So You Think Social Media Won’t Sell Your Books?

sell your books

Every indie author hears the message, “You have to use social media to sell your books.”

But is it true?

In any language, social media is the queen of discoverability. But – and this is a huge but – does social media marketing sell your books?

Hmm. Let’s consider this question.

If we look at great literature, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and even Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the first novel, we already know that they succeeded in publishing.

They didn’t have to worry about Tweeting regularly or posting status updates on a Facebook author page twice a day.

It’s a silly issue to consider, isn’t it, since social media wasn’t around in 1610 (in Cervantes’ case)? All of the above authors rose to fame without the benefit of what’s considered – in today’s world – as marketing requirements.

If we were to look at Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train andInto the Water, I can’t tell at this point whether Goodreads or other social media fueled her success, or whether it was just the book that caused her book to skyrocket toward financial success with social media helping along the way.

However, she was the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards winner, which readers vote for, so on Goodreads, she had a considerable presence, and that must have played a role.

There are several commercially successful authors today that according to a HootSuite article, use social media to further their engagement with readers. They are Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho, Stephen Fry, and Neil Gaiman. I would add Hugh Howie to that list and Isabel Allende, who has an excellent Facebook page that she updates herself.

Okay, this is what I think: Neil Gaiman, Hugh Howie, and Isabel Allende, all bestselling authors, use social media to further their success. Hugh Howie is, I believe, the only author on this list who self-publishes.

Then we can look at another group of authors – Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, and Nick Stephenson – who are also popular and sell hundreds of thousands of books as self-publishers. They not only make money off of their book sales, but they also sell courses to help other indie authors find similar levels of success. Hasn’t social media played a huge role in their success?

If your listen to Joanna Penn’s podcast, you know that she credits a lot of her early success to social media, and especially Twitter.

So, let’s end this diatribe of mine and look at our original question: Does social media marketing sell your books?

Five Tips to Help You Sell More Books

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup – August 19, 2016

Untitled design-2

I spent last week in Monterey and normally I have a lovely time in this coastal community where I was born but the smoke-filled air was a constant reminder of the dangers of the Soberanes Fire in Big Sur and Carmel Valley. There are numerous fires in California right now and we’re constantly reminded of the danger as dry, brown hills cover the state and surround my community. I can only hope that the fire crews remain safe, no more lives are lost, and that the winter brings plenty of rain. I hope you’re having a safe summer. Oh yeah; I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Weekly Roundup too!


Working With Cover and Interior Designers from Joel Friedlander and by Jennie Nash: “Almost every publishing professional advising self-publishers says the same thing: focus on editing and cover design. Those are the two most important elements of your book, the ones that will make the biggest difference in how your book is re-ceived and how it will sell. We’ve already discussed how working with a good editor can help make or break your book, so now let’s take a look at the importance of good design, both inside and out.”

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Do Authors Need a Facebook Page?

The Controversy - Do Authors Need a Facebook Page? by Frances Caballo
In this post, I tackle the question of do authors need a Facebook page? While it’s not an easy question to answer, there are some pros and cons to consider.

Do Authors Need a Facebook page?

Before I answer that question, let me distinguish a Facebook profile from a Facebook page.

On a Facebook profile, you have friends who share memes and information about their children, anniversaries, marathons, and other life events. And you can send and receive friend requests to and from anyone who hasn’t banned you.

A Facebook page is for authors, musicians, nonprofits, large brands and enterprises, and small businesses. You’ll have fans instead of friends, and people and other pages will Like your page instead of sending you friend requests.

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