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SMART Social Media For Authors: The practical guide for anyone to sell more books (SMART Marketing For Authors Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
"If . . . you are confused about how to use social media to sell your books, you are in the right place. You may already be using social media to build a fan base around your books, but you’d like to learn how to use it more effectively. This book is for you. If you are a skeptic, I think you’ll like my premise that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing."
"Authors must wear a marketing hat -- no exceptions." I agree. I'm working on my fourth book now and have created marketing plans and promoted or promised to promote them all, plus two books by other authors. This book the advice I always needed.
If you've already written a book and want to know how to promote it, your answers are here. If you're at the proposal stage, read this short book and use it to beef up the marketing section of your proposal.
The SMART in "SMART Social Media" is, of course, an acronym. Syme wants you to think about a plan that's:
Sustainable. You can keep it going.
Manageable. It doesn't take over your life.
Author-specific. It's not generic, it's suited to your strengths and contacts.
Relevant. It's suited to your book and your audience.
Tactics last. That is, strategy first.
This book is not a laundry list of a thousand pieces of tactical advice, because every book needs a plan that's uniquely fitted to that book and that author. (Also because tactics change rapidly, and this book needs to stay relevant for more than 15 minutes.) It's more about getting into the mindset than about what price to pay for Facebook ads. But there are plenty of specifics here that any author can sink their teeth into.
A few key takeaways that stuck with me:
- Focus on building networks organically. While the book addresses paid ads on Facebook and Twitter, these are for campaigns -- it's connecting to your fan base that will pay off in the long run.
- Don't target everybody. Choose a specific audience and reach out to them (you know, like people who care about bad writing).
- Choose the right Facebook tools. Facebook is the queen of social media marketing for authors. Syme goes through the strengths and weaknesses of profiles, fan pages, and groups. After reading this, I immediately realized that Facebook groups would be an ideal tool for me to build up next.
- How to prioritize social tools. Syme divides social tools into three groups. The "big 3" are Websites, Mailing Lists, and Facebook. Every author should use these. The "next 3" are Pinterest, Author Pages, and Blogs -- these are useful for some authors. And the rest -- Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Video, and Podcasts -- are a lot less useful, unless you've made them a specialty. This is far better advice than the usual "Here are 12 things an author can do" with no consideration for the balance between time spent and value generated.
- How to build a campaign planning calendar. Having worked on five books (with another in process), I've learned the rhythm. Sell first, then write, then wait 6+ months, then launch. Somehow, the "wait" stage always turns into recovery, when it ought to be planning. I'll be using Syme's calendar to plan the launch for my next book, making sure I have all the promotable pieces lined up well ahead of time.
There were a few things I was wishing for. I'd love to see some more specific case studies for books, especially non-fiction books (it's a little hard to write a manual that addresses romance novelists and business strategy authors in one place). And I'd like some specific advance on advertising -- Syme includes some, but I crave numbers. But all in all this is a quick, enjoyable read that any author would find useful.
I have been trying to figure out how to use social media to market my novels for years. I’ve attended talks, signed up for webinars, and read books. I have seen most of the information in Syme’s SMART Social Media for Authors, but not all in one place with such clear and specific information. I had knowledge, but I didn’t have a sustainable, manageable plan for applying it. Syme’s book gave me specific steps for developing a plan that fit my individual needs.
The acronym, SMART, stands for
Sustainable and Manageable
Before diving into the particulars of marketing, Syme provides both inspiration and information for making the tasks sustainable and manageable. I joined the free class online course that is a companion to the book and downloaded the worksheets that helped me assess my time and energy levels. With this information, I was able to identify the best time of day to work on certain tasks. I was also able to identify my marketing level as an author and choose the best strategies for that level.
Audience-specific and Relevant
Most authors of marketing books tell you the importance of targeting your audience with relevant information, but few give the details Syme does on methods to identify the audience and round up the relevant information. After listing statistics about the various major online social media platforms and demographics of users, she provides a list of questions, and my answers helped me choose those most sustainable and manageable for me and my time, skills, and interests. I learned which sites were best for fiction and which for non-fiction. I was relieved I didn’t have to be on every one of them to reach my audience. I did have to provide relevant content to attract readers, get them to sign up for a mailing list, and keep them coming back. The details for how to do that are clearly laid out in Syme’s book.
The last section of the book is about campaigns and how to run them. The step-by-step instructions for running a campaign to do such things as build a mailing list, sell existing books, or launch a new book are invaluable. I have tried campaigns in the past, but they have not been successful. I am excited to try again with the new tactics I have gleaned from this book.
Throughout the book, you will find dozens of links to useful tools and additional information. So many, in fact, that if you are reading the book on an older Kindle without Internet, you may accidentally hit a link and cause a blank screen to come up, followed by an “application error” message. If that happens, just hit the back arrow or turn the reader off and then on again.
If you are a new author or one who has struggled as I have with trying to figure out how to use social media, I highly recommend Chris Syme’s SMART Media for Authors.
Most recent customer reviews
Just finished reading SMART Social Media from cover to cover in one sitting.Read more
For me, the challenge of writing a book is nothing compared to the challenge of marketing...Read more