Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Using Facebook and Goodreads In Your Marketing

Okay, so there are some free resources out there that you can use to help reach people that are outside your blog/twitter/Facebook range. Because, really, that's what it's all about. Trying to get your book in front of as many people as possible.

I think Goodreads and Facebook are two places you should consider using more in-depth if you haven't yet. You can also purchase ads on Goodreads and Facebook, but that's a step above this. (I've had some very good results with my ads, but we can talk about that another day.)

Goodreads.
1. Upload an excerpt. This is a new service, and it's free. I've found that a PDF works/looks best, and you can upload the entire book and then choose to only show a certain percentage of it, so it's probably a 5-minute job to do this.

Then, what I do, is advertise using the word "free" in my ad. Like, "Fans of The Hunger Games and Matched, read the first two chapters of POSSESSION, a dystopian novel, for free." (Or something more eloquent... But I definitely reference the best-sellers!)

I've had over 40,000 views in a single day on an ad like that. And all I did was upload the first two chapters of POSSESSION--which has been free on my website for over a year anyway. But it's getting it into the hands of READERS in a place where READERS hang out.

And that's Goodreads.

How: On your author dashboard, under your book title, there's a link that says "Add ebook". Click there and follow the directions to upload an excerpt. Seriously. It's five minutes.

2. The Goodreads Giveaway. We've talked about this before, so I won't go into tons of detail here (you can check this post if you missed it), but I think the giveaways are invaluable on Goodreads. And they'll cost you very little--mailing costs only.

Facebook.
1. Make a quiz. Teens hang out on Facebook, not twitter. So while a lot of us like twitter better, if you're writing YA novels, you need to become acquainted with Facebook. You can make quizes on Facebook that you can then advertise on your page.

How: Basically, all you have to do is type "quiz" in the search box at the top of your Facebook window. Find a quiz making app you like, and go to town.

2. Customize, customize, customize. You can upload covers on the new page layout. Do it. Make a nice one (or have one made), and upload it.

You can add custom tabs on your page. I like using the apps "Static HTML" and "My Tab". (To find these apps, just type them into the search box at the top of your Facebook window. Go to their page, and click the "Add this app to your page" button.) You can hide things behind gates this way, which means people have to "like" your page to see the content. And I'm no genius with HTML, but you know who is?

Blogger.

That's right. BLOGGER.

I open my blog that I use for practice and upload photos, type in what I want, make them the color and size I want, everything. I can preview it all in blogger. Then I simply go into the HTML tab, copy the HTML code, and paste that into the HTML window on Facebook.

Save, and ta-da! You have a fully customized page on your Facebook page. FOR FREE. It's almost like you could take your FB page and make it your website...

3. Post often. I try not to be obnoxious, and I try to post things I think my fans will like. My personal goal is to post twice a day--once before work and once before bed. I try to post about my book, my real life (without getting too personal), other YA authors, books, reading, The Hunger Games, or whatever I think my fans will like.

Everything is not about my book, my events, etc. My personal philosophy on Facebook is the same as here on the blog: I try to post 5 times about other things before I pimp my book, or event, or free short story, or whatever again. I want people to interact with me, not tune me out.

So, are you using Goodreads and Facebook to your full advantage? Hopefully you can now!

42 comments:

Reina Laaman said...

I'm not an author yet, but thank you so much for this advice!

April Plummer said...

Thank you for this! For some reason, I thought I was a Goodreads author...but I'm not. So I just sent in my request so I can follow your very easy-sounding instructions! Now I'm off to the other 2 tips...I just wanted to comment and thank you and tell you I am starring this post!

Mandie Baxter said...

Saving this page for later use! Great tips.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Nope and nope. But I'm not published, so I'm not worried about it yet. I'm on FB, but I rarely use it. I just accept friend requests and communicate with members of groups I'm in. Eventually, though, I'll get back to it. I just have to figure the darn thing out first.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for all the great tips here. I had no idea that I should even do them. I'm saving a link to this post like your other marketing ideas. Hopefully someday I'll need to use them.

For now, I'm just trying to establish myself as a blogger who promotes other authors and their books. I'm enjoying it and hopefully building a following.

Laura Pauling said...

Awesome! Added it to my to do list for the day!

Luisa Perkins said...

AWESOME post, and SO timely for me. I learned a ton. THANKS!

bethchristopher.com said...

SO helpful! I'm definitely squirreling away this post so I can use it hopefully someday soon. Thanks so much for sharing what works!

Kelly Hashway said...

