How to Find Your Superfans With Pinterest

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There’s nothing quite like a superfan. It’s great having readers who will read and review your books. It’s equally cool when certain folks will comment on your blog, video, or podcast. When one person does all of that to the extreme, in addition to posting like crazy about your latest release, you might just be witnessing a superfan in action.

Superfans don’t just like the books they read. They devour and love them. As an author, you should do everything in your power to seek out these devoted readers. One way to hunt down fans who have no issue sharing the books they love is on Pinterest.

To the casual user, Pinterest is great for seeking out recipes or wedding ideas. Superfans use Pinterest to pin links to their favorite memes, art, movies, music, games, and books. When your work is included as part of the pinning frenzy, you may find Pinterest as your top referrer of traffic and email subscribers.

If you’re confused by Pinterest or new to the platform, here are five ways you can use the site to find new superfans:

1. Show Your Passions

Image from http://e-strategyblog.com/2011/10/daily-numbers-pinterest-the-growth-of-visual-communications/

Pinterest is not a place for neutral. It’s a site where passionate people pin links to things they’re passionate about. It’s a collection of the best pictures that link to the highest-level content online. People who love things with all their heart and don’t mind sharing it are major Pinterest users.

Pinterest isn’t a “fake it until you make” it platform. You need to pin boards that you’re passionate about. Create boards that show your influences as a writer. For instance, if you’re a paranormal author you might pin a board for the TV show “Supernatural.” On that board, you’d re-pin memes and links while creating several pins that link to posts about the show on your blog or podcast.

Pinterest is all or nothing. Don’t pin a board that doesn’t reflect your passions. By showing what you love and how it influenced you, you’ll find followers who might be interested enough to follow your writing somewhere down the line.

2. Create Quote Pictures

Image from http://id.educationaltravel.com/ws/blog/2013/10/28/top-tweets-of-the-week-october-25th/

Some authors have collected thousands of followers by using quote pictures. These are artfully designed quotes from their favorite authors. The right quote with the right design could result in dozens of re-pins and exposure to new followers.

You can create quote pictures in a free image tool like Canva. Simply find a royalty-free background and a suitable quote. Place the quote into the image using an attractive font and voila! You’ve got your quote picture.

Add the quote pictures to one of your boards. As an author, you may be inspired by dozens of quotes on the subject of writing. If TV is more your speed, you may want to pin a board of quotes from your favorite characters. Whatever you post, make sure it’s something with emotional weight behind it. If it doesn’t matter much to you, then it won’t matter much to your potential followers.

3. Share Your Research

Image from http://usm.maine.edu/research/digitizing-maine

Researching large and detailed story worlds has become much easier with Pinterest. You can use the site to search for inspiration on setting, time period, and style. When you find a post that helps you in your writing journey, you can re-pin it to a board related to your research.

Creating a research board gives your followers the chance to go deeper into the world of your story. By seeing how you came up with your ideas, followers forge a deeper connection with the worlds you’ve created.

Thriller author J.F. Penn shares these research boards on Pinterest in a call to action at the back of her books. This gives readers who’ve invested their time in the book a chance to dig deeper. While not all readers will search through J.F.’s boards, some will be interested enough to follow the board and re-pin its posts. The more people invested in the board, the more likely it is that new Pinterest users will find and follow her work.

As you open up your process to your readers, they’ll feel more like insiders who want to promote your work.

4. Create a Board For Your Books

Image from http://www.vineandlight.com/blog/pinterest-board-wear/

Once you’ve shared your passions, quotes, and research, it’s time to start sharing your books as well. Create one board or several boards representing your work as an author. Within each post, you can link to your books on sale on Amazon or to blog posts or podcasts in which you’ve discussed the work. You can also re-pin posts that other users have made about your work.

Notice that your book boards make up less than half of your total number of boards. In many cases, they may only show up as two out of 10-30 boards you’ve got posted. This is because Pinterest is about finding fans to follow you, not about direct selling.

You want to make it as easy as you can for people who want your books to find them, but you don’t want to push away the people who are just getting to know you. That’s why selling shouldn’t be your top priority on Pinterest.

Keep an eye on which pins on your book board seem to get the most attention. Find similar pins or create them on your own through Canva and your blog.

