5 Tips to Sell Your Books Via Social Media in 2017

In 2017, most authors and publishers will need to come to terms with the following fact:

It will become more difficult than ever to get attention for your books on social media.

With the biggest channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) swamped with authors and publishers looking for their piece of the “promotional pie,” both groups need to look to and embrace new methods of marketing.

When it comes to social media use, readers are more fragmented than ever before. Therefore, not only is it critical that authors and publishers understand their audience’s social media habits, but it’s also important that they leverage specific channel developments to increase their promotional reach (and, make their promotional dollars work harder!).

Below, with a focus on the top social media channels, our book marketing experts discuss 5 tips to promote your books on social media in 2017.

1) Add Links to Your Instagram Stories

Now that Instagram feeds are arranged by popularity rather than in chronological order, it’s more challenging to get your books in front of potential readers. Posting Instagram stories can help you get in front of your target audience, as it’s now a highly visible feature at the top of the app. Plus, perhaps most importantly, Instagram also lets you include clickable links and mentions in your stories, which will make it easier for viewers to browse and shop your products. Note that the ability to link to a website is still being rolled out across Instagram users.

Publisher Tip: Mention your authors in your stories to help them grow their Instagram followers!

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2) Add Your Books to Your Facebook Shop

If you have an author or publisher Facebook page, you can now set up your online shop on Facebook! To do so, we recommend enabling the “Shopping” page layout by going to Settings > Edit Page > Templates. Once you have applied the Shopping template (this does not result in any significant changes to your Facebook page), click on “Shop” in the left column and complete the set-up. You have the option of accepting transactions via Facebook or linking to another website such as Amazon.

Publisher Tip: Adding your titles to your Facebook shop is a great way to increase exposure for backlist titles!

3) Display Your Books in a Pinterest Showcase

Pinterest is the most visual social media platform and one of their most promising new business features is called Showcase. Showcase can act as a visual storefront for authors and publishers, and allows you to put your best products on display in a rotating gallery that can be easily updated. For example, if you are a mystery/crime author, use your Halloween decorations and incorporate your book. Post this Showcase around Halloween and watch the re-pins and clicks roll in!

Publisher Tip: Create various showcases centred around yearly themes. For example, in January, post pictures of someone reading your book while enjoying a healthy snack!

4) Be Personal on Snapchat

Snapchat is a very effective tool to create a personal connection between an author and their readers. While many large brands have begun to tap into Snapchat ads (as seen between snaps), these are not in the budget for most authors and publishers. Instead, like Instagram, create stories that feature an author appearance or you signing books for contest winners. You’d be surprised how this strategy can foster a personal connection with your followers!

Publisher Tip: If possible, have a member of your publicity team conduct short interviews with your authors via Snapchat and post their replies to your story.

5) Incorporate GIFs and Videos in Your Tweets

It’s a proven fact that, unless you’re a big-name author, Twitter does not sell books as well as other social media platforms. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely. Instead of posting “buy my book” tweets, post content that will engage your audience such as pictures, GIFs, and videos. As these are re-tweeted, users will likely check out your profile. There, you should have a link to your website where your book(s) can be purchased.

Publisher Tip: Keep up-to-date with what your authors are tweeting and remember to re-tweet as much as possible to help grow their followers.

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