Nicolas Gremion

Shady Salesmen Have Nothing on You: Using Social Media to Sell Your eBook

You spend all day on social media.  Whether you’re tweeting about last night’s game or making snarky comments on your friend’s Facebook photos, you’re giving your network a piece of your mind on an hourly basis.

Guess what?  So is everyone else.  People are constantly plugged in to social media sites, so these outlets are prime locations to sell your eBook.  Potential customers waiting in line at the supermarket can just as easily read about your eBook on Twitter as they can read about the Kardashians’ latest escapades in the magazines at the checkout.  Which is a better use of their time?  You and I both know the answer.

Because these people are tech-savvy, they comprise your perfect demographic.  People who are willing to engage electronically are the most likely to take something away from your eBook.  They’re also the most likely to spread the word about your book, and there’s a lot to be said for letting your clients do your marketing for you.  So how do you utilize social media to sell your eBook?

Find “influencers” to review or mention your book.  If John Grisham gives your book an insanely positive review on Twitter (“Best book ever, couldn’t do it better myself!”), millions of people will see his words and be more inclined to check your book out.  John Grisham’s a known entity and you’re not, so his words will mean more than yours at this point.  However, we’re back to the central point here: he’s John Grisham.  Try to nab some more realistic influencers at the beginning.  Does your work buddy have 20,000 followers on Twitter?  Does your favorite college professor have a broad network of writers connected to her on Facebook?  Do you love a book by a less famous author?  These are good places to start.

Don’t just randomly start posting your eBook on their walls or Twitter accounts; that will backfire.  Follow these people and develop a true connection before approaching the subject.  You know how you were told to show more interest in the other person in order to become their friend as a kid?  That advice follows here.  Genuinely express enthusiasm for their work and develop a rapport before bringing your book up.  Coming off like a shady salesperson will backfire, too.

Bribe your customers (ethically).  Give your book (or something similar) away for free to those who “like” you or tweet about you.  It’s a win-win-win.

  1. You build a fan base for yourself by giving people your book for free.  This can help sell future books – people will remember you as generous and interesting if your book is good.
  2. Your social media fan bases will grow through the viral nature of this.  If you’re sharing a free book via “likes” and tweets, you’ll soon leave your buddy with 20,000 followers in the dust.
  3. Your readers get a free book.

Include links to your social media accounts directly in your book.  This seems like a no-brainer, but most people still don’t do it.  The links can be inserted anywhere – at the beginning, in a footer, at the end.  If you’re giving your book away for free, encourage readers to share it.  A short note saying, “Share this eBook for free with your family and friends by simply hitting the ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ buttons.  They’ll thank you for it!” will give people an idea they may not have on their own.  It also lets them know it’s kosher – people (rightfully) worry about copyright issues, so you’re approving of sharing it without anyone having to ask.

If you’re selling your book, you can still connect with your audience.  Add a statement saying, “Enjoy this book?  Let’s connect via Facebook or Twitter.”  A lot of people think it’s pretty cool to be able to connect with an author like that.

You and I are both utilizing social media all day, every day, so you might as well make good use of it.  eBook success is very dependent upon your willingness to be your own marketing director.  Social media will give you the biggest bang for your buck, since its viral nature will allow your marketing efforts to multiply quickly with very little effort on your part.  So go forth, young grasshopper, and someday, you may have John Grisham tweeting about you.

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