Are you promoting your book like crazy on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook or Goodreads … but nothing seems to happen, no book sales? Are you competing with other writers in “buy my book, buy my book, buy my book… Are you choosing to follow other writers, hoping they will buy your book?
1. Choose your following very carefully:
You want to interact mainly with READERS, NOT writers. The question is: How to find readers?
All Social Media sites have a search function on top of the page. Type in: book bloggers, read, reading, book lovers, book club, love reading, book worm, love to read, mystery book reader, science fiction reader, YA readers, YA book blogger, readers, word nerd, non-fiction book blogger, reading books, reviewing book… and even librarian. Click on “people” or scroll down a lot, as the first names that appear are often publishers and other commercial accounts. How to get more (reader) followers on Social Media sites is also explained in a blog post from January.
Another method is to type in the name of a very successful book in your genre and find readers there, talking about this book. Follow those readers that you feel belong to your book genre, based on what they say in their tweets. Re-tweet their posts, engage in meaningful conversation, be funny or refer to blog posts you wrote, but don’t mention your book. They will find out about it soon enough.
2. Understand the meaning of Social Media
Being SOCIAL and NOT constantly talking about your book!
I noticed one writer on Twitter who writes 100% only and only about his book. He seems to use automatic tweets, as he never, ever engaged in any conversation with others. Kind of autistic … For sure, I was not the only one who un-followed him.
- Write about interesting things that are happening,
- Give valuable advice
- Engage in a humerous way with your readers
No one joins Twitter, FB, Google+ or Pinterest to constantly read about your book. That’s not very entertaining or interesting at all. Many writers don’t buy books from other writers, they want to sell their own. If ALL writers are doing on Twitter, Google+ or FB is self-promoting they are not only NOT attracting readers, but turning potential book buyers away.
Yes, famous writers may attract attention for what they have to say – not normally related to their books – but rather to their writer’s life or ideas – and they are often interesting or funny. It’s called social networks not selling pages… Authors should rather focus their promotional efforts on trying to get people to talk about their books (review them, read and recommend them, give them awards, take them to their book groups, write articles or blog posts about them) instead of constantly trying to get people to buy their books. A much better place to do this is on some of the hundreds (if not thousands of reader forums for each type of literature can be found, such as Goodreads, Shelfari, Bibliophil, Biblio Connection, BookTalk and the like.
3. Be professional
Set-up your bio with a studio portrait, the same you use in your book(s) and create an inviting avatar. Use key words that will attract the type of people that you want to connect with. This bio (or an avatar, or “about me”) can be used for all your presences, for your Amazon website, your blog etc. Same as with your photograph: once established you can use it everywhere, even if you have to shorten it on some places, such as on Twitter. Use lots of keywords and add abbreviated links to your web site or Amazon page. And choose your username wisely! More tips how to act like a professional are explained in a former article.
So, following these three basic rules: Finding the right followers “readers”, be “social” and have a professional appearance on Social Media is the key to successful promoting your books.
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October 25, 2013 at 10:59 am
Thanks for the great tips!
October 25, 2013 at 11:15 am
This is terrific advice which is too often ignored or not understood by authors who use social media.
October 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Good points, I have only ever sold books on Twitter from contacts I have made and to the best of my knowledge never as a direct result of a promotional Tweet.
October 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Thanks so much for the help! I can use all the help I can get!