Google+ For Writers and Self-Publishers, Redux
Are you still wondering what to do with Google+? The recent launch of business pages probably hasn’t helped your confusion any. But as I said in my last post about Google+ I wouldn’t bet against Google, especially since they seem to have thrown so much into this launch. Since that last post they have also retired a number of products such as Google Wave and Google Buzz that would probably have taken some of the attention away from Plus.
Getting into Google+ Pages
When business pages came out I immediately went and created a page for my professional writing site and for each of my main blogs even though I couldn’t immediately see how I was going to use them. Still, I thought it was better for me to have them than for someone else to grab them.A couple weeks on, I think that business pages represent an opportunity for authors. Because why not create a business page for your self-published e-book?
There are several features of Google+ that make it ideal for doing this. Okay, so you can’t have a sexy page title (just strings of numbers) but you can have a page that will be rapidly indexed by Google’s search engine and that has an excellent search engine optimised description of your book. (And if you really want a proper page name you can use Gplus.to or a similar site to create a pretty shortcut.)
Filling Out the Photo Strip
As with personal G+ profiles, there’s a photo strip across the top where you can have images from your book: front cover, back cover, author photo and maybe a couple of reviews. In the text part of the profile you can include ‘about the author’ info, links to your website and other online profiles. Then keep both your about page and your business page updated with excerpts from your new projects.
One of the great things about Google+ is its audience. Sure there may not be quite as many people as they are on Facebook but my experience shows that there is a huge community of writers, bloggers and book readers out there and many of them are willing to take part in discussions about your book and to share anything that you deem worth sharing.
The sharing part is a biggie. When you have set up a page for your book, circle all the writers you know and ask for recommendations for others that you can circle. Then start talking to people. Like Facebook, Google+ lets you post as your page, reinforcing your brand with each interaction.
Make Like Patrick Stewart and Engage
All you have to do to get people circling you and talking to you is to be active and engaged. Remember, it’s not all about you. Share interesting things that affect the writing and publishing business (like the posts from this blog for example) that your readers will find interesting. The more you share and the more you post original content (similar to the way you do on your blog) the more people will come to see you as a good source of information. Of course that goes for any social media or social networking site but as this is brand-new there’s still a great opportunity for you to get there before many others.
I plan to set up a Google+ page for my most successful ebook (the shell is here) and for any others that I publish after that. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have you started using Google+ yet either with a personal or business account? What issues have you faced?
Check out my series on self-publishing:
- Ebook Research: Self Publishing Case Study
- The Writing Process – Self Publishing Case Study
- Lessons From My First Attempt at Self-Publishing
- Thinking About Ebook Design: Self Publishing Case Study
- Book Planning with Workflowy: Self Publishing Case StudySign up for the Authopublisher RSS feed.Sign up for the RSS feed to Sharon’s posts.Catch Sharon’s Get Paid to Write Online here.
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