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Be the Shameless Self-Promoter

Apr 20, 2016 02:22 am

When it comes to the truth about social media, especially their role in selling books, I'm afraid 'tis true: social media alone don't sell books. But they are a powerful tool to engage and connect with your readers. And that sells books. The bestselling authors I know have around 100%–200% increase in FB engagements every week. How? Because these authors are content creators; they work toward getting their readers to love and know them through their social media. So, in short, social media are only as good of a tool as you utilize them. They are free, powerful, and can help your reach grow viral.

Perhaps a better illustration would be this: What platform and method can help you connect with over 200 individuals who are interested in you and engaging with you in one single setting? It's social media. I'm able to get 200 new followers in one week just from creating content meticulously. And 30% of these new followers retweeted and responded to my posts. I wasn't trying to sell a book; I was selling me. And as authors, I advise you to do the same.

I remember the first post-graduate class I attended; the professor walked in, placed his briefcase on the desk, and started to write these words on the board: "To be successful in what you do, you need to be a shameless self-promoter." This phrase still rings true for me and many of my classmates today.

As I mentioned before, if you are going to send out notices to ask people to come to your signing, you may not be as successful. But, if you were to reach out to a few fans weeks or days before and send out a personal invitation to organize a group specifically to come see you, etc., and perhaps have a group dinner after the event, etc., you will more likely see loads more success in signing events. Brandon Sanderson, for example, does a meet and greet, and then proceeds to have dinner with his fans right after in most of his events. I know this, because I was one of those people who had had the opportunity to organize a dinner gathering for him after a signing. It was a full house at the end of the day. He reached out to his fans, and for his efforts, his fans reached back. That alone made his event very engaging.

The key to successful social media efforts is planning. You need to have an agenda, and then a plan of execution. You have over 300 individuals to tap into freely, and an infinite amount of possible reach. If you look at it from this perspective, the possibilities are limitless. The rest is up to you.

by Christopher Loke, executive editor
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