Does getting mentioned on social media pages help in getting the word out about your books? Ask me anything about it.

Mike Sims
Aug 31, 2018

My books and I have been mentioned on various social media pages by celebrities and movies.  On IMDB I have been mentioned on Lucille Ball’s page, Ryan Reynold’s, Deadpool 2, Bob Guccione, Leni Rico’s and others.  While this is nice, it does not seem to get any interest in my books.  However, I do believe that word of mouth is important and most important by readers sharing your book with other readers on social media. 

Obviously, if your books are made into a movie your books will go sky high in popularity.  While that is not happening or maybe not yet for most of us, what are good ways to use social media to get the word out?

Deadpool 2


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Social media can get all so overwhelming at times. How long does it take to make a difference?
Sep 2, 3:54PM EDT0
What blogs, websites, or books do you recommend to writers who wish to learn more about online book publicity?
Sep 1, 8:18PM EDT0

Jane Friedman blog is considered the go to source for indie publishing and marketing.  Writers groups on facebook are useful. Guilds and workshops can be helpful.   

Sep 2, 10:56AM EDT0
What kind of things should authors share on social media? How can they keep it interesting and engaging?
Sep 1, 3:07PM EDT0

You can share interesting light-hearted interest news and then pop an ad between them.  Talk about parts of your book to build interest.  I share what is happening with me personally because people like to follow characters.  

Sep 1, 4:02PM EDT0
Do you think the value that books provide has changed in today’s world?
Sep 1, 2:59PM EDT0

I think the readership is about the same ever since the TV age started but shows are usually based on books to begin with.  If shows are important to people then the books they came from are too.  Books still dominate the direction of media and write history.

Sep 1, 4:00PM EDT0
What changes or trends do you predict in online book publicity?
Sep 1, 3:33AM EDT0

I think it will come and go in waves.  Popular and dependant at one point and at another everyone bored with it.  You just have to follow the information style trend.

Sep 1, 3:58PM EDT0
Do you think it’s best to close off comments on social media networks (the ones that allow it) in order to keep the negative criticism off your profiles?
Sep 1, 1:55AM EDT0

The saying was that allowing comments on your product site is like having a party and inviting your ex's to it to compare notes with each other.  Personally negative comments, trolls, jokers are inevtible.  They just add spice to the mix.

Sep 1, 3:57PM EDT0
What are the common misnomers about social media that you have noticed?
Aug 31, 2:07AM EDT0

That advertising is very effecting, it really is not.

Telling people about your work will carry on.  People may read what you talk about but is quickly forgotten.  You have to repeat over and over to keep it locked in.

Making a comment will be read by everyone in that thread.  You might get a few but if your comment is more than a sentence, don't count on it.

If you bring your work with a political/religous message, it will be lost very quickly.  People are tired of hearing grand standing.

Aug 31, 11:38AM EDT0

How should authors audit their social media marketing initiatives?

Aug 31, 12:30AM EDT0

Realize that advertising yields little results but can be helpful getting some word out.  Join groups to meet new people and discuss about what you do.  Word of mouth is important.  One person mentioning your books is more valuable than any ad.  

You really have to look at your book and see what type of people would like it.  That is where you have to focus your message.

Aug 31, 11:33AM EDT0

In your opinion which platform is the fastest to use to get the word out there. 

Aug 30, 11:09PM EDT0

Facebook is still king even though there are many that have used it less mainly because the hostile political atitudes towards each other on all sides of the fence.  Also the large amount of scammers and fake accounts have started driving people away so much facebook has started proactively removing percieved fake accounts.  However, people still use it heavily to keep track of friends/family and that is the thread that is most useful to getting the word out.  Books sell because of word of mouth and that is a great method.

Aug 31, 11:30AM EDT0

Has the social hierarchy changed at all because of technology? On what do you base your answer?

Aug 30, 8:47PM EDT0

I think technology is bringing information faster and causing people to be less attentive to details.  A good example is I was explaining my Vickie books on a newsfeed site.  It was only about five paragraphs going into the history of the series and characters.  People ask about details all the time.  However one person commented that they quit reading after halfway through because I was being too long in the article and even suggested if my books were this long, they would be boring.  That is the kind of lack of attention that is developing now days.  Quick sound bytes and "give it to me quick and blunt" type information.  The problem with that is you lose context and many things in life can not be abridged like that.  So the sad thing is that labels and quick phrases are starting to replace news.

Aug 31, 11:27AM EDT0
Do you have a few tips on things that writers should NOT do when marketing their book on the social media?
Aug 30, 8:27PM EDT0

Avoid making political stands or religious soap boxing.  That eliminates potentials readers by half immediately.  If you are one political party and make that point known, people on the other party will dismiss you without even considering your work.  Keep your post non confrontational but sympathetic to issues.  Now that is if you want to reach a wider audience.  However if you have convictions to expound than by all means do them and build your audience that is on your side of the fence.  However generally it is a marketing mistake.  Celebrities get political after a time and lose a lot of market share and it cost them movies all the time.

