Does being active on social media translate to more e-book sales?
That’s a question a group I belong to is discussing right now. I read all the posts, and sad to say, most agree with me — you can Tweet, Blog, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook your heart out, and you won’t sell a single book more than if you’d stayed busy cleaning house.
In fact, touting your book 24-7 is a good way to alienate your friends so they unfriend you at worst, or skip over your post, eyes glazed, at best.
Yes, I like to tell my friends/fans when a new book is coming out or when one is on sale. I think in my heart of hearts they are pleased to know this information. But these are folks who will buy the book anyway, either because they like me and want to help, or they genuinely like my writing. In short, I am reaching folks who are already fans, not making new ones.
I feel a stab of sympathy when fellow writers post of the amounts of money they have spent to “push” their book on review sites or in e-book newsletters. Some even hired assistants to get their book “out there.” All agreed they had lost money they may never recoup. It is like the author who orders a thousand copies of her book, only to have them take space in the garage for years on end.
I have spent a little bit of money, and it did bring a spurt in sales. But when I added it up, I’d spent more than I earned. Every time.
And yet…I know some writers who have earned over $1000 in sales and their books have not even been released yet!
What is their secret? I wish I knew. Catchy covers…great log lines…an enormous network of fans?
Not that I’m envious (she said snarkily). I’m happy for their success.
But let’s face it, competing with the thousand+ ebooks released every day is daunting. I could sell more books if they were print, but my books won’t be in print until the publisher sees X dollars earned by the e-version. Talk about a catch-22!
I will continue to Tweet and blog and post on Facebook, but only when something new happens that is worth sharing. My philosophy is that pounding someone over the head with your book isn’t going to make them break down and buy it.
But not having an online presence isn’t the answer, either.
I think there’s a happy medium. Be nice, be present, share, but don’t nag.
And meanwhile, write the next book and make it even better than the last one.