Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review of Catherine Parker's 301 Ways To Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketing

After cranking out four books this summer and in the midst of a fifth, I plan to take a bit of a break when the current book is done. Even though all of these books are non-fiction and the content is information I am extremely familiar with, it has been tiring.

The new books contain what I believe is valuable information for the niche market I write for. The sales for all but one of the new books have been dismal. I have nobody to blame but myself. I simply did not give the books the launch they needed.

These books can be "salvaged" as the information is not dated and won't be for many years. I just need to roll up my sleeves and get busy marketing the books. Being a one-man publishing empire can be taxing, especially since I have a "day job" as well.

Reading Joel Friedlander's posts about marketing books helped confirm it is time to take a break from writing and start marketing! I also spent an hour re-reading Catherine Parker's book 301 Ways To Use Social Media To Boost Your Marketing. I had already read the book, in Kindle format, earlier in the past summer and like any good reference book, it is a source I will refer to constantly in the coming months as I work on marketing all of my books.

Unlike many of the Kindle books I purchased that discuss using social media, blogging and the internet to market a business, I have the distinct feeling Ms. Parker's book is not a rehash, with very little editing, of blog posts turned into a Kindle book. She may very well have published all of this information earlier in blog form, but this book has the feel and read of a book specifically written to convey the information contained in its electronic pages.

There is no doubt in my mind Ms. Parker knows her stuff. She not only covers the popular Twitter, Facebook and admonition to have a blog, she covers less popular forms of social media in detail. Each chapter of the book has specific ideas and instructions on how to implement these concepts using the form of social media the chapter relates to.

Unlike many similar books that feature only one form of social media and championing its virtues while providing only a few tips, Ms. Parker delivers the full 301 ideas the title promises and many of the tips and ideas require several pages on a Kindle to convey everything she has to say.

The book covers developing a big picture strategy to using social media for marketing. The specific types of social media discussed include: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Orkut,
Plaxo, Ning, MySpace, Meetup, Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Google Reader, Reddit, Flickr, SmugMug, YouTube, various video sharing sites, Slideshare, Podcasting, Yelp, Epinions, RateItAll, Yahoo!Answers, eHow, Wikis and Wikipedia.

Details of how to set-up accounts or pages on each is provided. Suggestions on how to build a following and maintain it are part of the content Ms. Parker provides.

This book was worth every penny I paid for it. It is much better than the other Kindle books of a similar nature I have read, and alas, I have read quite a few and learned little until I purchased this book.