Bob Baker's Full-Time Author Blog

Avoid These Social Networking Book Blunders

You know you need to be making better use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace to promote your books. So what do you do? Start an account at each site, dive in and start marketing, right?

Well ... maybe.

Check out some of the tips that Sandra Beckwith shared last month on her Build Buzz blog. The post was about using LinkedIn. But her wise advice applies to any situation when you promote yourself to a community of people online.

Sandra writes ...

"Use the site to build relationships before hitting folks up with a sales pitch. Don't link to me and immediately begin sending me commands to buy anything."

Absolutely. As I wrote in
The Kama Sutra of Book Marketing, "It's not all about you and your needs. Get to know your audience and what their interests and concerns are ... Wine and dine your readers (figuratively) before you flash your 'Buy Now' button."

She continues ...

"Don't boss me around. I don't care what you're taught in Copywriting 101, saying to me in an e-mail 'Take a look at our flyer, and then go to Amazon and buy it' just plain annoys me. You Are Not The Boss Of Me. Use your words to warm me up, not piss me off.

"I would respond more positively if this message were worded more like, 'Because we're connected on LinkedIn, I thought you might be interested in information about my new book (title). It's about (subject). I promise you it will help you (benefits to me). The flyer below has more detailed information; you can purchase it quickly and easily at, (tinyurl). Thanks so much for your consideration.'"

Amen to that, sister!

Sandra adds ... "Instead of clubbing people over the head with commands to do something that serves your purpose, use sites like this to establish yourself as an expert. Respond to queries on your area of expertise. Ask people how you might be able to help them reach their networking goals. If you've got info about your product or service on your profile, they'll find it and will be more inclined to consider a purchase than if you command them to."

This is all about resisting the age-old urge to SELF-promote. Yes, you can communicate with a secondary motive: to make people aware of your book. But you don't lead the conversation with that.

Instead, start from a position of service. How can you share your knowledge and point of view in a way that can help people? If members of the community find your words helpful, your book magically gets taken along for the ride.

Ponder that before you dive into your next online sales pitch.


P.S. Earlier this year I shared my own tips on using LinkedIn to promote your books.

P.S. Get FREE access to my Self-Publishing Confidential report filled with my best book publishing advice. Go grab your free report now.

How Powerful Are Your Success Habits?

This morning I drove my daughter to school and once again made a mistake I didn't intend to make. It's a mistake you may also be making with your book publishing efforts.

You see, Kelli started middle school last week. After six years of attended an elementary school about 10 minutes from our house, she is now in the 6th grade at the middle school, which is also not far from home.

Here's the thing. So far, every time I've driven her to the new school, I absent-mindedly take the route to her old school. Most of the drive is the same, but at one stop light I should now go straight instead of turning left.

But, without fail, I've been either lost in thought or in a conversation with her when I get to that light. And I turn left like I've been doing for years, instead of continuing straight to the new school.

As a result, it takes us longer to get to our destination, and I end up feeling a little frustrated with myself for screwing up.

What does this have to do with creating and marketing your books and info-products?


  • How often do you take actions based on your habits of the past ... instead of what's best for you now?

  • When do you absent-mindedly go through the motions and take the long route to your book publishing goals ... instead of waking up and realizing there's a shorter and better path?

  • In what areas of your life do you operate on auto-pilot ... instead of evaluating your actions and the results you're getting?

  • How much frustration do you experience because you are stuck in old behavior patterns?
To push the school metaphor even futher ...
  • Are you still living your life with an elementary school mindset ... instead of graduating to the next level of your personal growth?
Your homework assignment: Get out a pen and paper, do some soul searching, and honestly answer the five questions above.

Who knew that the simple act of driving my daughter to school would give me such an education :-)


P.S. Get FREE access to my Self-Publishing Confidential report filled with my best book publishing advice. Go grab your free report now.