Are You A Writerpreneur?
How to leverage the social platforms, especially the newest ones, to become a bestselling writer.
Thanks to content digitisation over the past few years, getting published has become quite easy. There are numerous small publishing houses that have cropped up. Many among them have churned out bestsellers after bestsellers, providing a launchpad to newbie writers and giving the established ones a run for their money. Aping the tiny successes, the giants too entered the commercial fiction domain in great gusto with myriad imprints targeting both the mass market and the niche.
Look at the trends! A greater proportion of bloggers are turning into writers. Over the past three years, the penetration of Kindle and Flipkart ebooks have made publishing a one-minute task, with no cost at all, publishing thousands of writers who found it difficult to find themselves a traditional publishers.
According to Wikipedia, every year, around 800,000 books were published in the English language last year. This makes it almost 2200 books published every day. Now imagine, with such a great churn and so much noise, how can an author market his/her book effectively?
Let’s look at his/her existing options:
Facebook pages have been a good avenue to market books, build a fanbase and promote your brand. A lot of authors have garnered a massive following on Facebook and continually use it to promote their earlier and upcoming books. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Facebook.
a. Ease of posting.
b. Allows every medium — videos, photos and text.
For instance, I shared an excerpt from my fourth book recently and this is how it looked.
a. Low post reach: My page on Facebook has over 8800 likes, but as you could see, the post reached only around 12% of the audience.
b. Requires marketing budget to reach out: Facebook as a promotional medium doesn’t help authors much because despite having organically built your fanbase, you can’t reach them all until you pay Facebook to boost your post. This makes Facebook an inefficient medium for promotion.
Twitter, definitely, is a medium that authors have been taken an advantage of.
a. It’s fun
b. Massive Audience: lot of creative people on board
c. A viral network that makes it easy to get popular.
a. Even though it’s easy to get popular, one needs to invest quite a lot of time to build one’s follower base organically.
b. 140 characters might be quite less to promote your book in a subtle way.
c. It’s very difficult to get seen. On an average, an active twitter user follows 150–300 active accounts, which churns 1000+ tweets a day. The chances of your tweet being seen by more than 50% of your followers is impossible.
I don’t know about other authors, but I sometimes use Quora to natively advertise my own books. Consider the following:
Pro: Visibility is more.
Cons: However, Quora is a very niche network, and though the visibility can be better but the translation into sales is almost nil. So even though you might make you and your book’s name better known, people wouldn’t buy.
Pros: Reddit is a wonderful platform for authors to market their works —you could host a QnA and answer questions posed by your readers. This can ensure help you be discovered by other active reddit-ers, who may become potential readers.
Cons: While Reddit can be discoverable for authors who have already built a following, the debut authors will find it difficult to be climb up the visibility chart.
Here’s where a new platform offers a unique selling point. Authors can engage with their readers, discover new ones and directly call-for-sales.
Frankly.me, an interactive mobile app that uses video selfies, is a very interesting way to market your books. The app displays videos through a QnA interface where the writer answers questions asked by the readers. After every three video answers, there is a card that gives the users direct link to buy author’s books. Consider how it’s making it easier to market my books:
a. Ease of use: If you are an author, just download the app at http://getapp.frankly.me and start engaging with your followers.
b. Easily Get Featured: Frankly is very responsive to your requests. Just in case you want to be featured, it’s very easy to reach them out at firstname.lastname@example.org
c. Embed a Frankly widget on the right sidebar of your blog/website, like this:
a. A not so conducive platform for authors with bad communication skills: It can hamper sales of an otherwise good writer. Because people buy what they see, over what they read. However, one has the potential to ease and ascertain the same, and improvise.
There are other innovative apps like Dubsmash that are more suited for audiobooks and music CDs.