This one might well be a shorter post than usual, since I don't believe social media in and of itself is a huge driver of sales or audience-building and feel like writing more books is probably a better bet than spending too much time on promotional posts via such networks.
(The possible exception to this is paid promo on Facebook, but I consider that a category of advertising, rather than social media - since the whole idea of social media is being social, ie: interacting.)
I do maintain something of a presence on Twitter and Goodreads, but I try to share stuff or talk books/track my reading process on those two sites. However, on Twitter I do also love to share the art for my book covers and will over indulge in that :D I also post a few links to this blog, but mostly check out what my fellow writers are up to.
There are various book promotion services geared toward twitter and such - two I've trialed over the years are AskDavid and BooksGoSocial and will report on them soon. It can be quite difficult to effectively track such promotional material for sales results.
If you're unsure of whether or where to start with social media, I'd recommend only using a social media platform or two and focus on them rather than spending time trying to cover fifteen different bases. Stick to a few you enjoy, be approachable and don't get sucked into the horse-radish that passes for 'debate' on such sites and you'll probably find social media fun, though perhaps not essential for marketing.
This time I wanted to talk a bit about the marketing approach known as ‘perma-free’ (which is where a writer makes an ebook permanently free across the major retailers).
The theory is simple enough – offer a title for free so a potential reader has a zero-risk method for sampling one of your titles, and if they like your book they’ll buy more. The first title is your loss leader and you make up the ‘lost’ income when fans buy your other books.
Of course, some obvious concerns come to mind:
Okay, so this won’t be a long post by any stretch but there’s a lot of discussion out there as to whether you should put your books in Kindle Unlimited, so I wanted to add my perspective. Here’s a snippet from a blog post from Free Kindle Books and Tips explaining how KU works for readers:
Basically, Kindle Unlimited is a program where for just $9.99 per month, you can read as much as you want from over 700,000 Kindle books as well as listen to thousands of Audible audiobooks – as many or as few titles as you want for the $9.99 per month fee. You also get a free three month membership to Audible.
As a writer, it’s important to note that the greatest aspect of KU is that it represents a zero-risk option for a reader who is looking to try out a new book/series/author.
In terms of payments, writers are paid per page read.
So whether a reader finishes only 10 pages or if they finish your whole book (maybe it’s 150 or 300 pages, maybe it’s closer to 500) you earn say 0.0043 cents per page read. That figure changes month to month but has been similar for some years now.
At first, it sounds tiny, but it quickly adds up over a series:
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline