So I've managed to finish my book - The Spring and Autumn Murders- and am getting ready to self publish it with a release day during the first week in December. I managed to get a good deal on printing and bindery for 100 copies, and I'm in the process of getting the ISBN numbers squared away.
I even have a website set up (www.writersthread.com) where people can pre-order the book in ebook and regular book format.
Just about everything is set up for production, and baring any monkey wrenches, the book should be rolling off the press by the first week of December.
So my question is about promotion. I have no problem going into indie book stores, talking up my novel (or any other work) and selling it in person, or even over the phone. However, I'm having trouble knowing what to say in the social media world. Many of the social media promos I see by authors and publishers seem, well, very sales driven. I understand that the point is to make a sale, but do you guys have any suggestions on how to do it without sounding like its your driving goal?
I want to promote and market my upcoming book, and I've established a respectable following in the social media universe via twitter, google and facebook. Would hate to "turn off" those people because I started to sound more like a salesman than an author.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Laura, Congratulations on your book. Wishing you all the best for successful sales.
I have one big suggestion, and that is to refrain from calling your book a self-published book, and replace that term with
independently published book. You will find that your book will be more highly respected if you use the term "independently published." I am sure that you have worked very hard on your book, and you want your efforts to be respected.
Social media marketing (e-marketing) is, indeed, a soft sell approach. It is about building community and relationships with your potential book buyers, and not a hard-sell "buy my book" approach.
My company specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing and we help authors develop a vision for their marketing and strategic development. With very small investment, we can get you pointed in the right direction and teach you something about using social media effectively.
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Laura, I think your instincts are right--you want to let people know about your book, but not turn them off.
The people who keep up with you via social media probably already have an idea of who you are. They stick with you because they like you. Keep that in mind as you talk about your book. Let them know, and let them know in your own voice: "Hey, guess what? My book will be out in December!" or whatever feels natural to you. And of course not every post. Maybe every twenty posts, or every other day.
I suggest you find someone who is marketing their book (or shoe store, or etsy products) in a way you admire, and try imitating what they do, but doing that in your own style. Market to others the way you like to be marketed to.
Another thing to keep in mind is that with self- or indie publishing, there's less of a rush than with traditional publishing. You don't have to hit a sales quota within the first weeks. Your book can stay out there and take its time in finding an audience.
Thanks Sue and Petra for some great advice. Usually I do refer to the book as indie published or independently published- I guess I just got tired of writing that word and figured I'd be safe here with self-publishing,lol.
Right now what I've been doing is occasionally posting a great teaser line from my book and then directing people to my sales page, or conversely if something interesting happens with the production of the book, I'll mention it. Other than that a lot of my postings are either about other authors I admire, things going on in my daily life, or funny quotes, etc. I think my actual selling posts take up about 5% of the postings I make. On a rare moment I'll post something like "want a little mystery in your life for the holidays? Check this out!" but honestly that just sounds so corny to me so I try to avoid it.
Thanks again, and any more thoughts you have will be greatly appreciated. :)
You might think of some of the themes or memes in your book and post about those. Or post about your research and how you came about your ideas.
hmm... not a bad idea. Although I'm not entirely sure if detailing how I researched Chinese historical periods would enthrall people. It might just put them to sleep, lol.