Your social media followers aren’t there to be sold to; they want to be engaged and entertained. But you’re focused on selling your book. Where do you draw the line?
“Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!” After a few emails, blog posts, and tweets sounding like that, even your grandma’s going to stop paying attention to what you have to say.
A sales pitch, no matter how you dress it up, sounds like a sales pitch. And who likes being sold to? Premium cable channels and the DVR industry have been built on the premise that nobody wants to watch commercials.
The same is true for social media updates; fans and followers who have chosen to follow you and see your posts are like everybody else: they don’t want a sales pitch. They want to be engaged. They want to be entertained. They want to get to know you.
But wait – you’re not here to make friends. You’re focused on selling your book. Lots of books, if you can help it. So where do you draw the line? How do you sell without “selling?”
For starters, cut the gimmicky advertising techniques “guaranteed to get people into your sales funnel” to get your point across. There’s a much better way.
Craft a story
Like writing a press release, crafting a great social media post demands that you develop a story before you try selling your book over your network. Once you’ve done that, you’re in a much better position to throw a link back to your book’s blog or website in the post.
Let’s say that you have a zombie-romance-thriller. Zombie meets girl, girl falls in love with zombie, zombie nearly gets killed by jealous boyfriend – and that’s just the first chapter. It’s awesome: your friends and writing groups love it, and, more importantly, you love it. It’s a terrific story, but how should you begin pitching it to your social followers?
You could, perhaps, start by writing a blog post that focuses on how you came to the idea of writing such an unusual story. Perhaps even take your blog readers on a journey through your writing process and techniques, occasionally quoting paragraph or sentence right from the book. The gist is that while you have a great book, the way to get people to notice it is to tell a story that make you and your book “approachable.”
If you can get people interested in the book on your blog, and bring people to your blog via social media, they’ll be much more likely to discover and read your book.
Write a compelling headline
Instead of “My book’s out! Finally! You should buy it!” why not try “My journey from blank screen to zombie scream: How I wrote Cold Hands, Warm Heart.” The second title is interesting, has emotional appeal, and it makes people curious. The first title sounds like a commercial and is a definite turn-off.
After you have a great story to make you and your book more “human,” (even if it is about zombies), come up with a Tweet. Think of this as your headline. Something short, engaging, and interesting. You can even use the title of the blog post you just wrote (I do this all the time, and it works great).
You still get the message across about what you have to offer, but people don’t feel like they are being sold to. And Grandma’s still listening.
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