For some time now I’ve been considering this question about social media. As someone who got into Twitter and Facebook because I’m a writer with a need to promote my books, and as a person who has been in various aspects of business all my life, it became important to me to assess my ROI (return on investment) of time, energy and money.
While our goal should be to reach readers, I’ve realized for some time that writers who tweet and share on Facebook are, in general, talking to other writers. Have you checked out your followers list on Twitter lately? I have and somewhere around 90% are other writers. Sure we sometimes buy each other’s books, but we are definitely not our target audience. They are out there, but we aren’t reaching them. Or if we are, the sheer numbers of Indie books are overwhelming them.
Additionally, I tried an experiment. I belong to a Facebook group of writers who try to support each other in a number of ways, one of which is to tweet book promos for each other. I listed a tweet for my novella, The Great Twitter Adventure, on September 27 of 2012. Many kind people have tweeted and re-tweeted that promo over the months, literally thousands of times. Six months later, I had my first sale – I gifted a friend the book. I believe that this is a pretty good indication that simply tweeting our book promos out there will never accomplish what we really want – for people to buy and read our books.
So, what to do about this problem? I don’t have an answer to the problem, but as they say recognizing there is a problem is the first step to solving it.
There are only two avenues to reaching readers that I know of – Goodreads and advertising on sites like Kindle Nation Daily, which presumably Kindle readers will access to pick their next book. Thank goodness the competition with free ebooks is dying out. Perhaps soon there will be room for paid books on the world’s overburdened e-readers.
For those who find themselves trying to reach the reading masses, just know that you are not alone in this quest. No matter how an author attempts to present a sunny face, very few are making much at this endeavor. If you’ve managed to receive a 1099 from Amazon, frame a copy. It will remind you that you ARE getting paid. But, in the meantime, strive to find a unique place among readers while maintaining your friendships with authors. We do need to talk to each other, for support and companionship, but not to rely on each other to promote our books.
Be creative in your search for readers. That’s what I intend to do over the rest of 2013. I’ll happily share whatever new things I find.
Don’t be shy. Please share your thoughts on this subject!