Social media - a starting aid for writers
At Aarhus University Press, we work diligently to promote each release, and it is vital for us that all books be widely disseminated to potential readers. Our ambition is to visualize your work in the best possible way.
One of the ways we enhance the visibility of your book is by integrating social media into marketing and help you to actively communicate online.
It may seem confusing to have to deal with, let alone participate in social media after all your hard work finishing your book. But social media today has so much value that it quite often turns out to be worth the challenge.
Aarhus University Press has since Jan 2013 been present on Facebook, but our main online presence is our committed effort through our website unipress.dk. We have therefore made a brief introduction to how social media can support a release, and how we - the publisher and author - can help each other to get a book off the ground.
What is social media - and what do you need?
The social media's strength lies in the name - they are dialogue-oriented digital services where users listen to each other in a conversation and share knowledge and experiences with each other. As a writer, you can thus communicate and interact with many people at the same time and you can engage with them on aspects which are relevant to your book and in the broader sense of your scientific work.
Maybe your ulterior motive with social media is that you will sell more copies of your book. However, we recommend that you alter your mindset and think about your online presence as much less commercial: to see your presence as an opportunity to disseminate your research, to exchange experiences and ideas with peers, to expose the book to a broader reader group and increase interest in the subject area.
There are now some social networks you can choose to work in. In Denmark, approximately every 3 Danes are on Facebook, and Facebook is so far the biggest network at home. Aarhus University Press recommends that you create a profile page here. Do not post comments under your personal profile. Instead, create a profile for your publication or for your professional self as a writer, researcher, lecturer, expert etc. You can then use the page as a website where you link or stream to other platforms. Please let your editor know that you have made a page - so we link to and help spread the word.
TIP: Be committed, honest and friendly. Keep a professional tone. Submit new posts 3-5 times a week. Answer the questions. Encourage your "friends" to engage and respond to your comments. And remember that your brand is what people in your network are saying about you.
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional and academic network, where more than 500,000 Danes (and more than 100 million worldwide) exchange information and news. On LinkedIn you connect with your old, current and future colleagues, partners and customers. It is the place to showcase your skills - including the news that you have a new book coming, or that you give lectures at three colleges in December. Create a personal profile (please be detailed), and invite your professional network to link to you.
It's easy, fast and free to create your own blog using for example wordpress.com, blogger.com or blog.dk. Blogging is no longer a media that is reserved for the few, and every third Danish internet user reads blogs. It means that you can very quickly get a name within a specific area - and get to be read by many people. The blog allows you to write about your research in a passionate and committed way: What is it that you work with on a daily basis? And what are those thoughts you make yourself, to your work and your field?
TIP: Check whether there are other bloggers in your field before you begin. Remember, blogging is very time consuming and personal. Create a community of users. Be engaged and engage your users to comment and pass along.
10 tips to market your book online
If you cannot commit the time to engage on Facebook, LinkedIn or on your own blog, you can instead choose to focus on other online initiatives. We give you 10 tips that will help your book's visibility on the web:
1. Write the posts in the relevant group and discussion forums. Find them at Google Groups and Yahoo Groups. Be professional and humble; try not to promote your book.
2. Sign posts on other blogs and Facebook pages. Also, try not to promote your book.
3. If you get the chance, make a video or a podcast about your book and upload it to YouTube.com or Vimeo.com. Please let us know at the publishing house that you have a product: We'd love to help you and also the opportunity to show the files on our website.
4. Write a post on Wikipedia (encyclopedia created by users). If needed, use the book's blurb as a starting point, if you need some inspiration.
5. Do you wear on the book topic, which you use in the classroom? Share them on Slideshare.com. It gives goodwill and interest in your person.
6. If you have additional photos for the book's topic? Share them on flickr.com.
7. Enter your book title in your email signature. And remember a link to the book's website at Aarhus University Press.
8. Create a personal Twitter profile and search for persons interested in the book's topic.
10. Always thank your readers for their comments - positive or negative.
Engaging in social media
If you choose as an author to create a profile on one or more social platforms, it is important that you understand that it requires commitment and resources - perhaps even blood, sweat and tears. Creating a profile on Facebook and then sitting back and waiting to get comments and "likes" will backfire. Social media is about communicating with other people and we recommend that your focus is on sharing and pooling knowledge; listen to your network and above all be sincere, committed and professionally competent. Use your professionalism and your expertise. Give your network what they lack and what they want. Anything else will be seen through, and your presence will be an echo of an empty activity.
Social media can be a fabulous tool in the marketing of your book and it can help to multiply the interest for your book. We hope that you in the light of our little initial help get the urge to branch out as a writer - and embrace social media.
We look forward to further cooperation.