Sterling Publishing Social Media Hub

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Google+ Tips for Authors

Google+ is a new social media network launched by Google that integrates lots of Google products you may already use including Gmail and Gchat.

GalleyCat posted a set a great articles with tips on how Authors and Writers can use Google+.

Click here to check them out.

How to Post a Clean Link on Facebook

When you have a facebook Fanpage, a lot of what you’ll be doing to keep it active is posting links. We wanted to quickly show you how to post a link properly so it looks nice and clean.

Once you copy and paste the link into the share box and a thumbnail loads, you’ll want to erase the long URL.

This way, the link looks nice and clean, as seen below:

If you leave the long URL in the post, it looks messy and confusing, see example below:

Happy link sharing!

How to use Usteam.tv for a Live Video Chat

Hosting a live video chat is a great way to engage with your fans. Ustream.tv is a live video service that is free and easy to use.

Some benefits of using Ustream:

  • While the live video broadcast is going on (that’s you talking!) there is a “social stream” going on where fans can login using twitter, facebook, or ustream and ask you questions, comment, and interact with each other.
  • Use the Ustream facebook app so that fans can participate right through a tab on your fanpage.
  • Users can “join your crowd” on the Ustream page or facebook page app and be updated whenever you host a new chat.

Follow these steps to get up and running:

  • Sign up/Login to Ustream.tv.
  • Edit your account and add a photo, links, a description, and more.
  • Create a channel. For instance, you could name the channel the title of your book, then in the future make another channel with the title of your second book.
  • Install the Ustream app for facebook. Watch the video below for instructions.
  • Set up the webcam you’ll be using. Check this list of Ustream recommended cameras
  • Go LIVE! Click the big yellow button on the upper right to start the chat and get your camera set up.
  • Record your broadcast by clicking “start record” once you are live.


Video streaming by Ustream

  • Promote, promote, promote

No one will come if you don’t tell them! Have a central location for all the info (time, date, link to facebook tab, topic, etc) and send that to everyone you know. When you email people, give them “sample tweets” for instance, to help them spread the word quickly and easily. For example:

Dear Jill,

I hope all is well! Great times at karaoke last night. I wanted to let you know I’ll be hosting a live video chat through Ustream next week right on my facebook page. All the info is below in easy to share formats! Hope you can make it!

Blurb:
Join author Colleen Houck for a Live Video Chat Monday July 18, 6-7pm PT. She’ll be there to chat about her new book, “Tiger’s Voyage.” Come hang out, ask questions, and share your favorite Tiger moments! Click the “Ustream” tab on the left of my facebook page to join in.

Sample tweet:

Live Video Chat w/ @ColleenHouck of #TigersVoyage 7/18, 6pm PT http://bit.ly/g2ortx

Other links:
facebook.com/tigerscurse
tigerscursebook.com
blog entry with details: http://bit.ly/fbxXvQ
twitter.com/colleenhouck
b&n: http://bit.ly/fbOXvQ
amazon: http://amzn.to/gTvU00

For more info visit Ustream’s getting started page.

Jul 8

Hootsuite is a great program for managing your twitter account. Main benefits?

  • Schedule tweets in the future.
    Example, want to tweet a tip a day? Schedule one a day for 30 days..or 130!
  • Set up search streams.
    Like Google for twitter. For instance, you can set up a tab with a search for your name, your book’s name, and the name of the main character from your book. Then you’ll see tweets in real time that have those words in them.
  • Update facebook, twitter, and more.
    I wouldn’t recommend sending the same exact message to multiple platforms. But it’s nice to be able to update/schedule updates for multiple platforms in one place.

Similar tools include Tweetdeck, Cotweet, Seesmic

Jul 5

Great video going over all the aspects of the twitter interface.

Jul 1

The Difference Between a Facebook Profile and Facebook Page

Facebook is a great way for authors to connect with fans and spread the word about their book. In this book we’ll talk about the differences between having a Facebook profile and a Facebook Page.

Visual Example of the difference:


Facebook Profile


Facebook page

Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization. We have created Facebook Pages to allow organizations to have a presence on Facebook. These Pages are distinct presences, separate from user profiles, and optimized for an organization’s needs to communicate, distribute information/content, engage their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fan’s recommendations to their friends. Facebook Pages are designed to be a media rich, valuable presence for any artist, business or brand.

