A large part of social networking is the grouping of individuals into a particular group of interest. People join websites like Facebook and MySpace to find people of similar interests. All social networking websites allow users to connect to each other via buttons and groups. The more friends you have on these websites, the bigger your network is.

Many authors don’t use social networking to their advantage, in fact, many of them don’t use social networking at all. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Digg are gold mines when it comes to book sales. If you’re not marketing on social networking sites, you’re throwing money in the trash.

Don’t be intimidated by these social networking sites. Simply create a profile and learn slowly. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme. Marketing on social networking sites is all about word of mouse, not word of mouth. Let other people do the marketing for you. Your goal is to make friends that like your book. My definition, social networking sites are viral. Meaning, if you can get your word out to a few key people, they will do the marketing for you.

Before I tell you about an important experiment I conducted, I want to inform you to not violate the terms of use on these social networking sites. These sites are not for direct marketing. Your goal on these sites is to form relationships, small ones. Then, after a few pleasant exchanges, the relationship could blossom into a customer.

Believe me, if you network properly on these websites, people will know what you do and the products you sell.

I finished an experiment a few months ago which proved beneficial to my book sales. My first goal was to make over 100 friends a week. The concept here was the more friends I had the bigger my network and the more people would hear about my book. But the reverse happened. Even though I was adding many friends, none of those friends got any personal attention. After several more experiments, I found the perfect number. If you use 4 different social networking sites to make 12 friends per week (with an interest in the subject of your book), by contacting each friend at least 3 times your book sales will increase dramatically. Each friend is getting enough personal attention to be interested in your book, and will possibly purchase it. But, the book sales don’t stop there. Those customers will tell their friends and so on and so forth. In essence, you gave the perfect amount of people a small bit of attention, enough for them to become a sales engine for you.

Give it a try for one week, it takes a bit of persistence but it works. If you need help or have questions, just email me. I call this type of marketing strategic social networking, because you have to plan for how you will use these websites in advance. With a little bit of planning, your marketing efforts will echo throughout cyberspace.

For more tips and tricks on how to sell a ton of books, go to Michael Volkin’s new website SellaTonofBooks.com and purchase his new book Social Networking for Authors-Untapped Possibilities for Wealth.