Instagram Won’t Sell Your Books – Here’s What To Do Instead

You’ve finally done it. You’ve written your book and had it published. You are an author. Congratulations!

Now all you need to do is hop on Facebook, share a couple of posts, maybe do one Instagram Live and watch the sales roll in. Right?


One of the biggest misconceptions for authors, brands, and small businesses today is that attention or big numbers on social media that will lead to sales. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Quality Over Quantity

With countless social media platforms, new technologies and constantly shifting attention, it’s not the QUANTITY of your audience that matters. It’s the QUALITY of the audience you have.

One recent article from the New York Times summed up this idea in a big way. (We highly recommend reading it.)

It speaks to the frustration and difficulties that authors we work with initially face.

No matter how large you grow your social media platform, how many followers you have, or how many likes you get, those numbers will not translate into sales.

In fact, your social media presence should be thought of as the TOP of your sales funnel. It’s where you have the largest chance of attracting eyes to your content, but not all those eyes will be the right ones.

Introducing The Customer Journey

So what is an author like you to do? Give up on social media and just try to sell books the old-fashioned way?

Well, not exactly.

What you need to start thinking about is what happens AFTER someone stumbles on your social media account.

What are you offering them? Where are you leading them? What is the customer journey you want them to follow?

The best way we know to turn a follower into a sale? By getting them to join your email list.

Yes, email has been around forever. But it’s not antiquated in the least. In fact, email is the BEST way to build trust and loyalty with your audience, educate them on who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you.

In 2020, the number of global e-mail users amounted to four billion and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025.

Everyone is on email, and you should be too.

The sales are happening in your inbox, not your social media feed.

So how can you start beefing up your email efforts to bring in more book sales? Here are 3 quick tips you’ll want to implement asap.

How To Step Up Your Email Efforts

  1. Offer something for free. 

This might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to make money, but it is a necessity. Your potential audience needs to know you have value to give them. One great way to do this is through your email list. This free resource is called a lead magnet. It can be anything from a chapter of your book, to a study guide or a free Facebook group where you host a community around your book’s topic. Get creative! The possibilities are endless.

  1.  Nurture your audience.

Just because you plan to sell through email doesn’t mean that you should only sell through email. That’s a real quick way to get an ‘Unsubscribe.’ Create conversation through your emails. Provide engaging content. Share resources or tools that you love. Let your audience get to know YOU and give them an opportunity to tell you what they need. Plus, an audience that likes hearing from you will be much more receptive when it’s time to buy.

  1. Get help when you need it.

We get it. Keeping up with your writing, publishing a book, executing a social strategy, AND building an email list can be a lot – especially as a first-time author. But help is available! On our Red Bird Social blog, you’ll find a ton of helpful articles that will help you create a plan for success. Want to take the next step? You can set up a FREE consultation with our Red Bird Social team and find out how we can help you reach your goals.

We can’t wait to see how YOU use your email strategy to grow your platform!

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