If you create a profile for your business, your account may be disabled for violating our Terms of Use. If you have questions about how to best leverage your Facebook Page, please check out our Insider’s Guide or FAQ.

Main differences:

  • Profiles require you to accept people’s friends requests before they can see your full profile. Pages enable anyone to like/fan your page at anytime and can see all the content even before they do.
  • Profiles can only have 5,000 friends, Pages can have unlimited likes/fans.
  • Profiles are for more private interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. Pages are for your professional persona; you as an author, photographer, etc.

Read to start a page? Click here to learn how to set one up.

When you do, unfortunately there is no way to automatically convert your profile friends to likes/fans, besides just posting the link to your new page on your profile and asking people to become a fan/like the page.

Aggregation Sites: Flavors.me and About.me

Looking for a site to bring all your social media pages together? Look no further. Flavors.me and About.me (competitors) can be used to create beautiful landing pages that hold together all your social media sites (like twitter, goodreads, tumblr, linkedin, facebook fanpages, and more).

Watch the videos on how to get started.

Flavors.me


About.me

All about about.me from about.me on Vimeo.

The Winners and Losers of Social Media.

The Winners and Losers of Social Media.

Author Blogging: Wordpress vs. Tumblr

For authors interested in starting a blog, this article is for you. There are many options out there, but today we are going to focus on two, Wordpress and Tumblr. Note, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.


WordPress
is an open source blog tool and publishing platform.  It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14% of the 1,000,000 biggest websites.

Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users. The service emphasizes ease of use.

Mashable recently wrote an article: Tumblr Now Has More Blogs Than Wordpress.

WordPress.com has long hosted the main sites of top brands such as the National Football League, CNN and TED. Most Tumblr blogs function much more like another social media presence — something like a cross between websites and Facebook profiles.

Reasons to Choose Tumblr:

  • Built in community…since people can follow you, your posts will show up in their “dashboard.” Also, if you “tag” a post as “food,” anyone searching “food” on tumblr can see your post.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Great way to connect with fans/brands through their “ask” and “submit” options.

Reasons to Choose Wordpress:

  • More customizable, robust options in terms of looks, plugins, and widgets.
  • Good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • More flexibility with blog post format, better for long form blogging.

More resources:

Now remember, you can have both if you want, you don’t have to choose. The idea here is to give you a better idea of the capabilities. It’s always good to try everything and then see what you enjoy more, as that will be the platform you’re more likely to stick with.

Inspired? Get started with Wordpress and/or Tumblr.

Post why you like one, the other, or both in the comments!

The History of Twitter Hashtags

Hashtag:

Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Ever wonder how hashtags started? Click here to read a great article about how hashtags were started on twitter. #verycool. #worthyourtime.

What started as a form of indexing later evolved into a form of declaration, sentiment, sarcasm, inner monologue, or subconscious, but stated, expression #thinkingaloud.

How to Organize a Twitter Chat

A Twitter chat (AKA Twitter Party) is a fun way to engage with readers in real time through twitter. You let your fans know a specific time that you’ll all be on twitter and chat with each other by picking a hashtag that everyone will use in their tweets. Most last one hour, are focused on a topic (like your book!), and happen in the evening (unless you are targeting, say stay at home moms, then you may want it during the day).

The following are some steps to planning a successful Twitter Chat.

  • Choose a topic

What will you talk about? If you’re here, we’re assuming it’s your book. Let fans know they can ask you any and all questions related to your book and the making of! Maybe you want to add something else too. For example, during our My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me #boyfriendfail chat we’ll be talking about bad boyfriends as well, asking participants to share their stories.

Another example: Sharon Lechter, editor/author of Outwitting the Devil recently co-hosted a Twitter chat for entrepreneurs (#entrepchat) where she spoke to how the book relates to being an entrepreneur.

  • Pick a Hashtag

The hashtag should be has short as possible, but also related to the topic of the chat. For example, for My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me the hashtag will be #boyfriendfail. Some books are easier, Like Science Ink will be #ScienceInk and Tiger’s Voyage will be #TigersVoyage. If your book title is more generic, like Envy, you’ll have to be more creative. We decided to go with #EmptyCoffin.

  • Schedule a time that works in all time zones

Remember, hopefully people from across the country will join you!

  • Have some tweets at the ready

Promo ecards, the link to buy your book, videos, and your site are all examples of good things to have pre-written as tweets. have That way you’re not scrambling to create them during the chat.