5. Use Calls to Action

Image from http://www.realestatemarketingblog.org/real-estate-blog-calls-to-action/

When you do post about your book, calls to action make it easier for superfans to connect with you. A call to action is a clear request for a person to do something with your link. If you want a reader to click through and buy something, then you should tell them to do so. Don’t force the issue with all-caps and a hundred hashtags. A simple, “Click here to get the book today” will do.

You can use calls to action throughout your boards to ask readers to follow you or re-pin your posts. Just like with selling books, you don’t want to overdo it. Ask your followers to do something every so often, and you’ll be surprised at how often they respond.

Superfans Are For Life

Pinterest can take several months to a year to obtain a few hundred followers. Even then, it requires upkeep to make sure your followers stay interested. It may seem like a waste of time to try, but it’s one of the best ways to find devoted readers.

Pointing a few superfans in the direction of your work may be worth the time you put in. Even if it’s not, Pinterest can be used to inspire both you and your potential readers. You’ll need to work hard to obtain success, but if you do, you’re bound to find multiple word-spreading superfans from your efforts.

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How to Optimize Twitter for Readers, Connections, and Opportunities

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Twitter isn’t the optimal platform for selling books. Even with the recent implementation of #AmazonCart, authors shouldn’t go into the social media platform assuming they’re going to make a killing right away. If that’s the case, then why should you still consider Twitter as part of your author platform? It’s simple. Marketing is about more than selling.

The term “marketing” gets a bad rap because many people picture an Internet marketing guru with a never-ending sales page peddling products for $97 a piece. Despite this salesy image, one of the biggest parts of marketing has nothing to do with selling at all. It has to do with making connections.

Twitter is a great platform for connecting with readers and other authors. It’s also one way to open yourself up to opportunities such as contests, collaborations, and speaking engagements. If you’re interested in reaching beyond your circle, here are five ways to optimize Twitter for making connections:

1. Prep Your Page

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Twitter isn’t about making sales, so you shouldn’t devote your profile page to selling. When you fill your bio with 20 different hashtags and six different links to your books, it makes you look desperate and unapproachable. Your bio, your profile picture, and your page background serve as opportunities to connect with potential followers on a personal level.

Use your bio to show your personality. Many Twitter users place a short description in the bio of who they are and what they do. Feel free to think outside the box here. Take a famous quote and repurpose it. Describe yourself as a combination of several different people you admire. You can close things out with a link to a blog here, but don’t make it the focus. In the bio, you should concentrate on telling visitors what you’re all about.

Like any networking profile, pick a picture that represents the image you want to convey. A dark fantasy author might post something brooding, while a children’s author would depict a happier persona.

Using a free tool like Canva, you can design a background image for your Twitter page. Many authors fail to take advantage of this space to convey additional information. Since there’s not a lot of room in the bio, you can use the background image to cover additional things about you and provide other links of importance. This is a perfect opportunity to use pictures of your book covers and a picture of yourself that wouldn’t work in a tiny thumbnail.

Think of your profile page like you would an open house. If there’s trash littered throughout the yard and a gaping hole in the front window, then you won’t get many people to stick around. Make your page personal, clean, and informative to increase your chances of connection

2. Set Notifications

Image from http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/twitter-notifications_b55659

If someone sends you a personal tweet in the middle of the social networking woods, does it make a sound? If you don’t have your notifications set up correctly, then the answer is no.

When you first sign up for Twitter, the site will send you a barrage of constant emails, which could encourage you to turn off notifications altogether. But when you cut off all the emails, you’ll miss out on some valuable opportunities to make connections.

Check your settings to make sure you receive notifications when someone Retweets, Favorites or Replies to one of your tweets. You should also set the system to email you when you get a new follower or direct message. These settings will make sure you don’t miss a reader or author’s efforts to make a direct connection.

Not all of the connections will be important and some will be spam, but you need to be prepared to reply to potential fans and fellow authors. Even a simple Favorite or a Reply with a “Thanks!” can be the difference between making a connection and missing one.

3. Create Lists

sadasdaLists make Twitter work. Without the use of this key feature, Twitter feels like a torrential downpour of messages. Lists allow you to partition the people you follow in an easily-digestible fashion.

