It was one of those things: a chance encounter filled with intrigue and temptation. He had intense, dark eyes with a powerful passion smoldering just below the surface. I was drawn to him. Next thing I knew, we were standing face-to-face, and he was saying things to me in French that made me swoon. Of course I kept my cool. I didn’t want Mr. Tall, Dark and Dangerous to know that he’d gotten under my skin.
Then, in his incredibly sexy Middle-Eastern accent, he said something to me. It was lyrical and captivating and it rhymed. “You’re the author K. S. Brooks. May I ask you a question about my books?”
“Of course,” I breathed, all sultry-like, seductively brushing my forefinger along my lower lip. Just between you and me, I was checking to make sure I hadn’t drooled on myself. Ha! My lip was dry. While he told me about his book, I imagined him riding across the desert on a fine Arab charger (thank you for that, Mick Jagger) and then when he said “I’m going to get an agent and a publisher,” I snapped back to reality. Then came the glare off his wedding ring, blinding me like a spotlight from a police car during a “routine” stop. Nice buzz-kill. Thanks a lot.
The more we talked, the more I liked Sam. We were the same age, yet he still had this innocent hopefulness towards the publishing industry. And he wasn’t letting me crush it. He was a worthy pupil indeed. He was also eager to learn. As we “talked” online, and I copied and pasted tutorial links for him, I realized this information would be helpful to any author who wanted to set up a writing empire. Because even if you are going to get that agent and/or publisher, they want an author to have an established following and social networking presence.
So, here is what I shared with Sam. Well, minus a few photos. I don’t want to talk about those.
First step: Set up your Amazon.com author’s page EVEN if you only have one book. You can find the tutorial for that here. Make sure to include your twitter feed, your blog’s feed, your bio, a photograph, and your book video trailer(s). Don’t skimp here. If you don’t have a web page (and frankly, I don’t see why you need one if you use this properly) this is your best resource.
Step Two: Your Facebook Author Page. Set it up, then email your friends and family asking them to like it so you can get 25 likes which will enable you to customize your URL. A tutorial for that is here. Make sure you have a folder with photos of your book covers, and your profile picture should be a professional-looking headshot. Yes, we have a tutorial for that, too. Once your URL reflects your name, go hog-wild inviting your friends list and whatever groups you belong to. Once you complete Step Three, you’re going to come back to your Facebook author page and set it up so that whatever you post automatically feeds to Twitter. Trust me, it’s easy and worth it.
Step Three: Your Twitter Account. Now, don’t just set it up with the bare minimum. Take a minute, read this tutorial and do it RIGHT. Do NOT follow anyone until you’ve set up your profile per that tutorial. People you follow receive an email notification – and each email that goes out without your purchase link in it is a lost opportunity. If you don’t “get” how to use Twitter – we have tutorials for that too. (Go to “tutorials” in the right sidebar and browse through.) But you don’t need to “get” Twitter because, as I mentioned above, we’re going to set up your Facebook author page to automatically post to your Twitter account. That’s one less thing you have to do, and it helps you build a following. Oh no, that’s not whining, is it? Yes, the Amazon.com author page link is long and it eats up a lot of your Twitter profile characters. Here’s how you can shorten that link.
Step Four: LinkedIn. Because I said so. I’m sorry, what? But you don’t talk about your writing to the people you used to work with? Buck up. You don’t have to say anything to them. Set it up correctly (tutorial here). Just make your connections and let LinkedIn do the rest for you. You’ll be surprised how many people say to you “you wrote a book?” and that’s when you go in for the kill. Make that sale. No one’s going to do it for you. The good thing about LinkedIn is you can set it up so your Twitter account feeds it updates. You will hardly ever have to go there.
Step Five: Goodreads. Your books are aimlessly floating around Goodreads unclaimed. Go get them. Here’s some info on Goodreads to help you get started. Goodreads is a heavily used web site which is craved by readers. You don’t ever have to go there except when you publish a new book – you need to add that to your list. You can set it up so your Twitter and blog feeds appear on your Goodreads profile page. Constant updating without any effort is a big win, and you have one more platform where you can gain exposure.
These are the bare minimum of what a new author should do. I’m sorry, are you whining again? You say you’ve set everything up, but they’re in a vacuum? We’re one step ahead of you. Keep your eyes glued to Indies Unlimited at 5 a.m. Pacific time on Wednesdays for our “like-fests”. We have them for Amazon.com book & author pages, Facebook pages, Twitter followers, LinkedIn exposure, and yes, even Goodreads…and more. We’ve got everything RIGHT HERE to help you build your empire.