How Best Selling Authors Use Facebook to Sell Their Books in 4 Easy Steps

Last week, I received my publicity email from Steve Harrison at Reporter Connection. He included an article that was mind blowing. A best-selling author wrote his new novel on Facebook. He posted daily installments of his book on Facebook and realized people were paying attention. The conversation took off, and he even named characters after some of the participants. He self-published his book after one year; it didn’t fit in with his current genre. Is it crazy that a best-selling author would write his book directly onto Facebook? Some would say, yes.

BTW: I thought Facebook ‘owned’ your content. Does or should Facebook receive royalties for the book? It truly is mind amazing and confusing at the same time.

Posting excerpts of your writing on Facebook is an online marketing technique that could make you a best-selling author. Facebook has over 800 million users and you could gain a lot of web traffic by connecting and engaging in conversations with people. The question is: Is it right for you and your book? Only you know the answer to that question.

How Best Selling Authors Use Facebook to Sell Their Books in 4 Easy Steps

1. Use Facebook’s tools to add friends who’ll be supportive of you and your writing. Check out the events and groups that are suggested to you. Fill out your profile page with pertinent information about your book such as the title and website.

2. Don’t add people or join Facebook groups impulsively. This could backfire and before you know it, your story could wind up on another’s author’s page or website. Quality is better than quantity. I see people with 500 or 800 friends and wonder, “Do they interact with all of them on a daily basis? How close are they? Are they only interested in receiving more page views?” Listen to your intuition aka your gut instinct when it comes to adding people to your network. As Steve mentioned in his article, “There are a few trolls out there.”

3. Join relevant Facebook groups that match your subject material. This is a great way to introduce you and your book. Join the conversation as much as you can and post helpful responses.

4. Don’t make every status update about you and your book. How many times have you received invites to ‘like’ a FB page or purchase a product? Where’s the value in that? Relationships have to be nurtured and developed. If you constantly ask your contacts to ‘like’ a Facebook page, you risk losing them. It’s not all about you! Post relevant links and videos that your audience wants to see.

Good luck!


If you’re developing/writing a book, would you publish daily installments (excerpts) on Facebook? Share.

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Monday’s Creative Writing Prompt Based on 2012

Happy New Year! It’s 2012, and according to the Mayans, it should be one heck of a year. I’m kidding. Who knows what happened to the Mayans and why they couldn’t finish their calendars. Anyway … Here’s a writing prompt based on 2012 and all of the whacky and perhaps not-so-whacky predictions.

Monday’s Creative Writing Prompt Based on 2012

You’re given psychic powers and can see what will happen in 2012, write a story based on your vision.

A Mayan shaman appears before you and says he has important information to share with you, what is it?

You’re outside one night gazing at the stars. All of the sudden you see flashing lights in the sky and a whiling motion. Did you see a UFO? If so, what does it look like? Write about your experience.

What predictions would you write for 2012?


Freelance Writers: How Do You Use Facebook?

Freelance writers, there are more than 500 million active Facebook users. Of course, with the 2010 release of The Social Network the number of users has steadily increased. The one drawback to Facebook is that you must choose either a personal or business profile — they are not the same. A personal profile has more options than a business profile which is why most professionals opt for a personal profile page. This may not be a good idea if your family and friends want to “friend” you.

Freelance Writers: How Do You Use Facebook?

What do you do if you have a personal profile page and your family and friends want to friend you? How do you handle it? Do you really need to know everything that’s going on in their lives? Do your potential customers and clients need to know? How about your business and industry associates? What about your co-workers? Using Facebook can be a sticky situation for some professionals. You may not want your family and friends on your Facebook page. If they post offensive material it could scare off potential customers and business partners.

The selling point of Facebook is that professionals and businesses can use it as marketing tool. You can create fan pages which people can “like” and you can advertise on Facebook. Using these tools can help you increase sales and the bottom line. It’s also a great way to network and build a database of potential clients, collaborators, and partners.

