Wednesday, January 4, 2012

FACE-the-BOOK: How Social Media can help writers and authors

Authors from all round the world are now turning to social media for their book marketing and promotion. Through social media they can connect with their consumers and generate potential consumers in a way that was not possible a decade ago. In addition, the reach and nature of social media makes it easier for consumers to discover, recommend and get feedback on the books that interest them.

The following strategies have been used effectively and can be used for making a book go viral:

1) Engage readers by creating a page on Facebook : The main aim here is to present a community site on the largest social networking community on the planet that would engage and then share. A certain reader base can be effectively built by giving away first few chapters of the book free. It provides a lucrative incentive for the consumers to ‘like’ the page and then share it making the book go viral. Guy Kawasaki did so with his book ‘Enchantment’ which helped him to grow his existing fan base. New authors such as Amish Tripathi (author of best seller “The Immortals of Meluha” & “The Secret of Nagas”) used similar strategy to provide an online flavor of his book and generate interest among people.

2) Bring readers on a common platform: An author can create his own social community or social networking site where members could interact with each other, share their feedback over the book and also get exclusive content related to the book. Seth Godin, a leading blogger, did so by creating an on online community,, on the lines of his book “The Tribe” which passed the correct message of what the book is all about.

3) Provide visual-aid through YouTube: Amish Triapthi adopted aggressive marketing for his book with the help of his musician friend launched a live-action trailor film on YouTube and built a community around it to tap in the readers' response. The video captured the consumer senses and took them through a roller-coaster ride helping them to visualize the subject of the book. The book became No. 1 best-seller within 2 weeks of its launch.

4) Identify and generate potential readers’ interest: Micro-blogging mediums such as Twitter and Tumblr can be effectively used to ask questions that stimulates discussion about the book. Twitter #hashtags can be used when discussing the book and its topics and encourage people to add the book to their LinkedIn Amazon Reading List. Online book communities such as GoodReads can visited where people regularly recommend books to others.

5) Promotion through contests and quizzes: A fun ad friendly contest can do wonders for your book and generates tremendous excitement among people for your book. Numerous authors have done so on Facebook, MySpace etc. A leading example was the launch of a photo contest on Facebook by author Michael Stelzner where people had to come up with creative photos with words “Help me Launch” and this created a viral storm about his book “Launch”.

These are some of the strategies that can be pursued but this is no way an exhaustive list. What are your views on suggestions on using similar techniques in launching and promoting a book?

About the author

Dr. Sumeet Kad is a Marketing and Business Strategy professional with over 4 years of experience in Healthcare/Life Sciences & FMCG sector. He is an avid reader, irregular blogger and a gadget freak. He blogs at and has co-authored a book based on it. He can also be followed on Twitter @sumeetkad.

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