Someone once said that it doesn’t matter what kind of marketing you do as long as you market consistently. Today, many authors tell me that “social media doesn’t sell books.” They believe that for self-publishing authors, only advertising sells. And that only sometimes.
The challenge is that while authors can have demonstrable success with social media, it depends on who you are.
Social media: it depends on who you are
If you’re an author who sells thousands of dollars worth of books each day, you can use social media as zero-cost advertising. Your fans want to hear from you, so promote away; they’ll love it, and they’ll buy.
On the other hand, if you’re not a bestselling author — don’t try this at home, as they say.
A word about social media spam…
Social media spam: it takes time and energy — write another book
What about the authors who spend a couple of hours a day spamming LinkedIn and Facebook groups?
This practice works for some authors. They sell books.
However, there’s a price. It’s boring, and frustrating work. If you’re tempted to this strategy, why not write another book? You can safely “spam” in the backmatter, with links to your other books.
Now let’s look at some tips to help you to kickstart social media, and sell some books.
1. Be a person as well as an author
Every social media network asks you to create a profile: your “about” page on the network. Use this area, and create pages, to promote your books. Then follow others, and retweet, or share, or Like any content which appeals to you.
Share whatever floats your boat. Be social on social media, always. 🙂
Remember to create Showcase pages on LinkedIn in to promote your books, and Pages on Facebook for the same reason.
2. LOVE your books: yes, you can talk about them on social media
You can talk about your books all you wish on social media, but do it on the pages you’ve created for those books.
3. Protect your time. Be consistently active on social media, but be frugal with your time
The big danger for everyone on social media is that time just zooms past. You dip into Facebook for a ten minute break, and before you know it, you’ve wasted an hour.
A social media network’s goal is to keep you on the network, and ultimately to turn you into an addict to social media. Be aware of what you intend to do on a network, and monitor the time you spend.
4. Set goals for what you want to achieve
This is tied to the “protect your time” time tip. Before you click a link to a network, review your goals — it’s vital. You’re an author, so while social media may be fun, this is work for you. 🙂
5. Vital: recognize that there’s no direct correlation between Likes and book sales
Please don’t get caught up in the struggle for more followers and more Likes. Only book sales matter, so once the ten minutes you’ve allotted for Facebook is up, leave.
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.More info →
You're a busy author -- you don't have time to market your books, because you're busy writing.
Here's a cruel fact: unless you make time to market your books, you'll have minimal sales. Perhaps zero sales.More info →
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