Authors can benefit from the experience of others when it comes to marketing a book for sales.
Just recently, Bowker.com, reported that is 2018, there were 1.6 million self-published books hitting the market. Now, that’s a lot of books with authors all wanting you want – more sales. Below is a summary of how real authors sold books. Keep in mind, there are numerous factors in selling books and there is one very important one that can make an immediate difference to you and it is this: Get Up Close & Personal With Your Readers!
A special thanks to Tara Alemany, author of Publish With Purpose, for sponsoring the Summit. Here are the free tips promised in Annie’s call.
Annie Jennings, National Publicity Expert, queried authors on how they sold their books. Many of these authors reported great success with their “do it yourself” book marketing and promotion ideas.
Below is a summary of how these authors sold books and had lots of fun and adventure doing it. Annie has provided additional insights on each idea to provide publicist insights on how to optimize the method.
Annie says, “once you start brainstorming ways to add value to others via your book, lots of great ideas are born along with fun experiences too. And remember this,” says Annie, “getting up close and personal with your audience works very well when it comes to building buzz and selling books.”
- Newsletter: If you have a newsletter, let your subscribers know of your book before it is published and offer them the opportunity to purchase your book, perhaps at a pre-publication price. You may want to offer a sample chapter in advance of the publication date with a call to purchase at the end of the chapter, again, perhaps at a special price.
- Social Media: Create a digital presence on all the social sites. Authors report excellent results in sharing about their books on social media. Be sure to use a variety of posting styles to avoid the ‘always be selling’ approach some authors use and provide meaning and valuable content. Include a high-resolution book cover along with each book post to build up familiarity with the title, look and feel of your new book. Consider each post a touch point with your audience. Create posts that speak to their needs and provide a link to your website to get more info or a link to your online book seller, such as Amazon, to purchase the book.
- Amazon Reviews: Ask those who read your book to post an honest Amazon review. Never manipulate the reviews of your book. It is better to earn your good reviews by writing a great book. At the end of the day, a good book lives on but a book that can’t live up to “planted” reviews will lose it sizzle and hurt the author’s brand. Plus, when you think about it, sometimes reviews can reveal valuable feedback that can help the author become a better writer. This feedback, although you might feel it as negative, is actually helping you, especially if you want a long and flourishing career as an author. A good idea before you publish is to get feedback on a pre-sale copy of your book. Ask people around you for honest assessments about what they liked and where they feel you can improve. I know it’s hard to ask friends and family to be honest, but perhaps a writer’s group would be a good choice for this strategy. If you are not a member of one, start one. This way, writers can help each other by offering truthful feedback. The goal is to publish a great book and the path to writing one is to find out what readers like about your book as well as whether or not you can improve on areas where it falls short. This is important for sales because many readers use the reviews to decide whether or not to buy a book.
- Sales: Pitch outlets that might be a good fit for your book. One of the authors we queried sold her book to area schools, got their books placed in school book fairs and libraries and conducted book readings at the school.
- Local Exposure: Communities are a great resource for authors. Your local newspapers love local stories and might publish a feature article about you and your book. You can get your book displayed by the register (independent stores can do this) or in the local author area of bigger chain stores. Area gift shops can carry your book as can local bookstores. An example of this idea is this, what if you wrote a cookbook? Wouldn’t the local “all things cooking store” love to carry your book on consignment? Why not, right? And you can offer to perform a cooking demonstration for the store too.
- Optimize Amazon: Create an author page, provide compelling promotional copy for the book, look into buying the up-sells and various bells and whistles offered by Amazon such as sponsored advertisement. Learn all you can about Amazon book selling opportunities and ways to favorably position your book. Amazon has the traffic and your goal is to stand out among the millions of books available in today’s self-publishing world.
- Book launch party: Who doesn’t love a party? You can hold the event at your home, serve some fun desserts and coffee and have signed copies available for your guests. You can create a short presentation about your book writing journey and share some meaningful and valuable info from your book. You can even sign books during the event so you can personalize the message. If you have written a book that lends itself to a hands-on experience, you can also do a “hands on’ party where guests can sample the experience!
- Audible: Great for non-fiction or “how to” books and if you have a good voice, record the audio yourself as it makes a difference. Avoid hiring a “reader” who makes your book inaccessible to the listener in that the reader is boring or monotone or just sounds like everyone else. Read the book yourself. Inject your own life, energy and experience into your book. You will naturally sound like a million bucks and your audience will love it!
- Get Booked: Contact your local talk radio shows and asked to be interviewed as a guest. Send the producer and host a copy of your book along with your press materials. Also, send a list of 10 questions that you would like to be asked to showcase the value of your book. Radio talk shows work very well for non-fiction books. Radio shows are conducted via telephone interviews and they are guest friendly, allowing you to responsibly promote your book and website during the show. And they are lots of fun to do as well!
- Go Live: Enjoy the interactive benefits of going Live on Facebook and Instagram. You can video a short presentation and if you have viewers watching, you can answer their questions LIVE. Also, lots of fun. Be sure to have your book on hand to show, of course. You can post advance notice that you are going LIVE at a certain time. Ask your friends and family to plan to attend the event and share the invite with others.
MORE: Want more tips on how to market a book for sales? Here is an action-packed post for you!
Browse Annie’s Publicity Blog: Feel free to browse our blog for more publicity strategies you can use for your success. Annie knows, and tells!
Annie Jennings of the National PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR
Annie Jennings is a highly respected and accomplished National Publicist who creates meaningful and valuable publicity strategies that help her clients be heard in the world. Annie offers her famous #1 radio talk show interview campaign that comes with free unlimited media training, a performance guarantee and bookings on the major, high-listenership radio shows that include the nationally syndicated networks that help share your message coast to coast. Performance publicity programs are offered for TV bookings, prestigious print and influential online media placements.
Annie is available to present on numerous publicity strategies for online venues, teleseminars or podcasts for your group or association of authors, experts and speakers. Let Annie know via email firstname.lastname@example.org of your interest.