A Myth: Selling Books Through Social Media?

27 May



I am getting this question so often: Do I sell more books when I am on Twitter? Or Facebook? Or Google+? Or LinkedIn? These social mediums are part of the long-term strategy of building your author platform – only one of several places where you can engage with readers and, eventually, possibly, maybe, sell books to some of them. Author Tim Grahl wrote in an article: “Social media is not a mass strategy. It’s a 1-to-1 strategy.”


Social Media is Not for Hard-Selling – period!
It is what the name says: a Social Media place. You don’t go to a party because you want to sell your books there. You go to a party to meet people, to socialize, to have fun. Not all the Social Media places are equaly well situated to meet new people / future readers: Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, often restrict their connections and information to people you already know. Choosing someone new on LinkedIn requires often that you have to give their email address, and on Facebook you are punished if you choose too many followers when you are not connected previously. More about the differences in Social Media can be found at a Bloomberg Businessweek article.

What Twitter Is:
Twitter is more mobile-friendly. That’s because Twitter was born as a mobile network, like Instagram was. Twitter is not meant as a family or friends affair.  On Twitter are no relationship statuses, photo albums, public “likes,” or open forum conversations with easily track-able dialogue, e.g. for potential employers or new relationships. Facebook in contrast will always appeal to people looking to reconnect with fellow students, old friends and their family members. Twitter is more a professional networking tool – e.g. perfect for writers – rather than a way to communicate with family and friends. Rachel Sprung listed 11 Guarantied Ways to Get Others to Re-Tweet Your Content:

Choose the Right Twitter Followers
If you want to connect with future readers on Social Media, then choose readers, book reviewers, book worms, avid readers, book bloggers and the like as followers. Get more tips in this blog post.
Twitter is meant for tailored follower groups, a world not made up of all of the people you have ever met but rather a community of people you admire or would like to know. How to avoid the wrong tweeps is explained in this blog post.

Benefits of Twitter:
Tweeting is an easy way for someone to support you. You can even provide pre-written tweet-able messages and a Click to Tweet link, so that all they have to do is one click. You can even use this method on free e-books.  Create a nice mixture of your own, really interesting tweets and do some re-tweeting.Follow others, tweet something valuable for others and don’t use Twitter only as a cheap way to advertise!If you want to become popular on Twitter and have your tweets go viral, learn how to use Twitter in a smart and social way, nurse your relationships – that’s what Twitter is there for.  Twitter is a tool that creates relationships and conversation – using it only for “advertising” would be devaluing the system. Read more about Social Media mistakes to avoid on Twitter.

Goodreads: Where Only Readers Meet
Not really considered widely as a Social Media site is Goodreads – even though they have more than 20 million users that chose Goodreads to learn more about books and their authors. Not to forget the ten-thousands of communities and groups for every kind of literature one can think of. Smart authors use and benefit from the countless features on Goodreads to connect with readers and reviewers, and to introduce their books to a really wide targeted audience.

What Else Can You Do to Increase Your Books’ Success?
To make yourself a name as a writer – and more important than to be on Social Media is to WRITE MORE. Your readers want to see content from you.  Write your next book! Write blogs, magazine and newspaper articles! Readers want to get more of your writing.  And if writing is really what you like to do, then write more!!!  Don’t limit yourself only to books!

– Place your book into the right category / genre and sub-genre (important for its success!)
– Create a second, separate BOOK PAGE on Amazon, Goodreads, Google+ and FB
– Set up a media press kit on your website with a link to your book trailer
– Start a Goodreads Giveaway a month before book launch (print book only)
– Write a blog post about the upcoming launch

– Ask friends to list your book under “Listmania” on Amazon & to LIKE your author page
– Exchange books for book shelves with your friends on Goodreads
– Participate in “Carnival of the Indies” blog carnival to promote your blog URL
– Send your books’ cover to cover contests
– Submit your blogs including a bio and URL link to even more e-Zines

– Offer interviews at Radio ( / local or national TV stations
– Make arrangements for interviews in newspapers or on book blogger’s sites
– Try to set you up to become a desirable guest expert on a talk or morning show
– Befriend influential book bloggers for even more reviews and articles
– Gather writing friends for cross-promotions and blog tours
– Add press clippings and articles, already published, to your website
– Get a new business card with images of all your books and sales links

– Place the books’ cover image & description daily on your Google+ stream
– Announce your book launch or book signing on Google+ for FREE
– Get even more friends, followers and people in your circles on social media sites
as you need lots of audience to spread the word about your new book!

– Sell your book to libraries (find out how the library orders)
– Let your book translate in other languages or sell foreign rights
– Split your (non-fiction) book in pieces and sell single articles to magazines
– Participate in writing contests and book awards



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

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@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


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