I'm bookmarking this post! Once Touch of Death goes through final edits, I'm definitely uploading an excerpt. Thanks for the great tips!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Here's the thing: I find I go through stages, we'll call them "moods" online where there are times I'm really active and then there are times I retreat--I crave quiet.

I need to find out how to work this out online when it comes to FB.

~ Wendy

Talli Roland said...

Great tips, Elana! I love the Goodreads giveaway - it's a fantastic way to draw attention to your book.

Jessica Nelson said...

OH. MY. GOSH.

I play on FB but didn't know about the quizzes, or these gate thingys...YIKES. I need to look this stuff up better. I did do a GoodReads giveaway and it was awesome.

Thanks for the tips!!!!

Susan Roebuck said...

Great advice and I didn't know teens hang out more on FB. Just one question, if your book's traditionally published, can you still upload the whole e-book on Goodreads? I think I'm limited to the extract (which is pretty short) that they choose. Aren't I?

Carolyn Abiad said...

Thanks for sharing these awesome tips. Bookmarked!

Melanie Conklin said...

geez, you are outpacing most of the lit agents I know re:helpful advice!

Carolyn V said...

That is awesome Elana! I haven't tried Goodreads, but it's something I'm going to have to look into. ;)

Angela Brown said...

This is such wonderful information. I don't frequent them often, though I love Goodreads :-)

I look forward to a chance to use some of these helpful tips when the time arrives that I go from "writer" to "author". Yeah!

Randy said...

Awesome post. Very educational. This is certainly something that will help me. Thanks.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My publisher did the Goodreads giveaway, but I need to do the excerpt!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Elana-- once again, I get to the bottom of one of your posts, and all I really want to say is I love you. You make the world a better place. :)

Jennifer Hoffine said...

You make it all seem so doable, even for a techno-phobe like me...thanks for the info!

Theresa Milstein said...

This post is bookmark-worthy and Facebook share-worthy. What excellent tips. The Blogger HTML - genius! Thank you, Elana.

Jemi Fraser said...

If I ever get to the point where my story is ready to share with the world, I'll have to join FB :)

Martha Ramirez said...

Oh wow, Elana! THANK YOU! You always have great tips. Thank you so very much! You rock!

tahlianewland.com said...

Thanks heaps, the stuff about the apps is really useful.

Angie said...

Thank you, Elana!

L.T. Elliot said...

I admit, I am not a goodreads member. *gasp!* People are always stunned by this. I'm a reader--hell, I have about 10 books literally stacked on my nightstand and about 6 more in the front room. I just don't do goodreads for some reason. ;)

Amber Argyle, author said...

Just uploaded the ebook on Goodreads.

The html on facebook . . . went over my head. I didn't even know Facebook had apps.

Jessica L. Foster said...

Good advice. I will remember this for the future. I'm glad you share so much to help to new writers. It really makes a difference.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Popped over to Goodreads while I read this blog. Thanks!
Wagging Tales

DEFENDING HUMANITY said...

Excellent advice-straight to the point and practical! Thank you

Mary Ann said...

Thank you for sharing your know-how with us. I appreciate that you explained how-to, and not just told us that these resources are there. Another example of "show, don't tell"? Very helpful!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

This is such helpful information! Thank you. I'm bookmarking this for when I have a book to promote. :)

Liz Fichera said...

Helpful info! Thanks!! This will come in handy for me next year for my YA debut.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great post. Will be saving this for future reference. I have a FB account, but use it mostly to notify people when I make a blog post or when helping promote other writers. I do occasionally remember to wish someone a happy birthday on it. : )
Don't have a Goodreads account. Maybe in the future?

L.L. Muir said...

Bloody BRILLIANT.
Thanks Elana!

MTeacress said...

That HTML hint was the best I've heard in a long time. Thank you. :)

I don't use facebook because it doesn't allow pen names. I thought about starting a fan page, but that would seem weird when I'm not even published yet - so I'm waiting (not so) patiently.

Have a good week. :)

Carol Riggs said...

Ooo! I definitely bookmarked this page for Whenever I Get Published. Great info here. Thanks, E!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

This is genius!! Thank you for sharing!

Slamdunk said...

I had missed this one Elana--Stina posted the link for us though.

Great suggestions; especially like how old folks like me can best target audiences using Facebook quizzes.

Jean Oram said...

Elana, you are brilliant. I love that you figure these things out and put a lot of work into doing things well. You are such a pro! I know a lot of us writers sort of gloss over these sorts of things and say, "good enough." Go for the gold!

I love that you share your knowledge, too. Thanks!

Melissa Moore said...

Thank you for the Goodreads Marketing tips!! Super helpful!