Using Yahoo Groups effectively is an important element of an author's marketing program. This post will look at (1) how Yahoo Groups are used by publishers and can be used by authors AND (2) how to keep it simple and limit the time you need to maintain a presence across Yahoo Groups. Finally, I'll demonstrate how to make your marketing posts stand out in a Yahoo Group, including how to get rid of the distracting "trash" you see in the text of so many posts.
ABOUT YAHOO GROUPS. Yahoo Groups is one of the world’s largest collections of online discussion boards. The term "Groups" refers to internet communication that combines an email list and an internet forum. Group messages can be read and posted by email or on the Group's webpage, like a web forum.
YAHOO GROUPS IN PUBLISHING. Yahoo Groups offers authors opportunities to connect with readers and other authors. Many publishers operate one group for its own authors to share info and support and another for its readers for marketing books. As a member of three different publishers' groups, the two big rules are to keep the author loop info confidential and (as we are occasionally reminded) DON't place the same post on the author and reader loops. Facebook groups and Twitter accounts may also be associated with publishers.
SELECTING GROUPS TO JOIN. Groups can be created with public or member-only access. The publisher groups are member-only with the membership granted to a specific group - authors. for example. Membership in public Yahoo Groups allows you to follow publishing trends (MFRW - Marketing for Romance Writers) OR to post blurbs, excerpts, contests, announcements on author/reader Yahoo Groups (CoffeeTime Romance or Love Romances Cafe). Which ones to join? The groups with the largest memberships of the readers you wish to reach. Some sites specialize in a specific genre (Paranormal Mondays) or a heat level (erotica and erotic romance or not). More on that next month. One Yahoo Group you can join - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Promotion_Loop_Schedule/events - sends you a daily notice about loops that are available and what you can post.
PREPARING A POST. Each book you publish, should have a basic post that contains the tagline, a blurb, regular excerpt, hot excerpt (if appropriate), buy info and link, and cover pic. You MUST edit out from the blurbs and excerpts all of the "special characters" like curly quotes and em-dashes and replace them with standard characters like straight quotes and dashes. Otherwise, your post will be full of trash characters. After you clean them up, copy and import them to WordPad to complete your post.
Set your doc at single space with double space after paragraphs, save the doc, add any additional text you need (intro, buy links, signature) then copy the text. Italicizing the blurb and excerpt sets it off nicely. Your pics should be saved someplace on the internet - Pinterest, a private page on your webpage (my preference), the Yahoo Group site - if allowed, or where-ever.
POSTING TO A YAHOO GROUP. Go to the Yahoo Group where you want to post. Copy your text directly into the pane. (Rich text which allows formatting is the default. Don't switch to plain text unless you want to lose all your formatting.) Follow the posting rules (day, genre, heat level) or you'll be tossed from the group. Insert your title according to the rules. Generally intro with PROMO or EXCERPT, then title, heat level, genre, gender (M/M, M/F, M/F/M etc). It should look something like: Promo: Finding Eve by Rita Bay (M/F, R, Paranormal Shapeshifter) If it is an ADULT excerpt, include ADULT EXCERPT in the title section. Close with your full signature and a book cover.
Note: When you post directly to the Yahoo Group, the double spaces don't appear. When the post is viewed as an email, the formatting looks great.
This was way too long and there's so much more, I'll continue it next month and include how to participate in Yahoo Group chats.
Next month, Partcipating in Yahoo Group chats.
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