Why Facebook isn’t -always- the best place to market your book
There’s nothing wrong with being proud and wanting to sell your book. Writing and publishing a book is an accomplishment in its own and should be marketed widely. Some writers can be over the top on selling their book. They don’t shy away from any platform. And Facebook is pretty much leading in that department. But, just like everything in life, there are good ways and lesser ways to approach the marketing side of selling a book.
Facebook is first and foremost a social platform. A place where you can ‘meet’ and connect with others. It’s a place where you can share your joy and sadness, your anger and your excitement about pretty much anything. But it’s also a place where you can find groups for support and pages of inspiring people who you can follow.
Because Facebook is attractive to and used by so many people, it’s easy for an Indie-author to use this platform to sell their book. After all, lots of people will see your book as they scroll through the timeline. And if your friends like your post, chances are their friends will see the post, too. Who knows how many people you will reach with any message you post?
But that’s also where the problem lies.
I’m not a fan of telling people what they should do, but I am a fan of sharing what I have seen that has worked, and what hasn’t worked. I will never tell you I have THE ultimate do’s and don’ts list, simply because people will do what they will do as they should. Some learn by making their own mistakes, others learn by watching the mistakes of others. There’s no good or bad way in that.
That said, let me share with you what I believe are the do’s and don’ts of using Facebook for your book marketing.
Target the right audience
When you release a book, whether it’s the first or the twentieth, of course you want to share it with the world. You post messages on all your social media and you tell people where they can find your book. But after the tenth message, you might notice that there are fewer likes or that the likes continue to be from the same people. Your Facebook friends aren’t necessarily your targeted audience, the ones that will buy your book.
Interest in your messages doesn’t mean you’ve found your targeted audience and you will sell more books. It might just mean that the people who are interested just want to show their support. Most people decide upon the first or second message whether they’ll buy your book or not. So it’s no use to post message after message about your book and where to buy it. You’ll just annoy your Facebook friends. Conclusion:
DON’Tuse your personal Facebook profile to post lots of messages about your book. Your personal Facebook page is about you, not about your books.
DO create an author’s page and invite your friends (and their friends and their friends) to follow (and share) that page. On this page you can share whatever you like concerning your book and market the heck out of it, because this is the page the right audience will follow (and that has nothing to do with you as a person!)
What to share?
But what if you want to share news about your book? What if your book’s gotten a great review? Or someone has blogged about your book? Should everything concerning your book be posted on an author’s page?
Of course not. Your personal page is about you and your book is a part of who you are and what you’ve become. An occasional share about your book is completely fine, but:
DO make it personal. Tell about you as the author, not about the book as the product. Leave the marketing techniques for your author’s page.
DON’T make it about the selling of your book. You don’t have to include a link to where the book’s being sold in every message about your book. People are smart. If they’re intrigued by your message, they’ll find a way to your book.
Focus on non-intrusive messages
Most people won’t tell you if or when they get annoyed by your messages. Instead, they unfriend you or – best case scenario – they just unfollow you. To avoid your Facebook network getting annoyed, simply see it from their perspective. What do you want to see from them?
If they’re excited about something they’ve accomplished and take every opportunity they get to tell you this, would you keep cheering them on and stay connected to them to the bitter end? You might support them by buying the book but after that, it’s far more likely you’ll get annoyed by the constant reminders to buy their book.
Use Facebook in a non-intrusive way:
DOuse a banner where you mention the link to your book(s). On free websites as Canva.com you can easily make a banner for Facebook and add your books and the website link on there.
DON’Tmention a link to your book(s) in every message you post concerning your books. Whether it’s a message about something huge or small, no one likes to read the BUY ME-BUY ME-BUY ME messages.
There are many ways to market your book. Facebook is one way, but it shouldn’t be your main or only focus. To make sure you reach the most people, spread your marketing to more platforms and not just your own platforms. For instance, ask bloggers to mention your book on their websites. Find reviewers who are willing to read and review your book on their own platforms. Do interviews with local or online newspapers. There are many ways to market your book without you actually doing the marketing yourself. Be creative. You have that in you; you wrote a book for crying out loud!
Petra is a published Indie author. She’s been writing all her life, but only dared to publish a book when she started writing the Somnia Series. She’s a motivational coach for (Fantasy) writers, offers all kinds of services on her own Dutch platform www.fantasyschrijfcoaching.nl, and uses her author’s website to help other writers achieve their writing goals. She loves using her platform to promote other Indie Authors who have the courage and determination to make their books worth your (reading) time.