How will readers find you?

I was searching through Amazon today for an interesting book to read, and came across one with a great cover and intriguing title. I clicked on it and read the description of the book. It sounded good, but I wanted to know what other people thought about this author’s writing. The book had just recently been published, so it still had no reviews, so I clicked on the author’s name to see what other books he had written.

This is where I discovered two things. First, there were a lot of books under this author’s name. Second, this author didn’t have an author page set up on Amazon, so it was unclear how many of these books actually belonged to him, or if they were from another author of the same name.

Still curious, I did a Google search of this author’s name. The only thing that came up was a Goodreads list, and it wasn’t even created by this author. There was no website, no social media, nothing to help a reader find our more about this author and how they can read more books this author wrote.

How are your readers finding you?

Every author needs the following:

Website/blog: This is the part of the internet that you own. Here is where you can create a page for all of your books (complete with what they’re about and where to buy), share a little bit about yourself, and list every place readers can find you on the web. With a blog, you can draw readers in with occasional essays, thoughts, and stories. A blog also makes your website more searchable, and helps new readers to discover you.

Online retailer author page: If you sell your books on Amazon, you must create your own author page there. Same goes for other online retailers where your book is for sale. Readers who enjoy your books are going to want to know a little more about you and what other books you have written. Wouldn’t you like to control the information they find? Creating an online retailer author page is very simple, and is an absolute must.

Goodreads author page: Goodreads is where the readers are. Give them an easy way to find your books, and also to share news about your books to other potential readers by owning your author page and making sure all your correct books are listed under your name.

Social media: Having a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. helps you to brand your name as an author. It’s incredibly important for these social media channels to be under your author name, and not as a book. You are branding your name. You want people to read everything you wrote, not just a particular book. Also, having social media is just one more way for your name to be near the top of online searches. With social media, think about which ones you will honestly update, and go from there. At the very least, you should have a Facebook page, which you should try to update regularly.

What are some ways you’ve made it easy for readers to find you? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

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What should you post to Facebook?

FacebookThis post is for authors just starting out with a Facebook page.

Welcome to Facebook Fan Pages! I know it’s a bit daunting to look at that blank page, the status bar telling you to write something, but you don’t know what. It’s especially hard when you don’t have many fans who will even read what you write.

Don’t give in before you’ve even started. I’d like to give you a crash course on using your Facebook page as effectively as you can, even if you feel awkward in the beginning.

First things first, make sure you have a profile picture and a cover photo. Your profile can be you, or it can be your book. On my own author Facebook page, I like to use my own photo most of the time. But when I’m getting ready to release a new book, I will change it to show my book cover. For the cover photo, you can choose scenery, a collage of your books, or anything that gives readers another clue as to who you are. But make sure the cover image is big enough to fit in that space. Nothing looks more unprofessional on a Facebook page than a pixelated image for the cover photo. The exact dimensions are 851X315 pixels.

Next, make sure your Facebook page URL is the exact name you want it to be. In your “About” section, go to Facebook Web Address and change it to the desired name. Otherwise, your URL will add a bunch of numbers to the address, making it look clunky.

Finally, fill out your “About” section with your bio, your website, and anything else you want readers to know about you. This section is checked more often than you think, and can be your readers’ first impression of you.

Now, what to post!

First, the rules.

  • Be authentic. Be yourself.
  • Don’t spam your readers with “buy my book” posts
  • Refrain from politics or hot button issues (unless your books are about politics or hot button issues)
  • Post at least once a day, if possible.
  • But don’t over-post, or you’ll lose readers.

With that out of the way, here are 10 things you can post about on your Facebook page:

  1. A blog post you’ve written.
  2. A quote from your book.
  3. What you’re reading now (NOT your own book).
  4. Something funny that happened today.
  5. Something inspirational that you saw online or in your Facebook newsfeed.
  6. A  quote from another author or influential person. (hint: go to canva.com and  create an image out of it!)
  7. A top 10 list of books your readers would enjoy if they like yours.
  8. News of an event or reading that you’ll be presenting at.
  9. News about your book release, or a sale on your book.
  10. A photo of you writing, living life, or just plain having fun.

Please note, only two of these ten items are about YOUR book. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 80-20 rule: 80% of your posts are NOT about your book, and 20% of your posts are.

Another thing to note: your page views will be small in the beginning. Don’t stress about that number. Keep posting content that people will want to like, comment on, or share, and that number will go up. You just need to   be consistent.

Have questions? Or do you have other ideas on things an author can post to Facebook? Leave a note in the comments!

P.S. Follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northcoaststories.