When I first started blogging many months ago, I discussed the importance of social media to the independent author. I listen to a lot of writing-based podcasts, read other people’s blogs, and even talked to some authors who were much further along the journey I was only just beginning. The evidence was conclusive. I couldn’t possibly sell any books unless I had a prominent and ever-growing presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and every other Internet door into which I could shove my foot. I started a website and a blog and did all the other things I was told I had to do. It now appears that was all a bit overblown. Social media is or at least can be great for establishing connections. It does not, however, move product. Do you have any idea how many hundreds of thousands of tweets are added to Twitter every minute of every day? Facebook is no different and most users will only scroll down so far before they get bored and move on. Making a sales pitch that way is sort of like printing a nice flyer, tossing said flyer into the waves and hoping someone sees it before it disappears below the surface. If you want real results, you need a more personal touch and that means kicking it old school.
We’re still in the 21st century so old school doesn’t mean quite what it used to. I’m not going door-to-door, starting a telemarketing campaign or taking out an ad in the Times. What I’m talking about is email. Think about it, when something appears in your inbox, you generally at least look at the subject line before hitting the delete key. That’s already better than social media where there’s an excellent chance your message won’t be seen at all. Of course, I can’t simply start randomly emailing people. That would be a tremendous nuisance and may even be illegal. The end game here is to encourage potential book buyers to sign up for my email list voluntarily. There’s an opt-in form on the michaelsova.com homepage right now. It’s for my newsletter. Just click here, enter your email address in the box on the right, click Subscribe and you’re good to go. Your information is completely private and will never be shared. In addition, I promise not to clutter your inbox with junk. My newsletters are typically brief and infrequent. I’ve maybe sent out three so far this year. Why, then should you go to the trouble of subscribing at all? I wish you hadn’t asked that.
Okay, I’m going to lay it right out for you. According to statistics recently published by marketing expert and Your First 1,000 Copies: The Step-By-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book author Tim Grahl, a person who receives a direct email is 24% more likely to make a purchase than if that same message had been posted on Twitter. Bottom line–I’m trying to make a living. I’m just not supposed to tell you that. Instead, it is strongly suggested that I entice you to sign up with an offer that’s only available to subscribers. It could be a free book, some additional content from a previous book, or maybe a collection of beauty tips. Yeah. Do you have any idea how long it took to finish my first novel? Do you really think I have a bunch of other completed manuscript scattered all over my office floor? I got nothin’ and that’s exactly what I’m offering. Hmm… I’m thinking I should probably try to put a more positive spin on that. What I give to you is my integrity by being upfront and honest. I’m asking you to subscribe and I would greatly appreciate it if you would please encourage others to do so. I’ll do my best to provide you with quality content and I’ll never give you the hard sell. You have my word on that.
So how’d I do on the humble-meter?
If you must know, this entire endeavor makes me feel like a prostitute, except they get paid better and probably have better health insurance. I am, by nature, a private person and self promotion is about as comfortable for me as a one-legged pair of skinny jeans. Still, we do what we gotta do; right? And if openness and sincerity fail to achieve the desired results, well, we might be forced to beg, plead, and even sing. I wish I could say I’d never stoop that low but….
If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. You can also visit michaelsova.com, or find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova. Please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION, my debut mystery novel.