If you found a free source that would help build your brand and produce more book sales, would you use it? I can hear a resounding YES! But then why is it that so many publishers /self-publishers fail in using social media? The issue may be the lack of knowing what Social Media really is compared to what you think it is.
The Blame Game
Who really is to blame for lack of book sales? You? The Publisher? Both. It isn’t whether you are using social media, it is whether you are using it effectively. Because no matter how much you want to believe it “doesn’t work”, statistics have proven it does. Like any other form or advertising, you need to find the sweet spot- the place where it all comes together.
When author, marketer and social media guru, Catherine Yan Howard was asked whether or not using social media actually helps sell more books. Catherine answered in “it absolutely does.”
“Having Twitter [and] not using it right
and then blaming it for not boosting your sales
is like having a treadmill, not using it
and blaming it for not losing any weight!”
Publishers Expect you to Have a Platform…PERIOD
If you have hopes of landing a publishing contract then you need to develop a platform. Most writers’ reactions to this requirement are disappointment and indignation. Then they blame the publisher. There’s that word again… blame.
The online presence of the author is, and always will be, the responsibility of the author. Publishers, for the most part, will market and promote your BOOK through their usual avenues and this includes their own Social Media. However, they aren’t in the habit of building your “home” (website) nor will they setup a mailing address (email). You should already have these basic elements in place – both real and virtual. In other words, you, and only you, are responsible for creating your Author Platform (HOME) — a place to talk about YOU.
Social Media is another platform. You can equate it to your local gym, restaurant, grocery store or even your dentist. Everywhere you talk about you (and your writing). This is the “Social” in Social Media.
Using Social Media…
The first step to using social media is to sign up. They are free, so you have no reason not to.
The second step is to manage your time wisely. You can easily get caught up in the hype — chatting endlessly on mundane topics. BE CAREFUL. It can be addicting for first time users. Use your time wisely and to the benefit of your business.
Third you need to know what to say and how to say it. Twitter, for example, only allows you 140 characters. That isn’t a lot of space. Check out other tweets — see which one interest you and why. One aspect of the 140 characters is that it teaches you to be selective in your words – to say the most in the least number of words. Sound familiar?
Here are few of the top SM sources:
Helpful Apps to manage your Social Media Life
Interacting on Social Media is easy. You can manage many of the top SM sites from one location, such as HootSuite. This allows you to post from one location without needing to login to each and every location.
Another great app is Buffer: A service that allows you to spread out your tweets over time, rather than at the time you are on the site. This handy app enables you to schedule your tweets, just like you can schedule your blog articles to post when you are gone, on vacation or sleeping. By using it, 5-minutes of writing equates to up to ten minutes of tweets spread out during the day. Extremely convenient.
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Social Media is “the fastest growing network ever”. They are FREE. and they WILL help you brand yourself and sell books… really.