If you opt for a personal page, your family, friends, and childhood schoolmates from 20 years ago can find you, and they may want to be your friend. Is this a good idea if you’re trying to build a business? Maybe, maybe not. 

Freelance writers, before you join Facebook, ask yourself why are you joining? Is it to keep in touch with family and friends and to find your long lost high school love or is it to build your business? If it’s the latter, you may opt for a business profile page. If you want all the options that come with the personal profile page, gently tell family and friends you’re on Facebook for business reasons. And whatever you do, use Facebook responsibly!


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How Authors and Freelance Writers Brand Themselves on LinkedIn

Authors, freelance, ghost and creative writers would benefit from listening to Greig Wells‘ (owner of Be Found Jobs) webinars on creating your brand on LinkedIn. Many business professionals use LinkedIn to find employees, contractors and freelancer writers. Linked In is the ‘go to’ website for professionals. If you’re uncertain as to ‘how to’ brand yourself on LinkedIn, follow the steps below.

How authors and freelance writers brand themselves on LinkedIn

1. Create a hook. As a writer, you’re familiar with writing a ‘hook’ when you submit a pitch or query letter to editors. It’s important to catch the eye of potential clients/customers/readers in 30-seconds or less.

Greig’s three-step process to writing a hook that works is as follows:

1. You know how a <Company> is always looking for <Insert the biggest problem in your industry>.

2. I solve this.

3. I do this by Unique Way #1 and Unique #2.

Here’s an example for a Freelance Writer:

You know how business owners always struggle to write optimized web content that converts visitors to customers.

I solve this.

I do this by writing unique, compelling web content using your keywords and phrases which lands your business on the first page of Google and draws visitors to your website.

2. UVP Power. This stands for Unique, Value and Promise. What makes you a unique freelance, creative or ghost writer? What makes you a unique fiction, non-fiction or YA author? What value do you bring to clients? What value do you bring to readers? Do you keep the promises you make? For example, if you promise to meet deadlines, do you actually meet them? If you promise to deliver a thrilling novel that takes readers on the adventure of their life, does your novel deliver?

3. The Proof. What proof do you have that you’re an expert in your field? Do you have testimonials from clients? Do you have testimonials from readers? Do you have testimonials from other authors in your genre? Remember, actions speak louder than words. This may be difficult for writers to read, but it’s the truth.

Other tips are: create a word cloud; connect with ‘Super Connectors’ (people with 500+ connections), have a solid call-to-action, and post relevant status updates that people will comment on. Join pertinent groups where you can share your expertise; voice your thoughts, beliefs and opinions.

What is branding? Through the use of your name, symbol, term, sign or combination of these, you create a ‘brand’ that clients/customers recognize as a resource that solves their problem. Remember, you’re in business to solve problems and market your products and or services. Therefore, your brand should reflect this.

As authors and writers, you’re familiar with tapping into the emotional side of writing. You can do this when you create your brand as well. For example, let’s say you’re an expert author on dating after divorce. You could use words such as pain-free relationships, self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, frustration, etc.

According to Greig, “The biggest mistake is building a brand that no one wants. Get to the core of the biggest problem facing a company or client.”

The advantage authors and writers have with branding is they know how to write. However, sometimes it can be difficult to create a ‘brand’ for your author website or freelance writing business. Think about hiring someone else to do this for you so you can concentrate on growing your writing business or finishing your first novel. Check out Greig’s profile on LinkedIn and see how his program could help you, even though it’s marketed to job seekers, branding is still branding. I’ve learned a lot from listening to Greig’s webinars. Check them out today!


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How Writers Can Attract and Gain Twitter Followers

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Authors, creative, freelance, ghost and travel writers — if you’d like to attract and gain more Twitter followers, make sure you have a ‘Tweet Button’ on your blog/website. Websites that incorporate a ‘Tweet Button’ receive seven times more traffic than websites that don’t utilize this ‘free’ tool. What are some other ways to increase Twitter followers? Keep reading to find out.

