Social media insecurities

IWSGA post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

All the marketing gurus say one thing: to sell your books you must participate in social media. But there are so many of those media sites around. Which ones should I use? Which ones are vital? What could I do to sell more books?

Facebook – this site is probably the most popular, but for me, it’s a black hole. I don’t know how to use it. The site seems simple, even intuitive but it’s also unstructured. I even took a class to learn it but it didn’t help much. I don’t use Facebook. Do I miss on some marketing opportunities? Undoubtedly, but I think it’s important to feel comfortable with the site to use it effectively.

Twitter – I don’t use it much except I tweet every time I have a new post on my blog or another bit of news. What am I missing? What do people do with Twitter?

WordPress – this is my blog and website platform. I post on my blog, although not regularly but at least a couple times a month. I follow several blogs of other writers on WordPress. If I like their posts, I press the Like button, to let them know I read and found it interesting, or comment sometimes, when I have something to contribute. More often, I’m just a silent reader. Should I comment every time? What if I don’t like what I read? What if it’s boring or inane?

Blogger – this platform doesn’t have the Like button. I follow some blogs on Blogger but if I don’t have anything to comment about I can’t even let the writer know I’ve been there and read her post. I really want the Like button everywhere.

Google+ – I don’t even know what it is. How do people use it?

SheWrites – I have been a member for a few years. Recently, it stopped being truly active. I still post some info there about my new blog posts or other news. So does everyone else. Most conversations in the groups I’m a member of have fizzled out some time ago. Does the site do me any good marketing-wise? I’m not sure.

GoodReads – I practically stopped participating, especially following the Amazon takeover and the uproar with censure. I still post my reviews there, but many interesting readers have fled the site, and not much is going on in groups. It’s mostly rehashing of old discussions for new members. Also, the moderators make it impossible to self-promote there. Of course, there are designated places for self-promotion on GoodReads, but nobody but authors ever checks there. It’s useless in my opinion. My particular issue with the site – they don’t allow giveaways of exclusively ebooks. You need printed books to have a giveaway. As my publisher is primarily an e-publisher, I don’t have printed books to offer for a giveaway. How else can I use it?

BookLikes – my favorite book review site at the moment. I log in every day, check my friend’s posts, post my own, and not only book reviews either. There are no moderators, and the site can act as a blog. I can and do self-promote there, although I don’t abuse the privilege. I posted giveaways of two of my books there. It’s mostly a book review site, and we exchange opinions on book-related news, reviews, and pictures. I love the site but I doubt it generated even one sale of my books.

Wattpad – I started posting my free short stories there and discovered that the count for my readers climbs slowly but steadily. Does it generate new readers or new sales for my novels? Not sure, but I like it that people can read my fiction there.

What to do?

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4 Responses to Social media insecurities

  1. I do most of those things with mixed results. I’m glad to hear you like BookLikes. I have an account there but I haven’t done much with it yet. I think I might start spending more time over there.

  2. cheriereich says:

    Marketing can be tough. I hear people have conversations on Twitter, but I really don’t see how. Or maybe I’m not following the right type of people. I do several forms of social media, but in the end, I prefer my blog the best.

    [By the way, to your comment about backing up your work on my blog, it was my flash drive that was hit by the malware/ransomware, so I lost a chunk of my work, although I recovered most of it through the two other flash drives I have. I back up to a computer, 1-2 flash drives, and use Dropbox. I also email myself from one email to another. I’d say having it on a computer, flash drive, and maybe getting a cloud like Dropbox can’t hurt. It’s better to have it on too many places than too few and losing work.]

  3. I’ve hit many of the same walls. I’m on twitter, but not to sell. I just like posting random thoughts and photos. It’s fun for me. I say I’m an author, but I’m almost certain I’ve never generated a sale through twitter.

    Goodreads is high school all over again. My blog loads there, I’ve done two giveaways, but for the $50 -60 it costs, I get reviews that read like book reports. I think I can say that I found one fan there.

    I lost interest in SheWrites quickly, although I found you there.

    I like Google+ to commune with authors, but I don’t think I’ve gained sales. I can, however, claim action on my blogspot blog through Google+.

    I don’t use Facebook. It’s not interesting to me.

    I like pinterest, and I do think I made few sales by starting boards with titles like Cairn: A Dragon Memoir Inspiration.

    David’s Books generated a few sales at Christmas time.
    I found fans in Europe by entering Wishing Shelf Book Award. It was a great experience, although I didn’t win. I plan to enter again this year.

    In the end, it is my blogpost blog that brings people in. It’s a lot of work, but it allows me to branch out in numerous directions. Lots of linking. Lately, I started adding excerpts from the novels that fit my post about other things, and that seems to be gaining traction. You do have to stay active.

    FYI, you can Like on blogpost. At least on mine. Just become a follower (it’s really the same thing), or click the little boxes at the end of the post. Plus 1 on Google+ does wonders to draw traffic.

  4. Olga Godim says:

    Thanks, ladies. Rebecca, a special thanks to you. I do subscribe to your blog but the only things resembling the Like button there are little checkboxes saying “cool” or “interesting” or “funny”. I check them sometimes. I’ve never heard about the Wishing Shelf Book Award but I’m going to research it on Google.

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