I recently found a great book recommendation through my friend, author Beth Vogt. She posted a review of Edie Melson's ebook, Social Media Marketing for Writers. I have a hard enough time managing to write in between blogging and social media, so I was interested to hear how another author handled the juggling act.
I was pleasantly surprised at the $.99 price for the book. Once it downloaded to my Kindle (remember that Kindle books can download to PCs, Macs, and smartphones). But once I read the book, I realized it answered most of the questions I was asking about marketing for authors. Things like:
How to keep social media from taking over your life. My biggest fear is that social media will consume my time, and that I'll be so distracted, and pulled in so many directions, I won't focus on my manuscript. Melson wisely answers these issues by sharing her own social media schedule--which is quite manageable.
How to offer something of value to your audience. Three ways to get your name out there without making it 'all about you'. Readers respond better to a generous writer. Melson shares several ways to do this, and includes mistakes to avoid when posting on Twitter and Facebook.
Whether to blog . . . or not. Blogging doesn't work for everyone. Melson helps writers decide whether to blog by sharing four ways blogging works for writers, and four ways it doesn't work. Each point is explained in detail. Melson helps writers think through the purpose of their blog, and who their audience is.
The how-tos. For blogging beginners, Melson gives step-by-step instructions on starting a blog. How to make your blog post to Facebook automatically. How to get started with Twitter--and a primer on Twitter etiquette. Melson's Twitter explanations really helped me a lot. I have a Twitter account (@DebbieMaxAllen, if you're interested), but I'm still learning how to wrap my brain around using tweets and hashtags. Melson's advice is helping tremendously, with analogies that make it easier to understand. She also gives tips on how to compose compelling tweets and Facebook posts.
Writing your professional bio. The three kinds of biographical information writers need, what each should contain, and when to use each of them. Melson takes writers through a four-step process of asking themselves questions for a painless bio.
How to tie everything in to Amazon. The book giant will be a big part of your marketing life. Writers can take full advantage of their Amazon author page with a bio and photo, and more importantly tie their blog into their author page.
I've already begun highlighting many sections of Melson's book. She gets right to the point on each topic, so I don't feel like I'm wading through unnecessary information. And for $.99, the price is right! If you're interested in Melson's blog, check out The Write Conversation.
What social media do you participate in? Do you feel like you're taking advantage of everything it offers?