Aug 31, 11:22AM EDT0

Which social media channels are most effective for authors?

Aug 30, 8:25PM EDT0

Instagram is very effective for pictorial ads which they are useful on other social sites too.  Yet there seems to be a lot of readers on Instagram and celebrities.  Talking on someone famous' page can help.  

On facebook is a variety of writing groups.  If you join the discussions, you will get some interest because writers are usually readers.  The only gripe most writers have in thses groups is they ban "advertising" your book.  So what is the purpose of a writer's group if you cant talk about your book?

Linkedin is the best place to meet agents, book professionals, publishers etc.  I have been solicited by agents solely from Linkedin.

All other social outlets are important as catch nets to create more of a presence even though they have little traffic.

Aug 31, 11:18AM EDT0

What are the possible problems associated with everyone having a voice online?

Aug 30, 8:01PM EDT0

Like being in a public place to eat where everyone is talking, everyone has to talk louder to hear each other.  It is only when someone drops a plate that everyone stops and pays attention for a bit.  So maybe the solution is to "drop a plate" online once in a while.

One problem though information wise is there are so many opinions and so much made up stuff it is not even funny.  Like on facebook I used to spend my time fact checking what friends posted especially on politics and found about 90% of the time the information was out of context, mis-spoken or just plain made up.  So with that kind of rhetoric going on, books are more important than ever.

Aug 31, 11:14AM EDT0

Why does quality still matter in a world where anyone can churn out a book in a matter of weeks, if not days?

Aug 30, 6:58PM EDT0

That is true, it used to be a book is a collector's piece.  I have seen books written by celebrities about what they are passionate about and are very poorly manufactured creme paper.  My books are in paperback to be inexpensive and on decent quality creme paper because creme is easier for people to read on.  However I also offer my books in hardcover on white paper.  The paper is archival, nicer and a bit thinner so the book is less thick.  That way if someone wants a book that looks nice on a bookshelf or coffee table, there it is.

Aug 31, 11:10AM EDT0

How can an author figure out what readers are looking for, and how can it be used to develop premium products and services?

Aug 30, 6:56PM EDT1

That is a good question as people's interests change like a moving river.  However social issues come back around again and again so a book sees new life and becomes relevant over and over.  A newspaper and a magazine can only be truly timely for the moment.  Write what you feel and your work will find its time and audience.

Aug 31, 11:07AM EDT0
What are some of the pitfalls you see authors falling into as they jump into Social Media?
Aug 30, 11:00AM EDT0

One of the biggest things I see is authors taking things personally when someone criticizes them.  Especially in reader centric social sites like goodreads or amazon.  When you argue with a negative person, you are the loser.  If you cant graciously ask them how you can be better or address their concern, just dont address it all.  

The other thing is ofcourse to watch for scammers.  There are a ton of them.  They will act like avid readers and fans but it becomes apparent they are out to scam.  

Aug 30, 11:44AM EDT0

How should a new author select the different and, most importantly, right social media channels to participate in?

Aug 30, 8:52AM EDT1

You should participate in as many as you can.  Focus on the ones that generate the best results but use them all.  Each channel is another net to catch readers with.  The more you have, the more presence you have and the more search engines pick you up.

Aug 30, 11:40AM EDT0
What type of social media exposure helped your book series to become popular and famous among people?
Aug 30, 5:45AM EDT0

Mostly facebook and instagram.  The constant posts and word of mouth bringing new followers.  Creating a buzz helped.  There are other sites like bored panda you can make announcements with.

Aug 30, 11:37AM EDT0
What are the biggest trends in book marketing over the last few years? What has changed?
Aug 30, 2:25AM EDT0

One thing that is interesting is I noticed that James Patterson is doing TV ads.  He is one of the most successful authors out there but surprisingly not many people know of him.  Bookstores represent 12% of an author's booksales so while they make a good venue to advertise your book, foot traffic is not that much.  25% of books sold are gifts, so you see a lot of incentives around the holidays with ads.  Book clubs have always been a prize way to reach readers to get word of mouth.

Aug 30, 11:36AM EDT0
With all the competing demands for reader’s attention, how can authors ensure they stand out?
Aug 30, 12:07AM EDT1

That is the tough one.  I believe that visual ads that are unique gain attention.  The basic rule in advertising is repeat, repeat, repeat.  Even if you gain an audience you need a way to keep them informed of new books and developments like a mail list.

Aug 30, 11:32AM EDT0
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