Book Promotion Tip #11: Multiply your Facebook exposure by encouraging book buyers to post pictures of and comments about you and your book.
I stumbled onto this creative employment of my Facebook account, which I use as both a personal and professional page, when someone at one of my early book signings for A SISTER MORE LIKE ME asked if they could take a picture with me (dressed in my Story Queen regalia and holding my book, of course!) and post it on their Facebook page.
That was an easy question to answer! Through one post on someone else's page, I would reach an entire network of people I otherwise had no access to. These people, who had most likely never heard of me, would see their friend posing with "a real author." They would also see my book, and me having fun promoting it.
Since A SISTER MORE LIKE ME is a princess book, I found several tiaras at my local Dollar Tree and had them on hand at events for just such photo opportunities. It appears that everybody likes to dress up--adults as well as kids donned tiaras to have their picture taken with me! Whatever your book is about, you should be able to find or make (or find someone TO make) some bit of costumery that potential book buyers can don for pictures. I also created a poster in Photoshop that stands on the table at my bookstore events, along with the book I'm offering as a prize.
I did have to overcome my ingrained reluctance to have my picture taken, and you may, too. I've never been an out-front sort of person, and I've ALWAYS been camera shy, but I knew if I was going to promote my book I had to be willing to promote myself as well. Wearing a costume helped a great deal--I was having fun and I was creating a fun experience for countless little princesses. Perhaps the thing that helped me most is that I realized I was acting, which requires taking oneself out of oneself to become the person one is portraying. At my book events, I cease to be ordinary citizen and even children's book author Barbara Jean Hicks and become "Barbara Jean, the Story Queen."
Another plus to my additional exposure on Facebook is that I gained many new Facebook friends who now have access to my book and book event news moving forward. I've also gained further promotional opportunities from Facebook "friends of friends of friends" who found out about me in this manner. One such person, many thousands of miles away geographically, contacted me via Facebook to ask if I would send an old handbag for their "celebrity purse auction." Not believing an old purse could possibly be worth anything to the charity the auction was funding, I offered to send a book as well. She paid for the book and the postage, which came to $25, and I held my breath that the purse would go for enough that she would recoup her investment. It turned out that the bidding for my inexpensive evening bag and book topped out at $575! I have seldom been as stunned.
I'm not especially social media savvy. I don't tweet, I don't post on Google+ or Instagram or Pinterest. Facebook alone can be a time suck--so I'm glad I've found a way to make it work for me. Good luck making it work for you!
Barbara Jean Hicks is a regular guest contributor to Tales From the Rushmore Kid. She is a credentialed teacher in K-12 English/Language Arts and the award-winning author of seven picture books for children, including her most recent, AN AMAZING SNOWMAN, which along with A SISTER MORE LIKE ME is based on characters from the 2013 Oscar-winning animated feature film from Disney, FROZEN.