Unless you are a celebrity, selling books is very hard going. But if you can build your author-audience you can grow and create recognition of your author brand and books over time.
This is not such a difficult task now. Social media and the Internet have given anyone the opportunity to create a following and build a successful means of promotion.
However, many make the mistake of thinking that it is simply a matter of opening a Twitter or Facebook account. Then following a few people and posting hundreds of messages with links about where to buy their book. Or worse, using the killer phrase of, check out my book, is all that is needed to start books sales rolling in.
Not only will sales fail to eventuate, but this approach will also drive people away in droves. It will fail to build what you really need – your audience.
What does work is great content
The adage that content is king is very true when it comes to using social media to build a loyal following.
But it needs to be focused and related to topics that are within the author brand you are building.
For example, if you are a science fiction author, post newspaper and blog articles related to space, science, physics, technology and of course, other science fiction authors.
Start your own blog and write regular posts about your passion. Once you have a reasonable collection of blog posts, say fifty or so, recycle them all over again on Twitter and Facebook for your new followers to read.
Blog posts also attract people via search engines. So make sure there are prominent Twitter and Facebook follow buttons on your blog to ensure people who stumble upon you this way, can follow you quickly and easily.
Over time, you will become a source of informative content. Your content will then have a very good chance of being shared (or re-tweeted) and your reach will expand and grow, as will your new followers.
If you write historical fiction, use the same logic. Post content that is related to the historical period and geographical area that you are writing about.
No matter what your writing genre, there will be a focused topic for you to use to build an audience.
It’s also important to remember that once your books are published, they will appear in search engines. This is because Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, B&N and other online publishers all make sure their products are listed.
So once your name is known, finding your books is easy for someone who is genuinely interested in knowing more about you and your books.
So how does this sell books?
It attracts genuine attention to you. That is what you need for potential book buyers to become interested in taking a look at your books.
All you need is a well written little bio and a link to your website or blog where your books are advertised.
On your blog, you can even be more direct and have a link to your Amazon book page.
If people are interested in what you have to say, they will go looking for your books.
People buy books because they are interested in certain topics and genres. Not one has ever bought a book because they were told to do so.
Building your author brand is a little like starting your own newspaper.
Yes, they carry a little advertising of course. But they are all about delivering great content. Without content, no one would bother reading a newspaper.
So sure, share a mention of your books from time to time. But make sure you are providing a heap of top quality content in between.