Being an author can be frustrating these days. Not because of lack of readers — there are still billions of people who read books on a daily basis — but due to all the competition. In 2018, there were more than 45,000 published authors in the US alone. The situation is worse when you look at indie writers. In 2017, for instance, nearly half-a-million people published e-books.
With so many competitors out there, sticking out has been harder than ever. But this doesn’t mean differentiating yourself is completely impossible. You just need to use the right channels to get your writing in front of the right people. While your fellow aspiring writers use Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to promote themselves, you can use LinkedIn to grab the attention of readers.
Why Is LinkedIn so Good For Promotion?
First off, LinkedIn has millions of users from all around the globe — more than 675 million actually — which means there’s a chance you can tap into that audience to get more exposure. The number may seem small compared to the number of users on Facebook and Instagram, but what separates LinkedIn users is the activity.
Since LinkedIn is mainly used by professionals, they are quite invested in it and use it daily. That’s why LinkedIn continues to grow every day. You can meet everyone from small-business owners to people working in large corporations, and all of them want to post and consume content like their life depends on it.
Five Ways to Promote Your Book on LinkedIn
Here are five easy things you can do to promote your book on LinkedIn. While these tips won’t turn into instant sales, they are going to help you attract more attention and turn curious onlookers into fans, followers, and full-time readers.
1. Grow Your Reader Base Through Blogging
You’re a writer, right? Then, you should do what you love doing to promote your work. LinkedIn works perfectly as a blogging platform and if your content is engaging enough, you can easily attract the attention of thousands of followers from all over the world. You can even develop a small but loyal following on LinkedIn.
Just look at Gary Collins for example. The bestselling author of “The Simple Life” series has been using LinkedIn since 2012 to further his readership. Since then, he’s managed to score speaking gigs, attend huge conferences, and amass over 8,000 followers through posting and networking on LinkedIn.
2. Ask for Feedback and Get Free Exposure
Sometimes, all you need to do is ask. On LinkedIn, you can find thousands of current and former publishers, that have worked with many, many writers over the years. Why not try to connect with some of them and ask for their opinion on your latest book? If you’ve ever met any of them before, they probably won’t mind taking some time to check your work out.
However, when you don’t know someone, this may be a bit intrusive. If that’s the case, you can always connect with them, start talking, and once you struck a friendship, you can then ask them for feedback. People who like your work will not have a problem sharing their thoughts with their followers.
3. Use LinkedIn Groups to Connect With Influencers
For years now, LinkedIn groups have allowed aspiring business people to connect with their peers and exchange words about their experiences. You can do the same if you want to get your book in front of the right people. There are tons of different LinkedIn groups out there, and many of them are great for book promotion.
One thing we can’t stress enough is not to be overly-promotional. People who enter a group and start posting promotional material about themselves are usually blocked from these groups. Use your membership wisely. Talk with readers, collaborate with fellow writers, and post interesting content. Over time, people will start asking you about your writing all on their own.
4. Talk to Publishers and Other Authors Directly
As Debbie Young, the writer of Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries explains, unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn isn’t a place where you go to sell books. It’s a place where you find like-minded people and talk to them personally. On one hand, you can share thoughts and talk to people by commenting on the same topics, or you can simply reach out to them.
Just like any other social network out there, LinkedIn has its fair share of bots. That means you need to make sure that your introductory messages sound real, honest, and inviting. Avoid using generic phrases or sending out mass DMs promoting your book. That will cause you more harm than good. Be direct and straight to the point. And remember: you’re here to connect with people, not to promote.
5. Engage With Other Writers’ Content
Once you start using LinkedIn for book promotion, you’ll be far from the only writer on it. We’ve already mentioned a couple of prolific writers that use it. As you connect with more and more people, you’ll start noticing that other authors are using the network for the same thing you’re using for: book promotion.
Some of them post paragraphs from their books, others, write articles, some even write fiction stories for their followers. There’s a lot of interesting people there and you should use your profile to communicate with them and engage with their content. Comment on their statuses, give them feedback on their writing. Whatever you do, make an effort to stick out.
Is LinkedIn the right option for aspiring authors? In our opinion, it is. While the network may seem like it’s meant only for business people who like to fill out spreadsheets in their spare time, it actually has a diverse user base that enjoys many activities.
And reading a good book is one of them. Use that to your advantage. Start promoting on LinkedIn now!