You all know as readers of this blog the publishing industry has changed drastically. Whether you are an author or a publisher the game is different today: cost of production is down, marketing channels are everywhere, and you can even eliminate the middle man. Much of this change can be attributed to technology.
As a social technology consultant I spend everyday helping businesses, brands, and bloggers utilize today’s social technology. Today I thought I’d take a look at what specific tools and channels an author can take advantage of. I’m going to focus on authors, and I also want to point out that every single one of these tools is free.
- Name Chk – I’m sure the right way for authors to name a book is at the very end, but I just get excited about names. Use a tool like name chckr to scan across all social networks to see if your desired name is available. You still can name your book whatever you please, but you’re going to want to utilize social media to promote.
- Search.Twitter – This website is what takes Twitter to the next level. There are plenty of web apps that do similar things, but when it comes to listening on Twitter it doesn’t get any better. Run searches on keywords in your industry, topics related to your book, and influencers who can help promote. You can use Search.Twitter before writing as a research tool, or after publishing as a promotional tool.
- Facebook Ads – I know you’re thinking, I never click on a Facebook ad, but that isn’t the point. A successful author today has to target a specific audience of readers. The best-selling books are targeted at a niche that needs the content. Facebook Ads have an incredible ability to target to exactly who you’re looking for. With the ability to sort by age, gender, geography, education level, and interests you are bound to find your book’s audience. Facebook Ads can be affordable and build massive awareness.
- Square – When it is time to sell, you don’t need a POS system or the bookshelves of Barnes & Noble, just sell the book yourself – on the go! Square is that nifty sugar cube like credit card reader that plugs nicely into your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android’s headphone jack. Just swipe a card and receive the payment. No monthly fees, no cost for the device, just a 2.75% transaction fee (which is quite competitive I might add).
- Google+ – Part of my job is jumping on and trying the latest and greatest in social technology, but usually I go into a new network with a lot of skepticism. Especially when Google (a search company first) attempts to do something social (e.g. Google Wave, Google Buzz). However, this time around I’m a bit more intrigued. I believe Google did something right this time with Google+ and I want to spend more time digging into it. As a brand new network, I think the opportunity is out there to build a strong brand on G+, and we all know a best-selling author needs a strong brand.
For questions on these tools or others hit me up on Twitter (@johntmeyer) or feel free to email me at john (at) 9clouds (dot) com. Also, learn more about social technology in our product Sandbox, an online community that makes social technology easy.