When it comes to selling your book the bottom line is – well, the bottom line. Let's face it—the more book sales the better. So how do you get your self-published book into the hands of as many readers as possible? There are some elements of your book sales strategy that can make a big difference when it comes to how well your book sells, and the biggest of those is your book metadata.
Did you know for five dollars you can get someone to write your book title on their face or stomach? How about give the synopsis of your book via video...dressed as a nun? The Internet is a bizarre place where you can find someone to do just about anything in the name of marketing. Why would you want to? Because weird and crazy, when done right, actually can help sell your book.
Authors unfamiliar with the book publishing industry can sometimes stumble on the path to publication by not understanding the definitions and roles of people in editing, production, distribution, and sales. By having clarity on the function and purpose of service companies and freelancers, authors can be smarter about hiring the right help.
There are several things to consider in order to help your book achieve it's greatest potential discoverability. Readers, librarians, and retailers can't purchase a book they can't find, and your title metadata is responsible for whether or not your book pops up when they type in search terms relevant to your book. Because of this, writing a good book description isn't just about telling readers what your book's about once they find it; it's about telling search engines what search queries your book could answer so that they actually can find it.
This is one part love letter to independent booksellers and the other part encouragement to independent authors on how to approach them.
Dear independent booksellers, I can’t remember our first kiss. Even so, my love for you is real. It’s almost as if you know me better than I know myself. Like the time you pointed me to Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. Murakami is a favorite, but you, my paramour, saw me wander book-lined aisles, restless in want of something I couldn’t quite articulate. Then voila! You nudge me to “staff picks,” and there before me is my next big read.
I’ve been speaking at writing conferences since 2002, and over the last 15 years, the one topic of conversation that has changed the most dramatically is self-publishing. Not only has the substance of the conversation changed, but everyone’s attitudes have completely transformed. The trouble is that while this change has been largely welcome (at least from my point of view!), it hasn’t always been for the best.
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.
All of November you were on the clock to complete your book for NaNoWriMo. If you succeeded (WOW!) you're basically a superstar. Congrats! And after you spent an entire month lovingly crafting the perfect manuscript we know you’re eager to get it published.
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.
If you’re one of the many authors who tried to get traditionally published first, and are now considering or pursuing self-publication instead, then this post is especially for you. Some authors really want that “traditional” experience, but don’t know exactly what it looks like, where the most value lies, or what aspects of it can be feasibly translated over to the publishing process of an independent author. Having been through both experiences myself, here’s what I would give the most thought and consideration to when deciding how to publish a book.