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Selling Your Books via Social Media

On Saturday, September 24, our meeting topic will be “Selling Your Books via Social Media.” This is a broad, wide-ranging topic. So when an authority like Jane Friedman weighs in, it’s a good idea to pay attention.

A couple of days ago, she wrote a column about this subject, and I was struck by her message. Here are the excerpts you may find helpful.

“…Yet authors continue to use social media–and their online networks–as blunt instruments, (begging) people to pay attention and become a buyer or follower…”

Jane Friedman, indie pub, amwriting, book publishing

Jane Friedman

Jane says unless people already know you and feel warmly about you, they’re unlikely to respond to a blanket request/demand that they purchase a book. Also, repeated requests will portray you as a spammer and you’ll be blocked (an action that’s unknowable to you on most networks.)

What an exercise in futility.

A better alternative, says Jane, is to send a private appeal to the people who would buy it even without being asked.

For your larger public (strangers and social “friends”), focus on a message that serves them. (Example: “Don’t miss the e-book giveaway on Wednesday only.”)

“After you make your (pitch), go back to your regularly scheduled programming of cat videos, gardening tips, or beer photos–that is, whatever you normally post about, why people enjoy seeing you in their newsfeed or stream.”

Jane wraps it up with this useful summary:

“Does this mean authors should never directly market their books or their brand through social media? No. But there should usually be a specific strategy or reason for having what we call a ‘hard sell’ message in your social media stream. It may involve breaking news (the book is now out!), a community conversation, or a special offer. But social media is predominantly about ‘soft marketing’…”

For more great information about publishing and marketing, I absolutely recommend Jane Friedman. Click here to go to her site, and I encourage you to subscribe to her blog.

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