Social Media Isn’t Going to Sell Your Book – But Here’s What Will!

“I just need someone to help me sell my book on social media. I have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter and almost 1,000 friends on Facebook.”

“That’s great!” I said. “But, are your social media connections interested in learning how to meet the love of their life?

They weren’t. They were friends and people who knew her from work (which was in an unrelated field). That was definitely part of the problem.

I was chatting with an author who wanted help promoting her book. It wasn’t selling, and she was frustrated.

She thought she just needed the right message for Social Media to boost her book sales, but that wasn’t going to help her.

The problem?

Her book didn’t have a juicy hook. It also didn’t have a clear audience.

Social media isn’t a catch all solution to sell your book.

In fact, you are more likely to waste a lot of time trying to use social media to sell your book than you are likely to successfully sell books via social media. Unless, of course, you have a good plan in place first.

If you haven’t already, download our 8 Ways to Sell 1,000 Books for Under $100 free guide.

First, you need to plan to sell your book from the start.

Your book needs a hook. To know what will hook your readers, you need to know who your readers are.

Once you know who you’re writing for, you can figure out what is going to catch their attention.

At Book Launchers, this is a critical step for every author. Even if you’ve already completed a manuscript, we’ll take you back to the start to make sure the ideal reader was identified and that the book is well positioned to get their attention. When you do this right from the start, the entire process will flow a lot faster and more effectively.

Second, identify where you can connect with your ideal reader.

Just because you love Facebook doesn’t mean your ideal reader is connected with you on the site. You can probably find a subset of your audience on Facebook, but you’ll need to find out what Groups they are hanging out in. Then you begin to develop relationships within those groups that will help you promote your book to those groups. Showing up to a party and saying ‘buy my book’ isn’t going to work. Make friends with people, add value, and then ask people to consider your offer!

If it sounds like work, that is because it is!

There are often other places that are more efficient to connect to your ideal readers than social media. For some book types, you’ll find many readers on Good Reads. You may also find them offline at conferences, reading magazines, frequenting certain types of businesses in your area or searching for solutions via video or podcasts.

Social media may be the answer, but there may be better ways to find your ideal reader.

Third, consider who you know.

The success of my first book, More than Cashflow, was entirely as a result of the support of a handful of key people in the Canadian real estate industry. Their support pushed my book to number one overall … without them, I was only able to break the Top 100 overall.

Tim Ferriss launched the 4 Hour Work Week to massive Best Selling status a little over 10 years ago using relationships he’d built with other bloggers. These relationships were built well in advance of publishing his book – were cornerstone to his success.

If you’re a Platinum Level member of Book Launchers we pitch your book to bloggers and podcasters on your behalf … and we’ll get you some exposure. But, the people who will help you the most will know you personally. If you want your book to do well, make sure you’re building relationships, adding value, and supporting people in your industry so that they will do the same when the time comes for you.

Fourth, develop your own list.

Social media is a great way to interact and connect with your readers. You can build an audience on a platform that people frequent on a regular basis and stay in front of them without too much effort. You should never rely on it exclusively though. Always remember that you are squatting on property owned by someone else. You don’t ‘own’ those contacts. At any time the owner of the property (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc) can decide that they no longer like the way you’re using their property and throw you out.

If they do that – and you haven’t been building your own connections on your own website – you lose everything.

Use social media to supplement your book marketing strategy, but always focus on developing your own audience. Collect email addresses. Ask for phone numbers. Get mailing addresses. Whatever you do – make sure you have other ways to connect and contact your potential readers. These folks will be the most likely to buy your book, spread the word for you, and help you with early reviews.

Bottom line, social media offers a way for readers to interact with you. It’s a great way to stay top of mind and build connections. But, for social media to work you must know who you’re writing for, what’s going to get their attention, and find a way to get yourself in front of those people.

Best of luck with your book!

And, if you want help figuring out who you’re writing for, and have support through the entire self-publishing process, book a call with me! I’m happy to chat to see if we’re a fit to help you write, publish and promote your book.