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Not everyone gets the same results and mileage varies.
I think some folks here to well with it - I don't as I don't use Twitter and have few followers.  I do have a Facebook author page that is separate from my friends. I figure that those who have "liked" my author page will expect to see me post about my new books. I don't spam.

I am really seeing the sense of having a mail list. I thought it was just another thing to maintain but the number of people who sign up is really encouraging.
 

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Nigel Mitchell said:
Anyone agree with this article? Disagree?

https://maryww.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/promoting-your-book-on-facebook-and-twitter-is-a-total-waste-of-time/

Personally, I have mixed feelings. There was a time when all my book sales came from Twitter - I could see all my sales come on days when I tweeted about my books - but at the same time, it seemed to take more time and effort than I put in, and I hated being one of those guys on Twitter constantly tweeting advertisements.
If you are not reaching your target market of readers, influencers, connectors, or mavens, then yes, it could be a waste of time. A better way to look at it is: How do I reach readers, influencers, connectors, and mavens through Twitter and Facebook?
 

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As Quiss said, mileage varies. It depends on a lot of things, like how you use social media. If all you tweet and retweet are ads/links to your book and other books, it probably won't be effective because even the followers who don't unfollow or filter you directly will probably gloss over your spam.

The only people seeing those are other authors in the same retweet circles and it helps no one. If you use social media socially it can definitely help sell books, but again, it's a crapshoot.
 

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*sigh* I have over 500 sign ups on my various lists. How/why did those people sign up? They signed up via my blogs or they signed up to my buyers lists from the back of my books.

How did they find my blogs? Via search engine rankings, via facebook, via twitter, via facebook, via forums like this.

Do I sell on social media - rarely, and usually passively (see links below  ;D ) - I use social media to build my brand and to encourage sign ups. As an moderator for a self-publishing community on g+ - I can assure you - writers are some of the worst self-promoting spammers I've ever encountered (and my background is Internet Marketing!)
 

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She wrote that she was focusing on self-promotion, that right there is a red flag that she doesn't understand how to leverage social media. I think it's ironic, that she writes that social media didn't work for her, but she now considers herself an expert at social media for writers. Huh?
 

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Social media should be used as a tool to build your platform, not to merely ballyhoo you and your product. And it should be used in balance with other efforts, not as a time suck. I've had good luck with LinkedIn and my blog. I blog very little about writing, concentrating on subject matter that attracts wide interest (national security/foreign policy issues). Occasionally, I'll slip in something about my books, but am careful not to overdo it. Folks with whom I develop a connection then ask when my next book is coming out. I often offer these people a free copy in return for an honest review. It's a brick-by-brick building process. Look at social media as one leg in your platform.
 

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David 'Half-Orc' Dalglish said:
"What did not work for me obviously never works for anyone else, so do not do it! And yes, I obviously did everything perfect."
*nods*

At this moment, I'm launching my new serial and having all kinds of fun reader interaction on FB. Does that happen for everyone? No. But it's worked for me before, so I'm trying it again. The things that don't work, I don't repeat. I'm very teachable that way. ;D
 

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Facebook & Twitter, like all other social networking, is proportional. It should be a part--sometimes a small part--of your overall marketing strategy. No one wants to see ad after ad of someone trying to sell books. I believe if you show an interest in what others have are doing, they will reciprocate in kind. Just my opinion based upon what I have found in my part of the digital world.
 

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Torn.

Understand that you should vary the subject matter of your Facebook or twitter but in my opinion this can become very time consuming and I'd much rather be writing something new as I don't creative a massive amount of time.

Part of me just feels: there are lots of people who blog and JUST blog. So rather than compete with them and write at the same time and do a mediocre effort for both.


 

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Promo on steroids:

Yesterday I tweeted that I had a book for sale on Amazon for $3,000,000.00. I promised that if someone popped over and bought it, they'd never hear from me again.

Oddly, there were no takers. I guess they don't want me to go...  :'(
 

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Quiss said:
I do have a Facebook author page that is separate from my friends. I figure that those who have "liked" my author page will expect to see me post about my new books. I don't spam.
I have a separate author page too, but now FB only shows 10% of my posts to people who liked my page unless I pay to promote each post. So I've started to use my regular FB profile to share news as well. It's really annoying!
 

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Like you, I have mixed feelings. Twitter was moderately successful when my self-published book went free on Select for 5 days, or when my publisher put my other books on sale at half price. This resulted in a little spike in sales, but nothing major.

FB works best for me when I schedule an event and invite local friends and authors to attend. Other than that, I don't think it helps sell. But after reading some of the threads on this board, I'm sensing that there are fewer sales everywhere lately, with the occasional exception. Any thoughts?

I still think that the old tried and true method works best. Write more and better books, get positive reviews from the sites readers trust and build a following, slowly but surely.


 

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I totally disagree, as your success totally depends on what you expect from social media. I only expect exposure to my quality works, which means sales are a bonus from Facebook and Twitter. I've had four Facebook fan pages promote two different book promotions of mine over the last week, each for FREE, resulting in nearly 6,000 free downloads and now new paid sales/borrows are ticking up throughout today. Waste of time? Not for me.  ;)
 

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Success on FB, and Twitter, takes time, effort, and daily interaction with your followers that many authors do not have the time to devote. I do this daily and have built a core group of readers who respond well to the books we like and share. No, we don't have the mega numbers of the big book deal blogs but we have dedicated followers who went so far as to blitz BN on their social media sites, without our prompting, to challenge them about rescinding the terms of our agreement with little notice. Within 36 hours of their campaign I was contacted by folks at thebook.com to work out an agreement. Those are the types of followers you can gain and inspire when you invest with them beyond sharing your book/books.

FB does make it increasingly harder to be seen by those who like you or your professional page so you cannot expect the same success there you may have enjoyed last year. Twitter is fast and furious, you have to engage your readers outside your "author persona" and give them more reason to check in with you. Just my 2 cents. :)
 

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Twitter has been a critical element of my success (I left a very well-paying government job in 2011 to write and self-publish full time), and I dare say I wouldn't be where I am now without it. But it's very time intensive and isn't the right tool for everyone. Also, while Twitter is a poor venue to *sell* books, it's outstanding for giving things (books, sample chapters, puppies, etc.) away so people can have a risk-free way to explore your work. It also takes a lot of time to build up your following, and you have to consistently engage people and be patient.

As for the Facebook page (I keep my personal page separate), that's a great place to build closer relationships with existing fans, many of whom I send there from the global cocktail party that is Twitter. I don't try to push sales there, because the majority of those folks already know about and have read my work. That's also why I don't advertise in hopes of getting more likes - I want the people on that page to *really* be fans, not just casual likers. Not all are, of course, but I try. I give them teasers about upcoming books, post lots of photos of our cats and food I cook or whatever that folks might find interesting or entertaining, and periodically throw in something "work related". One word of advice: maximize the visibility of your posts by including some sort of media (pic, video, links with a preview etc.). Posts without attached media get far fewer responses.

I also have a growing mailing list, which is an extremely powerful tool to get the word out to the non-social media fans about new releases or giveaways. Even if you don't do Twitter or Facebook, you should be building a mailing list.

The bottom line, I guess, is that you have to use the tools that work best for you...
 
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