An Author’s Plan for Social Media

If you’ve written a book (like I have with co-author, Joan Curtis), congratulations, because you’ve crossed a major hurdle. Now that I’ve gone through the process myself, I truly understand why writing a book can seem like such a daunting proposition. But, you’ve done it. Now what?

Writing the book is one thing, but how you will market and sell your masterpiece is another. The following is a guest post from top blogger and best selling author, Chris Brogan

Read on to learn how Chris suggests you prepare for your book launch utilizing the power of social media.

  1. Set up a URL for the book, and/or maybe one for your name. Need help finding a URL? I use for simple effort in searching.
  2. Set up a blog. If you want it free and super fast, WordPress or Tumblr. I’d recommend getting hosting like
  3. On the blog, write about interesting things that pertain to the book, but don’t just promote the book over and over again. In fact, blow people away by promoting their blogs and their books, if they’re related a bit.
  4. Start an email newsletter. It’s amazing how much MORE responsive email lists are than any other online medium.
  5. Have a blog post that’s a list of all the places one might buy your book. I did this for both Trust Agents and Social Media 101.
  6. Make any really important links trackable with a URL shortener. I know exactly how many people click my links.
  7. Start listening for your name, your book’s name. ( Covered in this post about building blocks.)
  8. Consider recording a video trailer for your book. Here’s one from Scott Sigler (YouTube), for his horror thriller, Contagious. And here’s one from Dallas Clayton for his Awesome Book. (Thanks Naomi for pointing this out).
  9. Build a Facebook fan page for the book or for bonus points, build one around the topic the book covers, and only lightly promote the book via the page.
  10. Join Twitter under your name, not your book’s name, and use Twitter Search to find people who talk about the subjects your book covers.
  11. When people talk about your book, good or bad, thank them with a reply. Connect to people frequently. It’s amazing how many authors I rave about on Twitter and how few actually respond. Mind you, the BIGGEST authors always respond (paradox?)
  12. Use Google Blogsearch and Alltop to find the people who’d likely write about the subject matter your book covers. Get commenting on their blog posts but NOT mentioning your book. Get to know them. Leave USEFUL comments, with no blatant URL back to your book.
  13. Work with your publisher for a blogger outreach project. See if you can do a giveaway project with a few bloggers (here’s a book giveaway project I did for Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years book).
  14. Offer to write guest posts on blogs that make sense as places where potential buyers might be. Do everything you can to make the post match the content of the person’s site and not your goals. But do link to your book.
  15. Ask around for radio or TV contacts via the social web and LinkedIn. You never know.
  16. Come up with interesting reasons to get people to buy bulk orders. If you’re a speaker, waive your fee (or part of it) in exchange for sales of hundreds of books. (And spread those purchases around to more than one bookselling company.) In those giveaways, do something to promote links back to your site and/or your post. Giveaways are one time: Google Juice is much longer lasting.
  17. Whenever someone writes a review on their blog, thank them with a comment, and maybe 1 tweet, but don’t drown them in tweets pointing people to the review. It just never comes off as useful.
  18. Ask gently for Amazon and other distribution site reviews. They certainly do help the buying process. And don’t ask often.
  19. Do everything you can to be gracious and thankful to your readers. Your audience is so much more important than you in this equation, as there are more of them than there are of you.
  20. Start showing up at face to face events, where it makes sense, including tweetups. If there’s not a local tweetup, start one.
  21. And with all things, treat people like you’d want them to treat your parents (provided you had a great relationship with at least one of them).

This sounds like a lot of steps. It is. But this is how people are finding success. Should this be the publicist’s job? Not even a little bit. The publicist has his or her own methodology. The author will always be the best advocate for his or her own work. Never put your marketing success in the hands of someone else. Always bring your best efforts into the mix and you’ll find your best reward on your time and effort.

You might have found other ways to be successful with various online and social media tools. By all means, please share with us here. What’s your experience been with promoting your work using the social web?

Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling author of the NEW book, Social Media 101. He is president of New Marketing Labs, LLC, and blogs at [].

Resurrecting 3 Words

At the first of this year, I blogged about my respect for the approach that Chris Brogan takes with setting new goals. Tried his approach myself in 2009…I was pretty pleased with the results. Naturally, I wanted to challenge myself with Chris’ process again in 2010, which I did (and have), but I also said that I would be back in a few days to share with you my three words for the new year with you on my blog. I missed my deadline. I’m back now, and I’ll share my “key 3″ in just a minute.