Most people use Tweet Meme which is a plugin that can be included on WordPress and other blogging platforms. It’s easy to upload and install. The Tweet Meme button makes it easier for visitors to ‘retweet’ your blog post and or article. This is a fast and easy way to ‘spread’ the word about your amazing writing. You can reach thousands, even millions of people quickly.

Other ways writers can attract and gain Twitter followers

1. Create a Twitter landing page. You’re probably saying, “Great. I can’t create a ‘regular’ landing page. How the heck am I supposed to create a Twitter landing page?” The good news is a Twitter landing page can be created on your blog or website. If you already have pages on your website, you can create a Twitter landing page. Include your picture, a short bio (about you) along with your tweets and retweets.

BTW: Don’t forget to include your Twitter URL in your bio on your Twitter account.

2. Use keywords and phrases. Have you ever wondered how you gain certain followers after you’ve tweeted something? I have!  You can set up a Twitter search; include your keywords and phrases, i.e., freelance writing, freelance writers, freelance writer, creative writing, creative writers, ghost writers, travel writing, ghost writing, young adult, picture books, self-publishing, memoir, romance writers, fiction, publishing, etc. When someone posts something pertaining to your keywords and phrases, you can answer and direct them to your website. Who knew? No wonder I have a lot of MLM, real estate agents/agencies, online marketers, SEO gurus, etc. following me. Lol!

3. Pay attention to followers who ‘retweet’ your posts — focus on them. Develop a relationship with your followers (retweets) because they can help ‘spread’ the word about you and your writing (business). Visit their profiles and websites; say “Thank you” once in a while. It doesn’t hurt to have influencers and supporters. Remember, you can’t go or grow it alone. Successful people have help from others — they don’t do it all by themselves.


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Freelance Writers Share Your Newsletter … Receive More Leads and Referrals

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One of my pet peeves about newsletters is that some of them don’t include social media share buttons. I enjoy sharing useful content with others because it may help them grow their business or learn something new. However, nine times out of ten, newsletters don’t have a ‘share’ button. If I want to share a newsletter on Facebook or Twitter, I have to open my social media websites or, copy, and paste the link. This takes time to do. It’s easier for me to ‘share’ a newsletter when it contains the ‘common’ social media buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; you can add others but these are used by most businesses. Don’t forget to include ‘follow’ buttons. No one can follow you if don’t provide them with links to your social media websites.

Tip: Include a StumbleUpon ‘share’ button in your newsletter. This social media network is driving more traffic than Facebook. Word of caution: StumbleUpon allows adult content. When you share an article or blog, make sure to choose “Yes” because this means your content does not contain adult content.

The next time you send out a newsletter or are writing one for a client, make sure social media icons are visible on the newsletter. If they’re not, add them. It’s important for readers to be able to share your newsletter in addition to following you. Let’s face it; most people are under time constraints. If they have to ‘manually’ open up their Twitter or Facebook, they may not be inclined to share a newsletter. Make it easy for others to share a newsletter by incorporating ‘share’ buttons.


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How a LinkedIn Endorsement Can Hurt Your Freelance Writing Business

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If you’re on LinkedIn, you’re probably familiar with the ‘recommendation’ feature also known as “Please endorse me.” This is a way for your connections to endorse you and your work and vice versa. Is this a good idea? What is the real benefit to you? How can it help you and your freelance and or ghost writing business? Actually, a LinkedIn endorsement can hurt your business.

Tip: If you want a LinkedIn endorsement, personalize the request. Don’t use the generic copy that’s provided in the body of the endorsement because it can annoy and frustrate the person who receives the endorsement request. It shows the receiver you didn’t take time to ‘think’ about asking them for an endorsement; you want and expect them to take time to ‘think’ about writing a well-written LinkedIn endorsement. You may not receive an endorsement.

