I have been the admin for a couple of Facebook groups for writers for some time now. I have seen a lot of desperate writers posting book promotions. Most of these book promotions are very, very bad. Most would be bad in any context. But some would be good as a paid ad but are fatal as a posting in a Facebook group.
Today I had a fellow post something that started with the words PRESS RELEASE. He lost most of us at the words PRESS RELEASE. Press releases are to be sent to the press. In a Facebook group, what is wanted are posts.
Here are some rules for an effective Facebook group post promoting your book:
First, interact with the group like a person, not a book promoter. Make friends. Offer encouragement and advice to others. Since your time is limited, choose carefully which groups to interact in. There are some groups out there that are only visited by book authors on days when they have a book promotion to post. Avoid those groups. No one is going there to find new books to read! Find groups where conversations are going on. Ideally, not just groups of writers, but groups of readers.
Write a post for your book that reads like part of a conversation. Avoid phrases like ‘best-seller’, ‘Makes a great Christmas gift.’ When you compose your post, think like a friend talking to friends. You don’t go to a cocktail party and say ‘Ocean Waves’ is one of the great novels of our day. Don’t miss it.’ You might say. ‘I have a new book out. It’s called ‘Ocean Waves’ and it’s about a guy who leaves his wife to become a fish.’
Your post should not sound like back cover copy, either. That’s not personal. It’s not meant to be personal. The fellow who reads your book’s back cover in a store or your book description online isn’t looking for personal. People in Facebook groups, however, are.
Promoting your book in a Facebook group is best done piece by piece. When you get a book cover designed, post it. “This is the book cover for my new book. What do you think?” When you compose a short book description, post it. “This is my book description. What do you think?”
Being in a group means you will get feedback. Don’t ignore all feedback. If dozens of people think your book cover is amateur hour, think on getting a better one. If they say your book description is too generic, write another one.
Respect a group’s policy about book promotions. Many writing groups don’t allow this because they don’t want to choke off writing discussion and networking. Read the posts in such a group for a while and see how other writers in the group mention their books without being guilty of posting a book promo. Especially watch what the group admin does. A mere mention of your book in passing in a really good writing group will get you more sales than posting a PRESS RELEASE in a hundred groups.
When a group does allow book promotions, make sure you are reading and interacting with the other posts before you make one of your own. Even consider buying and reading some other books.
Facebook groups are not there for your book promotion activity. If you are going to use them for that purpose, use them wisely. You DON’T want people resolving never to buy the book of that nasty self-promoting writer. You want them to say: ‘Oh, that nice writer who encouraged me when I was about to give up has a new book out. I must buy it, read it and review it at once!’
My shameful self-promotion of the day:
My Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/
My Facebook group for Christian fiction readers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/620983407928009/
You know that annoying pop up thing demanding you sign up for my newsletter? Well, it now is more meaningful if not less annoying. I sent out my first newsletter. I’m planning to send out another one in January. So I have to think up some ‘inside information’ for the newsletter that I haven’t already blabbed about on the blog!