Before I do…

As I climbed the sales ranks while still working in corporate America, I was conditioned to keep business and personal separate. Don’t discuss things like politics or religion or any other controversial subject for that matter. Don’t want to risk offending your buyer.  It’s that same conditioning that leads companies to fear social networking, blogs and the like. Understandable. You don’t want your employees to “blurt” anything and everything out there on the world wide web. It stays there. Forever. That’s why guidelines must be established, training given and appropriate management oversight put in place to ensure that employees don’t go to far off the corporate reservation.


If 2009 taught us anything, it’s that we must bring transparency, openness and trust back into our working relationships. In short, we need to be more human with each other. It’s OK to share what motivates you or knocks you down in life. That’s all part of being human. And that leads me to the reason why I disappeared for just a bit.

You see, nine months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, my mother died on January 12, 2010. Though I knew it was coming, I was still knocked down. I had no clue what Alzheimer’s was really about before this happened. Perhaps, you don’t either. What I know now (and really wish that I didn’t!) is that the disease afflicts everyone involved. Frustrating, confusing and agonizing for the patient. About the same for the family members involved. The health and quality of life of many Alzheimer’s patients deteriorates over a period of years - not months. In that way, Mom was lucky. She isn’t suffering any longer.

The Alzheimer’s Association, which envisions a world without the disease shares a few statistics on their website, which might give you some sense of the disease’s magnitude:

  • As many as 5.3 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia triple healthcare costs for Americans age 65 and older.
  • Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s is the seventh-leading cause of death.
  • The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $148 billion each year.

I pondered whether I would share this personal side of my life with you. In the end, I decided that it was OK. Tough things happen in our lives, which can sometimes knock the wind right out of our sails. People around us cannot help us or support us if they don’t know we need the help!

Finally, about those 3 words. My key 3 in 2010 are: Charioteer, Marksman and Physical.

  • Charioteer- like the Charioteer at Delphi, I holds the reins of success in my own 2 hands.
  • Marksman - this is about precision, practice, patience and teamwork.
  • Physical - reminds me to get outside to connect with mother earth and exercise daily. Good health is a gift!

You Are CEO of You, Inc.

Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs. I love following his blog posts. On Monday, his post talked about how each of us is the president of our own career. I couldn’t agree more. It’s an excellent piece. You really should read it!

I have believed for some time now that we are the architect of our own lives. We must be accountable for the doing whatever we need too to achieve our career goals. What do you think?

Here is my response to Chris’ post:

Right on! Last year I gave a talk at Verizon titled Whose Career is it Anyway? I lack patience for people who cry the blues about how their company doesn’t do anything for their career. Of course, I believe they should, but who said they were obligated too? The investment that a company is willing to make in their people will vary, but one thing holds true. It’s up to each individual to manage their own career success.

Back in my corporate America days, my employers didn’t always pay for the classes I took to improve my communication, management skills, coaching skills, etc. Books are cheap and these days there are so many great FREE webinars on every topic imaginable. Or, read blogs - like this one!

There just isn’t any excuse. I worked to remain lay-off proof then and now as a business owner. People are buying. We just might have to work a bit harder or pay more attention to the opportunities that at first glance might not seem like they will lead to something. I keep my attitude straight and stay on my priorities and coach others to do the same!

So? What’s your plan?

1. Do you have clearly defined goals written down?

If you need to sell products and services, you better! I challenge you to focus on the 3 things - nothing more - the 3 most critical things you need to do to create value for your clients and soon to be clients. Learn new technology? Learn a new skill? Broaden your network?

**If you work for someone else, what’s your plan to take charge of your career? What do you need to learn? Who do you need to know? Do you need to seek out a mentor?

2. Is your attitude in check?

Now is NOT the time to focus on the negative or worrying about a “down” economy. Of course, focusing on what we don’t want is never a good idea. Soooo - be positive. See in your mind what you want success to look like and it will manifest in your reality.

3. How will you innovate in your business or career this year?

Now is the perfect time to be creative. Looks for what’s needed. Where is there a gap - either in your company or in the your customer market - that you can fill with what you have to offer?

Get going. Take charge!