Ebook Pricing, Marketing, and Promotions: Social Media

I’ve been trying a bunch of different ebook pricing, marketing, and promotions strategies.  While you shouldn’t consider me an expert by any means, I have come away with some lessons.  The first post is here; the ongoing series is here.

Social Media

  • Guard your time.  People with good intentions will suck you dry in a heartbeat.
  • Network with other writers.  You don’t need to promote 100% of what they do, but enthuse if you’re enthusiastic.
  • If you love books, review them.  This establishes both karma and reputation.
  • Keep promotional tweets to one day a week or so.
  • You can blog more often, though – as long as your blog gives the reader something, rather than openly begs for sales.
  • Give people things: if someone needs help and you can afford the time, help.  Answer questions, share other people’s stuff, show some appreciation and love.  It doesn’t have to take a lot of time.
  • It’s easier to just be yourself, and it seems to do less harm than you might think.  Although it’s probably easier to get away with putting your foot in your mouth if you’re a good writer, because you’ll a) be eloquent about it and b) have people going, “Too bad about their opinions.  Oh, well.  I like their stuff anyway.”  Most people are cool like that.
  • Share stuff that you like.  It’s not all about you, or about your book, or about promoting your platform, or even about being the wittiest @#$%^&*()@# in town.  You, you, you.  So what?  This LOLCat is funnier than you…and he’s not even trying.

  • Twitter is great for testing different versions of something, because you can see who favorites/retweets which version.  So try putting up two different log lines and see which one people like better.
  • Have a home on the Internet so people can look you up.  Make sure you home on the Internet gives links to all your books, at all major sites (I’m still in progress on this).  Make sure it gives an interesting bio/photo of you.  Make sure it gives your contact information across your social media sites.  Make sure you list any free stories and signup for a newsletter: the first page people hit should be the ONE page they need to get where they want to go.  Do not hide information.
  • Follow back.
  • Don’t be a dick.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Liz

    But Wil Wheaton is so funny! 😀

    Good advice. I was promoting stuff on Twitter every day, but seeing other people doing it every five minutes, all day, every day made me change my mind. Sigh.

    The crazy thing about social media is that there isn’t a formula. Some days, stuff works. Some days, it doesn’t. I’ve found that I stress less if I’m just enjoying it rather than using it.

    I’d also add that you should try to get to know your readers a little. You don’t want to spend your whole day talking to one person, but I like chatting with everyone. I want to hear about your cat and your baby; I don’t just talk books with people (though that’s a lot of fun, too).

  2. De

    Good point 🙂

  3. The only piece of advice I don’t like is “Follow back.” I do follow back — and then I unfollow when I find out that the person I just followed tweets a continual barrage of ancient blog posts, RTs of material I’ve already seen, and endless reminders that I can buy books. I really like Twitter as a tool for reading, learning, and being entertained, and following people who clutter up the feed just because they followed me ruins the experience for me. Otherwise, though, it’s been great to read about your experience. Thanks for writing all these posts.

    • De

      Sarah, you should still follow people back – because they will send extra people your way. Even annoying people. Here’s the deal: set up a list of people you read, and kick people off THAT if you don’t like what they have to say.

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