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Social Media for Authors

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					 The authors guide
  to social media




    m
               by


  J
Jacob Morgan
               &    Josh “Shua” Peters
If you’re reading this then you most likely
want to understand social media and how to
get involved. In fact, if you’re reading this
you are probably one step ahead of the game.
This ebook is designed to provide you with
some information about social media and
to explain how to use some of the tools and
platforms out there to build relationships and
create an online presence.
                       The Landscape




According to Netpop Research, 76% of all U.S. broadband users actively con-
tribute to social media in some way. 29% contribute regularly to social net-
working sites. That equates to about 40,000,000 Americans that are using some
form of social media.

Per the Wave 3 Universal McCann report:
•	 346 million read blogs/weblogs
•	 321 million Read personal blogs/weblogs
•	 184 million started a blog or weblog
•	 Blog Reading has risen 66% on a global scale in a year
•	 60.3 million Americans have read a blog
•	 36% of consumers think more positively about companies with blogs
•	 32% of consumers trust bloggers opinions on products and services
•	 160 million subscribed to an RSS Feed
•	 Social Networking has an estimated 272 million users
•	 307 million visit a friends social network page
•	 272	million	manage	a	profile	on	a	social	network
•	 43% of online consumers belong to a social network
•	 74% of social network users message friends as part of their daily routine


Publishers, Agents, and other professionals utilize social media everyday to
connect to customers, fans, and like minded individuals. It can be utilized to
enhance the creative process by engaging others in conversation and create a
rich experience for fans when they are engaged. Now that you're aware of who
is using social media, let's move on to what social media is.
                     What is Social Media?
To put it simply Social media is an ever growing collection of tools and plat-
forms that allow for communication and interaction between people. This inter-
action and communication can take the form of two friends sharing a photo or
millions of people chatting on a social network.

Social	media	was	created	out	of	peoples’	desire	to	find	new	ways	to	connect	
with each other. Now we have social bookmarking, social commenting, social
networks, microblogging, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, social shopping, and so on.
The width and breadth of social media expands with every new idea that in-
spires people to connect and communicate. Slowly, businesses started to catch
on and realized that connecting and communication with their users was vital.
The	various	social	media	tools,	ideas,	and	platforms	can	be	adapted	to	fit	almost	
any business goal and objective.

As authors, publishers, and other literary agents you have a large talent pool
to work with and unlimited possibilities to enhance your product and create a
community around your words.

With the maturing of the internet and the growing acceptance and utilization
of social media your words can reach thousands of people in a matter of hours.
Your books and articles can be shared and posted across hundreds of social
platforms by your fans and new fans with new perspectives can be created by
empowering your community.
When Should I get
   Involved?

  The best time to get involved in social media was about a year or so ago.
  The second best time is right now.

  The world of social media is changing rapidly and the web as a whole is
  getting more and more social. It's rapidly becoming a place where your
  ideas and creations can be shared instantly with anyone anywhere. You
  should get involved, today.




                                  Why Should I get
                                     Involved?
No longer are you bound by the limitations of publishing circles and bookstores
for people to hear your words. You can make just as big a splash if you live in
small town Kentucky as you can living in The Big Apple. You have more control
over your image and how you are perceived by the general public and by your
fans. If you want to come across as a genuine and honest person there are tools
that can be utilized to reach out and demonstrate those traits.

The days of needing a PR agent to cultivate your perception are fading. They're
not going to die, but their role and the role PR plays in your life is much more
in your control. With social media you can play the parts of PR, marketing, and
customer service on your terms and with your own voice.

Personal interactions make the difference.
                   Where’s the Action?
The majority of social media takes place online, but as it has gained in popu-
larity people started to realize they could also use social media to collaborate
offline.	Now	you	have	social	media	club	meetups,	tweetups	(meetups	setup	
using	Twitter),	conferences,	and	other	offline	activities	that	are	all	organized	by	
people online. These are great networking opportunities and can help solidify
online relationships or create new ones.

Using	online/offline	relationships	can	be	used	to	mobilize	your	community	to	
have an impromptu book reading as a bit of fan service. There are great ways
to	get	your	online	community	offline	and	really	foster	those	great	connections.	
Face to face meetings are a great way to give back to your community by giv-
ing them even more of yourself. Book signings, open mic nights at a coffee
shop; anything you can think of to help you and your community can be setup
and organized through social media.
The Tools
Blog
An often personalized and public site that can serve as anything from a journal to
the face of corporate communications.


How to use it
Whether you are using your blog as a way to build community, interact with fans /
subscribers, or give updates about your company, a blog falls into three main cat-
egories. Self hosted, service hosted, or social network extension.

Self hosted is where you download a blogging platform like Word Press, install it
on a server, and then do all the design and theme maintenance manually. While it
does require the most work you also have the most control in terms of design and
customization.

Service	hosted	is	a	blog	that	is	hosted	by	a	specific	host	like	WordPress.com so
there is no download or installation required. You loose some of your control over
how	it	looks,	but	it	is	very	simple	to	find	a	theme	you	like,	change	some	colors,	up-
load	a	couple	pictures	and	make	it	your	own	(you	also	don’t	get	your	own	domain,	
meaning unless your host allows domain masking your site my look something like
this: http://www.author.wordpress.com).

