Amazon’s Kindle platform has, in the last few years, caused what can only be described as a revolution in the world of publishing.
These pioneers of publishing, however, often find that without the backing of a traditional publisher – and the agents and publicists that come with them – it’s extremely difficult to get the word out about a new book. The readers are there, and they’re looking for new authors, but the marketplace is still crowded with established bestsellers who have a direct line to the eyes and ears of readers.
This is where social media comes in. Promoting your book with Facebook advertising is one of the best ways to use the power of social networks to spread the word about your work. While you can’t grab yourself a high profile review in a national newspaper or win a coveted display in the window of your local bookstore, thanks to social media you don’t have to.
So, how can you use Facebook to your advantage in marketing your books? Simple. Just follow these tips.
1. Ignore Direct Sales
The power of Facebook lies not in selling one on one to users, but in raising awareness of your work. Many authors choose to spend their limited marketing budget on direct advertising, displaying paid ads in the ‘sponsored’ section to the right of the newsfeed. While this may raise your profile a little, it’s unlikely to result in a significant number of book sales.
2. Build Your Brand
Instead, you should focus on building yourself as a brand. Your first job should be to create your own fan page. Using the ‘artist, band or public figure’ option you can create your own author page that will act as a hub for your Facebook marketing efforts.
On this page you’ll engage with your fans, providing news of future releases, excerpts from your work, links to online stores and anything else your readers may enjoy.
3. Build Relationships
As I already mentioned, Facebook isn’t about making direct sales. To truly succeed in promoting your book with Facebook advertising you need to build relationships with potential customers. Using your author page as a base (and posting as your author identity rather than with your personal account), seek to engage with Facebook users who may be interested in your genre.
Want an example? Let’s assume your latest book is an epic tale of forbidden love in Victorian England. Would you try to engage with fans of sci-fi, hunting and football? No, it would probably be wasted effort. Instead, you’d join groups created for fans of romance novels, romantic movies and, perhaps, the actor Colin Firth (who played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, of course). This is your target audience.
Once you’ve identified your potential customers you mustn’t under any circumstances wade in and try to sell to them. Instead, contribute meaningfully to the conversation. Build relationships, and work your way into the groups. In time these relationships will pay dividends, and these people will become both your customer base and your loudest cheerleaders.
4. Call on Your Friends
Finally, don’t forget to call on your friends to put the word out about your latest work. Your greatest resource on Facebook is ready and waiting for you. With the right encouragement your friends will kick start your campaign, spreading the good word about your book and creating the seed of your future success.