“I just want to sell my books!” says one author to another

It’s – loosely – advice week here at the Fountain Pen, but I’m going to use this time to have a little rant about Facebook. Hopefully it will be a useful rant, a helpful one.

On Saturday morning, I was scrolling through the stats for my Facebook page. If you don’t have one, it shows you how many people have seen your posts, as well as liked them, shared them etc. And I noticed that my most recent post about my latest book had only been seen by 34 people. 34!

In contrast, 103 saw an update about me reading Matt Haig’s new book just a few days before, and 118 saw a picture I took of my son while we were filming my chapter reading.

I know, I know… Facebook want my money. They want me to pay for adverts and reach, and perhaps it was my own fault for using this particular picture, because it is actually an advert.

But, even so, they want my money. And they want yours too. So, they play hide-and-seek with our posts.

The problem is, until I sell books, I don’t have the money to spend on marketing.

It’s the wonderful, delightful reality of being a small press/indie author – or any of the other people who run small businesses and use Facebook to reach their customers. Among my friends, I know a micro-baker, several beauty therapists and hairdressers, a lady who sells all manner of personalised gifts, personal trainers, a book shop, and a few cafe owners.

We all use Facebook to promote ourselves.

So, this is probably the point where you’re wondering what the answer is, what my advice is… Um, I don’t know… Hang on, there must be something…

Readers can…
  • Like friends’ pages, if they have one (the love, wow, sad reactions have more clout in the algorithms than just liking, apparently)
  • Share their pages
  • Comment
  • Tag other friends who might be interested
  • Recommend them
  • Write a status and tag their page – ie. Loved this book, had a yummy cake this morning etc
Writers can…
  • Occasionally share their page on their personal feed (too often might alienate friends)
  • Comment on other authors’ updates
  • Like/love/wow as your author persona – especially if you’re friends with a book seller or the coffee shop where you write
  • Use the Boost feature for some posts – especially if you’ve created an ad like I did. You can reach new readers for as little as £5

Hopefully, this has helped you a little. I’ve actually come up with a couple of things I don’t already do myself, so writing this has definitely helped me!

Oh yeah, you remember those 34 people who’d seen my post. Well, I shared it on my personal feed, and cheekily asked my friends and family to like and share the original post, and 24 hours later my reach had increased to 401 😎 Of course, my very next post has only reached 32 of them again, but I can’t keep flooding my personal feed with book stuff, it’s a bit rude!

If you have any suggestions to add to mine, please comment, and we can all learn from each other!

14 thoughts on ““I just want to sell my books!” says one author to another

    1. Such an annoying part of modern life. I like Twitter, but I always feel like I’m the loner in the corner butting into other people’s conversations. On Facebook, I’m still in the corner, but people are coming to see me!

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  1. Hi Annalisa – almost like Alex – I have an account … but don’t post on FB … and as I haven’t written any books I don’t have the hassle of marketing worries. Just good luck is all I can say – it’s hard work … but perseverance is a must, isn’t it. Just enjoy the last of the summer days and walks … take care and stay safe – Hilary

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  2. Hi Annalisa, I don’t use Facebook, I’ve just never got into it. But I have just finished reading Grace and Serenity and written an Amazon Review for you. It’s a gripping read and kept me reading long into the night. I hope you sell lots more copies.

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