Thursday, July 19, 2012

Aiming at Amazon versus Social Media?

Social Media seems to be the latest buzzword in business for marketing. I have read no less than a dozen Kindle books on how to use Facebook, Twitter and Social Media in general to sell books. I am fully aware some authors have had huge success in using Twitter or Facebook to promote their books. 

John Locke, one of the best selling authors in the Kindle world, is a big advocate of this approach and details his system for marketing and selling his books in the book How I Sold a Million eBooks in 5 Months.

I have both a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I don't think I have sold a single book as a result. I can't prove it, but I am pretty sure that is a reasonable statement. I have reconnected with a lot of my old students and players through Facebook, which is great! I have a decent sized network of fellow coaches on Twitter which is also great. But no sales.

I can say following the advice of Aaron Shepard's Aiming at Amazon has generated a lot of sales for me and I need to get back to working harder at that approach to selling my books.

Amazon (and Barnes and Noble) are where we sell books as self-publishing authors. Not Facebook and Twitter. Focusing our sales and marketing efforts at Amazon will pay-off.

Then why have the seemingly mandatory Social Media sites as part of an author's platform? 

I have come to believe the value of Social Media for a self-publishing author is not in building a base of fans to buy books, but to create a positive brand the author's niche, or broad, market can identify.

Social Media is not what sells your books. It is part of the branding process. There is where the value of using Facebook and Twitter lies.

Once you have developed a brand and sold enough books to create a market for your work, Social Media sites will help with sales when a new book is announced. Not before you have created a market and a brand, afterwards.

Heresy I am sure to many who will read this.

I still plan to work hard at my Facebook page (I really need to find a way to get the youngest daughter to take that over) and to try to "tweet" on a regular basis. I certainly do not have as large a market as I would like (back to working at aiming and Amazon again) and I certainly need to further my efforts in creating an identifiable brand (more to learn about).

Maybe I am just tired and want to be like our oldest Italian Greyhound Al, a grumpy, but loveable, mature dog and resist change.

Feel free to disagree and comment. Just remember, whether I am right or wrong, self-publishing is a business.