Social network extension blogs are blogs that are appended to your social network
such as on MySpace or Red Room. These are severely limited and most don't allow
you to do anything other than write. Some don't even allow RSS subscriptions to
the blogs and restrict your viewers to users of that site.

We recommend going with the self hosted solution so that you can have complete
control over your domain name and the look and feel of your site.
RSS Reader
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. This ubiquitous orange icon is typically
what you would click on when you want to subscribe to a feed and see the updates
to a particular blog or site.

How to use it
The most widely used RSS reader is Google Reader located at Google.com/Reader
and just like any other Google service you do need a Gmail account to access it.
To	add	a	feed	first	sign	in	to	Google	Reader	then	click	on	the	upper	left	button	that	
says "Add a subscription" and enter the web address of the blog you want deliv-
ered or the URL of the blogs feed.

Alternately	when	you	find	a	site	you	like	just	click	on	the	orange	RSS	icon	and	
you'll have the option to add it to your Google Reader. Not only can you have
all your blogs sent to one location but you can also include any Google Alerts or
Twitter	searches	you	create	(covered	below).	A	reader	serves	as	a	one	stop	infor-
mation aggregation station so instead of going to your favorite blogs individually
you can have all their content delivered to you.
Twitter
Twitter	is	considered	a	“micro-blogging”	platform	that	allows	you	to	find	and	con-
nect with other people while using 140 characters or less

How to use it
Twitter is one of the most powerful relationship building tools that exists. Twitter
allows you to instantly connect with your “followers.” Start off by creating a full
profile.	Then	use	“twitter	search”	(see	below)	to	find	people	to	follow.	When	us-
ing twitter make sure you are unique and genuine, you may promote your content
sparingly but don’t overdo it otherwise nobody will want to follow you. Once you
find	people	that	interest	you,	begin	developing	relationships.	The	main	goal	here	
is to provide some sort of value to your followers while maintain a personable and
genuine approach.




Twitter Search
This is a tool that allows you to search twitter for keywords or phrases. Think of
this as a search engine for twitter.

How to use it
Search	for	phrases	and	keywords	that	interest	you.	This	will	allow	you	to	find	new	
people to connect with and interesting discussions to follow. There are many other
authors and publishers on the net that you can build relationships with. Once you
have created a search you want to continually monitor just click on theRSS icon
and it will be continuously updated in your RSS reader.
Google Alerts
This tool allows you to set up alerts to track various keywords or phrases around
the net.

How to use it
Simply	create	an	alert	to	track	whatever	keywords	or	phrases	you	find	relevant.	As	
an	author	you	would	definitely	want	to	track	your	name,	your	books,	related	top-
ics, etc. You will receive an email once a day with a list of sites that mention your
keyword	or	phrase,	or	if	you	prefer	get	it	sent	to	your	RSS	reader	(covered	above).




Google Analytics
This tool gives you a lot of useful information in terms of your visitors. You can
find	out	how	much	traffic	you’re	getting,	where	you’re	users	are	coming	from,	
what they are reading on your site, and more.

How to use it
All you do you is follow the Google analytics instructions which will most likely
ask you to paste a piece of code on your site to track your visitors. Once your site
is	verified	you	are	good	to	go.	This	analytics	tools	is	great	for	tracking	your	prog-
ress online as you continue to build your online presence and will give you insight
into who is linking to you.
Facebook
One of the worlds largest social network that allows you to connect with people
friends and family or with people who share your passions, interests, or have simi-
lar backgrounds.

How to use it
After	creating	a	profile	you	can	play	games,	comment	on	others	profiles,	search	for	
old classmates or co-workers, join discussion groups and create your own group
or fan pages. The groups and fan pages serve as a point of contact and gathering
place for you and your community. Here you can post teasers, start up conversa-
tions, get feedback, answer questions and communicate with your fans in ways fan
mail never could. As an author you will most likely want to join “author” groups or
networks as well as connect with other authors and publishers.




Red Room
This	social	network	is	designed	specifically	for	authors	and	their	fans.

How to use it
Once	you	have	created	a	profile	you	can	meet	other	authors	based	on	their	subject	
matter or they can be found by name. Search for other members in the members
section	to	learn	more	about	fans	and	literary	aficionados	from	their	profiles.	Many	
writers host their blogs on Red Room and this allows them to reach a more targeted
audience.

However, Red Room is more limited in terms of customization capabilities when
compared to self hosted blogging options like Word Press. Just like with authors,
blogs can also be searched by person or topic. You also have the ability to upload
your videos and podcasts to Red Room. Another nice feature is the plainly dis-
played “Tips” section where you can get advice on how to market and promote
your Red Room account to the rest of the community.
Youtube/Viddler (video)
A search engine for videos. You can create and upload your own videos to share
with the world, or just search around and watch videos that other people have cre-
ated.

