Counting Down to a New Book!

I just came back from three days on Bowen Island, where I was for a writing retreat with my friend Paul, also a writer, at

The view outside our retreat’s window.

You see, I have this book, The Guide to Getting Started with Social Media for Artists and Arts Organizations. I originally wrote it in the spring of 2009, launching it in late June. I’ve been selling it as an e-book off of my website, and in hard-copy at Biz Books and the Ferry Building Gallery, and it’s done really well, selling hundreds of copies over the last 3 years.

The challenge with having a book about social media is that the subject matter changes on almost a daily basis. I am able to keep up to date and share the latest advancements through this blog and my e-newsletter, but the book is a slower-moving target. The e-book version is easy to quickly update once every couple of months or so, but the hard-copy version only gets a re-write every 6 months or so.

Recently, the thought of updating my book again started feeling really overwhelming to me, so I decided to scrap the entire thing, and re-write it from the beginning.

I sit here at this moment, with a new document, after three days, which is over 60 pages, and more than 26,000 words. A very small percentage of that is from the old edition–I’d estimate that I fully re-wrote about 80% of it.

I wasn’t exactly sure what it was going to look like when I first started writing it, but what it turned out to be was more of a course, and less of a book. I’ve been teaching a 12-week course called Social Media for Small Business at BCIT for the last two years, and this book is, essentially, what I teach in that course, boiled down to its core.

It starts with a discussion of social media marketing theory, and how marketing has changed over the last 5o or so years. I talk about the basic tenets of social media marketing, and why they are important. Then, I dedicate a chapter to each of the major social media: Blogs, E-Newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, with extensive sections on Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other smaller social networking tools, like QR Codes, social bookmarking, and FourSquare.

Each section has a similar format: it starts with the theory behind the tool, and which businesses would find it useful. Then, it goes into how to use it in some detail, using my own social media how-to screen cast videos. These videos are like having me beside you, guiding you step-by-step through the process of creating an e-newsletter or a Facebook page. Finally, the section wraps up with best practices, and ideas on how to use that tool for your business, and how to grow your numbers.

I’ve added an entirely new section on metrics and analytics.

The book ends with a comprehensive, fill-in-the-blank social media plan template, including spreadsheet templates for tracking your progress and a calendar so that you always know what you have to do on any given day.

It’s not ready yet: it still needs to be edited and updated with screenshots, and laid out properly. There is still lots of work to be done, but the words are there.

Guys, I’m really excited about his. And proud. I took all my work in research and teaching over the last few years and put it on the page. And it’s really good.

The plan is for a late January launch, but in the mean time, I’m going to be sharing tips from the book via an exclusive email list during the month of January. If you want to get on that list to receive these tips, or you want to be kept up to date on my progress, or you want to purchase the book at a discount, sign up here.

What a way to kick of 2013!

UPDATE: The new book will launch February 15!

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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