Social Media Marketing for your book is like Internet Dating!

Long gone are the days when an author can write a book, sit on his ass, and wait for money to pour in (unless your name is Stephen King or J.K. Rowling). Your books won’t sell themselves and it’s almost crucial that authors get into the social media game.

So let’s say you’re brand new to all this social media stuff, just exactly how the hell do you start? Whether you decide to go with facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin (I recommend them all), the way to jump in is all the same. My analogy to this is that Social Media Marketing should be approached like Internet dating!

1. Profile Page

Like an Internet dating website, your social media profile page should be charming, fun, and fascinating. You want your potential customers (or dates) to be intrigued by you.

The first step is to take some really nice author photos (or in my case some graphic design. If you click on my About Moi! page you can see the image I decided to use, and yes that is actually me in black and white.)

You don’t want to post a photo that will creep the shit out of someone or make them think that you’re a tortured soul, chained to your parents basement, starved for attention.

“I enjoy long walks in secluded alleyways and tickling cat testes with my pinky”

Though I have to admit, that guy is fairly intriguing for the horror genre…

Like a Plenty of Fish bio, your social media bio should be fairly interesting as well and entice people to want to get to know you. If all you have in your bio is “I wrote a book,” honestly who gives a shit? So has 2743698729864 other people. It’s the equivalent of “I eat food” on a POF bio.

Make your profile mysterious and intriguing and cater to the audience you’re looking for. My single friend showed me a dating profile once where a guy announced that for fun he enjoyed “shooting vermin.” I have no idea what the hell kind of woman he wanted to attract. If you’re a horror writer and write on your profile “I enjoy erotica”,  best know that you’re drawing in the wrong crowd for your work.

2. Making initial contact

Now that you have an awesome profile page set up, hopefully people will start contacting you, but like the dating game, you can’t just rely on that. You’re going to have to make contact yourself.

Try messaging some people and have a discussion, but not in a creepy way. If you start any of your conversations by saying “please buy my book,” it’s like messaging someone for the first time on POF and saying “I want to have sex with you.” Yes I am using sex as an analogy for selling a book. It’s orgasmic every time you do it.

Before coming out and blindsiding someone with your book, you’re going to need to build up some dialogue, form a relationship with this stranger, get them to like you and trust you. Tell them who you are, why they should talk to you, and let them judge you as an author and a human being. After all, you are the brand (your book is the product).

And don’t spam. It’s an eyesore on twitter seeing ####### litter a tweet. Usually when I see more than two hashtags, my brain filters it as spam and I pass over it. Same if I see the same message over and over and over again. If you received a message on POF where it was “have five-star rated sex with me” repeatedly or “available for a limited time, 40% off sex” you would get cheesed and consider it as spam.

I admit, once in a while I will promote my book, but I try to limit myself to twice a day, maybe three if I have more than one product. And that should be more than enough.

3. The follow/friend is like going on a date

So you got someone to follow you on facebook, twitter, email, etc. How should you interact with them? Once again refer to the above. Don’t spam them. Just don’t. As well try not to act creepy weird and do your best to be fun and personable. Engage in fun conversations that generate interest for both you and this lucky person. And after you build a meaningful online relationship your reader might just….

4. Have sex with you! Well no, not really, but they might purchase your book!

Congratulations! They decided to buy your book! Yay! Feels good doesn’t it? Makes you feel valid in this crazy profession of writing. However, you’re not done yet…

5. Feedback

Was it good for them? You know it was good for you. However if they didn’t like what you had to offer them and leave you with a scalding review, do not in any way retaliate negatively. You may have the urge to degrade them publicly and call them names, but honestly, you end up looking like a super-sized loser. No one wants to get in bed with someone like that.

There was a notable indie author that I was interested in and was just about to purchase a few books but after reading their blog, I was so turned off by their negativity to others and their constant whining and complaining that I decided to give up all together. I decided to get in bed with authors who are positive in nature and take the bad with high spirits and have personalities that persevere through adversity.

Not everyone will love you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be pleasant to everyone.

6. The Relationship / Fan

So what if they loved your book? Well guess what? You my friend, have a fan, and that’s gravy! Like an everlasting relationship, a fan will do their best to do you good, and in return, you nurture this special bond and treat your fan like gold. Fans are the ones that make your career a long and successful one, so love them, cherish them, and make this relationship exciting for them. Their love in return will pay off in spades.

Well, that’s it for this post.

P.S. I am in no way encouraging anyone to have sex before having a relationship or getting married. I honestly don’t care about your sex life…to each their own. The only thing I want to have end up in your bed is my book =)

L.W.

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