Creating a list lets you add certain followers to a feed of tweets that’s absent of spam and advertisements. Lists are less for connecting with fans than they are for keeping an eye out for new opportunities. Make your own list with fellow authors or other movers and shakers in your field. If someone on your list asks a question or offers a collaborative opportunity, then your list will allow you to see the tweet and respond quickly. When you follow the right people, the list may also provide you with links to information that will help you grow in your career.

Creating and curating the proper list can take some time to do right. If you’re having trouble, follow someone else’s list in your genre or field. This list can help inform your own list, or you can treat it the same way you might if you’d been the one to create it.

4. Research and Use Hashtags

Image from http://www.lightspacetime.com/art-blog/advantages-for-artists-using-twitter-art-hashtags/

All hashtags were not created equal. It’s tempting to search for the worldwide trending hashtags and try to tweet a flurry of posts in rapid succession. This strategy isn’t likely to get you far, because unless your post is related, Twitter users will quickly skip over your message.

Creating your own hashtags is also tempting, but unless you have a built-in audience, it’s rare that your efforts will result in much traction.

The best strategy is to find niche hashtags about being an author or ones that are related to your genre. Hashtags should be used as a way to connect with other writers or people who have similar interests.

When you’re writing or editing, #AmWriting and #AmEditing can bridge the gap between you and other writers dealing with the same hard work. If you’re a dark fantasy author, your posts about books or your genre as a whole can connect with potential new fans with the use of #DarkFantasy.

This isn’t the kind of tactic that will gain you new readers every time. It’s a general thing you should keep in mind whenever you tweet. Slowly but surely, your use of these niche hashtags can help authors and readers to find your optimized profile page.

5. Keep Promo Limited

Image from http://www.katimorton.com/new-video-katifaq-twitter-thursday/

Spam runs rampant on Twitter and other social media platforms. If all of your posts are about your books, then you’re part of the problem. Besides, when 20 percent or more of your posts are an effort to sell your books, it’s likely that after a while no buyers will be listening.

Post about your books no more than once out of every five tweets. When you do put a promotional post out there, make sure it isn’t in the form of “buy my book.” It can be a link to a new review or a video blog you just posted to describe your upcoming pre-order. The less you try to sell, the more true connections you’ll make.

Another thing to keep in mind about promotion is that you should never tweet a sales message at another Twitter user. Most people will see this as spam and some may respond with frustration. You should only share something with another user if it has direct relevance to them, such as a mention of that person by name on your blog.

More Connections Lead to More Sales

Twitter isn’t about direct selling. Unless you have a huge audience, it’s unlikely that “buy my book” posts will even get that much traction. Early on in your writing career, one of the best ways to get sales down the line is to make more connections.

Connections with readers can lead to reviews and mailing list signups. Coming together with other authors can result in multi-author box sets or successful Facebook promotions. You never know where a Twitter connection will lead, but the only way to miss out on these career-changing bonds is to never make the connection in the first place.

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Author Marketing Pages (Book Landing Page Builder)

We’re pleased to announce our latest author marketing tool called Author Marketing Pages. It’s a web-based wysiwyg tool that allows you to create a beautiful book landing page in minutes, without any web design skills or html knowledge required. Watch the video below for a demo of how it works. When you’re ready to sign up, just head on over to AuthorMarketingPages.com.

Why Do I Need This As An Author?
Chances are you’re a great storyteller, but you’re probably not a web design guru or coding expert. So how do you make a great looking page to feature your book? Most authors hire this out to a design team, or have a virtual assistant do it for them. But that costs money and takes time. With Author Marketing Pages, you can simply, and quickly create your own page in less than 10-minutes. A page that you will be proud to show off to your potential readers.

Add your Author Marketing Page to places like:

  • Your email signature
  • Share on your social media channels
  • Link from the back of your book
  • Forum signatures
  • Anywhere else you want

How Much Does It Cost?
Author Marketing Pages are free. You can create as many pages for as many books as you want. Just login and start creating pages and publish them live and start promoting them. There is also a paid plan, which includes things like:

  • Free 3d book cover image
  • Promotional blast of your finished page
  • Add email signup integration
  • Custom domains

Ready To Create A Beautiful Book Landing Page?
Start right now at Author Marketing Pages.