Star Tracks: Innovative Ideas for Publishing

StarTracks is a resource newsletter for those interested in publishing. All articles are written by authors with considerable experience in publishing. Please check back in the future for new additions! ISSN: 1089-3296

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to Star Tracks

Linda F. Radke's Ten Commandments of Book Publishing
Michael J. Gyulai's Top 5 Tips for Social Media Marketing
July 2010 Star Tracks
August 2009 Star Tracks
July 2009 Star Tracks
We Hear You - The Results of the Authors and Experts Survey
Smiling On the Radio by Len Schritter
The New Face of Publishing by Linda Radke
Is Your Website Really Family Friendly? by Jane Kirkland
Want to sell books? Go where people buy them! by Don Keith
How to Promote Your Book and Yourself by Meg Cox


Michael J. Gyulai's Top 5 Tips for Social Media Marketing


Publishers and literary agents are constantly looking for writers that both have a built-in audience and also know how to consistently reach that audience. Before the world of the internet, this required the obtaining of standardized credentials and physically venturing out into the world on lecture circuits or speaking tours. The internet-and social media specifically-has changed the game entirely, as boasting an e-mail newsletter of significant subscribership, or even a Twitter account which pulls a massive follower count, can carry real weight in a writer's pitch.

A writer's social media account should be a showcase, displaying both the writer's authoritative knowledge on the subject of the cover, while also proving their connectivity to a built-in audience. So how does one focus his or her actions online to reflect those goals?
  1. Stay on Subject You need to carry an online presence as an authority figure in the same subject that your writing falls into. If you write mystery novels, post news headlines on breaking crime stories, commentary on classic detective films, or favorite quotes from classic mystery writers. Do not mix and match the social media stream for your writing "persona" as you would a personal social media stream by simply posting anything and everything you think is "cool." When a new potential reader stumbles across that feed, they will not understand what topic you are there to advise them on. Remember, a reader will only allow you to guide them into a new world via the pages of your book if you can provide proof that you are indeed an authority on that world, subject, or topic. A social media account is your way to prove that position of authority to them.
  2. Interact

    Social media is by definition social. You must interact with other users-especially your direct followers or fans. Thank them when appropriate. Repost their posts when appropriate. Make them feel that they are part of your team, cause, or message. If they honestly feel appreciated and involved, they will spread your message-and therefore product-for you.
  3. Be Human

    Syndication does not incite participation. This is an extension of rule number two. If your social media streams are simply one-way broadcasts about your latest news or work for sale, your will be viewed as a syndication robot and users will not be inclined to interact with you (and interaction is the key to creating a movement larger than yourself). Add personal notes to your posts, tweets, and retweets. Sound like a human being. Mix what you are selling in with personal updates or posts about other relevant and related products. Be authentic, don't pitch-converse.
  4. Focus Your Efforts

    Social media management requires a large time investment. Only open the number of social accounts you will realistically be able to manage. If all you have time to properly update, monitor, and manage is a sole Facebook Fan page, then only open that one social media account. If you can dedicate the time to both a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter account, the more the merrier. But many make the mistake of opening as many accounts on as many social networks as possible in an attempt to spread their name, only to leave the majority of those accounts static and inactive. This is counterproductive as each inactive site a potential reader stumbles upon gives the impression that you are not only an inactive account, but an inactive writer.
  5. Do it Regularly

    Social media lives in real-time. If you lump all your updates and messages together in one rapid-fire series of posts, they will disappear together in one lump sum. It takes time to build a following, relationships, and a status of authority online. Keep at it. You never know who may be watching you on the world wide web, just waiting for the right time to collaborate. Write a great post and people will spread that post, but write six months worth of great posts and people will spread your name.
michael@midnightinrome.com
www.midnightinrome.com/blog

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