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I was thinking today about how big the internet is and the vastness of its reach. And then I pondered on how we all find our little corners of happiness on the web. Authors.com is definitely one of mine! So tell me, how did you get here initially and discover our fab community? :D

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Geoff -  Great idea about going on Facebook and having a separate sign in for the book!  I shall look into that!

Thanks!

Cool,

 

To have a unique username on Facebook you apparently need 25 people to like your page. This means you can then have your own Facebook email which is geared to the book you want to tell people about and the pages are thus searchable via internet search engines. It is supposed to be a tool to further the interest in your book. 

 

have fun,

 

Geoff

Yeah — as far as 'getting known' online, as Geoff says, the more genuine presence(s) you have the more you'll show up in search results. While I publish books (such as Geoff's) by night, I'm a general online web dude by day, so I inevitably have learned a lot about how the web works over the years.

 

As Geoff says, if you're an author looking to 'get out there' more, there are some obvious places to start, in order of most impact online to least (but not little):

 

  1. Create an author website. If you have a friend who makes websites, great, but not everyone does. I recommend the free sites offered at Tumblr or Wordpress.com because they're pretty easy to get your head around, with Wordpress being the more powerful, but more complicated one. Write about your journey, real, personal content. And do it as often as possible. The more rich the content (photos, videos, personal experiences) the more engaging it will be, keeping your visitors glues to the screen. Your website should have some pages that don't change very often, too. A page about you and your history with a picture of you. A page with your books and relevant details with links to buy them online. If you do events, consider creating an events page. Wordpress has some great events plugins. Or just use a Facebook event. 
  2. Be actively involved. This could involve setting up a dedicated Facebook page, getting involved in forums (such as Authors.com, which you already are so well done!), other social networking sites such as Google Plus and Twitter. These are good because they're so distributed. In other words, a little goes a long way, but social networking alone won't sustain your online presence. Do some research— use Google to find forums and blogs where your target audience are active and get engaged in a serious way. (Goodreads is a good example) Comment on blogs and on forums. Often, when you leave a comment, it'll ask for your website address— PUT IT IN! For forums, create a 'signature' (like in your email) which has links to your website, Facebook page and your book. Every time you post, people will see that.
  3. Setup an email list. There are some great, free services for sending out fancy emails to keep your readers up-to-date on what's going on. Mailchimp has some beautiful free designs you can use, and it's easier than you'd think to use. There are others out there, but I prefer Mailchimp because it's so simple. This is a great way for your readers (especially those who have less free time) to make sure they're not missing out on what you're doing as an author.
  4. Do promotions. It sounds scary, but it's as easy as you make it. Twitter is a great platform for promotions— just say something like "The first five people to reply to this will get a free copy of my book!" and watch the flood of replies! Have them direct-message their details and post the books. Easy peasy, and they'll be telling all their friends they won something. Win win.

If there's anything obvious I missed out, please reply and let me know! This was written very quickly!

 

If you want to see how I'm doing things as a publisher, check out Upptäcka Press. If you want to see how Geoff is setup as an author (online), here are a few of his relevant links:

As you can see, Geoff's got his fingers in a lot of pies. But who hasn't nowadays? We're living in an age of multitasking, and everyone's doing it! Above all, have fun, be yourself and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty—popular technology is never as hard as it looks.

See! I told you he was a genius!

 

It's good to have a soulmate as a publisher!

 

Best Wishes,

 

Geoff

Genius is these books publishing themselves ;-)

 

Always happy to help!

Oh, is that what they mean by self-publishing?!

 

That would be a good thing for all of us on authors.com to have! Wow, our books publishing themselves. Cool.

 

Good night everyone!

Geoff

One important thing I forgot—think of your online presence like a tree. There are roots, the trunk holding everything up, and loads of branches.

 

Your roots are your literal amount of time being present and active on the internet. They grow longer and stronger the more you post on various sites on the web. The 'older' your online presence is, the more search engines (like Google, Yahoo and Bing) will trust you (assuming you've spent that time posting content and being involved). When the search engines trust you, they send people to your site. You want the search engines to trust you and your content.

 

The trunk is your main website. This is the site that, at the end of the day, your digital house is burning down and you've got time to grab one thing— you grab this site. Probably it's your main, dedicated central author site, but doesn't have to be. This is where you want people to go, and if you only have time to maintain one thing, it should be this.

 

Then there's the branches & leaves — these are the places you're actively maintaining online such as your social networking profiles, your profiles on blogs and forums etc. These should always point back to your 'trunk'— your main website (that's the whole point of having them). These branches and leaves (essentially links from other websites to yours)  are like receptors that pull in nutrients to feed your online profile, but the main goal of these sites is not just to show you're active (though that's one of their key functions), it's to get people into a sphere that you control— your trunk, where you can then give them the experience and information they should have about you.

 

Of course, getting people to your trunk isn't the hard part, really. The hard part is what to do with them when they get there, and this is why it's important to anticipate what they'll be looking for and then make it easy for them to find it. In a nutshell, if you do that well, your online presence will be nipping at David Mitchell's heels in no time ;-)

Chris - Great post!!  Great information for the new people just finding us and just starting out!

Linda, you can find help on how to create a Facebook Fan Page here: http://www.authors.com/group/socialmedia/forum/topics/how-to-create...

 

The Social Media Group is quite new and has tips on getting the best out of Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can add your own Facebook and Twitter information there too. 

Linda Page Wickens said:

Geoff -  Great idea about going on Facebook and having a separate sign in for the book!  I shall look into that!

Thanks!

I don't remember. Must have been a fate thing, I guess. I'm looking forward to the new friendships. There are many places in this tangle we call a web. Tis nice to see like-minded individuals working at their prose, sharing all the ups and downs of the artistic mind ...
I don't actually remember how I found this site. Maybe a button on an author's website? I saw "readers" and had to come check it out. :-) I'm not an author, but I am a writer (blogger), and if I can figure out how to survive on less sleep, I do actually have a book I want/need to write, but it just occurred to me a few days ago that I could write it, so that wasn't why I joined this site. Glad I'm here now, though. :-)
I am an author that is how I found this tread by being what I am.  I am part of other groups Blackauthorsconnect.com and Blackwomenconnect.com as well as other things ---

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