How to use it
These two sites, and several dozen others, are where you can upload promotional
videos, scout the competition or just kill a few minutes of down time. If you are
going to be uploading several videos create your own channel on the site so fans or
potential	fans	can	find	all	your	content	easily.	After	uploading	a	video	anyone	can	
leave a comment for you. While you may receive a few comments that might seem
reminiscent of a junior high hallway; look for the ones that offer sincere feedback.
The comments worth replying to will stand out so just watch for quality compli-
ments and criticism.

The videos you create here can also be embedded in your blog or social network
profile	of	your	choice	(go	to	their	respective	help	sections	for	detailed	information	
on how to do this). Scott Sigler has been using Youtube to create trailers for his
books. Collectively, his trailers have been viewed over 30,000 times. Check out
Scott Sigler’s YouTube Channel.




Scribd
Upload,	edit,	and	find	documents	for	free.

How to use it
Create	a	profile	and	upload	any	documents	you	want	to	share.	Views,	downloads,	
likes, comments, and favorites stats are plainly displayed on the page so you can
see how popular the document has been. This can be used for anything from post-
ing up a teaser to your next book to providing a free downloadable short story as
a	fan	bonus.	The	settings	for	the	documents	(like	if	they	can	be	downloaded	or	
not) are easily set and Scribd serves as a great way to get your writing out to other
people.
Delicious
This is an online bookmarking service that you can use to save interesting website/
pages.

How to use it
Whenever you come across something that you feel is valuable for yourself or oth-
ers	(or	perhaps	you	just	don’t	have	time	to	read	something	and	want	to	get	back	
to it later) you just add the URL to your Delicious account. You can then share the
link to your delicious account with your friends or readers. It's also a great way to
organize information and tag it for easy reference.
Thank You for Your Time
We hope that this ebook has provided you with valuable information and insight
into	the	dynamic	field	of	social	media.	After	reading	this	you	should	have	a	good	
understanding of why social media is so popular and important. You should also
have a good foundation and understanding of some of the social media tools out
there and how they can be used to build relationships and market yourself. While
this ebook provides a general overview of some popular social media tools there
is	a	lot	more	that	remains	to	be	discussed	in	terms	of	creating	specific	strategies	to	
fit	your	needs.

The important thing to remember is that people are always going to be talking
about you, your company/brand, or your products. Social media gives you the
opportunity to listen and become a part of the conversation. Remember, “Be Cre-
ative and Be Clever.”




If you have any questions or are interested in a client relationship please
email us or visit oursites:
Jacob: Jacobmorgan8@gmail.com - Building Relationships Through Social
Media Marketing and SEO
Josh: shua@shuaism.com - Shuaism: Social media musings, news, and re-
views
                           About the Authors

                   Jacob Morgan
I am a schemer and idea catalyst by nature, hence my passion and love for chess
(among	many	things).		I	am	the	co-founder	and	principal	of	Mighty Mouth Media,
a social media consultancy and also run a team of Technical SEOs. Previously
I was the CMO/founder of a start-up in the social media space and prior to that
I worked on creating online marketing and search strategies for brands such as
Adobe, Conde Nast, Sandisk and Salesforce. I am an avid and passionate blogger
on	all	things	social	media	and	marketing	related	(I	hope	you	become	a	reader!).	I	
love meeting and building relationships with people so say hello and let me know
if	I	can	help	you.	Google	my	name	“Jacob	Morgan,”	and	you	will	find	me	(I’m	the	
first	result),	stop	by	my	site	and	connect	with	me.

Be sure to connect with me on: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.




               Josh “Shua” Peters
I’ve spent over 2 years researching and studying the social media scene and excit-
edly watched it grow and matured in to the entity we know it as today. This com-
munication medium fascinates me to no end and my wife often refers to herself as
a	social	media	widow	(but	has	now	started	her	own	blog).	I'm	currently	part	of	a	
social media startup known as RoyalAnts where I'm the director of online market-
ing and social media strategies. I’m also the principal of Shua Consulting where
I’ve worked with clients like Symantec, Qwest, and more. My personal blog is
at Shuaism.com where not only do I discuss the ideas, methods, and tools behind
social media and internet marketing, but also provide a full list of ways to stalk me
online. Please stop by, leave a comment, and join the conversation, I'd love to hear
from you.

Be sure to connect with me on: Twitter, FaceBook, or LinkedIn.

Thank you for your time and we hope you enjoyed this guide to getting started with social media!
         Resources to Stay Up to Date

Blogging

 •	 Copyblogger
 •	 Problogger
 •	 Blogging.alltop.com


Social media strategy and ideas

 •	 Building Relationships Through Social Media Marketing and SEO	(Jacob	
    Morgan)
 •	 Shuaism	(Josh	Peters)
 •	 Altitude Branding (Amber	Naslund)
 •	 Chris Brogan
 •	 KD Paine
 •	 Scott Monty
 •	 Social Media Explorer (Jason	Falls)
 •	 The	Viral	Garden (Mack	Collier)
 •	 Sociamedia.alltop.com


What’s going in Social Media

 •	 Read Write Web
 •	 Mashable




Photo Credits:
Writing Words by Star Dust	Vancouver	Bank	Clock	by	JMV Blog Icons by ~grevenlx
Thank You by PSD Welcome by Tim2K

				
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