Send out a message to your personal contacts in Facebook that you’ve set-up a new fan page and ask them to like you.
- Install your Facebook Marketing Author App.To install the app go to: https://apps.facebook.com/authorapp/?ref=ts.
Infinity Publishing’s gift to you. We’ll like your author Facebook fan page.
Next, we’ll take a deeper look into posting on your new Facebook author fan page (Challenge #4 Posting on Facebook).
Another article you might enjoy is How to Use Facebook to Market Your Book.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Let’s get real about social media. It’s like exercise, right? We’ll be the first to admit that we have not been as focused on our own social media footprint as we would like. There, we said it. It’s a new year and we are ready to make some viral waves in the world of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and whatever other medium that makes sense for us to better build our brand, to support our authors.
So we’ve decided to challenge the entire Infinity Publishing team and all of our authors to join us for a Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge. 13 days of social media fun.
Are you ready to make your mark?
Here is the challenge, to increase your social media footprint and build your online platform via a variety of social media and online resources. Each day for 13 days we’ll post the “challenge” of the day on our blog and you can work along with us. If you don’t know how to use Twitter, Facebook, etc. we’ll walk you through the process.
Say, “YES!” to the Infinity Publishing Lucky 13 Day Social Media Challenge! We’ll work together to support each other in this simple and fun marketing experience. Great way to market your book and all you need is less than 15 minutes a day to make it happen.
Here is how the Infinity Publishing Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge works:
Register for the Infinity Publishing Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge here. Let this be your New Year’s gift to yourself! A great way to kick off book sales AND you’ll be positioning yourself for long-term online exposure.
Follow our blog each day, starting tomorrow, Friday, January 13, 2012 and stick with us for 13 days. We'll give you simple instructions on what your social media task is for that day. It’s going to be super easy and if you’re not social media savvy, don't worry. We’ll give you step by step instructions. Everything you need to bring in the New Year with a viral marketing edge and be better prepared to market your book. So what kinds of things will be doing? We may ask you to simply send out a Tweet on Twitter to promote your book, or post a message to Facebook to promote your book.
Enjoy your new found social media skills, exposure AND the cross-promotion that Infinity Publishing will be giving back to you!
Infinity Publishing’s gift to you for participating in the Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge…we will give you the same amount of exposure that you give out. If you follow-us on Twitter, we’ll follow you back. For every Tweet you send out, we’ll send out one to promote your book. For every post you put on Facebook, we’ll give you one post back. It’s all about exposure.
It's much more fun if we work together. Join us here on the Infinity Publishing Blog, tomorrow, Friday, January 13, 2012. Are you up for the challenge?
Photo courtesy of Alex Hinds.