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Increasingly, author visibility depends on how you represent yourself and your product online. In the past, this meant setting up a personal or company website. This site would generally reproduce all the main elements of a print advertisement, provide information about how to order the book, and give a general sense of the author’s vision. While this model of online presence is still a practical way to shop your book to readers, a number of new avenues are being creatively utilized by some of our most successful customers.
Social networking is increasingly taking the place of "word of mouth" promotion and more formal advertising avenues in developing author presence and name recognition.
Book trailers can help bring additional exposure and aid in selling more books. More info on this can easily be found with an internet search.
Getting an author page on Facebook is easy and once you sign up, user-friendly instructions will get you up and running immediately. Check out the strong presence our recent customer Mark Carboni has! (www.facebook.com/Carbocooks) With over 6,000 friends, this cookbook author establishes a direct connection through frequent status updates. The key to his success here is that his comments directly engage his followers. Instead of simply telling people to buy his book, or posting about the status of his book sales, he constantly engages his friends with fun but relevant questions and conversation starters. His Facebook account serves as an interactive community of followers.
Blogger is perhaps the most used blogging service, is free, and has simple tools and a user-friendly interface that allows you to customize and carve out your own niche on the web. Utilize blogger to connect with your specific community of readers. More than just a place to talk about your book, personalize and make accessible your creative process—not just the final product. Share with your readers sources of inspiration including other artists and writers you follow, helping to construct and maintain a virtual community on the web.
RSS Feeds: RSS or "Really Simple Syndication," makes it possible for followers of your work to “subscribe” to your blog or website so that every time you update your site with an author event or news about your book, it will appear on their RSS reader as soon as you have made the update.
Tumblr is well known more as a photo blogging site than as a book, author, or product site. However, Michelle Nelson creatively uses Tumblr to link her multiple artistic endeavors and create a virtual performance space. (lovethepoet.tumblr.com)
Mia Andler and Kevin Feinstein (bayareaforager.com) utilize many of the above resources to create an online presence. Their book itself comes to life on their page through their blog (which can be subscribed to via RSS feed), embedded YouTube videos that give short lessons related to the book, and easy contact and ordering information.
The website related to Jaime Klinetob’s Modern Slacklining guidebook ( gibbon-slacklines.com) also combines multiple elements of social media, but instead of being oriented around the book, it is the centered around a product-line, in which the book is only a part. Their sophisticated website makes it easy for prospective customers to order products and books while gleaning information that might not be available elsewhere. Like Andler and Feinstein, the creators of Gibbon Slacklines have forged a virtual community space around their sport where beginners can get oriented, enthusiasts can learn something new, and the world of slacklining is brought together through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube videos.