I’ve been asked to write endorsements for LinkedIn. I like to think about my endorsements before I write them for many reasons. First, I sometimes ask, “Who are you? How do I know you?” Second, there isn’t much of a relationship. If I’m a former co-worker who’s been gone for several or more years, I’m not sure I’m justified to write an endorsement. Can I remember what they were like to work with? How do I know what the person’s work ethic is today? How do I know they show up for work on time and give 120%? What about when you work with someone for a short amount of time? Third, the person uses the ‘generic’ copy provided by LinkedIn. I chuckle at this. Finally, I need to think about what I want to write. I like to write more than two sentences. ~ Rebecca

Before you request LinkedIn endorsements, think about who you want to endorse you and appear on your profile. For example, I’ve read LinkedIn endorsements that are poorly written and or paint an unflattering picture of the person’s work ethic and ability. Endorsements are filled with spacing, grammar, and spelling issues. Or, they read like this, “John Doe worked for me in the marketing department. He showed up on time and met deadlines.” These aren’t professional and don’t help you. Some endorsers spell the person’s name wrong. Can you imagine that? You request a LinkedIn endorsement from a former boss and or client and they spell your name wrong. Yikes! It’s important to proofread endorsements before you accept them. If it’s filled with errors, you can’t correct them. You can send an email (be polite) requesting the endorser correct errors or ignore the endorsement . The other alternative is to hide it.

Writers understand the art and craft of writing. Unfortunately, some people have poorly written LinkedIn endorsements on their profile. They’re not helpful, they’re harmful. ~ Rebecca

Peruse your LinkedIn and endorsements and delete or hide those that are weak. You may want to start over and request recommendations/endorsements from people who truly know you, your strong work ethic, and professionalism. You don’t have to have hundreds of endorsements. It’s better to have five to ten solid endorsements versus 20-30 poorly written and unprofessional ones. These won’t help you or your freelance writing business. They’ll only deter potential clients from hiring you. Be discerning and discriminating with endorsements. Remember, quality is more important than quantity. An endorsement is no different than a blog post — content is king or queen.


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What’s the Difference between Facebook and Twitter?

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Question: I’m beginning to market my freelance writing business. Do I need to use both Facebook and Twitter? What’s the difference? How much time do I need to devote to social media? I want to maintain a balance between writing and marketing.

Answer: Facebook is relationship driven and Twitter is content driven. In order to create a Facebook Fan Page, you need to create a personal and or business account. This can become sticky if you don’t want family and friends to know what you’re up to. Perhaps they’re not supportive of your freelance writing career. Their negativity could sabotage you and your dream. It’s unfortunate but it does happen.

One of the benefits of Twitter is it is straightforward and to the point. You create one account and that’s it. There’s no creating a personal or business page and then a Twitter account. On the flip side, Facebook could be like treading through muddy waters. You have to create a personal and or business page. Then you have to create a fan page. There are more steps involved with Facebook compared to Twitter.

Twitter is about posting links and videos containing important and informative content. However, you can participate in a Twitter chat which is one way of developing relationships. For the most part, Twitter is about content. People look for unique content they could apply to their business or life. This is one reason why followers ‘retweet’ posts.

Facebook is about developing relationships. For example, you probably have a personal page which means you’re probably connecting with people, maybe even family, friends, or groups. When you create a Facebook fan page, it’s important to interact with fans. You could create a contest or post a link to a contest from your website. You could give away a free copy of your book or eBook to the first 100 fans. Get creative but make sure you keep in contact with your fans.

If you choose to use both Facebook and Twitter, make sure you stick to a social media schedule. You don’t have to spend hours every day on your social network sites but spend at least 15-20 minutes per day. While Twitter is mostly about content, there’s no harm in developing relationships with your followers. It may be under 140 characters, but you’d be surprised how your words impact others. Be polite and professional on all of your networks — you never know who’ll be watching you.


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