To hear me speak about this topic visit The Wealthy Writer on YouTube! I speak about social media in two parts.
You’re a writer. You want to market your first self-published novel, or maybe it’s number two or three, but the first one isn’t selling well, and you want to increase sales by expanding your social media platform. You’re going to set aside a few hours a day and become a social media KING, right? Wrong!
My first piece of advice to you is don’t flush your time down the cybertoilet! There are thousands of other authors out there, doing exactly what you’re hoping to do. You’ll need a specific plan tailored for you that will drive new readers to your books.
Simply tweeting out your book links or posting pretty photos of their covers on Facebook won’t cut it anymore. Studies have shown that a typical social media user consumes 285 pieces of content daily—an incredible 54,000 words, and, for very active users, as many as 1,000 clickable links.
How can you stand out and grab the average user’s attention? That’s contrary to my point – you don’t want to grab the average user! You need to find readers who are interested in the kinds of books you write, and then drive them to your website/and/or the sites where your books are for sale. Everything else that you do on social media will simply be flushing your time down the cybertoilet (although those cat fail memes are hilarious).
I’m making this sound like a science, and it is, but truthfully, my second piece of advice for you on this topic is to keep it fun. There are many ways to make money as a self-published author, but you have to keep it fun, or else you’ll burn out doing it every day.
One proven way to drive traffic to your website is to create Facebook ads and get those who click to give you their email address, in return for a free book, or maybe even a Kindle reader, or some other kind of contest. I’m not revealing anything new here – there are lots of bestselling authors online now, telling you that you need a reader magnet to drive readers to your site.
I’ve tried getting Facebook leads, and it worked, but it was aggravating, expensive, and no fun. I hated going over the charts, trying to figure out what was working and what wasn’t. Perhaps I will go back to this method one day. I’m an artist at heart, and a person who likes to engage with others; not keep it at the automatic-advertising-level. For me, I decided I was much happier interacting directly with my future readers on my blog, and also by telling them about my Amazon gift card draws in my Facebook live chats and in my YouTube livestream. Prospective readers watch me chatting, learn about my draws, and that they can get my first book free, and they go check out my website and sign up for my Readers Club list. After they sign up, a lot of the readers go on to read my other books, write me and ask me questions, and some have even become friends (some even asked me recently how my wrists were, and suggested I get splints for them. I love my readers!).
If you’re not comfortable doing a video or livestream yet, that’s fine. You can start out simply by setting up a blog, and telling your readers what you’re up to every week. On the landing page of the website where you host your blog, put a static page that tells them about your Readers Club. You can use Mailchimp or MailerLite to set up your mailing list so that subscribers will get an auto-message explaining that they’re entered in your monthly draw/contest –whatever you think might draw more people in to join your Readers Club. You can use services like BookFunnel (highly recommended!) to send free books to your new sign-ups, and that also helps generate reviews.
Don’t forget that social media is constantly changing, so if you spend hours a day getting good at, say, Instagram, you’ll only be as good as its last update! Instagram now has a “record moments of your day” option, called Stories, as does Facebook, and I haven’t mastered those yet. I just tried a new Grid app, making a large banner on Instagram about my latest good news regarding The Ticket, but as for the “my stories” feature, I decided not to flush time down the Cybertoilet, because the other ways I’m using social media are providing me with daily book sales. I’ll stick with those methods, and learn new social media skills when I have more free time.
Simply tweeting or posting nice photos on Facebook or Instagram isn’t going to cut it anymore for authors who want to make a profit from their books. Don’t flush your time down the cybertoilet! Combine your social media use with good advertising and a growing mailing list to drive daily traffic to your books.
If you haven’t signed up for my Readers Club yet, you can do so here! You’ll get a free book from me, you’ll also be entered in the monthly draws to win an Amazon gift card, and be given links for monthly offers for free books from some of my bestselling author friends.
Please subscribe to The Wealthy Writer, on YouTube too, especially if you prefer video-learning! Below are my two videos on making social media work for you.