“I know who you are.” The voice was mechanical.
She paused at her keyboard.
That menacing voice again, menacing her: “I know what you wrote.”
She trembled, tremblingly.
“I know what videos you made and what you said about them. I know where you blog. I’ve read your email.”
She knew him only as “G,” but he (it?) knew everything about her.
“And I’m going to expose you to the world.”
Finally. “Thank you, Google!”
* * *
GLENN MILLER: And that bit of overwrought schlock is why I don’t write mysteries. But I help those who do write them find their audiences.
So does Google.
Your Google+ Profile Is for Getting Found
Which is why the big G matters. A lot. And why if you’ve not at least built your Google+ profile, you’re announcing to the world and to your readers that you don’t want to be found online.
Only Google Really Knows You
That Google+ profile? Without it, Google can’t credit you with having authored your latest blog post, or even with being the owner of your own website. (Which you do have, of course. If you are an author without a website, then please allow me a moment to weep quietly for your children.)
What matters to Google is delivering search results that represent authenticity and authority. Authority comes from having well-organized, relevant content, inbound links from reputable sites, and a long history of original work—all the elements of good Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Authenticity comes from you—and that starts with your Google+ profile.
Set It and Forget It
Associating your Google+ profile with the content you create is called is called Authorship—and you need it to establish that authenticity. It’s not hard to do, and needs be done only once. For most sites, sending one email and then clicking a verification link establishes the connection. When you’re ready, Link your Google+ profile to your site. Once that’s done, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if your new articles have the authorship link established.
Google Plays the Long Game
Google’s not going anywhere, and its strategy is clear: to use Google+ as the social glue that connects the internet, including Google’s showcase services of search, YouTube, Maps, Gmail, and dozens more. Google plans ahead, and part of its plan includes giving you credit for your work. Which starts with your Google+ profile. Which you need.
But that’s not the only online profile you need.
Your Goodreads Profile Is for Nurturing Your Community
Here’s the bad news: The planet has 7 billion people who don’t care about your book.
Your Readers Are Here
The good news: among the 16 million users on Goodreads are the readers who will adore your book. Here is your targeted audience of book lovers, people who:
• Share what they like
• Come here for recommendations
• Set their “to read” book lists
• Announce to their friends when they find an author they are mad about
The few hundred or few thousand readers you need to champion your book and amplify its exposure are on Goodreads, and you need to be there too.
Start here to join the Goodreads Author Program.
Goodreads Publishes Your Blog Posts
You know those blog posts you spent hours crafting, the ones you want the world to see, but which never get the broad audience they deserve? Goodreads will publish those for your, as part of your author profile. Even better, every reader who is a fan of yours will get your blog posts as part of their Goodreads news feed.
Goodreads Is on a Fast-Track for Better Usability
There is more at Goodreads. In fact, there’s so much more that it’s a challenge for many authors to know how best to navigate the site: whether to start giveaways (yes, often) or join groups (sparingly) or lead online Q&A discussions (eventually) or even advertise (very cautiously).
Goodreads’ usability is sub-par. But it won’t be for long, since Goodreads was recently acquired by the world’s very best usability experts, who even now will be engineering a high-tech makeover.
Speaking of Amazon …
Your Amazon Author Profile Is at the World’s Largest Bookstore
Whether you are an independent author or James Patterson, if you have at least one book on Amazon then you have an Amazon author page, a place where seeing your sales numbers and author rank aren’t even the most valuable aspects of the property.
The world’s biggest online merchant has given you shelf space to describe yourself, list your books, and re-broadcast your blog and twitter feeds.
Create your Amazon author page.
LUCY BURDETTE: Is your head spinning now? Glenn will be here all day to answer your questions about social media. thanks Glenn!
Glenn Miller is a social media strategist who acknowledges that he cheats at life by cherry-picking only the fun tasks. He counts helping authors stake their claim on the internet among the fun tasks. Find him at glennjmiller.com or on twitter @glennjmiller.