Social media is one book marketing tool that usually come to the mind of most authors whenever the question of how do I sell my book comes to mind.

Social media is one book marketing tool that usually come to the mind of most authors whenever the question of how do I sell my book comes to mind.

But is social media really a tool to market and promote your book?

Should you be on Facebook, Twitter or Google + to sell your books?

Which social media networks work best for book marketing?

These are some question most authors will like to have the right answer for.

This post is to show you the smartest way to use social media for book marketing without wasting your time and energy on what is worthless.

I recently got the mail below from an author who has tried using the entire social network he can manage without any result.

Author Question

The truth is that social media can be a good tool for authors to sell book but surely not in the way you might think of. This is not about spending lots of hours on Twitter or Facebook trying to connect with everyone you can think of with or spamming around with a “buy my book” post or tweet with the hope of that having an effect on your book sales. These are not what I’m talking about.

One mistake many authors always make with social media networks is that of been on many of these social networks at a time when in actual fact, most of these social media aren’t a perfect fit for the kind of audience they are writing for. One example is a fiction author spending many hours on Twitter – his audience might be on Twitter, but that’s just not the right channel to reach them because of the noise and the ephemeral effect of Twitter posts, or a YA author spending time on Google Plus or Instagram and so on when his real audience, who are mostly young, adults are engaging themselves and playing Farmville on Facebook.

One take away here is to decide on what social network works best for you to help you reach your target audience, and it must be one where your target audiences are in their great numbers.

Another tip is to see these entire social media network not as a place to grow and build lot of following as the only goal  – because this is another waste of time, and also, a large Twitter follower doesn’t really sell books or translate into any tangible book sales results. You should see these platforms as a channel to find your audience, and without wasting time, get them back to the only platform you own which is your website or blog, and have a system in place to get them into your email list and turn them into your loyal fans with proper engagement and useful content.

How To Use Social Media Smartly Without Wasting Time And Energy

Let’s see how you can use some common social media networks to get the best of book marketing result. Note that I include Goodreads and Librarything in this list because really, these are social networks mainly for book readers and authors and the best place out of all the lists to find your right book audience.

  1. Facebook: Facebook can be a good tool in your book marketing arsenal if properly and smartly used. What authors are presently doing on Facebook now are just a mere waste of time with little or no result to show for it and because of this, I grouped what authors can do with Facebook into two – the low impact commitment activities that you should spend less time doing and the high impact activities you can do that can bring a high impact on your book sales.

The only thing authors should do with Facebook

Low Impact Time Commitment Activities:

–        Have An Author Facebook Page

–         Find some fully engaging Facebook Group related to your niche and contribute as well as join in the discussion and if the time is right, you can mention your book

–        Post Content both from you and from other useful sources to your Facebook page


High Impact Time Commitment Activities:

–        Use Facebook Ads : If you’ve got the right know how, time and small budget, Facebook ads is the best use of your time on Facebook and it work like rock star provided you do it the right way.

You can get a copy of of my book – Facebook Marketing For Authors: How to Sell More Books With Facebook Ads to learn how you can use Facebook and Facebook Ads as a book marketing tool for great results.

  1. Twitter: I haven’t found any useful book marketing use for Twitter than just connecting and reaching out to people who are likely to be your target audience and engage in some discussion with authors and readers in your niche.

I have spent lot of time on Twitter when I started my author journey and despite having a huge following, it just doesn’t resulted in just even a single book sales and if I’m to use Twitter today, then the only thing I will use Twitter for is to get my followers into my email list by tweeting my free giveaways to my Twitter feed but doing that every time might be a little bit spammy but I can mix a little bit of useful content for my target audience to curtail been too spammy.

  1. Goodreads: I’ve written a book – Goodreads Marketing For Authors : How To Market And Promote Books Using Goodreads .You can get a  copy of the book here.

Every author should be on Goodreads and I called Goodreads “The Facebook for Authors”.

Basic things you need to do are:

–        Join Goodreads

–        Fill up your profile

–        Join Goodreads Author Program

–        List Your Book(s) and add a sample copy of your book with a link to buy the full book and a link to your email sign-up page inside as an ebook when you list your book

Other Things You Can Do

–        Find and join relevant groups related to your niche and be active

–        Create Event for any of your special book marketing activities like interviews, free giveaway, blog tours etc.

–        Use Goodreads Ads if you can avoid to spend some advertising money

  1. Library Thing: This is one of my favorite tools to get initial review for my books, find my first set of targeted readers to giveaway my book and build that initial email list of beta readers and book reviewers. Here is one place every authors should be spending some time to periodically give away books (both eBooks and physical book unlike Goodreads that allows only physical books).
  1. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one social media network I spent most of my time devoted for social media and this has been a very integral part of my email list and audience building tool.

LinkedIn is mostly useful for non-fiction authors. I haven’t found any use of it to promote fiction book.

So for non-fiction authors, here are some ways you can use LinkedIn:

–        Find and join groups where your book audience belongs to and contribute usefully in discussions going on there.

–        Post useful posts from your blog or website with a link back to your email list signup page to get visitors to join your email list.

–        Use the new LinkedIn Publishing tool to publish useful content that your target book audience will love to read and get them back to your website or blog with a Call to Action to download your free giveaway or any freebie you have in place to attract people to join your email list. This is not only a very easy and working email list building tool but also a traffic source to your author website or blog and I’ve had great results with this.

  1. Pinterest And Instagram : These two picture oriented social networking sites are better used by authors with books that can easily be promoted with pictures. Things you can do if you write non-fiction books and maybe fiction books like graphic novels and children books can use these two sites by extracting useful content from your book and turn them into pictures with a link back to your website or book page and post them. Find and connect with people who already have a large following to help spread your pictures to their followers.

Social media can be useful for you to get find your book audience and get them back to your website for further actions like joining your email list and reading your blog or website content if you are a non-fiction author but care should be taken not to get immersed in spending too much time on these social media networks. Just see them as a tool to “hunt” for your audience and not that of building a following or trying to sell directly which most times will never work out as you want to have a good return for your time and effort.

Now It’s Your Turn!

Are you wondering how you can use Goodreads to reach more of your target book audience without wasting time or money. Or do you just want to have the best strategy to help you sell more books and reach more of your target audience?

If so, then book a One Hour Book Marketing And Author Platform Strategy Call with me and let’s discuss about how you can achieve your goal and reach more of your book buyers.