Here’s anecdotal evidence that social media networking by authors really does sell books. Well, it sold one book, anyway. I had never heard of this book, or the author, until last week when someone I follow on Twitter re-tweeted something. It was a tweet from Stephanie Dray that included a link to her blog post “Has the Romance Genre Contaminated Historical Fiction?,” expressing some thoughts with which I heartily agree. Her web site is very attractive, so after reading the blog post, I looked around a bit and quickly found an excerpt from this, her debut novel. I read the excerpt and thought I would probably like the book; I read quite a bit of historical fiction. Today in our local independent bookstore, I saw a copy on display and it really jumped out at me. Oh yes, I remembered, I wanted to read that — so I bought it.
See how easy that is? An author on Twitter, not pimping her book but expressing her thoughts and posting links to something thoughtful she has written about her genre. Someone finds that worth sharing, someone who follows her on Twitter (presumably because she makes worthwhile posts), and because I follow that person (same reason), it comes to my attention. I read, am intrigued, and since the author has a web site that looks good, is simple to navigate, and does not play music, I read a little more. There is an excerpt, so I get a sense that her writing style is one I would enjoy. Then when I see the book on sale, I buy it, even though I don’t make a habit of paying full price for trade paperbacks by debut authors.
That’s how you sell books using social media.