The best book marketing strategies that helped me make over $40K in one year!
If you’re having a problem with selling your book, you know that marketing is not easy. You’ve probably shared on groups, with your friends and family, and have few sales and reviews to show for it. Marketing and promotion takes time, effort, and most of all persistence. In my 10+ years as an author and 5+ as an entrepreneur I have used many different avenues for marketing and promotion—some of which caused me to waste hundreds of dollars. While I’ve learned the hard way what doesn’t work, I’ve found a few methods that have worked for met. These strategies helped me make over $40K in a year, and hopefully they will help you make more.
Book Marketing Needs
First off, you’re going to need to get a few things set up. Success doesn’t happen on accident. Even lottery winners had to go in and do SOMETHING to get their money. As an author, you’re going to need to do the same. The success of your book marketing campaigns hinges on the efforts you put into having various things set up correctly.
Here’s the truth: readers are going to want to know about YOU (sorry introverts). They’re going to want to see what you look like, what you do daily, what your political views are, how you drink your coffee, etc. You’re going to have to get personal with your fans on some level. You don’t have to post up your address and invite everyone to dinner, but you should have something there besides a link to where to buy your books. These aren’t machines just buying things just to buy them. Give them a reason to buy, a reason to care about you. They’re YOUR fans!
Having a website will allow you to do several things to make you more than the $0.66 you’ll get for your book on Amazon:
Keep more of your royalties
Offer special sales
Gather up a mailing list where you can offer more people more of your products (please make more products than books!)
You can sell your book at full price and KEEP just about all of it. One of the biggest things that helped me gather fans in the beginning was to offer the book for free and have them pay the shipping. One lady in Australia bought an entire box of them for a library there because she enjoyed the book so much. That’s something Amazon won’t offer your readers (but they’ll collect email addresses for their own selling purposes). Your fans will ALWAYS be happy with a discount, and it gets your book in the hands of a lot more people. If you’ve had the book edited properly, this should boost your reviews if nothing else.
I can’t stress this enough. If you want to make money as an author (especially if you aren’t part of one of the Big 6) a mailing list is a necessity. Business fact: 80% of your revenue comes from about 20% of your customers. If someone has bought something from you before, for god’s sake get their contact information! This is another reason why your website is so important; Amazon won’t give you that information.
People who have bought from you in the past are more likely to buy from you again! If they like what you’ve done before, you just have to give them something to buy again! Mailing list, mailing list, mailing list!!! You can connect with them with a newsletter, give out special offers to certain members of your fanbase (VIP anyone?), and so much more! If NOTHING else, get a mailing list!
Social Media Presence
Now, this goes without saying – EVERYONE is on social media. Billions of readers go there daily. If you don’t have a social media account and you want to be an author, you’re really limiting your chances of success. You NEED a social media presence. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are three of the top sites. Collecting fans there is literally one click, and people are more likely to trust you if you’re on social media than if you aren’t. No one is going to buy anything from anyone they don’t trust.
There’s a method to book promotion that you have to take when it comes to promotion. You can’t just publish a book, post to your groups and on your newsfeeds and think you’re going to make sales, especially if you don’t have a list. You have to have a campaign. I like to schedule week-long campaigns AHEAD OF TIME. Meaning I organize it at least a month or more before the date of a sale, contact various promotion sites, bloggers, radio and news outlets, and schedule everything for that week. I contact everyone on my mailing list, get on other authors’ newsletters and join group ads, giveaways, and more. If you organize it right, you’ll see a great boost in sales, hit bestsellers lists, and collect a LOT of fans. You really need 1,000 TRUE fans (people who will buy everything you put out) and 10,000 active fans to really have a good career in writing.
None of this works without the right mindset. You’re not going to do any of this overnight, and as an unknown or independent author you might have to do a lot of the footwork to really make your career. It is going to cost time and money, but you CAN do it. It is possible if you just persist. Making anything takes time, especially if you want to make money with it.
So, don’t give up authors. Keep writing, keep pushing for your dreams. Never give up.
“You can either enjoy the story, or write the story everyone enjoys.” ~ J.K.