2014 Social Media Marketing (Yeah, for Books!) – What’s Your Plan?

Denny (PortRoyale)This post has a bit of snark in it so be warned…

And yeah, another title for this post could be: How to Overwhelm and Entertain in 1000 words or less…anyway…:)

I hang out online an average of 90 minutes a day. And no, it’s not 90 minutes that I could have spent writing, or cleaning or doing something else. I am deliberately ‘hanging’ out because the source of information that is most readily attainable is online. It is NOT on TV (well, to me, I hate television news, cable o r network), it is not on the printed page (although, I do miss when back in the day, I’d spend an entire Sunday at a  cool brunch spot on the north side of Chicago, reading the Sunday New York Times and Chicago Tribute – it was so relaxing and so Zen of us:) – and its not only on Facebook (Internet, yes, but not the only source of information left on the planet).

So let me get to the point of this post. I’ve gathered a list of articles from the Internet you should read or at least skim if you intend to have a ghost’s chance in hell (watching way too much Supernatural) of effectively, consistently, and painlessly (or less painfully) using social media tools to sell/market your books and/or your brand.

And yes, if you write books to sell them, you must know and participate in the marketing of your books.

And oh, in case you stumble upon this article, and wonder who in the heck is spouting all of this information as if she knows something? Well, for the sake of credibility, in my other life, I have been a marketing professional for 25+ years – if that doesn’t work for you (I spend 90 minutes a day on the Internet, I’ve got to know something about something, right?)

Authors often look at other authors to get their perspective on what’s going on in the social media marketing arena – which is absolutely fine. We all know romance writers who are doing an exceptional job of marketing and using social media in a smart, straightforward, fresh way. And then there are those like me, marketing professionals who are writing popular fiction, romance or whatever and will be publishing or published by someone at some point, if they aren’t already off and running.social-media-marketing1

But in addition to gaining insights from authors who have great savvy about social media marketing or marketing pros who specialize in the publishing industry, I like to take a look at what the big boys in corporate marketing are doing as well.

Below are a few links. You don’t need to study every word of these articles (as if you would:), but take a moment, see what is being forecast and compare to your current social media marketing plan (and yes, you should have a plan, you don’t have time–hours in a day–to be haphazard). See if there’s something out there that’s new, or can be used differently, or more consistently, to deliver on your bottom line – which is (say it with me) – selling MORE books by finding new readers, and keeping the ones you have HAPPY. (And yes, the best way to do this is to write the best books you can write…but even that doesn’t always guarantee SALES, and/or readers, unfortunately.)

So here goes:

Social Media Marketing (Some links to take a peek at…)





Okay, to recap…what’s going to be hot IMHO (or at least worth exploring):

  1. Google +
  2. Content continues to be KING (no joking)
  3. Content should include video or at least images (the eye likes a quick fix)

Big News in Publishing (or at least the most recent) and other Kick Ass Stories you May Have Missed!

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/page.aspx/LYRICALPRESS (Why is it Big News? It marks a trend you will see repeated. It’s all about where the readers – and book buyers are – putting all of your eggs in one print basket isn’t the way publishing works anymore, and you’ll see this trend duplicated, again and again. That’s my predication:)…





That’s it friends…some food for thought:)!

Happy New Year!

Also, feel free to ask questions, or complain below:)…or let me know if you have a social media marketing plan, and whether you are published or pre-published, are you thinking about your brand, or if you don’t care about marketing, let me know, I’m just curious…:)

11 thoughts on “2014 Social Media Marketing (Yeah, for Books!) – What’s Your Plan?

  1. Hi there 🙂 I for one trust in the Denny! I know you know your stuff and so I’m going to pop on over and read these articles. I especially liked reading about the Kensington Lyrical Press deal. Have a great day fishy sister 🙂

  2. Hell I can’t even wrap my damn head around Pinterest and you’re taking me to Google+. Where is a telex machine when you need one. But you are the marketing maven, so I’ll be your kicking and screaming WTH-is-that pupil

  3. Woah, Denny. I’m not going to lie. This post is a wee bit intimidating. But I am sure these links are filled with fabulous information, so thank you, thank you, thank you! I will definitely read these articles and keep this post for future reference. 🙂

  4. I’m with Pintip, I’m intimidated too, btu I know I have to pay attention since I have a harder road to go than most. Thank you for posting this!

    1. For those authors who recognize that their target audience may not be so easily categorized (or lumped in the same box as everyone else), I believe there is an advantage for writers because it forces them to diversify their marketing strategy from the beginning. Back in the 80s, Nielsen (yes, the TV rating gurus of that time) would put their prized boxes in the same demographic households nationwide, and ad agencies targeting minority consumers wouldn’t get the same ‘ad buy’ rates because Nielsen’s numbers didn’t support everyone who watched TV. I think that publishers (especially digital publishers) are very savvy about the fact that their readers reflect the demographics of a nation that has changed in the past 20 years…(and I’ll stop here…:)…I could go on and on…:)…but hopefully, that kind of was encouraging, maybe?

  5. Great post, Denny-Mermaid! 😉

    I have to admit that I’m currently trying to come up with a marketing plan, website, etc. and I’m getting wayyyyy overwhelmed and intimidated. And social media and marketing don’t tend to scare me since I deal with it every single day at day job. I guess when it’s your own brand your talking about, the stakes become higher. If you had to pick two mediums to focus on, what would they be?

    1. As a fellow marketing maven:), you know that marketing for ones self is about the hardest thing you can do (at least for moi), but you’ve asked a fabulous question. There is no value to doing all of the social media outlets unless you have a publicist, so identifying two or three tools is a good way to go.

      To me that first step must be taking a look at who your books will reach. In other words what is the demographic of your target reader?That flows from your genre. Does what you write fit into an existing niche. (It should:)…Success breeds success, so take a look at an author that is in your genre (a successful author), and look at their readership. What’s the average age? What’s the expected heat level? Luckily, writing romance, you can assume at least 70 percent of your readers will be female. …you also want to pick two social media worlds in which to focus based on what you like to do, as well as where your readers hang out. Or I should say the readers you’re targeting. So since readership data is scared and hard to find – look at the social media tools and who they say their target audience is…note in the article – Facebook is for adults. So if you’re writing YA and/or New Adult – the social media tool is NOT Facebook. Then you go to Tumblr or Pinterest. If you write high heat, and or erotica – I feel you should be on Twitter and Tumblr…but we should talk. Anyway, I could go on and on…but it can feel intimidating but there is a way to narrow the field of play so that it still offers value (and less hassle).

  6. Okay, I heard the siren call and I’ll read the articles! Thanks, Denny – I also subscribed to Kristen Lamb’s blog this past week. That a lotta social media I’m taking in and it is, indeed, overwhelming!

    But I true you, dear fishy sister. Onward!

  7. Denny,
    I’m completely tapped out on all social media. I’ve been trying to move away from it for now. I found that I was losing hours a day responding to comments and blogs, and I needed to pull back. I’ll rethink it if–or when!– I get published, of course. But for now, I think it’s like putting the cart before the horse. I was feeling very overwhelmed. It’s very much a catch-22 situation. How do you get readers without being published? And how do you get published when the publishers like to see your readers first? Yikes. What a business.
    But I loved your post, and it makes me question my decision to stay off social media stuff.
    You are one organized girl! You rock!

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