December 18, 2018, 03:30:37 PM

Author Topic: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice  (Read 602 times)

Offline Peat

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2018, 12:51:09 PM »
A huge amount of this is perception imo. I know perfectly well that I'm on Twitter to self-advertise but honestly, most of the time, it doesn't feel that way. Most of my posts are me spouting inane crap.

Hell, I originally came onto this forum with the intent of building up connections for when I became an author. But that's not why I stick around.

So many things in this world can be viewed in multiple different lights. Find the part of this that is making and helping book friends and things will go far easier.
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Offline Not Lu

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2018, 04:33:04 PM »

Hmm. As I said, Amazon ads were among the things I tied money to before throwing it out the window. Maybe I wasn't spending enough, it's been long enough that I can't remember how much it was. But do these kinds of ads even work? I never click on ads myself, and I've become pretty jaded to the idea of other people doing so in the ocean of ads we all get exposed to.


Yeah, I don't click on ads either. However, there are a lot of people who do. Especially if they're on Amazon browsing for a book. What I'd do if I were you is pick what you think is your best first in series book (based on cover, blurb, concept, and of course the book itself) and then build a Sponsored Product Keyword ad for it.

Set the budget low (like $1 or $2 a day).

Set your keywords to authors and books who show up on your page in the also boughts (customers who bought your book also bought -- sometimes it's "also viewed"). Also add authors and books that are most similar to yours. Don't pick the big authors because you'll have to bid to high. Try to build a list of several hundred (or thousand) keywords.

Ignore Amazon's recommendations for bids because they're too high too. Just bid something like 20 or 25 cents per click to start with.

Depending on the price of your book, you'll get one sale per X clicks. If it's free you'll get a download for every 7 or 10 clicks (but people may not read the book because they're just filling up their kindle). At .99 you'll get a sale about every 10 or so clicks. At 4.99 it'll be closer to 30 clicks. As you can see, any price point will likely lose money on the first book. However, if the book is good people will buy book 2 and so on.

Run the small budget ad for a month and see how many people bought book 1. Then add in the profit from the subsequent books in the series. You'll likely be profitable by book 2 (higher prices give a better chance of profitability). You should almost certainly turn a profit by readers who make it to book 3. If your book is in Kindle Unlimited it will make it easier to get to profitability because of the page read payments.

Basically, run a small budget ad over an extended period of time to see if it's working for you. Patience is the key because you have to see how many people are going on to buy the subsequent books in the series.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 04:36:34 PM by Not Lu »

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2018, 06:49:09 PM »
Basically, run a small budget ad over an extended period of time to see if it's working for you. Patience is the key because you have to see how many people are going on to buy the subsequent books in the series.

This is a good write-up. Thanks.

Do you think thirty dollars might get me somewhere? What counts as a small budget with these things?
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 10:14:53 PM »
I'm... frustrated. I suppose that's just a part of being an indie author, but it's a specific issue this time.

I totally get this, but I wonder if you may be setting unattainable goals for yourself. I'd suggest that rather than setting a goal for SALES, you set a goal to be read and enjoyed. Basically, ask yourself why you want to be an author. Is it for money, or to share the cool ideas in your head?

As much as we'd like it to be different, writing SFF isn't something that'll make us rich. It's something we do because we enjoy it, and because we want to share our stories with others who enjoy them as well.

Judging by those standards, you have already succeeded multiple times.

Why do I think this? From what I've learned in the past 5 years of cons and research, if your reasons for wanting more sales are to become a "full time writer", from a financial standpoint, it's not looking good.

Making good money is rare across the SFF writing board. I've gotten to know a large sample of indie, small, and even mid-list authors as I've continued in this field, and while there are exceptions, almost none of them can make enough money from writing to "quit the day job".

I know a couple of SFF authors who write full time and make enough to do that. Let's say 5%. I know more who can write full time, but *only* because they have a spouse who works a full time job to support them both. Let's say 30%. And I know vastly more who write part time and hold down a traditional job as well, because they can't support themselves by writing. That's the rest (60-65%).

What surprised me most is that traditionally-published authors as as likely to be in the "work a day job because writing doesn't support me" as indies. I always thought if you made traditional press, you'd make enough to live, but that's not true at all. Even traditional press doesn't guarantee you'll find financial stability through writing, and the majority of traditionally pressed authors do not have it. Worse, in trad pub, you're one "low sales" book away from being done in the traditional publishing industry.

With indies, the percentage of those who aren't financially independent would be vastly higher - 5% can support themselves, while the other 95% fight for tiny amounts of sales. So basically, you're going into an industry with thousands of people, where success is dependent on blind luck as much as writing skill, and beating yourself up because you aren't moving into that 5%.

You shouldn't feel bad about that. 95% of us aren't moving into that 5%. You're doing nothing wrong, and you're not failing in any way. It's just really f*ing hard to make it big as an indie author.

For my part, Eli, I've really enjoyed your work, and judging from your number of Amazon reviews, publication deals, and other accomplishments, many others have too. I (and they) have enjoyed the stories you've written. So, if you're feeling down, I'd suggest you judge your career based on if it fulfills you (you're writing, and being read!) rather than if you're making lots of sales.

