There are plenty of sites pushing the narrative that the best way to market your book is to post avidly on social media. But the problem with that is it’s not like how it was 10 years ago.
Back then, it was as simple as finding the right niche and posting everyday. It’s not like that anymore. Sure, it helps, but the reality of it is much worse.
Today, the social media algorithms purposefully push down UNPAID content to better suit the ones who do pay for the exposure. It doesn’t matter if you properly utilize SEO, keywords, or hashtags.
And posting your book on these platforms is not going to guarantee any conversion. Not like how it use to. Hell, even having your own website isn’t as prestigious as it used to be.
And saying that you can get sales by doing so, is assuming the people already have a hefty following. Which most small creators don’t. Trying to find an audience nowadays is the hardest thing to do without some kind of budget to run promotions.
I have been at this for 3 years! Posting regularly, studying keywords, SEO, creating a marketing plan, and creating posts everyday, ect. Things that would have almost guaranteed me exposure years ago.
My experience with posting on social media sites:
- Facebook: Makes post to my 350 followers. Viewed by 5 people.
- In all fairness, people usually react to funny memes. Posted one before and got well over 30k views on the post but it did not amount to anything. Not even follows.
- Twitter: Makes post advertising my link with trending hashtags. 19 impressions.
- Once got backlash for using a hashtag that I guess another writer “owned” and was told to fuck off for using it. 🤷🏻♀️ My bad.
- Tumblr: Shares blogs of my websites. Zero interaction.
- Most people use this to rehash old memes.
- Pinterest: Posts book cover. Zero interaction. Zero followers.
- Probably won’t have any luck unless you’re selling a cookbook.
- Reddit: Not enough karma to publish anything.
- Must have thick skin to post on here.
- Instagram: Got upsell comments.
- The only interaction I received were 4 diff pages trying to sell me their promotional plans. And then 1 page telling me I’d be better off letting a promo page promote my book instead of doing it myself.
- Website: 11 total likes.
- TikTok: Barely maintaining 4 followers, 30 total likes.
- My other TT has 190 followers and only one video had 45k views. The rest had below 200.
- Podcast: 700 plays total.
- Amino: Tried it. Works like Tumblr in a way. But it’s biggest market is fan fiction and roleplays.
And if you’re a low/no budget writer, then the chances are even lower. I know it’s harsh but it’s the reality now. I mean, let’s be honest, you’re probably the only viewer on this blog post. Because I didn’t pay for advertising or sell-out my page to ad slots.
DOES THAT MEAN TIME TO GIVE UP?
Hell, no! I don’t believe anyone who can’t afford a pro editor, pro book designer, or a pro formatter, should have to hide in the shadows of others lights. YOU SHOULD STILL WRITE. Don’t let others advantages be your disadvantage. It’s time to bring back the love of the craft, and end the judge the book by its cover stigma that has been going on lately.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO STILL SUCCEED?
Honestly, I wouldn’t know just yet. I’d like to think it still is possible. Beating the odds is hard work, and I don’t believe one should have to go broke trying to get seen by people who may or may not buy your product/service.
People liked telling me: stay positive, keep trying, you need a budget plan, you need to spend $5k on your book, market better, find your niche, ect.
But what they don’t realize, is how counterproductive that truly is. Because most of which were already successful. Instead of telling what to do, share what you did before the follower growth and not after.
Most advice online is people sharing how they succeeded post-fanbase. But none of them talk about the moments it took them from 0 followers to what they had before their services. Not the in between.
But that won’t stop me. Since I couldn’t find any stories on those moments, without them reading like they’re trying to sell me some course on How To Be Rich, I’ll create my own and invite anyone to join me on this. We need more inspiration in this world. Not some gimmick.
There needs to be more hope in this profession. Enough gatekeeping!