If you're a novelist who expects social media to lead to book sales, the truth may shock you.
After all, everywhere you look you're told to get on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and other social media outlets to attract people. Get a lot of followers, then when your book comes out they will buy it.
"YES, MY FOLLOWERS WILL BUY MY BOOK!"
A friend recently told me about one of her friends who started a blog about how to write children's books. He posted almost every day and the blog became quite successful.
Then he published a children's book of his own and mentioned it frequently on his popular blog.
Very few of his followers bought his book.
The reason isn't actually all that surprising. They go to his site to learn how to write their own books. A few may appreciate his effort enough to buy his book as a token of thanks, but not many.
If your blog posts or tweets or pictures are not directly about your book, the odds are there will be little crossover.
"THEN I'LL BLOG ABOUT MY BOOK!"
I have more bad news...very few people will want to read a blog about a book by an author who isn't already known.
I see advice all the time suggesting that novelists blog about the setting of their novel, or write posts in the voice of their protagonist, or reveal the true-life inspiration for the book.
I'm sorry to be so blunt (especially since this is true for anything I would write, too), but...who cares?
"OK, I'll PUT A BOOK TRAILER UP ON YOUTUBE!"
Again, who cares? What's going to make people want to watch a book trailer for a book they've never heard of?
"SO I SHOULD GIVE UP?"
Just kidding. I think there are a few things that can work, and I'll cover them in the next post.