With the iPad, Kindle, Nook and about a dozen other e-readers on the market, books are more popular than ever. Of course, an eBook is a lot different than that hardcover you pick up for $30 at the bookstore on special occasions, but that’s perfectly okay. It doesn’t mean that printed books are going extinct; it just means the world is more open to the idea of instantly downloadable literature that’s easy to scroll through and read via their fancy devices. No biggie.
In fact, for individuals attempting to sell their books, there’s actually no greater time to get in and make a profit than today. Whether you’re looking to supplement your income, boost your business profile, or just be read and published somewhere, you can use social media to market your books – and you won’t have to spend a lot to do it.
There’s a huge market out there for your books. You just have to tap into it. The tips below will help you spread your message and gain fans and customers without breaking the bank to do so.
How To Market Books on a Budget
Just passing the one-billion mark, Facebook is the biggest social network on the planet. It’s also the biggest business website around, although the average user doesn’t always realize it. Marketing on Facebook, for the most part, is absolutely free. Creation of a business and/or fan page doesn’t cost anything. You won’t have to invest capital until you start creating and launching Facebook ads.
One of the primary areas of focus when launching your ads is to ensure that they’re honed specifically for the right audience. You’re looking to narrow your search field significantly, targeting primarily those who are more likely to want your book.
It’s a social network, so ensure that you’re sociable and playing into the social context of the site by frequently updating your page with different interactive materials. Offering podcasts, videos, and other fun materials is a great way to get people involved. Also consider joining a wide assortment of groups. Your aim should be to become a legitimate part of the site and to participate in the social experience.
Although Twitter is a gigantic social network with around 500 million users (Facebook has 1 billion), Twitter and Facebook are worlds apart in terms of how they’re used to promote a business. With Twitter, it takes constant attention and an ability to be incredibly succinct in what it is you’re saying; not only due to the character limit, but also to the fast-paced nature of the network.
To promote your book, you want to search for people within your particular niche. Twitter has a great search feature that allows you to find people to follow. Make sure you’re following people not only in your niche but who are also popular in general.
While you’re checking out other tweets and accounts on the site, you need to be updating your status frequently and become an “interesting person.” Avoid mass-tweeting people directly, as it will be seen as spam and you will lose your account.
You have to spend time building your network up. The goal here isn’t to promote your book; you instead want to promote yourself and to become part of the niche. As you pick up popularity and followers and begin to tweet back and forth, then you can begin to provide links to your website, videos, audio clips, etc. It’s a slower process, but it’s absolutely free.
Marketing your book on a blog is something that can be done in conjunction with Facebook and Twitter (and also other places like Instagram, Amazon, eBay, etc), by making sure that you’re driving traffic from your social locations back to your blog and vice-versa.
The first step in this process is to actually create a blog. Take some time in selecting the name of the blog. To make it more legitimate, you can put up $10 at Blogger for a legitimate dot-com (or net, org, etc) account to add some legitimacy if you’re planning on having a shopping cart (PayPal) and selling directly off of your blog, which is definitely a money-saver compared to purchasing a web-hosting package.
So, select a unique, catchy name that’s pertinent to your book or brand, and create a professional-looking, personal blog with a nice template, social media buttons, and other gadgets. Have your house in order before you seek out an audience.
Now that your blog is created, which will cost you $10 tops, it’s time to find an audience. The first step in this process is seeking out blogs within your niche. Since you’re dealing in books, you can look at a few markets and find the overlap. For example, you’ll start with general lovers of literature, then narrow that to the type of book you’re offering (fiction, how-to, etc), and then you’ll go even further and select the topic of the book. This is where the overlap is at – the people who’re reading and blogging about what your book is about.
From here, you need to value each individual blogger you come in contact with, taking time to read their posts before commenting and working to build a relationship. It’s not all about pushing the sale. You first have to build your bridges. There are resource sites to use, but Google is the easiest. Just type in “this site uses keyword X” and you’ll find a bunch.
If you’re selling directly from your blog, create tabs in Blogger and have a separate page for your shopping cart. On your main page, you need to focus on developing a readership by blogging frequently. You want to come across as an authority on your selected topic, so blog frequently about the subject your book covers. Give readers a reason to keep returning, and make sure those share links are there so that you can cross over into your other networks easily.
It isn’t going to cost you much of an investment at all if you follow these three different social networking methods. The best part is that they all tie in together. You can link your Twitter, Facebook and Blogger account and ensure that your social presence is encompassing throughout your niche. The more notoriety you gain, the more books you’re going to sell.
Eric Taylor currently works as a freelance writer and business developer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad manager tool. Qwaya provides information, tools and up-to-date news about social media marketing strategies, most specifically on Facebook The company aims to build a sophisticated tool with powerful features that are user-friendly and affordable for online advertisers and marketers world wide.