From consulting editor Alan Rinzler:
I surveyed three veteran book marketing pros and here’s what they said about the changing world of promotion and publicity.
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What are the best ways for an author to help with marketing a book?
Cindy Ratzlaff: It’s the author’s job to build a platform and increase his or her visibility. Every author should have five basic social media accounts to maximize their visibility:
1. A Facebook personal profile in their real name, with a photo. I recommend that authors enable the “subscribe” button and live their online life more publicly. As an author, you are or are becoming a “public figure.” Invite people into a relationship with you, the author, in the simplest way…on your Facebook profile.
2. A Facebook Fan Page titled with the name of the author and the word “author.” A fan page can be customized so that fans can check the “Buy the book” page and make a purchase without leaving Facebook. They can also join the author’s mailing list (all authors should be capturing email names of fans), and authors can even have a tab, or app as Facebook is now calling our former tabs, with a list of personal appearances or media events.
3. A Twitter Account. Twitter is the amplification tool. The fast moving stream means that multiple messages about the author’s tour, book, topic of interest, love of books and anything they care passionately about can lead like minded, potential readers to them. Additionally, every Tweet is a unique URL and again, the goal is to create a large digital footprint, filled with keywords that describe the author’s topic, to lead readers back to the author’s home base.
4. A YouTube Account. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. People search “How-to” on Google hundreds of thousands of times every day. Authors should create short video talks about their books and post them to their own YouTube channel, making sure the title of the video includes keywords that would attract the ideal reader. Upload the videos to YouTube and share the links to Facebook and Twitter for added digital clout.
5. A blog. I encourage every author to have a blog and to post 2 times per week with each post containing 300-500 words. The first and the last paragraph should include some important keywords that are integral to the author’s core topic to attract, again, ideal readers.
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Do you generally work for the author or the publisher, and how does that affect what you do?
Adrienne Biggs: When I started my own marketing agency in 2002, I was typically hired by the publisher. These days, budgets are tighter and publishers may hire an outside publicist for only one part of the campaign, like creating a Facebook presence, or doing radio in one market, or targeting a certain kind of media outlet.
Consequently I’m working now directly with authors who want to supplement the in-house publicist’s work or with self-publishing authors who appreciate my focus on their book and willingness to give it all I’ve got.
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What are the newest trends in book marketing? What’s hot?
Cindy Ratzlaff: I’d say that right now, as the Facebook Timeline rolls out to Facebook fan pages, one hot new opportunity for author marketing is creating custom apps so fans can buy books, join mailing lists, enter contests and ask questions all without leaving their favorite. Another hot trend is Twitter parties at a pre-determined hour in which fans and the author gather for a live chat using a #hashtag to help people follow the conversation.
But the coolest thing I’m seeing is adding an online environment to a book. This means putting URL links into a book that lead a reader to an author’s website where they’ll get expanded new content, videos from the author, out takes back story, and live webinar chats with the author. I love the idea of baking “more” into the book as an added bonus. You’re saying to the author “this book is an invitation to a longer, deeper relationship with me.” But, of course, then you must be prepared to deliver.
Link to the rest at The Book Deal