This is the final segment in my Hot Trends, Hot Markets online social marketing section.Please read Part 1-4 before proceeding to Part 5.
Friends are gold; they'll promote you just because they know you. And if they read your work, they'll promote you even more. Friends connect you to strangers without you having to do anything. They tell two friends and so on...and so on...
Build up enough friends in your networks, and you'll build momentum. The next thing you'll know, you'll have people messaging you and asking to be friends.
In every online social network, the friends you add are very important. These are people who will be interested in you and your books for a variety of reasons. Not only do you want fans of your work and close friends and business acquaintances you already know, you want to invite complete strangers. Again, having a genuine interest in meeting new people and getting to know them is a huge plus. Learn to love your friends, even the ones you haven't made yet.
Ask yourself: Who would I like to know personally (famous authors, famous people, famous actors & singers, etc)? Which industry people would be beneficial (agents, publishers, etc)? What kinds of people will help sell my book (librarians, booksellers, etc)?
- literary agents
- book reviewers
And search for friends who:
- love books
- love reading
- are fans of authors you like and ones you've been compared to
- are fans of books like yours, titles your books have been compared to
- live in your city, town, province, state, country
Now think completely outside the box--think movies, TV shows, films based on your books, and invite:
- film producers
- music composers
- film companies
Now think of your book. What topics are discussed? Now search for friends who relate to your book's topics (ie. if your book--fiction or nonfiction--is about a character with Alzheimer's, use that search term and you'll find groups, support groups, associations etc--all great contacts for you)
The last way to search for friends is what I think is the most fun. I recently experienced this, and I have to say it's opened up opportunities but also there's something both weird and exciting in it. This last tip is for fiction authors. And this is what you do...
Add your characters as "friends":
- Make a list of all the main characters in every novel or short story (published or unpublished) that you've written.
- Then make a list of secondary characters--ones that are interesting and important to your story.
- Search for your characters' names on all of the online social networks, especially MySpace and Facebook.
- Invite your "characters" to be your friend.
- When they accept, leave a comment on their page (for ALL to see). Let them know that they have the same name as your character. Tell them a bit about this character and your book. Invite them to order it online--leave the link--and offer to send them an autographed bookplate or bookmark. You can do this in stages--replying to the friend.
Recently I've had the pleasure of sending many bookplates to people with my characters' names. They're all quite thrilled at the idea, and many are very curious. So am I! Again, it's an opportunity to promote your work, but a rare opportunity to connect with a "character" and this can lead to some interesting conversations. I love it! More and more, I've been blessed by meeting wonderful people from all over the world. These are my readers--actual and potential. And I value each and every one of them.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song