What goes into a book sale, you ask?
Plenty of outreach via the various media platforms and marketing channels open to authors.
First, let’s get an idea of what you are dealing with when marketing your new book. According to the latest report from ProQuest affiliate Bowker, self-publishing grew at a rate of 40 percent in 2018 – and shows no signs of slowing down. Bowker.com reports that 1.6 million self-published books were published in the latest year where they have statistics.
And if you count back just a few years using the same source as above you will see that there are millions of self-published books available for sale.
Now, that’s a lot of books. Authors tell me that Amazon has millions more self-published books available to readers.
Marketing a book is a tall order given the sheer number of books available and all the ways authors must reach out to their target audience.
Annie Jennings PR is a publicity book marketing specialist who reveals a myriad of ways to create an optimal book marketing plan.
THE MARKETING LIST: Many authors quickly realize that creating a successful book marketing strategy includes many factors. Here are some of the marketing elements authors should work to optimize and that impact their potential sales.
First of all, your book’s subject matter, topic, genre. Is there a demand for the work in general?
Who is the publisher and what is their reputation?
Who is your distributor? And again, what is the quality of their reputation? What can they do for you? Where can they place your book?
What is your author reputation? Are you known for your previous works? If so, that’s a big plus. However, if you are marketing a first book you have to come out of the “marketing gate” strong. This is because the success of your first book will set the stage for your overall author reputation for various opportunities in the future. The opportunities can include a prominent publisher offering you a book deal.
Place your book on Amazon and all of the online book purchasing sites. Buy the up-sell packages so you can sponsor your book or come up as clients are searching for books in your genre. Amazon.com offers authors numerous ways to increase the visibility of their books to potential readers.
Social media community and sharing becomes important to your overall book marketing outreach.
You should be sharing with your social media community all along the writing, publishing, and the publicity process. You can’t just say over and over again, “buy my book.” It’s all about building a relationship with your community. Be open to the unspoken marketing feedback. No action? This could mean your topic does not relate well to readers. The subject matter could be out-dated. Perhaps your title is not as enticing as it could be. Maybe your sub-title does not promise a strong return on a reader’s investment. These e-books are getting expensive, so readers have to be sure they will like the book to buy it. Your title and sub-title helps them decide.
Get honest and positive book reviews.
This is where positive book reviews come in. Start getting feedback as you write the book. Find educated readers who know about creating a good book. Ask them to read your book as you write it to give you feedback. Do not write your book in a vacuum. Create a book writing group that includes others who are writing a book and want honest feedback and support. It’s better to know you are on track while you can make changes rather than learning it the hard way with no sales or negative book reviews left on online retail sites.
If your book is good the marketplace will respond well to your new book however, if you have missed your mark, your market will also tell you this. But at least you will have accurate information. Negative reviews hurt your chance at a book sales but help you learn how to be better. The trick to success is to be open to feedback.
Use popular title and sub-title strategy to attract readers.
Note the titles of the books that sell well in your genre. Use that information as a guide in deciding on your book’s title. Note the sub-title of popular books that are selling as well. Notice the strategy they use such as how many words, the content, the picture it paints for the reader or the message it sends. All very important. A poor title is the beginning of your failure.
Your potential readers will be exposed to numerous factors that you can control. These include your social media platform, reviews on Amazon and other online retailers, your book title, your book’s cover, your book trailer and more.
Best selling authors have developed social media platforms. They market to their email lists. They seek out book clubs.
They encourage people to read their book and offer them a review by sending free books. However, be aware of the too optimistic book review such as the reviewer saying “the book kept me up all night!!!!!” Yes, they say that over and over again. They use way too many exclamation points.
Encourage an honest review because the one above reeks of “not a good book.”
Book reviews should be content rich, comment on the writer’s style, the quality of the plot as it compares to books of note. Not “you will turn the pages all night” or “I could not put it down” as these comments say nothing. In fact, they indicate that the review is manufactured and not to be considered. This is actually a negative review as savvy readers know that the reviewer did not have any meaningful comments to share.
With this in mind, seek out reviews from high quality sources such as Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.
Start a podcast about your topic to help with book marketing.
Start a limited series podcast around the topic of your book. Podcasts take a lot of time to create and according to iTunes there are over 800,000 podcasts with over 21 million episodes uploaded. Now that’s a lot of podcasts, however your goal is to appeal to your target reader and your podcast might be enjoyable to them. By limiting your podcast to perhaps 8 episodes you will be able to manage the work load better.
Be a guest on other podcasts. Why not go for as much exposure as possible? Your next reader could be listening. And you have more content for your newsletter or email marketing or sending out a tip series or daily email regarding the podcast and “today’s topic.” Your newsletter or email marketing can promote your appearance on another podcast such as Annie’s AuthorExpertWire podcast series.
Speaking of Kindle (not that we were but we should be), be sure to be on Kindle. Audible too.
Seek out all of the formats the online book sellers are offering. It’s a lot of work but this is what it takes these days to put together a comprehensive book marketing and promotion strategy. I wish books would sell themselves too. But there is a way to get up close and personal with your reader and audition your talent for the sale.
What is that?
Traditional publicity. Traditional marketing. Traditional media outreach.
Work with a publicity firm to get booked on radio talk shows as the guest. These radio talk show interviews allow you to reach out to the major cities and to be heard from coast to coast. Radio offers high-impact and high-listenership.
Being seen on TV is great for creating an author reputation as well as for book sales. Getting quoted in online articles as the expert can result in a book mention and perhaps even a link back to your website or book on Amazon.
All of your traditional media can be repurposed for even more promotion. For best results, use a combination of traditional media, social media, online book sellers and their up-sell options, book clubs, book reviews, radio talk shows, online media placements and getting booked on TV shows.
No one has control over book sales, however you do have control over creating the best marketing plan you can for your book.
Speak with national publicity professional, Annie Jennings PR, today.
Having booked over 25,000 media placements, Annie’s team of experienced publicity professionals specialize in their area of expertise. This includes major radio publicity, TV media bookings in any city and online media placements on major internet sites offering significant readership. Annie Jennings PR should be a part of any book marketing and book promotion team as our PR firm brings the power of traditional media to your plan.
Want to be heard by potentially millions of people?
That’s radio talk show interviews. By the way, Annie Jennings PR offers you unlimited media training with your radio publicity campaign from an award-winning former news producer and booker for a nationally recognized media outlet. You’ll learn how to be a great guest and how to promote your book during the interview. Radio interviews help you get up close and personal and create a first impression with your audience. This increases the chances of book sales as they “know you.” Radio offers you a chance to build a relationship with your reader and this relationship is the foundation of success.