I’ve been talking about why your audience isn’t growing and want to tackle how to sell more books, which REALLY means how to get more readers. I have a great interview with Chris Syme of the award-winning CK Syme media group and author of Sell More Books with Less Social Media.
Many authors struggle with promotion the same way that bloggers do. Content creation is awesome! But promotion…not so much. I think sometimes we need to reframe the conversation.
Think back to when you were young and fell in love with your first books. Did you ever wish you could write to your favorite author? I did!
But…back then there was no internet. No website for authors. Just the publishers’ address on that boring page no one reads in the front of the book.
Now? If you want to reach your favorite author, you might be able to get a response in under an hour on Twitter.
Yes, social media means we have to do some promotional work. But what if instead of thinking of this as WORK, we thought of it as connecting with our readers. Directly. THAT’S SO COOL!
But it still isn’t always easy. So I talked with Chris Syme to get some tips on using social media and I have some great tips for you to find more readers! (You can also check out episode 89 of the podcast, where Chris and I talk marketing strategies!)
Listen to Episode 110 – How to get more readers and sell more books with Chris Syme
HOW TO GET MORE READERS
Know Your First Book Is a Learning Experience
Your first book will likely NOT be your best. You should treat it as a learning experience. Learn from reviews and listen to beta readers if you have them. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to make it great, but realize you will learn more from failures.
Don’t Start Copying Tactics with No WHY
Many authors start using tactics that other authors use…without focusing on NEW authors. You can’t just copy a case study that a successful author shared and expect to have success.
Start with the Basic Platform that Succeeds
You need an author website, an email list, and Facebook. Data tells you that these three things WORK. You can branch out to Instagram and Tumblr or wherever you love to hang out, but start with the places that bring you ROI- a return on your investment.
The Best Marketing Strategy Is Writing the Next Book
Don’t stop writing. Your marketing should NOT be the focus, no matter what level you’re at! But when you start especially, don’t freak out when your books don’t sell and you struggle to find readers. Just keep writing.
Build an Author Network
Stay connected to other authors, both at the same level you are and a few steps ahead. You should connect to those in your genre and some trustworthy groups. Do be careful– not everyone knows what they’re talking about in Facebook groups.
Find Great Beta Readers
You want to find beta readers who aren’t your friends, because you want someone to tell you the truth. Sometimes people in your genre will read a piece to tell you if you’re on the right track. You could also hire a developmental editor.
HOW TO GET MORE READERS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Know Your Goals
You want to engage fans, moving them from readers to raving fans. In order to do both of these in the same place, you need to have a platform that encourages BOTH engagement and promo.
You Don’t Need to Be On all Platforms- Just the Ones Your People Are On
80% of online adults 13 years old and older are on Facebook. The end. This is still the biggest platform out there. Instagram is the second, and it’s owned by Facebook. You don’t have to work as hard to engage people there.
Know the Platforms That Sell
There is a funnel when it comes to sales. Discovery is where people find you. Awareness is where they begin to engage with you and getting more loyalty. Sales is the bottom of the funnel. Facebook and Youtube are at the top when it comes to sales effectiveness and discovery. YouTube isn’t always the best for authors, which leaves Facebook as the most effective according to data.
Go with Engagement
Check what is working with Facebook Insights. Sort your posts by engagement. See what people are engaging with and then find a way to do more of that while being more of your authentic self.
PRO TIP– If you love Instagram, but know more sales are made on Facebook, consider how you can make Facebook into your Instagram by engaging around visuals. It’s a mental switch, but think creatively how you can apply what you like about one platform and put it into the platform with the data behind it. The mistake that we often make is that we think that we like a platform, so we need to be there. Go with data FIRST and then find a way to replicate that other platform on the one that DATA says to use.
Ultimately, you don’t want to be someone else on social media. You want to be YOU. Find a way to connect where you can be your authentic self.
For more insights from Chris, check out her books and her course on setting up your Facebook page (which is really fantastic!):
How to Set Up a Facebook Page That Sells More Books ( a great course I’ve taken!)
Or just connect through her blog at CK Syme Media Group!