Harnessing Social Media To Market Books

There’s an interesting article in the Bookseller Magazine this week about the potential of social media and how publishers can jump on the bandwagon of web 2.0 to build readership and ultimately sell their books. There’s also an intriguing sentence in the article, ‘This month an author tracked down a number of Bookseller employees and sent them Facebook friend requests.’ I am wondering if I am the author they are alluding to because I did just that. And why not? When an author does not have a huge publisher’s marketing budget behind them, and smaller publishers cannot afford newspaper advertising, massive PR campaigns, bill board advertising and giveaways then how does an author or a small publisher create author and book awareness and stimulate sales? One very effective way has been for some time, and is increasingly, through the Internet.

Social media can be a very powerful and effective tool in spreading word of mouth via the Internet. I find it helps me to connect with others who have the same interests as I do; it keeps me up to date with events and friends’ news and introduces my work to new readers, as well as allowing me to communicate with my loyal fan base. Social media and the Internet played a large part in spreading the word about my thriller, In Cold Daylight, which was shortlisted for the World Book Day Prize 2008 through an online vote. It also helps authors to connect with each other and provides support and a valuable exchange of ideas.

In the book industry harnessing social media is not just for publishers but for authors and readers. In fact it is for anyone who wants to search out new friends, new ideas, discover new authors, artists, musicians and businesses. So if you haven’t found me yet then check me out on Facebook (and don’t forget to send me a friend request) and you can also find me on You Tube, Crimespace, Shelfari, GoodReads, the RedRoom, LibraryThing and Twitter, not to mention my blogs, and my web site. I know there are more, but hey, come on, I have to find some time to write novels!

This post also appears on http://www.paulinerowson.com/