For your book to sell, you need to create the demand. You need an audience, a platform – which you will get when your book is showing up on many websites and forums, visible to readers. Make it a habit to submit your book to at least 2-3 websites a day. Don’t forget to post links to them on Google+, Twitter, FB, Tumblr, StumpleUpon, LinkedIn, Chime.in, Pinterest … whatever social media you are signed up. In one month you will have your book on all of these listed sites and you will see a difference in sales.
I think this advice is wrong for two reasons.
The first reason is that in most of these sites it is not enough to merely upload a notice about your book or a chapter or two. Your post will be one among thousands; for all practical purposes it will be invisible. To guarantee visibility in these sites you have to create an account and then develop a following. This means interacting with other people, reading what they upload, and then commenting, liking, sharing, pinning, readcasting, retweeting etc. This is a lot of work and it is impossible to do it for many sites unless you are glued to your computer 24/7. Developing a large following in many of these sites can take years. If you follow the above advice and post in 2-3 websites a day you are in effect wasting your time. You are better served by choosing some carefully selected websites and then concentrating your efforts on them. But which websites should you select?
This leads to the second reason why I think this advice is wrong. You have to ask yourself who will read your book. For example if you wrote a book that will be of interest primarily to people 60 years old and over, then maybe you should not even bother with social media (yes you read that right) as this group of people does not use it that much. If you wrote a book that will be read by younger but still mature audiences (say 30 to 50 years old), then you should probably not devote your time to websites whose readers belong predominantly to a 18-24 year old crowd. Depending on the subject matter of your book, other pertinent questions that you may have to ask yourself when selecting a website are things like what will be the gender of your readers, what will be their level of education, and whether they have children. But even if you have selected a website that seems to be visited by people that would be interested in your book there are further questions. How big/important is the website? Does it have a lot of traffic? Are people that visit the website primarily interested in books or does the website offer other products and/or services that would distract them from looking at books? Is there a better website? These are all important questions to ask to make sure you make the best out of your promotional efforts.
So don’t spread yourself thin trying to list your book everywhere. Try to focus and tailor your promotional efforts to your target readership. I know this is easier said than done. I myself am still learning and experimenting with promotional approaches and different ways to do things and sites on which to post. But when it comes to promotion we should all heed the old seemingly paradoxical advertiser’s maxim: less is more.
What do you think?
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