Social marketing tips for authors, Paul Gillin interview highlights

I invited Paul Gillin to provide an introduction to social media marketing for authors.

Most social media marketers focus on other industries, so Paul's insights into how authors can benefit from this relatively new medium are both timely, welcome, and unique.


Our interview began with Paul describing how, ever since he was a young boy, he wanted to be a journalist. His favorite reading was nonfiction, books about change and how people are affected by it.

During most of his career, he worked in technology firms, where he saw the Internet at work when it was in its infancy. Awed by its possibilities, he knew that the new medium would someday have a profound effect on publishing.

Authors and the Internet

The Internet--and social media--offer tremendous information resources for authors planning and writing their books. What used to take days, even weeks, to research, can now be done in hours. "All the research you need," says Mr. Gillin, "is at your fingertips."

In the promotion stage, he emphasized that "authors must use all the channels that make sense." Social media has introduced an exciting and innovative way to write books.

"Today, people are producing books in the open," he says. With the advent of social media, writers can post their work and get immediate feedback. Writers can clarify their message with the help of the very audience they are targeting. Social Media has introduced collaboration to writing.

Selling books by giving them away

Paul Gillin described how authors should give books away in order to market them. While this may sound counterintuitive to some people, his track record in this area is impressive.

He described, in a particularly interesting portion of the interview, how and why he does it. "Giving away content builds awareness," he says. Even someone who has received a free e-book, for example, will want the physical book when it is published, if the book is marketed in an effective manner. It is an interesting strategy, and one that is made easier with the use of social media networks.

Authors and blogs

"Every book needs a blog," says Mr. Gillin. "People expect you to share content with them." Facebook groups are becoming increasingly popular as well because it enables a writer to tap into an already existing community.

LinkedIn Answers is another strategic marketing avenue for authors. "LinkedIn is a great place to find case studies," says Gillin. The use of online forums for communication is invaluable to most writers.

Authors versus "experts"

"The Internet is a humbling experience," he says. There are many smart people in their field to be found in social media, but no writer no longer needs to be the smartest.

He went on to describe how the role of an author today can be that of a consolidator -- by taking excellent content and adding one's own voice to it.


Published & Profitable members have commented that the full recorded interview provides a great road map for authors who feel slightly intimidated by the vast social networks. Paul described in simple terms how to use this exciting new media to write better and cost-effectively sell more books.

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