Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Makes a Book a Best Seller? (Part 12 of 13)

What about social media for making a best seller? This is becoming the focus of much self-promoting. Many writers think that if they can get 100,000 followers on Facebook or Twitter, they automatically have a best seller.

No one has proven that to be true. Most reports are what we call anecdotal: "Someone read my post," is a common defense, "and bought five copies." I wouldn't denigrate that statement, but it proves nothing in total sales.

Expert Jonah Berger asks, "What percent of word of mouth do you think happens online? In other words, what percent of chatter happens over social media, blogs, email, and chatrooms?"[1]

He says the number is 7 percent and cites research by the Keller Fay Group to substantiate the low figure. He points out that although people spend a large amount of time online, that doesn't translate into sales.

Among his college students, he found that fewer than 10 percent of their friends responded to messages they posted. He states, "Most Twitter posts reach even fewer."[2]

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[1] Ibid., 10.
[2] Ibid., 12.

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