In the grand scheme of publishing social media is not the end goal. Rather it's the connection superhighway that will grab a reader's attention and lead them to their end destination- your book. But with this highway comes several other road signs, all other writers trying to drive traffic to their book instead. So how do you get readers to choose your book above others? How do you take followers on social media and turn them into book buyers?
1. Form A Plan
While winging your social media strategy may seem like a good idea, it won't help you sell books. Being mindful and intentional with what you share will bring in better results. The main thing you need to use social media for as an author is to connect, build trust, and spread awareness for your book. You can do this by leading your followers exactly where you want them to go.
Follow this easy 3 step plan:
Drive to website
Make the sale
The first step is to connect with your audience. Use your content and creativity to get their attention. Once you have it, form deeper relationships by reaching out. Step two is to drive the followers that you've made to your home site. Whether it's a website, blog, podcast, Youtube channel, etc. wherever you operate and showcase what you're trying to sell is where you want them to go. Once they're there, you have to get them to sign up for your newsletter. This is where you're going to "sell" them your product. It could be a book, course, service, etc. It doesn't matter what you're selling, but it does matter if they aren't signing up. Lastly, you're going to use your newsletter to make the sale.
**Keep in mind that the number of followers you have is only good for visibility. The number of subscriptions you have is what truly matters. Your subscribers are the people who are going to buy your book.
Create An Author Website
Creating an author website is the next big step. Readers have to have someplace they can go to learn about your story, buy your book, and see general updates and news. You can't rely on social media alone and should never underestimate the power of an official looking website. People rarely buy items directly off of social media. Instead, they purchase them from homepages where they know and trust that the transaction will be secure. Using a site like Wix for example makes it easy. Wix has ready-made templates and easy payment features that make setting up a fully functioning site doable in a single afternoon.
Check out the rest of my site at Writing It Wells to see an example.
Now that we have a plan and a website to display it on, it's time to think about content. Content is anything you post or share online. As I've mentioned in my last article 15 Steps To Build An Audience For Your Novel, finding your target audience is the most important step to attracting potential readers. The best way to keep things fresh and exciting is to produce content in various forms. Blog posts, videos, images, graphs, podcasts, story snippets, author interviews, live readings, hosting contests and giveaways, all of these will pique your follower's interests. Creating shareable content will ensure that you have consistent traffic- and potential subscribers- coming to your website.
The other half of generating content is to create community. By creating a welcoming environment that actively engages writers and readers alike, you'll find your followers will increase and so will your sales. Create a Facebook Page devoted entirely to your book series, set up a fan club, launch a Twitter campaign, share your work with blogging communities, post your reviews. All of these options will help you succeed in your writing and publishing goals.
For inspiration, connect with me on Instagram @writingitwells
Grab Their Attention
Okay, so you have your audience and are actively engaging with them regularly. The next step is to get them to sign up for your newsletter. How do you do that? You ask. It's actually quite simple. You need to come up with an incentive. Just because someone likes your work and is interested in seeing more from you doesn't mean they will subscribe. In order to hand over sensitive information like an email, they need to feel that they are getting something in return.
Your incentive can be a multitude of things. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. In fact keeping it simple is perfectly fine, as long as it provides some added benefit via information or resource. Examples are: A newsletter, a template, a marketing package, a how-to guide- the options are endless. If you're on the fence about what the right one for you is, start small. Creating a monthly newsletter is the easiest way to begin. It takes less time and effort, yet is effective in the long-run.You can always provide something new and more in-depth once you've gotten a better handle on things.
Make The Sale
Once they've signed up for your newsletter, you can move in for the sales pitch. The best way to do this to be subtle about it. Provide quality content for three emails and then on the fourth ask them to purchase what you're selling. Then repeat the process. Even better if you have a freebie or a resource (like an email course) that can generate some interest in one of the emails prior to when you send the sales pitch. This will prep them for the sale that is going to happen and will make them more likely to buy.
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Other Ways To Boost Sales
Here are a few other tips to help boost your book sales.
Share your reviews on social media
Use Twitter to tweet review snippets
Get bloggers to promote your book
By leading your followers through this process, you make the overall sales experience more pleasant. You've given them value, taken the time to build a genuine connection, and have provided high quality content they're sure to find useful.
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