Free Days, the Dangers of Over-Selling Books & Social Media Demographics

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The posts from this past week focus on issues that I often hear discussed among writers. One issue is whether writers should give their work away for free. We may fear plagiarism, but the biggest threat to Indie authors is actually obscurity. Offering our books for free for a limited time can help to raise our profile on Amazon and elsewhere. The LiveHacked blog deals with this question authoritatively in the post below. I’m also including a post on social media demographics because you need to be where your readers are. For example, if you write YA, are you on Tumblr as well as Twitter? To find out where your readers are hanging out on the social web, keep reading.

KDP Select/Free Promos: Should You Give Your Book Away? from LiveHacked: Ah, the big question.

I received yet another email yesterday from a nice person asking this very question. They have two (almost three) self-published novels for sale on Amazon, and the question was phrased as, “I don’t understand the value in giving my work away for free, since it doesn’t generate a lot of sales.” My reaction is always the same: I get it.

But that doesn’t at all change my stance.

Social Media Demographics: The Surprising Identity Of Each Major Social Network by Cooper Smith for the Business Insider: Each social media platform has cultivated a unique identity thanks to the demographics of the people who participate in the network. Some platforms are preferred by young adults, who are most active in the evening, others by high-income professionals, who are posting throughout the workday.
Read more:

How To Effectively NOT Sell Your Book by Rachel Thompson: Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. Sales is but one part of the marketing process. (Small Business Notes)

Reach and persuade (or influence) are why we do things like interact on social media, blog, optimize our websites, advertise (though that does go to sales also), guest posts, interviews, and more.

Selling our books is connected synergistically to our marketing efforts. If you do no marketing, will you have any sales? Highly doubtful.

7 Tips for Amazon Keywords and Best Selling Books by Jason Matthews: Best selling books are more likely to happen when authors use smart Amazon keywords. Are you using yours wisely to help strangers from all over the world find your books? Most authors are not because the whole metadata thing can be confusing. Think of it like this: At bookstores, readers browse in sections where covers, titles and blurbs help them decide to inspect further. Online, readers type phrases into the search bar where the most relevant books show up in the results (or the books Amazon thinks are most relevant).


socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.



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  1. Good stuff here, Frances. Thank you for sharing.

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