You read a lot about the need to engage in the various forms of social media to reach, and more importantly, engage potential readers, to form a relationship of sorts. There is without doubt some truth to this statement, I am just not convinced social media is the only way to do this.
Perhaps my hesitancy to drink the cool-aid for using social media is time, effort and it is just one more thing to have to do. I have a "real job" and a family so any time I have to write or work on the family self-publishing business is valuable. I have to make choices about which activity is the most important.
I do have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I don't spend a lot of time on either and perhaps I should. What I do spend my time on are my two blogs that are content specific for the market niche I write non-fiction for. I also have an e-newsletter that goes out to 2,500+ individuals and this takes a fair amount of time to write and send every two weeks.
Why do I spend more time on the blogs and the newsletter? It is simple, I see measurable sales as the result of a particular effort on a blog or in the newsletter. I have yet to see measurable sales as a result of the social media efforts I do make.
Perhaps I am making a huge mistake. I don't really think so in my case. Most of the individuals who buy my books are a bit older and less likely to spend hours on Facebook or following me on Twitter. My wife thinks I need to invest more time and cultivate younger customers so the market for my non-fiction books will grow over time.
As I am not willing to really spend that much more time, I do have to sleep sometime or another, I have tried to get my two daughters to do the social media marketing for me. No luck - they are too busy Facebooking with their friends.
The real point of this point is regardless of how you engage your readers, you need to engage them and do so in a manner that does not cost your readers money. You need to convince them your book, be it fiction or non-fiction, is worth purchasing and reading.
You need to know the best way to reach and stay in touch with your readers. If it is social media, that is the way to go about staying in touch. If it is through blogs and a newsletter, that is the best way. Just make sure you stay in touch!