The secret to success in book publishing has always been knowing the market. Diving deeply into current reading habits is just the start, and knowing how and why folks buy is the next step after learning what they read. Some great data has come from a December 2016 Gallup Poll that can help inform our next steps when creating sales and book marketing plans.
Remember the days of Harry Potter mania? Practically every Barnes & Noble, Borders (RIP), and indie bookstore in the country had a release party for the latest J.K Rowling tome. Children, teenagers, and even parents clad in cloaks, crooked plastic glasses, and eyeliner lightning bolts waited for hours to get their hands on a copy of the latest book. I was a fixture in these lines, complete in my Hermione costume. We look back at these midnight literary festivities ten years later as a pop culture touchstone. However, to people in the publishing industry, this is the perfect example of how pre-orders can make your book a success.
The pattern is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. A new marketing tool or tactic comes along, and a few early adopters have noticeable success with it. More authors try it and may find it works for them, too. But eventually, the new idea becomes old and ineffective—and the trend is deemed to be “over.” Everyone starts looking for the next new thing that will work when marketing their book.
There’s a lot of talk about audiobooks lately as they’re one of the few sectors of the publishing world that’s seen steady growth. And all signs say they’re going to keep getting bigger. But the big question for indie authors is: does the benefit of creating an audiobook justify the cost? It absolutely can, but you have to look at the bigger picture and see how audiobooks are more than just a royalty generator – they can be an excellent resource to expand the reach of your book marketing efforts and create pathways to new audiences.
Becoming an award-winning independently published author took a lot more work than I had ever imagined. I'm no marketing mastermind . . . or at least I wasn't when I started this whole self-publishing adventure. Some of it was pure luck in the beginning, but now I know the ropes. And I hope my advice helps you on your journey to doing the same!
Book marketing tools should be part of your comprehensive marketing plan. A plan based on research, knowing your audience, and monitoring absolutely every marketing component you undertake.
Book marketing and book promotion packages are a common offering from author service companies as well as publishing service providers—and for good reason. There’s demand for them and first-time authors, whether indie or traditional, need guidance.
It’s an unpleasant fact of life: no matter how incredible your book is, if you neglect to do book marketing and gain publicity, few people will read it. Most independent authors are hesitant—or unable—to spend big money on book marketing and publicity. With so many elements at play, it can be impossible to know which specific blog post, article, or interview will yield the best results. Fortunately, there are several free and low-cost ways you can promote your book.
Your distribution list may seem like a simple collection of email addresses, but it’s so much more than that. When it comes to promotions, building your mailing list is the basis for your entire marketing strategy. Whether you’re providing updates on an upcoming publication or sharing information about author events, your email marketing lets you reach fans with important information to raise your visibility, encourage brand engagement, and drive book sales.
Writing can be a lonely pursuit. Too many authors feel like they have to do it all by themselves, writing, revising, and seeking publication in solitude. Fortunately, there are more opportunities to build author connections in-person and online than ever before and these author connections are one of your best self-publishing tools.