(This post originally appeared on Girlfriends Book Club. Republished with permission.)
I’m often asked this question, as both a successful author and book marketer, and my answer is always the same: don’t use social media to sell books. Social media is social, not selling. If you plan to sell a whole bunch of books on social media, you will be disappointed. Manage your expectations, author friends.
Social media is comprised of different channels like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, etc., that work in different ways to connect people together. The actual definition of social media changes almost daily, mainly because it’s comprised of tech-based systems, which as you know, change almost daily!
Let’s go with the standard, go-to Wikipedia definition (as of today):
Social media is media used for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.”
So the key terms here are social interaction, communication, and interaction dialogue.
Why then, do you think, authors do nothing but constantly spam their book links screaming BUY MY BOOK!!! on Twitter and other sites? How is that interactive?
It’s not. I think, more than anything, it’s a combination of ignorance and laziness.
Keep in mind that social media is but one small part of your author platform. If that’s all your using to sell your books, you will likely not sell much, especially given that social media is not a very effective selling platform, as we just discussed.
How can you best use social then? It seems like a no-brainer, but be social! Here are my top tips:
Does a social media presence matter for selling books? Remember, social media is all about building relationships. Build relationships and people will be more likely to purchase your work – we buy things from people we like — humans are funny that way. Here are a few more reasons:
These little tips count, and this is how I’ve successfully sold my five books (Broken Places is currently #1 on Amazon’s Poetry list), how I work with my own BadRedhead Media clients, and how I’m working with the authors of the Gravity Imprint (which I’m directing) of my publisher, Booktrope.
Do a little bit every day and create a plan of action so you can get yourself up to speed in no time. Share your thoughts, experiences, and questions below!
Further Reading: Check out my latest article on The Huffington Post, Top 3 Reasons Censoring Your Writing Is Holding You Back.
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All content © 2018 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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