Offline Slaykomimi

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2018, 11:09:30 PM »
Now I haven´t read all the tips by the others since I should sleep allready, but some mentioned (I guess) to keep going since this is the only thing you can do. But You should also spend more time on social media, connect with people that could push you forward (other writers, people who recommend books who you could give a sample book for free, mention others and getting mentioned by them, people who have contacts to publishers, yada yada).

I can feel with you since I HATE social media, it is the most antisocial, nervewrecking, exhausting and dull thing I´ve ever tried. Especially as an author I could never imagine what to post on popular platforms like instagram or snapchat.

It is said to look for like minded people where you would feel comfy, it´s just tough shit that people like me (and I guess a lot of you) a very unique compared to everyone else. Also tough shit that I thought about earning my money (and I mean much money) by becoming an author, guess I should keep this only as a hobby rather than the main route.

Anyway, back to topic. You will hate me for this but you need to spend more time on social media AND on many platforms, as a matter of fact, all of them. Starting with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and whatever there is. Maybe also a LinkedIn profile stating that you are an author and look for publishers or people who can help you develop. Well, from my experience with LinkedIn I would not recommend it since all people there look only desperate in selling their stuff.

Truth is, we all got swallowed up and left behind in this "social" media that killed the brains of humanity. We missed that train so our brains are not damaged but we suck at selling stuff, the main problem why I am still in my current situation. It (SADLY) became the main chanel for sales, people WANT to be bombarded by "stars" who are ads who personified. It´s a sad world to live in, making me doubt all my plans of even continuing a journey in a world that starts to rot and seems even darker if I think not even 5 years ahead. I am 24 and lost hope and faith in humanity due to shit like "hey I finally got a new job with this and that and got these plans for my future" and at least 95% of all people (not just my age but literally anyone) "eh, huh, oh cool bro I got 5 likes on insta I am so cool". Except the part that this is not a suitable reply, very disrespectful and overall antisocail. How can people be so brainwashed by this shit.

I keep drifting away from the topic. The sad news is, we all need to use social media because it is the main road to sell things. This includes, creating a fanbase, gain followers, make them hardcore fans and I read allready too many books on that topic. As I mentioned earlier, look at other people who maybe published allready a book, look for their tips to get new customers. Maybe ask them if they could recommend you something, if they could mention you in their video. Give free copies of your book to influental people. Influence is the keyword here, you need contacts that introduce you to a group of people interested in your product and especially in you. Don´t just post stuff about your book online, you need to daily post stuff like what you do, what you want to do, what you think about, what inspires you, post photos, even if nobody is willing to share your book on their channel you can still pay an influencer to advertise your product (I´ve never heard of social media influencers in the author section and I am pretty sure most authors still haven´t found a way to fully utilize social media since I never saw any good social media content by any author, in fact I followed Guy Kawasaki a longer period on social media and thought that he never read any of his own books because his social media presence was horrible).

Conclusion, we are all f**ked when it comes to sales and social media is a hell lot of work, the main reason I dropped some projects were due to building a web presence (which I still should finally work on). But you need to keep going and expand your field. Another last tip, well it´s more an example, from me (since this post is getting way out of hand, way too long and I finally need some sleep), Your social media presence is not about your product but about you, when you are yourself you will reach like minded people, always be yourself. Lets say you got a fantasy book, than make a facebook post about how you love wizards and dragons, tweet about how the birds flying to the sunset makes you think about them fleeing from a roaring dragon, make a video about things you think are fascinating about the genre, like if you write much about dragoins make videos about how dragons work, how they would look like, biology, anatomy and such stuff, just create content that expresses yourself, shows you have experience in your field, interest in your field and so on and so on.

Keep going dude, I need to know if it works because I am damned to walk the same path. I will sleep now good night.
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Offline NedMarcus

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2018, 12:42:34 AM »
Anyway, back to topic. You will hate me for this but you need to spend more time on social media AND on many platforms, as a matter of fact, all of them. Starting with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and whatever there is. Maybe also a LinkedIn profile stating that you are an author and look for publishers or people who can help you develop. Well, from my experience with LinkedIn I would not recommend it since all people there look only desperate in selling their stuff.

I'm not sure this is necessary or even advisable. Having an active presence on one seems better to me than having half-hearted efforts on many. And they will be half-hearted unless you're really passionate about them.

Offline Slaykomimi

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2018, 08:09:46 AM »
Anyway, back to topic. You will hate me for this but you need to spend more time on social media AND on many platforms, as a matter of fact, all of them. Starting with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and whatever there is. Maybe also a LinkedIn profile stating that you are an author and look for publishers or people who can help you develop. Well, from my experience with LinkedIn I would not recommend it since all people there look only desperate in selling their stuff.

I'm not sure this is necessary or even advisable. Having an active presence on one seems better to me than having half-hearted efforts on many. And they will be half-hearted unless you're really passionate about them.

