January 12, 2015

Want to go viral? Make your message easy to share

Frustrated that news of your book hasn’t gone viral? If you want people to share your message you have to keep it simple for them. Even if they are willing to, you should never expect them to shorten your links or read through your entire book blurb and come up with a catchy phrase to sell your book. There have been plenty of times I wanted to share info about someone’s book, but I just didn’t have the time to do the work for them. Nor did I have the understanding about their book to come up with a catchy phrase.

If you aren’t familiar with the websites that shorten urls, there are a few out there that are free and very easy to use. I use bitly.com (https://bitly.com/a/bitlinks). I like that they track the number of clicks on your link, show you when people clicked so you can get an idea of the best time to share as well as what kind of message gets the most engagement. They even allow you to create bundles so you can share links to your book series with one shortened url. I’ve even experienced great response from their support department when I was having an issue. Very unusual for a free site.

When preparing a message, think Twitter. Even if you don’t use it, others do and they may only share your message if it can be copied and pasted into 140 characters or less. Also, talk in third person, no “I” or “my” statements. Something like:

Jeff’s sister calls him KING OF BAD, but is he bad enough for Super Villain Academy? http://amzn.to/I0uwpc #yalit #fantasy #SuperHeroes

That message works for Twitter as well as Facebook. All the person has to do is copy it from here, paste it there, and hit send. Go ahead and try it! And if you click on that 21 character link, it takes you to the Amazon page. Look at the length of the original url! No one has that kind of room in their feed.

Even with a catchy tagline and a shortened url there is no guarantee your message will go viral, but the chances are stronger that if you say, “Hey, can you help me spread the word?” and then provide a pre-crafted message, more people will share it. Here I'll test the theory - Can you help me spread the word? 

Coming from  author  an emotional, romantic suspense: FINDING THOR. Don't miss it. Join her mailing list 

There is a lot I don’t know about promoting books, but I do know for a fact it’s far more engaging for readers when other people share your book than when you are sharing it again and again. So make the sharing easy.

I organize a private message-sharing group on Facebook for people who write/illustrate/publish for kids (board books through teen). If you are interested in joining, let me know. The more activity, the greater the reach. It really cuts down on your promo time, all while your message gets shared to a broader audience. That’s what I call a win, win.

10 comments:

  1. Great tips! Keeping things simple is always best.

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    1. People want the quick message anymore, don't they? Thanks for stopping in, Chrys.

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    1. Absolutely, Sara. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. Love these tips! Shared your link on Twitter. :)

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    1. Glad you found something helpful. Thanks for sharing ;)

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  4. Here is where I shake my head and wonder HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL? You're an inspiration, woman. Truly. (Tweeted!)

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    1. Aw! Thanks so much, Crystal. I guess after getting used to lording it over four kids, I got really good at multi-tasking.

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  5. I always help spread the word where I can, but yeah, I'm not going to do the work :)

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    1. You are so GOOD at helping to spread the word. Thanks for all the tweets and posts and...well everything you do.

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