In my recent "Social Networking Success for Authors" teleseminar, someone asked if social networking really sells books.
It can be hard to track the sale of books directly to social networking (especially if your books are sold through retailers) but I strongly believe that social networking, if done effectively, develops relationships that lead to book sales and other opportunities.
Let’s say that one of your Twitter followers re-tweets one of your messages. One of their followers sees the message and starts following you. After enjoying several of your posts on Twitter, they hook up with you on Facebook. In looking at your Facebook profile or page, this person sees a link to your blog and clicks through to check it out. Then they sign up for your opt-in mailing list and later buy one of your books. Now you have made a sale to someone that you might not have reached in any other way.
Here’s a real-life example. Several days ago I received an order for one of my books and I noticed this comment in the "where did you hear about this book" field on the order form:
"Found Dana on Twitter, joined her Facebook, then saw her Facebook links and the rest is history. Job well done, Dana."
Obviously, not everyone that you meet online is going to buy your book – in reality only a small percentage will buy. But the more contacts you make and the more frequently those folks see and hear from you, the more books you are likely to sell.
And don’t forget that social networking opens the door to many other opportunities that can lead to book sales. The folks you meet online may end up reviewing your book, exchanging guest blog posts with you, becoming an affiliate or joint venture partner, hosting your virtual book tour, or inviting you to speak to their group or be on their radio show. In fact, I have personally experienced all of these opportunities with people that I met through social networks. And of course it’s always valuable to make friends with others in the publishing business.
Yes, social networking really does sell books – so make sure that you are doing it effectively. If you missed the Social Networking Success for Authors teleseminar, the recording of the call is now available as a downloadable audio program. You’ll also get a learning guide with screen shots and resources, and a copy of the special report, 10 Steps to Online Networking Success.
Also, check out my Facebook Guide for Authors and Twitter Guide for Authors, as well as The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing (which includes the Facebook and Twitter guides).