I guess I was too sleepy yesterday to express it the right way.
I meant that ALL Social Media activities need to be full hearted, thats why they are so exhausting, it is like you must spend many hours daily for something, time you could spend for something that actually interests you.
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Offline Not Lu

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2018, 04:57:39 PM »
Basically, run a small budget ad over an extended period of time to see if it's working for you. Patience is the key because you have to see how many people are going on to buy the subsequent books in the series.

This is a good write-up. Thanks.

Do you think thirty dollars might get me somewhere? What counts as a small budget with these things?

I think you should be able to sell at least 5 copies of either The Call or The War of The Usurper by setting a $1 daily budget and letting it run for a month. You'll also get kindle unlimited page reads. Most people say they get about the same profit from page reads as sales, so for The Call you'll spend $30 and net only $20. If half the people (on average) go on and read book 2 you'll net $10 from book 2, which makes you even for the ad spend. Readers of book 3 will be where you make a profit. Also, lots of the people who read book 3 will go read your other series (especially in kindle unlimited) making that series pure profit.

Side note: since you'll be advertising in the US store you should make your prices on The Golden Throne Series $3.99 (some of the books are at $3.70 and $3.00). $3.99 in the US store isn't a bad price -- it's no difference than $3.70.

I'd only do one of the series to start with. That way you can see how many people spill over into your other series. When you see that happening you'll have the confidence (and hopefully enough profit) to up your ad spend.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2018, 07:16:36 PM »
I've just noticed your post on the F-F facebook page Eli , you've got 53 replies  when I looked:D
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Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2018, 10:39:20 PM »
I totally get this, but I wonder if you may be setting unattainable goals for yourself. I'd suggest that rather than setting a goal for SALES, you set a goal to be read and enjoyed. Basically, ask yourself why you want to be an author. Is it for money, or to share the cool ideas in your head?

As much as we'd like it to be different, writing SFF isn't something that'll make us rich. It's something we do because we enjoy it, and because we want to share our stories with others who enjoy them as well.

Judging by those standards, you have already succeeded multiple times.

No, it's not about the money. I'm lucky enough that there is very little I want that can be bought with money. Within those boundaries I have pretty good financial security. It IS about the joy of writing. I love to write, and by this point I NEED to write to get the ideas out of my head. But any creative type wants their work appreciated and appraised. Writing is my main source of pride. It's just that reviews drastically taper off with each book I release.

Quote
For my part, Eli, I've really enjoyed your work, and judging from your number of Amazon reviews, publication deals, and other accomplishments, many others have too. I (and they) have enjoyed the stories you've written. So, if you're feeling down, I'd suggest you judge your career based on if it fulfills you (you're writing, and being read!) rather than if you're making lots of sales.

That's very kind of you
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Offline Slaykomimi

Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2018, 05:22:42 PM »

No, it's not about the money. I'm lucky enough that there is very little I want that can be bought with money. Within those boundaries I have pretty good financial security. It IS about the joy of writing. I love to write, and by this point I NEED to write to get the ideas out of my head. But any creative type wants their work appreciated and appraised. Writing is my main source of pride. It's just that reviews drastically taper off with each book I release.

That's very kind of you

Well if it´s not about Money than I would recommend to delete all social media and only post your work here, share it with friends and so on. Maybe even not publish it at all or only for free as ebook since sales dont matter and it is only about praise. More people will read something by someone they never heard about if it is for free. Just imagine to be a customer, would you buy something without any recommendation or an add telling you to buy it, explaining the features and such of the product? I NEVER buy anything without getting at least the slightest information about the product and since it´s not about the money there are also no costs for self publishing over the internet by just creating a pdf and or epub and upload it somewhere and share the link arround, maybe open a blog with texts and previews and a download link to the book.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2018, 06:45:03 PM »
But any creative type wants their work appreciated and appraised. Writing is my main source of pride. It's just that reviews drastically taper off with each book I release.

That's interesting, but I wonder how common it is? With my first trilogy, I noticed the same thing - right now my first book stands at 17/53 (17 Amazon reviews, 53 Goodreads reviews). The second book in my trilogy is at 5/7, and the last is at 1/0. I wonder if people just tend to review later books in a series less?

From the point it started selling in 2015, counting giveaways and discounts, my first book (e-book) has sold over 1000 copies, with another 800 or so picked up during free promotions. So, that's 1800 individual e-book downloads of Glyphbinder since May 2015. Of that 1800? I have 17 Amazon reviews, and 53 GoodReads reviews.

If my math is not wrong, that means 1% of all those who have my e-book have reviewed it on Amazon, and maybe 3% have reviewed it on Goodreads. So ... it seems like readers just don't drop reviews (especially on Amazon) unless they have possibly met the author (and want to support them), run a review site, or just like posting reviews. So just because there's not a lot of reviews being posted doesn't mean people aren't reading. It just means they don't want to take the time to leave a review.

I don't know if any other indie authors on here can share their downloads to review ratios, but I'd be curious.

Offline JMack

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Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2018, 01:15:41 PM »
Is it possible to add your own survey link at the of an ebook?
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