Social Media For Authors Part 4

How often I start a post with, it has been too long since I wrote. Here we go again. We actually left town for a bit of leisure for the first time in hate to say it, two years. The trip itself was just a short jaunt down to West Virginia to visit my sister in law and her husband. Just nice to go see something unfamiliar, the mountains of southern Ohio and West Virginia definitely deliver on beauty.



What kind of questions have people been asking? Social media- People keep asking about frequency. Had a little bit of a public exchange on this subject via twitter. I think he somewhat complimentary fashion called me relentless and asked if it works. At the risk of being redundant, because I feel I have written about it so many times... It depends on what you want.


What are you doing on Twitter and what are you looking for?



I was listening to a self proclaimed social media expert just this week whom I respect. He explained how when he was getting started with tweeting he would go once per hour. Someone suggested he double that and he did. He doubled his interactions. He doubled his tweets again and guess what? Doubled his interactions. He claims he dropped off at 4 per hour but looking at his feed its more than that.



The point remains the same, more kind of  = more. I have found some exceptions, trust me here. Let's go back to the question- what is he trying to accomplish? He is trying to get people to read his blog posts. Sound familiar? Me too. The discussion went on about time zones and when people get on Twitter. I have looked into this in more depth and know, people don't stay on Twitter very long at a time. If I am going to capture someone's attention, I have a brief window to do it. The funny thing about the discussion I mentioned is when they got to this part they even said how people think they may be presenting tweets to their content too often, yet the converse is that if they have something of value and don't present it often enough for someone to view it, they may actually be depriving their audience. How is that for the other side of the coin?



This particular discussion went further into strategies and all this which I am not real keen on yet. I don't have a strategy, but I do want people to read and enjoy my posts. I also want to have discussions with people about them. It's a fun little journey. Another question which comes up frequently and seems pretty polarizing,

"Does social media really sell books?" I have read plenty on this and am confident everyone is wrong. 

No, I am kidding. I don't know if it does or not. I have information going both ways. And these are people who have experience and hopefully no reason to lie. Let me put it this way. I do just about everything on Twitter, not necessarily because it is the "one". I don't understand that damn Pinterest thing. I made a board but can't figure out what else to do. I put a picture of a tiny house on a board (?) and now I get an email anytime someone does something with a tiny house. What the hell? Instagram? I have to use on my phone which I can barely see, recipe for disaster? You bet. Facebook is a bit of a confusing crap shoot and half my friends don't reply to email. I kind of get Twitter.



That being said, when I did the Firetok relaunch any and all promotion outside of my review team was done on Twitter not all necessarily by me but the fact remains the same. I will say now there was a cover redesign reveal, even a couple of video trailers which turned out to be a surprise hit, leading up to the launch. None of this was buy my book twee-trash. As a side note, some of the tweet conversations about the video were extremely entertaining. Makes me want to do more. There were many things which led up to it. I don't think much of it was very pure marketing or promotion if it was at all.



 Going back to selling books, many, many ebooks were downloaded from Amazon and some more were purchased after the promotion ended, nowhere near as many as the free ones, but it did happen. When someone asks "Can you sell books on Twitter?" I still can't answer that question.


I firmly believe the people who downloaded the book even during the free period did so because they like me so much as a person. That's total bullshit, and I just made it up.

Truth is, I have no idea of the how and why someone may have been motivated to buy or "free" my book. What I can say is I do most all of what I do on Twitter. Are people interested in a book because of tweets, blogs, conversations, ads, twee-trash? Likely some nearly toxic, mysterious combination of them all. But I don't have an answer. Some dude in a dark room at Google or the NSA could probably back trace every little mouse click which prompted each download, but that is certainly not me, remember that thing earlier about pinterest? As far as I know Amazon isn't going to release that type of info either. In the meantime, I will keep doing what I do, hope for the best, enjoy the ride and the conversations along the way. I am also considering starting a gofundme campaign for a crystal ball and operator for future book releases. If you have expertise in this area or are interested in discussing this or any other nonsense I have covered, please do. ( @gordona_wilson ) I am fairly confident I have not answered the question, "Can you sell books on Twitter?". But this doesn't surprise me with all the conflicting information from so called experts with their antagonistic theories. I will dub mine an anti-theory and encourage anyone seeking the answer to this question to get out there and try some things to see what works for you. I am happy to share my experience but will stop short of proclaiming myself an expert. The next article you read may contradict my experience, and likely will.


3 comments :

juliasatu.com said...

I love your posts Gordon. I don't often laugh out loud when I read but you make me snicker. Your sense of humour is dead on... And that is a bad horror pun.

Gordon A. Wilson said...

Julia, thanks for the comment. There is plenty of irony to laugh at. Every other expert contradicting the last. Keep in touch.

Yancy Caruthers said...

I've tried a number of campaigns, and I'm not convinced that Twitter can sell books, but I did conduct an informal experiment back in November. I wrote it off at the time, but looking at April sales, I noticed that the number of KU/KENP was a LOT more in November vs. April. Like 32,000 vs. 12,000. Almost $100 difference in the royalty checks!

My theory is that while people may not be looking for books to buy, Kindle Unlimited members may use Twitter as a tool to find books that they are interested in (and that are free to them as KU members).

I'm going to test this theory a bit more scientifically in May, by running regular Twitter posts all month. My other ad strategies will stay exactly the same, so we'll see what happens to KENP pages as well as red-line sales.