I’m thinking … not a whole lot.
Hear me out first before you blow a raspberry at me.
As an author, one of the axioms of marketing our books is social media. Or so we’re told. But seriously, how much does it help outside of our friends and family?
The number one way books are sold — and take off — is through word of mouth. I can sit here and tweet all kinds of interesting things, blog about all kinds of happenings, and Facebook until the cows come home. But you know what? I don’t think any of it adds up to a hill of beans.
Because it’s the readers who determine our sales.
So here’s the irony of social media. I feel guilty if I don’t engage in social media, because there’s this “connection” (so I’m told) between my visibility and my sales. But, uh, when I tweet and upload content to Facebook, and not necessarily about my books, guess what? It doesn’t make a damned difference.
However, if I run into someone who’s read my books, or get an email from a fan who loves my latest release and wants to know when the next one comes out — all of whom also say they’ve told their friends to buy my books, I often see a spike in sales. In those cases, my social media becomes about the warm and fuzzies I have with fans. And that, to me, is where the real connection lies.
Know what this tells me? I should be thanking my fans and readers as often as I can. Because readers rock. They’re what make it all happen for an author.
So. It’s time to cut some of the social media ties and focus more on my writing. And I’m not going to feel a lick of guilt over doing that either.
What about you? Do you as a reader or writer think social media makes a difference for an author?
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