Examples:
Don’t forget to check out the free excerpts on my website! http://bit.ly/lgX3q0
By the way for folks in LA I’ll be at a Shecky’s Event on Friday! http://bit.ly/lxX7r0

  • Promote, promote, promote

No one will come if you don’t tell them! Have a central location for all the info (time, date, hashtag, topic, etc) and send that to everyone you know. When you email people, give them “sample tweets” for instance, to help them spread the word quickly and easily. For example:

Dear Jill,

I hope all is well! Great times at karaoke last night. I wanted to let you know I’ll be hosting a twitter chat next week. All the info is below in easy to share formats! Hope you can make it!

Blurb:
Join author Hilary Winston for a Twitter Chat Wednesday July 13, 6-7pm PT. She’ll be there to chat about her new book, “My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me” and more boyfriend horror stories. Come hang out and share yours too! Use the hashtag #boyfriendfail.

Sample tweet:

Chat w/ @HilaryWinston of “My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me” LIVE 7/13, 6pm PT #boyfriendfail http://bit.ly/g2ortC

Other links:

hilarywinston.com
facebook.com/TheHilaryWinston
twitter.com/HilaryWinston
b&n: http://bit.ly/fbOXWQ
amazon: http://amzn.to/gTnU00

Tools like Tweetchat make hosting a twitter chat easier. It will automatically include the hashtag you choose in your tweets and refresh the stream every 5 seconds.

  • Have fun

Have you ever led a chat around your book? How did it go?

Using Hashtags on Twitter to Create a Perpetual Book Club

Recently at Sterling we’ve discussed the idea of naming official hashtags for certain books.

Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Hashtags are used for conferences (BEA used #BEA11) and twitter chats (like #litchat), for example.

Why picking an official hashtag for your book is a good idea:

Readers would have access to a sort of whenever-you-care-to-contribute book club, where they could discuss the content, share related links and recommendations, and–perhaps the most appealing feature to me–add people with similar interest graphs to their social networks.

via Breathing New Life Into Books with Hashtags

————————————————————————————————

Steps for Authors:

  • Choose a hashtag.

This may be easier for some titles than others. For example, “Science Ink" is easy, as it’s unlikely anyone would use #ScienceInk randomly. "Envy" is not as easy, as you can see, people are already #Envy that since it’s a common word. We decided to go with #EmpyCoffin since it’s the name of the series. You can also consider adding the word “book” to the tag.

  • Tell your audience about it.

Blog about it, tweet, email, post on facebook. Let everyone know that if they are tweeting anything related to your book, that is the hashtag to use. Great tip: Add it to your twitter profile!

  • Take the lead in using the hashtag!

Make sure if you’re ever tweeting about anything related to the book, use the hashtag. Tweet reviews, events, quotes, etc. Organize a twitter chat. Ask your publisher to do a giveaway or retweet you.

  • Respond to others and keep the conversation going

Don’t stop using the hashtag or searching for it after your book pubs. The hope is that people will continue to search for and use it long after. Make sure you reply and retweet to folks who’ve use it. You’ll gain fans for life!

Related Articles

Sell More Books with Twitter Hashtags

Twitter Hashtags for Writers

BookHashtags.com: Find and join the conversations about the books you love.

Another popular hashtag, #FollowFriday

Using Goodreads to Promote Your Books

This is a fantastic presentation covering all the tools available to you through Goodreads, the biggest community of Book Lovers online.

Using Goodreads to Promote Your Books View more presentations from PatrickBR

Make Facebook Updates Visible to Fans in Specific Locations

Make Facebook Updates Visible to Fans in Specific Locations

Hot Tip for Authors:

For those going on book tours and doing events, if you’d like you can choose to send updates about location specific news to specific locations.

Right next to the “Share” button there’s a button with the little lock symbol where you can leave so the update goes to “everyone” or click to “customize.”

image

Then you can choose the country, state, and even city!

image

You may want to let all your fans know about all your events, but there may be an instance where you are sending lots of updates out and want to save your fans from irrelevant ones!

New Twitter Follow Button Available: Fans Can Follow You Without Leaving Your Site

Twitter has launched a new way for fans to follow their favorite authors, a twitter follow button. Yes, you may already have an icon on your blog that directs fans to your twitter page, but this new buttons enables people to follow you without leaving your site.

Twitter makes it easy to add it to you blog or website by creative code for you as you select your preferences. Get the button here.