<strong>Social Media Strategies to Sell Books</strong><strong></strong>

Are we looking enough at social media as a medium to market our books? Why should you look at social media strategies to sell your books? Consider this – there is hardly a successful author not on social media – Amish Tripathi, Durojoy Dutta, Preeti Shenoy, Shashi Tharoor and others. Also, these statistics from Statista from 2021 say there were 3.78 billion people worldwide on social media! Should you not be where your readers are? People spent $181 Bn in ads in 2021 on social media.

The benefits of using social media to sell books are immense as social media is cheaper to advertise on. You can go in for free posting or paid adverts, most social media platforms have a wide reach and lots of sticky-ness. Social media is easy to advertise on – anyone can do it, changing or editing ads is easy and one can do so almost instantly. Which other medium offers you so many benefits? Newspaper ads, TV ads, radio ads, and PR agencies have many plus points, but people or businesses with deep pockets can only afford them. Social media is a basket of goodies one should get a handle on to promote a book even with a small marketing budget.

Hence, it is necessary to develop Social Media Strategies for different media to help you sell more books.

Before we do that look at the statistics we have compiled for you from different sources to give you an idea of top social media sites, and what percentage of different age groups like to be on social media? Social media usage by age and preferred social media by different age groups. Keep these statistics in mind while pouring over the social media strategies to promote your book.

Top four Social media sites,
Social media usage by age,
Social Media usage

If your question is –

  • How to promote books on social media?
  • How can we promote books through Social Media Networks?
  • How do you promote your book on social media?

Before you can begin or select any social media strategy be sure that you know who your target audience is.

Here is a Comprehensive List of Social Media Strategies to Sell Books:

  1. Create a Facebook community around the theme of your book

It is essential to have a community of readers interested in your book genre. If you write English poetry, start following, participating and becoming a member of groups that focus on English poetry.

  1. Crowdsource your book titles

A way to involve your audience on different social media platforms is to give them options of a few titles and ask them to choose the one they like or post one title and ask for their feedback on it.

  1. Advice on Twitter

It’s all about engaging your followers and gaining more followers. Give advice on the topic of your book –  if it is English Poetry, then advise on writing poetry, what is good poetry and comments on poetry you like and why. Your followers see you as an authority on English Poetry.

Twitter strategies to sell books
  1. Answer questions on Quora

Quora is a popular platform, gain visibility on Quora by posting and answering questions on a topic you are confident about – the topic of your book – English poetry. This helps you build a following and familiarity with people who love English Poetry.

Social Media Quora Strategies to Sell Books
  1. Give freebies in exchange for sharing a link to your book on social media

People love freebies, you can offer a copy of your book as a freebie, offer a return share of a link, hashtag them or mention them somewhere.

  1. Launch a Twitter hashtag campaign

If the book you are writing is on English poetry, you can start a hashtag campaign around your book title #readpoetry or #soulfulpoems. These tags can be placed on your posts. These hashtags get associated with your book. Just like #ORIGINALS is associated with Adidas.

  1. Prove you’re human by posting something topical

Your posts and interactions do not have to be only about your book and around it. It would be best if you also wrote about something topical. It gives a softer edge to your marketing. You appear human.

  1. Once a week, start recommending things that your readers would enjoy

Keep only 20% posts about your book. The rest should 80% of content be about the content your readers will enjoy reading about.

Take the English Poetry book example. Recommend poetry sessions happening in your or other towns, poetry writing competitions, poetry reading sessions, open mic poetry, a book you have read, a place you have visited, etc.

  1. Share others’ content

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” You want your followers and colleagues and friends to feel warm towards you and what you are doing. The best way to do that is to share other’s posts too.

Social Media Strategies to Sell Books by sharing
  1. Who’s talking about you?

Create sharable content. Keep an eye on who is talking about you or mentioning you in their posts, comments etc. That will help you keep tabs on what people are saying about your book, where you are finding support, and why and who you can fall back on when you need to boost your posts.

  1. Post different content on different platforms

“One size fits all?” No. Then why the same content for different platforms? Keep in mind that different platforms are popular with varying age groups. Different platforms give weightage to different aspects of the content – Twitter prefers a short text, Instagram images and Facebook both text and images. Hence change the content to suit the audience and platform.

  1. Make your content both predictable and unpredictable

Bring in variety/unpredictability in your posts by following some suggestions given here. Posts, quizzes, competition, excepts, shares, book reviews, etc. vary your content. Do post content around your book but also post topical content and share things your followers will like. There should be a certain unpredictability about your post so they are always curious to know what is going to be next.

  1. Post photos of your travels on Instagram and Flickr

To bring variety and interest to your followers by posting travel photos. Preeti Shenoy often posts photos of her trips.

  1. Produce YouTube videos of yourself as you write your next book

Another way to engage your followers is by posting videos writing or preparing to write. Introduce your writing corner to the readers, the mood you like to create to write, the time of day you like to write etc. You can prepare a video trailer of your book and other videos related to your book.

  1. Create an author website

Creating a website helps you focus all your content in one place, your videos relating to the book, book cover, synopsis, about the author, book reviews, where to buy from, how to contact you, what are your other offerings- say as a speaker, writing coach etc and your blog. Blog on your website is important as this can help drive traffic to your website.

  1. Identify a series of Tweetable quotes from your book

Once your book is available, you can start sharing eye-catching snippets from your books or lines of poetry that will connect with the reader

  1. Connect with book bloggers and encourage them to share a review, offer free giveaways, and information about your book.

Keep in mind who your target audience is while picking the social media strategy to sell your book. Remember all strategies need to be tweaked as you go forward to market your book. There is no perfect strategy. So read, begin and start fine-tuning your strategy to sell your book.

Some more data to help you target your social media strategies to promote your book. Social media platforms that are popular with marketers.

The social media most often used by marketers
image sourced @Statista

Often Asked Questions

How to get people to read your self-published book?

The best way to get people to read your self-published books is by promoting them and letting people know what is in the book and how it will help them. That is not all, also let readers know where your book is available.

How to promote my books with no money?

If your question is to promote your book with no money or promote a book for free, that is doable by following the steps mentioned above. Like posting short snippets from your book on Twitter, answering questions on Quora on topics related to your book,

How to promote my self-published book without using Facebook?

If the target audience is on Twitter, Instagram and youtube promote your book on these social media platforms by creating a short video related to your book and posting it, posting excerpts from your book as tweets, and sharing reviews of your book on Instagram.

What are the best ways to promote your debut novel?

If it’s your debut novel, promote it using social media. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter are some of the most popular social media platforms that you can use to promote your book.

How to promote a book on Instagram?

Instagram is an excellent medium for book promotion, targeting youth. Post pictures of book reviews, excerpts from your book, trailer video, or video of you writing a book, and share your thoughts or expertise on the topic of your book.

Does social media sell books?

Social media helps create awareness for your book, and it gives both you and your book visibility.

How to promote a book on Facebook?

Facebook has one of the largest users across all social media platforms and hence is an ideal medium for book promotion for middle and older readers. Post quizzes, competitions, excerpts from your book, about your book, where your book is available and answer the question in a series of posts about how it will benefit the reader.

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