Top 10 Must Dos for Authors on LinkedIn

Authors, we are on a mission to encourage your LinkedIn participation.  Many of you are probably thinking “LinkedIn is for people looking for jobs”, or “I don’t manage anything so how in the world can LinkedIn benefit me?”.  Did you know there are over 3,000 writers groups on LinkedIn?  LinkedIn is a wonderful place to connect with fellow authors who can offer advice and support.  LinkedIn is also a great place to find people who may want to buy your book.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of LinkedIn:

1. Use a picture for your profile pic.  Pictures help people put a name to a face. Networkers love getting to know their connections and a picture is a great way to accomplish that.  People are 7 times more likely to stop and view your profile if you have a picture.

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2. Include a proper headline in your profile.  Your headline is the line of text that appears just below your name in your profile.  When someone browses through a list of names on LinkedIn and sees your profile in the list, you have about a half a second to give that user a reason to click your name to check out your profile.  The profile pic will help you here, and so will having a specific headline.  You can add a book title you authored here.

3. Make sure your contact information is complete. You have a pic and you have a headline, but is there a means for anyone to contact you?  Please make sure the appropriate contact info is filled out.  Did you know you can include 3 website links?  This is great for an author or amazon site, a facebook page, and a link to a blog site. You can also include your Twitter handle here too, if applicable.

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4. Add book covers in your project section.  Human beings are visual creatures, and a book cover is aesthetically pleasing when compared to a plain white page with text.  Use visual tactics to grab and hold the reader’s attention.

5. Grow your connection base. LinkedIn has features that allow you to import and invite contacts from your email database.  Try looking up people you have found on other SM platforms and send them an invitation to connect, too.  LinkedIn has plenty of Open Networking groups – this is a great place to find people who are seeking connections.  Do invite other group members to connect, too.

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6. Join and participate in groups. LinkedIn has many writers and author groups that are available to provide advice and support.  Not sure which ones to join?  We have 3 on LinkedIn and would love to have you: SBPRA Group, Author Marketing Ideas group, and Publish On Demand Global group.  Check out the links below to join:

This example shows you how to easily search for other groups to join.

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7. Practice good etiquette and common sense.  If you join any groups, do take the time to read the rules and obey them!  Avoid offensive language, flagrant self-promotion, and leave the religion and political debates for another forum.  Keep in mind that LinkedIn has a different ambience, so the things you post on Facebook may not mesh well on LI.

8. Ask for recommendations.  Recommendations carry bit more weight than endorsements since the process references specific items listed in the work experience section of your profile. Do stick with people you know personally when asking for a recommendation, but don’t be shy either – ask and ye shall receive.

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9. Understand the Rule of Reciprocals. Social networking is a “help me-help you-help me” activity. If someone likes your post, discussion, or even goes so far as to comment on one of your updates, do return the favor.  Reciprocation will be greatly appreciated, and it will get the ball rolling to a great online networking relationship.

10. Learn to be gracious. Many authors find themselves on a site-wide auto moderated status (SWAM).  This happens as a result of not following group rules, and a group manager has blocked you from a group completely.  If you notice your posts are not coming through across all of your groups, chances are you have been SWAM’d.  Re-evaluate your posting practices (and re-read the group rules).  Suck it up, be patient, and message the group managers and ask to have the block removed.

We believe that technologies such as Pinterest, Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media should be part of an integrated marketing strategy.  If you need help getting started on any of these platforms, please feel free to email If you would like a free, no obligation evaluation of your online book marketing strategy please and sign up for the free digital footprint evaluation.