Like it, or not, we live in the digital age. I can already hear your moans and groans emanating from my computer screen. I know as writers we tend to be “old souls.” We like paper books not electronic ones. We like traditional book releases, not digital ones. We like getting our news from papers, not tweets. However, if you want to build a platform and sell books you have to embrace the digital world, and that includes social media.
I know what you are thinking. You don't have time for social media. After all, your days are spent holed up in your author space forming thoughts into sentences, sentences into chapters, and chapters into books. You think that social media is for tweens, teens, and millennials. Or, it’s for high profile individuals who can hire someone from the former sect to run their social media pages. You think that tweets, and “Likes,” and YouTube videos have no place in your “old media” way of life. But, you are wrong.
First of all, social media is for everyone. That’s the point. Anyone and everyone can have a YouTube channel, or a Twitter account, or a Facebook page, and it is free. Social media is a great, inexpensive, way to reach your target audience instantaneously. What you have to realize is that social media is the perfect marketing tool. It offers access to millions of individuals, that you might not otherwise meet. It is free to join, and free to post on. Most importantly, it offers that ever illusive marketing tool: word of mouth. If you can get people talking about you and your books on social media your readership will grow.
Second of all, social media doesn't have to consume time that could otherwise be spent on your craft. If you incorporate what you post into your writing routine then it won't seem like extra work. And, once your book is finished you will have to self promote it any way, so why not do a lot of it from home and reach exponentially more people?
Have I convinced you yet? If not, try this. Think of your favorite authors; writers who you find to be profound as well as successful. Look them up on social media sites. Do they have pages and profiles? Are they consistently posting to them? See. You won’t be selling out if you start using social media as a marketing tool. In fact, it will help boost your book sales if you use it well.
Things to keep in mind about your presence on social media:
- You have to be the show runner. You have to create the pages, and you have to control the discussions on them. Don't wait for others to do this, because then it won't be your voice.
- Use your voice. You have one. Lead discussions. Let people know what you write about and why you are passionate about it. Be yourself. Believe it or not, people want to connect with you on a personal level.
- Social media is the vehicle, not the destination. You should be connecting with individuals through social media. But, having retweets and “Likes” and YouTube comments does not mean that you are selling books. You want to use social media to drive people back to your original content that you are creating. Try to always link back to your website.
What has been your biggest reason for avoiding social media? Share it with us in the comments section below.
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