Sunday, March 8, 2015

Adventures in Self Publishing - Misc Social Media

We'll focus a little closer on stuff that does (kinda) work later: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Blogs, Promotional Websites

Here's stuff that is perhaps less valuable, though that may change as time goes on.

Pintrest - folks reportedly spend the most per click on things they find here, but for fashion, jewelry, DIY, crafts, not so much for books.  You can have a little gallery of covers, or things that inspired your book, and it is a nice place to collect a bunch of YouTube videos, but I haven't heard a lot about this being successful for authors.

Instagram - even fewer options here for authors

Vine, YouTube, etc - about the only use for these are to showcase...

Book Trailers - the most over-hyped trend of recent years, in my opinion.  There might be a larger market for Young Adult books, and audiences in future years may respond to these better, but it basically just shows the cover and some copy in a format that takes longer than just reading it.  One issue is that nobody sits down at a computer and says "Show me trailers of books in this genre" - they would have to go hunting for your particular book, and to do that they would already need to know about it.

Google + - I tried, but I can't find places to spam ads like Facebook, there was maybe one group or circle or sphere or whatever with 100 people in a genre I was interested in, and the whole thing smells like a con.  They brag about their numbers and how popular they are, but I'm not buying it.  They give you an account if you open any kind of Google account (gmail, YouTube, etc), and most people don't even know they have one.  This blog here has had around 11,000 views as of this writing, after over a year in existence and over 300 posts, and most of those are by Eastern European scrapers or myself.  One of my google+ accounts that I didn't know existed had 70,000 views the first month it opened, with zero content and not even a user photo.  Sure.

Library Thing and Shelfari I can't figure out the point of.

Bublish is a good example of what to look out for when checking out any website.  You want to be where the readers are.  I can go on Goodreads and just dial up a book for reviews and such.  As a reader, I can't even tell what Bublish is, and had to go to Facebook to find a link back to actual content - mainly author profiles and excerpts.  We'll look at this later when we talk about promotional websites, but if the front page is more marketing to authors than content for readers, that's a warning sign.

One thing about a lot of social media - it should be content, or pointing to content.  I've seen Facebook posts to YouTube ads to check out the Instagram account of a picture of someone's Twitter handle - it has to go somewhere, sooner better than later.  It's fine to have a tweet saying "new post on my blog", but don't go in circles, and don't use one social media account just to publicize another and then back again.  WWE is horrible with this - one would think the pay-per-views were just advertising for their twitter account.

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