Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
Please give a big ol’ WG2E Welcome to the fabulous Lexi Ryan, who’s sharing the scoop on how she’s Using Facebook to Increase her Ebook Sales…
About a month ago, I saw a dramatic increase in my sales. And by dramatic I mean a 1000% increase and growing every day.
(DISCLAIMER: A 1000% increase is pretty attainable when you have low sales numbers. For those of you already selling 20+ copies of each book a day, your mileage may vary.)
TEXT APPEAL was doing okay for my first indie release, and I was seeing that very, very slow build. However, I wasn’t seeing the kind of success others were, and I was confident that the story and the writing were strong and even a good fit for the current market.
I knew visibility was key. I did some guest blogs and put my toes into the waters of paid advertising with varied results. But, outside of announcing my new releases on my own wall, I wasn’t promoting on facebook and didn’t really want to be.
There were many factors keeping me from using facebook to its full potential, but once I gave it a shot, I realized my perceptions were all wrong.
PERCEPTION versus REALITY
Perception: Those facebook promotion pages are just writers talking to writers. There’s no real benefit.
Reality: As is probably the case for everything I say in this post, it really depends on the group or page on which you’re posting. That said, there are a lot of writers on the promotion pages, but there are a lot of readers too. In fact, if you watch the pages for awhile, you’ll see that many times readers are recommending books they liked or posting trying to find a specific kind of book.
Perception: It’s like talking into a void. No one comments when other authors post, so that must mean no one’s reading them.
Reality: Even if no one comments, that doesn’t mean they’re not reading. My husband owns a business and he’s constantly telling me that businesses don’t advertise for the sale, they advertise for the branding and name recognition. Writers should approach advertising and social networking the same way.
Perception: Any bump in sales would be minimal and temporary.
Reality: The bump in sales one gets from posting on facebook promotion groups varies depending on several factors, including the size and interests of the group and the kind of book you’ve written. However, the biggest benefit I’ve gotten out of posting on these pages isn’t in the temporary sales bumps (though those are nice) but in getting my book on the “Also Bought” ribbons of similar books.
Perception: I don’t want to “spam” facebook users.
Reality: This is a fair concern. However, it’s not spammy self-promotion if you respectfully exercise your right to promote in groups that are designed for that purpose. In fact, a lot of these groups (not all, but many) are run by people who have Amazon Affiliate accounts—they want you to share your books because they make a little money when people purchase through their links. (That said, please don’t underestimate the amount of work these folks put into their pages. Just as with book bloggers, it’s truly a labor of love.)
Perception: Those groups are only interested in hearing about free books.
Reality: Everyone likes free, but readers are more than happy to pay for the kind of book they want—especially when the book is priced competitively, as many indie books are.
Perception: Some of the most successful facebook author promotion pages are for readers who liked 50 Shades of Grey and they won’t be interested in my book/s since I don’t write BDSM.
Reality: Of course it’s very important that you pay special attention to your audience and what they’re looking for, but don’t underestimate readers. 50 Shades fans, for example, are generally looking for sexy, emotional romance with an alpha hero—not necessarily BDSM or even erotic. Spending some time watching a group before you post is worthwhile. You can get an idea what appeals to them and, if you have a backlist, share the book you think best fits their preferences.
Do find groups that align with the kind of book you’re marketing.
Do spend some time on the page to see how it works and how others use the space. Be sure to follow any directions posted by the moderator and to respect any restrictions. (If they want PG-13 books only, don’t post about your erotic ménage.)
Do be gracious. Thank the moderator for his/her time. Share your positive experiences with others. Understand that even if you don’t get a sale from a posting, you did get some visibility.
Do join in the conversation. As writers, we’re also readers. If someone asks about a book you read and liked, let them know how much you enjoyed it. Never underestimate writer karma.
Don’t put down other writers. It should go without saying, and yet I’m consistently seeing writers try to push their books by putting down others’ books. Keep it positive. If someone asks about a book you hated, keep your fingers off your keyboard. Writer karma works both ways.
Don’t post buy links in groups that specifically ask you not to. Some groups are happy to let authors share reviews but ask that they not post buy links. Pay special attention so you don’t break rules.
Where I Post
This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk about where to post. However, I simply don’t know the best, most effective facebook pages for your books. Every new posting is an experiment and you’ll have to find out what works for your books and which pages you like best. I can, however, share my top three facebook promotion pages.
What to Read After Fifty Shades of Grey—This page is a bit of a unicorn. It has both reader- and author-promoted books, has a daily digest (sent to the email inboxes of 2600 subscribers), and is all around massive (just under 30,000 “likes”) and effective (selling an average of 474 books per day through the links on her page). If you write erotic or super sexy romance, you should really be promoting your books here.
Korner Kafe Exposed—This page leans toward erotica and erotic romance, but they are also happy to share sexy romances.
Ebook Korner Kafe—The sweet sister of Korner Kafe Exposed, this page promotes mainstream (non-erotic) books, with a special emphasis on indie authors.
Where You Post
If any of my favorite pages look like a good fit, give them a try. Do you lurk on a page you think might work? Do you post somewhere already? In the comments, I hope you’ll share groups and pages where you like to post about your new releases or latest reviews.
Author of both contemporary and paranormal romance, Lexi Ryan writes smart, spunky stories that sizzle. She enjoys reading, sunshine, a good glass of wine, and rare trips to the beach with her husband and children.
Lexi lives in Indiana where she divides her time between her family, her writing, and her job as an English professor.