In today’s new world of book marketing, it is important that authors, whether self-published or conventionally published, become adept at marketing. This does not mean taking out $75,000 full page ads in the New York Times or booking TV spots (though that is, in fact, what author James Patterson did when he was a fledgling author – though he had some decades of marketing experience under his belt at the time). No, today’s marketing, and platform building, require authors to learn how to market online. Happily, there are countless tools and venues for you to do so – and a great deal of the time, it is free.
LinkedIn is a popular business-oriented social network site. It is where business professionals post their resumes, update their career profiles and make valuable contacts with other professionals. While it is a somewhat (OK, very) “corporate-esque” venue, LinkedIn has recently added an area where professionals can post their publications.
To begin with, you will have to create a profile, which the site makes very easy. You simply include your name, email address, company name (or the name of your book) and as many other details as you like. If you have already taken the steps to set up an author or book website, I highly recommend that you include a link to that as well as this can improve the ranking of your site, as the inbound link comes from a reliable source.
LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to include a profile picture. Your author photo will do quite nicely.
Once you have the basics set up (which should take less than 3 minutes), you will be offered the opportunity to include information on your educational background. If you look below the fields that are automatically provided, you have the opportunity to “Add a Section.” When you click on that link, you will see this pop-up box:
This is where you insert a blurb about your book. The title (“R in a Nutshell” in the above example) is a hyperlink that you can direct back to your sales page, or to your author’s site.
Once you have completed this section, click the “Add to Profile” button and you are done. Just be sure to come back and update this regularly.
You should also understand that sites like LinkedIn are highly respected by search engines. Because Google and Bing and the like know that these sites are regularly updated, the spiders are sent out to trawl them often. That means that every time a spider discovers a new information on your LinkedIn profile, it will follow it back to your site. The more often a spider “jumps” LinkedIn back to your site, the more valuable the search engine considers your site (and the higher it will jump in search engine rankings.
Authors – please take advantage of this very valuable shout out. If you have any freelance (or hired) articles to your name that will boost your credibility, include those as well.