by Stan Faryna
Valerie Lioudis, author of the zombie thriller, Aftershock: A Collection of Survivor Stories, asked me to write about how authors can use social media to market their books.
Valerie specifically wanted me to write for the authors that participate in the Reanimated Writers Zombie Fiction Fan Group on Facebook. I’m flattered by Valerie’s request and I hope I don’t disappoint her and Kevin. Because before I can get into the process and tasks, I have to get into the purpose. If the purpose and grit is lacking, there really isn’t any need to proceed further.
So I must ask you, fearsome author, why did you publish a book?
You published your book for it to be read, enjoyed and praised. By many. More than 100. Maybe, 5000. OR you have published a book for the wrong reasons.
Of course, many often say, just write. Others, write for yourself. In other words, write to understand you and, perhaps, benefit from truthful self-examination. Maybe you can fix you. Heal you. Find the path to a better you. Certainly, writing can help you do these things.
But once you have an ambition to publish your writing, you seek to be known. You seek to be trusted, preferred over others, honored, praised and otherwise rewarded. You want to matter to others. Me too.
Even if you possess talent, technique and style (however challenging they are for you to achieve in your work), these are not sufficient to get known. And, truth be told, a published book is not the accomplishment today that it was 100 years ago. In fact, anyone can publish a book today. And everybody seems to be doing it too!
Who will buy your book?
People need to see it to believe it. They need to believe it is worthy of their attention and time before they will taste it and see for themselves if it is good. Your book needs to be brought to market and it needs to succeed in a fierce competition among other books and, often, among better written books than yours.
It’s great, for example, that the zombie market is huge. Last year, there were over 12 million total viewers of The Walking Dead. But how will your book get to that market of zombie fans?
Your book is competing for the attention of readers against 500,000+ new Indie books per year – not to mention all the books published by the industry leading publishers with their long experience and proven strategies for selling and marketing books. Today, an accomplishment is selling 5,000 or more copies within five years of publication.
Of course, there is some accomplishment in writing a book fit for publication. But the line between fitness and self-humiliation has been blurred much by the celebration of self-publication. And what self-respecting adult prizes a participation trophy?!
But those with purpose and grit will succeed in the serious accomplishment with a modest financial investment. Under $1200. Do not think, however, that it’s easy to compete against millions of dollars of marketing and ad spend of the top 20 publishers. That would be some really bad maths and poor common sense on your part!
With much, enduring and persistent effort to market your books and build positive and mutually beneficial relationships in social media, you can become known. My friend, business professor and author, Mark Schaefer swears it in his best selling book, Known.
Building positive and mutually beneficial relationships may not be why you are on social media. It may not be how you do social media. That’s something we can easily fix if your purpose is to be an accomplished author.
Since I find that most learning is actually happening when there is doing, therefore, I will only continue to write further on this subject if I see 20 retweets and shares of both of the following tweets and posts. Even if there is not enough of you do so easily, encourage your friends to retweet and share. Because that’s how social media savvy is done.
Click the link below and retweet the tweet from your Twitter account.
Click the link and like and share the post from your Facebook account.
P.S. The conditions for a second blog post were met. Here’s the link to it:
Have you heard about my novella, Francesco Augustine Bernadone?
“This fast and furious LitRPG, sci-fi book packs a punch like Saitama, the One-Punch Man, while giving us haunting glimpses of the near future and our existential predicament. With subtle hints of Dostoyevsky, Tolkien and The Walking Dead, this story is more delicious than the world’s greatest chimichanga. Sorry, Deadpool.”