Slow down on social media
Read any advice on how to market an ebook and all the tips and tricks and how to’s you find will advise using social networking as the be all and end all of ebook marketing. As
As ebooks are simply an electronic file that slots in perfectly with Internet delivery, who could argue with this logic?
So if you’re an ebook book author on Kindle, Smashwords, B&N or any other online distributor, you know you need to have a Facebook Page and personal profile, a Twitter account (or two), an Author page on Goodreads, another on Shelfari plus a Google+ account and of course another on Linkedin.
For the very committed there is the option of adding Quora, Stumbleupon, Digg, Helium and Tumblr accounts, as well if you’re really determined to get your book and name out there. If these are not enough there are hundreds more you could add to this list and busy yourself 24/7 with social media.
But I have to be honest with you. I’ve been there, done that and it’s not only a hard slog but also an incredible time waster. Sure, you need to have some presence, but social media can become a monster that takes over and you end up forgetting what your goal was in the first place. To promote and sell books. Attaining 400,000 followers was not.
It reminds me of an old adage:
When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your main objective was to drain the swamp.
I should say though that I have been fortunate and have gained a healthy following on some of my social media accounts. Then again, many of these accounts I had well before the advent of ebooks, so my follower numbers are more due to the period of time rather than any special popularity.
But one aspect I have noted is that my book sales do not rise proportionally with an increase in my follower counts. This has led me to reducing my involvement (in some cases completely) on a number of platforms.
After using social media for quite a while now, the key benefit for me is in finding new readers. Not for my books, but rather for my blog. Users of social networking want it to be social, logically. So they would like to be informed, entertained, amused and to interact and be involved.
Social media is best used for being social and becoming involved and known in your online community. It is from this recognition that books sales will steadily grow. Not from having a million followers or blasting out thousands of ‘Buy my book now’ links per week, which in my view has an extremely low success rate anyway and will probably simply diminish your popularity.
So be careful. Becoming involved doesn’t mean being online 24/7. You do have books to write you know.