Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

Avoid These Social Networking Book Blunders

You know you need to be making better use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace to promote your books. So what do you do? Start an account at each site, dive in and start marketing, right?

Well ... maybe.

Check out some of the tips that Sandra Beckwith shared last month on her Build Buzz blog. The post was about using LinkedIn. But her wise advice applies to any situation when you promote yourself to a community of people online.

Sandra writes ...

"Use the site to build relationships before hitting folks up with a sales pitch. Don't link to me and immediately begin sending me commands to buy anything."

Absolutely. As I wrote in
The Kama Sutra of Book Marketing, "It's not all about you and your needs. Get to know your audience and what their interests and concerns are ... Wine and dine your readers (figuratively) before you flash your 'Buy Now' button."

She continues ...

"Don't boss me around. I don't care what you're taught in Copywriting 101, saying to me in an e-mail 'Take a look at our flyer, and then go to Amazon and buy it' just plain annoys me. You Are Not The Boss Of Me. Use your words to warm me up, not piss me off.

"I would respond more positively if this message were worded more like, 'Because we're connected on LinkedIn, I thought you might be interested in information about my new book (title). It's about (subject). I promise you it will help you (benefits to me). The flyer below has more detailed information; you can purchase it quickly and easily at, (tinyurl). Thanks so much for your consideration.'"

Amen to that, sister!

Sandra adds ... "Instead of clubbing people over the head with commands to do something that serves your purpose, use sites like this to establish yourself as an expert. Respond to queries on your area of expertise. Ask people how you might be able to help them reach their networking goals. If you've got info about your product or service on your profile, they'll find it and will be more inclined to consider a purchase than if you command them to."

This is all about resisting the age-old urge to SELF-promote. Yes, you can communicate with a secondary motive: to make people aware of your book. But you don't lead the conversation with that.

Instead, start from a position of service. How can you share your knowledge and point of view in a way that can help people? If members of the community find your words helpful, your book magically gets taken along for the ride.

Ponder that before you dive into your next online sales pitch.


P.S. Earlier this year I shared my own tips on using LinkedIn to promote your books.

P.S. Get FREE access to my Self-Publishing Confidential report filled with my best book publishing advice. Go grab your free report now.

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  • So this would be a bad place to write "go visit my blog or else then, huh?"

    Actually, it is remarkable the amount of 'look at me' commenting going on these days.

    Of course I would never be so cynical ;-)

    By Anonymous Seamus Anthony, At Wednesday, August 27, 2008  

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