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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I'M ON TIKTOK--AND PLENTY OF OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

Selling books is not easy. Whenever another author in the writing community claims to have found a foolproof way to make sure their books get noticed and sell, I listen. Way back, in the early days of the internet, published authors advised unpublished authors to set up a website before getting published. So, I fearlessly learned HTML and set up a site on Geocities--because it was free.

Fortunately, a publisher was willing to send my books out into the world and soon I had lots of news to put on my website--things like contest wins and glowing reviews. But every other author did the same thing. Getting noticed, even with award-winning books is difficult.

Along came Blogger. I signed up and started posting regularly. I "met" other bloggers. They commented on my blog and I commented on theirs. It was quite nice, but I didn't sell any books due to my blogging.

Next came Facebook. A friend of mine encouraged me to join the new social media site, so I did.   I found lots of other authors on Facebook. I found friends from the past who I hadn't seen in ages. I enjoyed seeing what everyone was doing. But I didn't sell many books through Facebook. 

Some authors started making book videos. This was a good way to showcase your books, they said. So I made book videos and uploaded them to YouTube. I did not sell any more books than usual. 

LinkedIn showed promise, so I set up a page there.

Twitter came along and I signed up for that as well. I could post my book videos there. I could post my glowing reviews and contest wins. I could help my author friends by posting about their books.

Triberr was introduced. What a marvel! I could post on my blog and my tribemates would repost my post on Twitter. Spreading the news became easier. 

Pinterest became a terrific place to wander in and get lost. 

Then came Instagram. Beautiful photos, tons of hashtags. But I signed up for that, too.

I was getting a bit weary of all this social media stuff. Tons of new social media sites blossomed on the Internet and I ignored them. 

Until TikTok came along. One of my daughters showed me some of the funny videos on TikTok, but I didn't think much more about it. Then, out of the blue, the New York Times posted an article about TikTok (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/20/books/booktok-tiktok-video.html)
Suddenly, authors began touting their success on TikTok.

So I joined TikTok. I am watching what the other authors do. I have not bought a crown--yet, but I might. Have I become an overnight best selling author? No. But TikTok is entertaining. 

So far, the best way I've found to sell books is to buy an ad on any of a number of book promotion sites. You can read about that here: https://penelopemarzec.blogspot.com/2018/06/my-experience-with-book-promotion-sites.html

I enjoy writing, but marketing is not easy. If TikTok works, I'll let you know.


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