You can either enjoy the story or write the story everyone enjoys.

Marketing Strategies for Authors That WORK!

Marketing: it’s the most important step in making your writing worthwhile. Authors who don’t take this to heart and implement a strategy while releasing their books end up seeing their efforts amount to nothing. Eventually, they stop writing altogether and warn other authors that “there’s no money in writing”. Let me share something with you:

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That’s the salary for writers and authors over the last 14 years. As you can see, it’s trending upward. So there’s money in being an author, you just have to learn how to market (or hire someone who already knows). Today, I want to give you some marketing strategies that have worked for our authors.

Book Signing EVENT

I’ve capitalized ‘event’ for a reason. If this is your first book signing, particularly if you’re a new author, you should look at it in a different light than just a book signing. Honestly, no one wants to go to a book signing for an author (or a group of authors) they’ve never heard of. Would you? So, in order to get people to come, you have to make it more enticing.

I was invited to a book event in Tampa a couple of years ago by a friend who was an events planner. I was told it was going to be a lot of fun, a great night out. So I went.

The venue was a small coffee shop. There was coffee, drinks, spoken word artists, musicians, excerpt readings, it was a GREAT time! The author sold out during the event, read from her book, and had a great turnout. Not only did she sell her books, she helped expose other authors and artists and left a great taste in everyone’s mouth afterwards. They had something they wanted (a night out, coffee, alcohol, entertainment) and gave the author what she wanted (exposure, interest, fans, money). Plus, the likelihood that she’d be invited to another event where she could make more money is MUCH higher now that people knew who she was and what she does. That was a couple of years ago and I still remember it vividly.

Paid Book Promotion (The Dos and Don’ts)

This is where most authors go wrong. Not because they use paid book promotion, but because they don’t know how to do it to maximize their money-making efforts.

When you’re scheduling your book releases, doing so one week prior to release date is going to give you little to no money back. Authors who find the most success have their dates planned 1-2 months in advance (giving them time to promote). That means everything is done for the book (editing, formatting, covers, etc.) in advance. If you want to make your releases worthwhile, you need to do this — please don’t be the author who tries to prove this wrong. You’re just going to waste your money.

Here’s a fact about marketing: it takes 4-6 weeks to see the efforts from ANY marketing & promotion. Meaning, you start promoting your book, in 1-2 months you’ll see the most results from those efforts. This is a fact that, if you take it to heart and understand it, will help you make more money than you’ll know what to do with.

DON’T RUSH YOUR PUBLISHING!
DON’T CUT CORNERS!
DON’T DO IT ALONE!

Now yes, it’s going to cost money to get this set up. Big promotion sites that yield the best results are constantly busy with authors who are willing to invest in their own success. If you try to cut corners and spend next to nothing, that’s what you’ll get in your bank account. So don’t cut corners. You’re going to have to spend money to make money. If you won’t even invest in your book, why should a reader?

DO RESEARCH YOUR PAID PROMOTION COMPANY!
DO HIRE A COMPANY TO HANDLE YOUR MARKETING FOR YOU!
DO INVEST THE TIME TO LEARN MARKETING & PROMOTION STRATEGIES!

You’re a writer. I understand that you want to do what you do best: write. If that’s the case, you really need to have a team with you that understands and implements marketing and promotion hardcore. The reason: if you want to keep writing, you need to support yourself financially. Marketing is how you do that. So find a company (or more than one) that takes paid book promotion to the next level, that has marketing reports that they give you so you can SEE the results for yourself, that has reviews from other authors about their successes, etc. (And don’t be afraid to fire a team/company who isn’t working out.) Here are a couple I recommend looking into:

  • Author Grow - Author Grow has the best marketing program that teaches authors how to go from 0 to 6-figures. They’re run by bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton who has self-published, been published by a publisher, represented by an agent, and had movie offers on her books. She’s one of the best. If you have the drive and patience to take control of your writing career, I really recommend you check them out.

  • Creative Alchemy, Inc. - This micro-press offers marketing services for authors at very affordable prices. They provide you reports for your Amazon profile with what is good and bad and what you can do to optimize it for better results. They’ll promote you on Facebook, organize a Kindle promotion, they’ll even help you write your blurb! If you don’t want to learn the ropes, I recommend them. You’ll get what you need at a price that won’t kill your life’s savings.

Free Book Promotion

Free promotion really comes in handy if you answer one key question: what is the purpose of this promotion? If you just put the book up for free, you get nothing. No contact info, no money, and a reader who might read your book (how many readers have a to-read list that’s hundreds of books long?). Nowadays people look for things they can get for free. Why? No commitment. They got it for free, so they’ll get around to it whenever. It didn’t cost them anything, so it doesn’t really mean much to them. So, how do you make your free book promotion worth it?

When you decide to use free book promotion, use the same strategy as paid promotion — have everything done 1-2 months in advance. Promote a limited time only deal, and hold true to that time limit. The readers who jump on it are true fans of yours. They read your post, they adhere to the special, they jumped on the deal. Those are people who see your book as valuable. For those who come late, having a special price for another limited time is a good strategy. (NOTE: stay away from the $0.99 deals for extended periods of time unless you have a marketing plan set up. You aren’t going to see very much money when your book is that low in price unless you sell thousands of them. You’ve put a lot of work into your book, value yourself as an author and your fans will too.)

Now, you might want to use a professional website to truly make this work (which I strongly recommend), or work out a deal with the company(ies) that are promoting your book to give you the emails that they collect, but ultimately you want to get results and contact information from the people who take advantage of your promotion. Why? You’re more likely to get someone to buy something else than you are to get a brand new buyer. It’s also a way to see who your TRUE FANS are, the people who pay attention to you. Reward them with opportunities that they otherwise would not get.

In short, use free book promotion as a way to collect something from those who want it. These are people who you can contact again and who can give you valuable information to help you keep your fans happy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, here are 3 marketing strategies that work for authors:

  1. Book Signing EVENTS

  2. Paid Book Promotion

  3. Free Book Promotion

With your book signing events, make them actual events about more than just you and your books. Bring in other authors, artists, and more entertainers to make the event something people WANT to come to.

With your paid book promotion, have your book ready completely 1-2 months in advance (closer to 2 months if you can help it) and find a company that knows what they’re doing and has the results to prove it. DON’T RUSH, DON’T CUT CORNERS, AND DON’T GO AT IT ALONE!

With your free book promotion, set a goal to, at the very least, collect contact information from the people who get your free book. You’re more likely to get someone to buy more from you than you are getting brand new buyers.

Don’t be afraid of marketing. This is a journey. Learn along the way and make some money doing it!

Which marketing strategy are you going to use?

Jonathan Miller is the President of iFlow Creative, a bestselling author, and a professional singer. During the last 5 years of business, he has helped over 168 authors go on to make $50K, win awards, and hit the USA Today and Amazon bestselling lists. He now focuses on helping as many writers as possible live their dreams as authors.

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