Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jenna McClure: A Newbie’s Guide to Facebook & Twitter

Today we continue 30 Days of Promo Goodness with author Jenna McClure! Jenna
grew up in the urban south, but moved to Colorado to satisfy her desire for fresh air, mountains, lots of snow and wide open spaces. She became a vegetarian in 2003 after seeing a graphic film about animal cruelty. A long-time romantic, she has been reading romance novels since her sister introduced them to her as a teenager. She finally decided to merge her love of animals and studly men into a romance novel. She lives outside Denver with a gloriously goofy greyhound and two cats, one is deaf and the other extremely talkative, and all of which are named after some of her favorite fictional characters. Animal Attraction is her first published novel.

Take it away, Jenna....

If you’re like me, then the thought of doing anything approaching marketing and promotion of your new book gives you the heebie jeebies. You may be thinking “What does the word promotion even mean? Isn’t that where I get more responsbility and more money at work??” For those of us who work in the corporate world, yes, that’s what the word usually means. For an author, however, it means getting out of your comfort zone and learning how to sell yourself and your book so you can make money and become rich and famous. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it??

For me, it sounded VERY hard. I’m in introvert, which means I need more alone time than I do time with other people. So thinking about how to deal with strangers and telling them why they should read my book made me lose sleep and gain weight. But I’ve come to realize you can still be an introvert and deal with those strangers in a relatively pain-free and stree-free way. Want to know how?


In this digital age of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and all the other media I don’t even know about, you can easily and quickly promote yourself and your book without leaving the comfort of your own home. You can even do it in your pajamas if you want. The two I use most often are Facebook and Twitter.


If you already have a Facebook (FB) account, you’re halfway there. But did you know there is a difference between a FB profile and a FB page? Now, you may be thinking “What the heck is a FB page?”. It’s basically another way to manage your account with having to add “friends”. For example, here is my FB profile. You can see that I am able to find and friends, edit my personal profile and share what’s on my mind. But if you go to my FB page here, you can see that I have no friends, only “Likes”, and most of my personal profile information is not showing. I can still edit my page and determine if I want users to be able to post to my page, but my friends’ posts do not automatically show up, nor can they see who my friends are. Basically, one of the primary differences between a profile and a page is the information that gets shared and how you manage it. For more information on this, please visit the Facebook Help Center here.


When I first learned about Twitter, my initial reaction was “Why would I want the whole world to know what I’m doing every five minutes, and why would anyone care?” Now that I’m an author, however, my viewpoint has changed. I do want the whole world to know about my book, and I do care if people are reading it. So I’ve learned how to tweet. A “tweet” is simply a 140-character message that is sent out to your “followers”. Followers see what you’ve tweeted about, and can re-tweet your tweet to their followers, so potentially your message can reach a LOT of people. You can even link your FB account to your Twitter account, so every time you post on FB, it gets out on Twitter too.

The key to both of these outlets is to actually use them! You have to share what’s going on with your book – the release date, the cover art, a blurb and an excerpt, your website, your blog, etc – anything and everything you want potential readers to know about it that will make them curious and tempt them to read it. And don’t be shy! Start following people and groups on Twitter. What do you like to do? Chances are there is a Twitter feed from someone in that hiking or quilting club you can follow. Who are your favorite authors? I bet most of them tweet. The more people you follow, and the more you tweet, the more followers you will get. Post news and updates on your FB account. If your budget allows, create a FB ad and let it help you promote.

Some other ways to promote are to join groups, loops and guest blogs. Yahoo! has a lot of groups from which to choose. Look at what your publisher offers – do they have blogs and loops you can join? If so, join them. Look at what other authors are doing. Offer to be a guest blogger for a day, or ask for someone to be your guest blogger. Create author pages on Amazon and any other legitimate site that has to do with publishing and/or writing. Have business cards or bookmarks made with your cover art and a blurb, and pass them out to book club members, family, friends, coworkers and random strangers you see reading (just be polite!). If you have a nice family and friends, they may even pass them out for you! Talk to your local bookstores. Do they offer any special opportunities for local authors?

The ways you can promote your book are seemingly endless, but the important thing to remember is…you have to do something if you want readers to find you. Good luck!

Thank you, Jenna, for the advice for newbies! Readers, tune in tomorrow for a glimpse into Jenna's debut novel, Animal Attraction!


Jennifer Ann Coffeen said...

Great information Jenna! I still find all the FB page vs. profile stuff confusing. Is that separate from an Author page?

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks for your tips. I do both on fb. My personal page where I now have to wade through too many writers' self-promtion junk to search for my family's posts. Lesson learned there! Don't overdo, writers. Then as a writer, I have my author's I sadly forget to post on half the time. Frankly, I'm so tired of facebook. I mean, do I care what someone is having for supper? Do I care if someone is bored?

I give myself 5 minutes in the morning and evening for twitter. It all moves too fast for me. I post something and retweet TWRP authors and get off the treadmill.

Mona Risk said...

Thanks for the information. I am terrified of Twitter and joined because everyone said I should, but I stopped showing on Twitter the next day. I will be going back since you said it's a great tool.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Hey Jenna! I love networking via FB and Twitter! Thank you for breaking it down further for us here at Cozy :)

Jenna McClure said...

Hi Jennifer,
I don't know if there is a separate thing on FB for an Author page, but I believe you can use your page however you want - as an author, for a specific book, etc. I use mine just as a Author page. But yes, the business-type pages are different from profile-type pages. Let me know if you have other questions. It's confusing, I know!

Jenna McClure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilly Gayle said...

I hate promotion too. But your suggestions are great. I friended and liked you on FB.

Jenna McClure said...

If anyone has specific questions, feel free to email me at and I will help you as best I can!

Marne Ann said...

Great post, Jenna! Twitter is making me feel like a twit, I tell you. But I'm trying. The suggestion about connecting with groups you share an interest (other than, ya know writing), is a great suggestion. I'm thinking that will be my next hurdle...and a fun one at that