Do you ever wish you could sell books on autopilot? Or even better, have someone take care of your book marketing for you?
Well, I'm excited to share an amazing book marketing hack with you that does exactly this.
If you want to learn how you can get your readers to sell your books for you, this post is for you.
Ask for reviews
So how can you get current readers of your books to spread the word and sell your books for you?
Let's back up first, and think about why you would want to do this in the first place.
Studies show that people trust recommendations from friends and family above any kind of advertising. And after personal recommendations, people trust consumer reviews.
You already know that reviews are important for authors, as they provide social proof. People look for reviews to see if other people have already bought your book and enjoyed it. The reviews let them know if your book is a safe bet.
But reviews are not the only way to show social proof. And they're not the only way for readers to recommend your books to others.
It may feel like you have no control over whether your readers recommend your books to their friends and family. And to an extent, this is true.
You don't have much control over word of mouth marketing. It's up to them to take action and recommend your books. But you can still suggest it.
The easiest way to do this is to put a request in one of your emails. You can remind people that it would be great if they recommended your books to their friends and family if they enjoyed it.
And if they did enjoy it, sometimes all they need is that nudge to take action.
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Encourage social sharing
The next way that your readers can help sell your book is by sharing it with their wider network on social media.
Now, I often say that social media is not a great place for you to sell your books. But it can be a good place for other people to do it for you.
It's not great for you to keep blasting social media with ‘buy my book' messages. But when somebody else shares about your book and says, “I just read this book and I really enjoyed it,” then that's very powerful. It's more powerful than any posts you can do about your own book.
We trust our friends more than ads
Imagine you're scrolling through your Facebook feed. You see a post from a friend raving about a book that they've just finished and really enjoyed. And you also see a promoted post from an author talking about their latest novel. Which of those posts are you going to pay the most attention to?
Assuming both posts are about books in your preferred genre, you're going to pay more attention to your friend's post, right? You may even engage back with your friend and ask, what did you love about it? Or have you read anything else by this author?
So you're more likely to pay attention to your friend's post than the ad because you're warmed up to what your friend is posting. You already know, like, and trust them.
Your friend has no agenda or interest in getting anyone to buy the book. They may suggest everyone buys it if they loved it, but it's not in their interest that anyone does. They're simply recommending it. But with a promoted post, you know that someone's trying to sell you something, and so you're instantly less engaged with that.
Make sharing easy
Again, readers may not share your book on social media, even if they loved it, unless you ask them to. So they may need another nudge from you. Again, you can send an email asking them to share your book on social media, if they enjoyed it.
To make things super simple, you could provide them with some ready-made tweets or graphics that they can click to share. You could mock something up in Canva or Book Brush and all they have to do is click the image to share it on their chosen social platform.
Share user-generated content
Finally, you can use user-generated content on your own social media feeds.
You know that you don't want to be posting about your book repeatedly on social media. So the best thing you can do is get other people to post about your book, and then you share those posts.
That is much less spammy and it looks much more engaging and entertaining for anybody that's scrolling through your posts.
You may want to set up some kind of contest where you invite people to share an image of themselves reading your book – you could ask people to share pictures of themselves reading in unusual or exotic places. Maybe they're on vacation and share an image of your book on the beach or up a mountain.
Or you may want them to share an image of your book with their pet or with a child. This is particularly valuable if your book is a children's book. Images of children enjoying the book would be brilliant to post on social media.
Other people's content is always better than our own
These posts are always more interesting than anything we could come up with ourselves. They're more engaging for the people seeing the posts and they encourage your existing readers to get involved. Your readers can engage with your brand and your marketing, and help sell your book for you!
Plus, they provide that all-important social proof for new audiences who want to see other people enjoying your books.
So that's how you get your readers to sell your books for you, short of asking them to set up a pop-up shop in their street. Although, come to think of it, that could be a really good idea…