Social Media & Authors – An Interview with Dave Evans

Dave-Evans

“If I couldn’t interrupt you, how would I reach you?”

This is the question Dave Evans (@EvansDave on Twitter) helps people answer all over the world.

Dave is the author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day and a frequent speaker on social media and emerging technologies.

What are the biggest trends in book marketing over the last few years? What has changed?

Dave Evans>> The ability to promote a book, like nearly anything else, is very different now. Amazon opened this up ten years ago with public, unfiltered reviews. The Social Web has taken it from there.

How have you used social media to promote your book?

Dave Evans>> Yes, absolutely, though I’d re-phrase that question like this: “How has (my) book benefited from social media?” It’s really not about what I am doing to social media–that’s not a channel I can control directly.

Rather, what I’ve done is to respond to both positive comments like “Hey Dave, I love your book!” (I send a ‘thank you’) and negative like “Good book…but where are the worksheets?” (I’d forgotten to put the URL In the book). I’ve tried to build a relationship with people who have bought my book or otherwise come in contact with it.

How have you used your website to promote your book?

Dave Evans>> The website, ReadThis.com, is purely backup. For example, this is where the PDF worksheets are found, and where updates and corrections are listed. The main conversation is “out there” and beyond my direct reach.

What are some of the pitfalls you see authors falling into as they jump into Social Media?

Dave Evans>> Believing they can create a viral event or control a conversation; believing that “social media” is free. A million people talking about your ad doesn’t directly help you on the Social Web. Instead, it’s about slow, decided, steady effort (the time for which has a definite cost) and, of course, measurement and correction based on what is observed.

What are the common misnomers about social media that you have noticed?

Dave Evans>> The biggest misnomer is something like “Facebook + Twitter = Social Media.” That’s like saying “Cement Mixers + Hammers = America.” It’s not the parts; it’s what the collective does with those parts. Facebook and Twitter are two small components (with lots of members, to be sure) that are very likely part of a solid strategy.

There are also support communities, ideation platforms, applications like Social Vibe, curation platforms like Bazaarvoice…and much more, all of which extend well beyond the big networks while obviously connecting to and leveraging them. It is “social” after all. 😉

Where should authors focus their time? What social media activities have the highest ROI in terms of time?

Dave Evans>>

  1. First, listen. Use Google Alerts or Techrigy’s SM2 to track conversations about your book, your publisher, competing titles and authors, etc.
  2. Use social tools like Buzzstream to identify and respond to influential voices.
  3. Create a basic presence on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn — your audience will tell you which one(s) — and then connect the conversations into these sites.

In what ways does Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day help authors?

Dave Evans>> My book helps authors (and all small businesses) by providing practical, step-by-step exercises that lead to an understanding of how to apply social media based marketing in business.

Thanks to Dave Evans for the interview. You can find his book Social Media An Hour a Day on Amazon and or at your local bookstore.