So you wrote a book and you’ve sold it to every friend, colleague and family member alive.
You didn’t spend countless hours writing and revising your book and pay for editing and graphics just so you could sell a few books.
For indie authors, writing and publishing books is as much a business endeavor as it is an artistic experience.
Think about the money you spent on writer’s conferences and workshops in our efforts to improve our craft. Consider the number of books we purchase on dialogue, plot and poetry.
And think about your goals. You want your book to fly off the bookshelves, right? You at least want to recoup your expenses. To reach your goals, you will need to become active on social media so that you can reach a body of readers who live well beyond your zip code range.
Not convinced? Here are seven reasons why having an active social media presence is essential for today’s self-published authors.
7 Reasons to Use Social Media to Market Your Books
- Social media networks inform the world about your website and blog. Every author needs a website and a blog; that’s a given. But how will anyone know you have a website if you don’t use social media? And what about your blog? If you are updating it weekly, which you need to do, who will know you went to the trouble to write a new post if you don’t syndicate it to your social media networks?
- Social media can attract a wider audience to your readings. It’s great that you invite friends, colleagues and book club members to your readings. I’m sure there are other people in your community who might like to attend as well. Facebook is especially good at spreading the word because your friends can share your posts with their friends and soon you’ll have plenty of people to fill the seats.
- Social media platforms strengthen the bond between your readers and you. Social media gives your readers an opportunity to communicate directly with you. They don’t have to go through a publicist; they can send you a tweet or a private message via Facebook and LinkedIn. Or they can ask a question in a comment on Facebook or even add their posts to your Timeline. The same is true for other social media networks. By enabling your readers to contact you directly, you can nurture your relationship with them.
- Social media offers opportunities for you to promote your books. There is a caveat with this suggestion. You can use social media to promote your books, blog posts, readings, websites, sales, etc., but you don’t want to overdo it. The general rule is that you can promote your news in 20% of your posts; in 80% of your posts you will tweet and inform your following of blog posts that other experts in your niche have written.
- Social media enables you to build your brand. You are your brand. What you blog about, write about, and post about defines who you are to your readers. For example, my books are about how writers can use social media. I tweet about social media, I teach social media, and the majority of my social media posts are about social media. Because my audience is authors, some of my social media posts are about writing. For example, my Pinterest account has numerous boards on social media infographics but I also have pinboards with quotes from famous writers, pictures of interesting libraries and bookstores, images of bookshelves, and quotes about the love of reading. I also have writing-related pinboards. Everything I post or pin on social media reflects my brand.
- Social media will increase your inbound traffic. You want traffic to your blog and website, right? Traffic to your website and blog will increase when you inform the world about them via your social media channels. You can track the number of visits by signing up for Google Analytics (it’s free) and watching trends in your inbound traffic.
- Social media will decrease your marketing costs. You could hire a publicist, but publicists can sometimes be expensive. With social media, you reduce your costs and take full control of your social web presence.
Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!
Author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web