How to make the ‘social’ in the social web work for your brand new book

I’ve been writing for a long time now; five non-fiction books written since 2005 and one short story (I’m also working on my first novel – but that’s a whole different kettle of fish it seems).  All are self published and one is a top seller on Amazon in the UK and the US, it’s been a hard road to travel but it’s been worth it and I’ve discovered that I love writing, I think I was born to be an author. 

Anyway, I digress.  I’ve been reading (and writing) about how to use the social web to help build awareness of books (and businesses) for a few years now.  Having experienced it since the mid 1990’s I sort of think I may have a handle on at least some of the things that work (or don’t as the case may be) and the trick – I’ve discovered – is to understand that we are all just part of one big, ginormous, conversation.  By taking part, fully and without expectation in that conversation you suddenly have an opportunity to talk about the things you know most about.  And that is the secret to success in this crazy, online and social world.

Of course, because I’m in this world I’m always interested in how other people do things too.  I love hints and tips, and I particularly enjoy hearing about other people’s successes, especially when they seem to be following the same understanding that I have too.   Last month, I received a regular missive from Amazon Kindle which shares news about the platform and also gives some suggestions about other books Kindle authors may be interested in reading.  I don’t normally do anything with these suggestions as they are often around topics and genres I have no interest in, but this time one caught my eye and it was a recommendation to read John Locke’s “How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

The blurb explained that John Locke was self published and he regularly had novels in the top 100 on Amazon in fact he regularly has novels in the top ten too. How could I resist?

Off I went to Amazon and checked it out and sure enough, he had two novels in the top ten and more in the top 100 on the day I checked.  So I bought it …. and I read it ….. and I read it again and then read it a third time, just to be sure I hadn’t missed anything.

The reason I read it so much was because for the first time I read about someone who does the same things I do.  He likes people and he’s happy to help out and share his knowledge – not just through this book but also through the emails he responds to, the twitter messages he sends and the comments he responds to.

I spend a lot of my time reading emails and responding to them, answering questions in LinkedIn and on Twitter too.  I hope my input helps. I do it because I like people, I genuinely want others to be able to learn how to do the things I do so that they can apply them to their business or book launch as well.

However, this book is not for the fainthearted – it does talk about John’s success (as well it might, he is successful and he is writing about his methodology) but, as I already know it’s not an easy road he recommends because it is all about building relationships – long term relationships.  It isn’t a how to get everyone to buy your book immediately book which clearly, some of the reviewers on Amazon expected, but it does demonstrate and explain just how powerful relationships can be.

If you aren’t a relationship sort of person or a natural networker then this book probably isn’t for you.  If you are though, and you have a book you want to share with the world – I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. “How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

John writes at @DonovanCreed on Twitter and you can meet me there too at @LindaPH

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