A challenge is something that requires special effort. It takes special effort on your part to sell your books. Therefore, selling books is challenging. With more than two million books published every year, the book selling climate is fiercely competitive. Every author must meet and overcome three challenges to sell books: attention, time, and declining readership. Let's talk about how.
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Succeeding as an author isn’t just about writing strong books. Sure, that may be the most important factor, but the rise of self-publishing has resulted in authors facing more competition than ever. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to make sure that you also write strong marketing copy.
Sooner or later, every book will get a negative review. Authors can be hit hard by those reviews; you may want to wade in and defend your book, or hide under your blanket and swear you’ll never write again. But negative reviews can hold a lot of value for you, so before you give up or pick a fight, take a deep breath and read on.
With stiff competition for indies to get a place in the programme of one of the big commercial literature festivals, it’s worth thinking laterally and going about it another way: by starting your own. Whereas the high profile litfests depend on famous name, trade-published authors to sell the tickets that fund their year-round operation, there’s plenty of public appetite for small, friendly indie litfests offering a different menu of speakers and the chance to meet their next favourite author that they’ve never heard of!
Authors and small publishers must have their own mobile-friendly, professional looking website—it is, by far, the most important element of a book marketing strategy. I've developed over 150 author and publisher websites in the last 20 years, and although a lot has changed when it comes to developing websites, some things remain fundamental. This blog is the complete guide to creating an author website—from domain names and costs all the way down to specific content categories. Read more and learn how to create a professional author website today.
With the growth of other visual social media sites like Instagram, it seems like the buzz for Pinterest has really died down, but nothing could be further from the truth. Pinterest continues to grow. In 2019 Pinterest became a publicly traded company and in Q2 of 2019, it reporter higher than expected earnings, 62% higher in fact than the previous year.
The whole “introverted writer” thing is so cliché. But hey, some clichés are true—and this is one of them. Many writers are introverts, preferring to keep to themselves, only entertaining the ideas and characters roaming in their brains. So the thought of broadcasting videos of yourself on social media may seem like a threat on your sanity—but it doesn't need to be.
Crowdfunding has become a major source of funding for creative projects since online funding platforms such as Kickstarter began launching around a decade ago. Kickstarter has helped more than 16,000 publishing projects raise over 150 million dollars in the last ten years.
There was a time when becoming an author was a far-fetched dream, and writing a paper was the closest anyone in my community had come to sharing a message. The journey to becoming an author has not been a straightforward one. It has been one of mental challenges, imposter syndrome, and lack of knowledge around the phenomenon that is indie publishing—but it's been so worth it.
Finally seeing the nonfiction manuscript you spent months — or years — writing turn into a published book can feel like crossing the finish line of a long and exhausting marathon. But while you have just achieved an incredibly rewarding milestone, the race is not quite over yet. Because now you’ve got to let the big, wide world know that your book actually exists. In other words, it’s time to learn how to market your book.
You’ve just spent what seems like a huge chunk of your life writing your book, and now, at last, it’s time to hit that publish button . . . but not so fast! Is it really time to publish your book? Just because a book is finished doesn’t mean the timing is right. Your publication date is important. There are certain months that would be perfect for your book and make your pitch to retailers and media outlets easier, and some months you should avoid altogether. Below are some tips to help make sure your book doesn’t launch with bad timing.
As of the second quarter of 2019, Facebook boasts approximately 2.41 billion active monthly users. That’s a key reason it’s among the most popular digital marketing platforms. Facebook ads simply have the potential to reach a very large audience, and this remains true today, despite greater competition among advertisers.
Have you ever met an author who doesn’t want to sell more books? Even the authors who claim they don’t care much about book sales secretly wish they were selling more books. Most authors aim to get as many readers as possible to buy their books—which can prove to be more challenging than writing the book in the first place.
Whether stereotypical fact or fiction, many writers prefer the intimate, one-on-one relationship with their keyboard over marketing or promoting their book. Whether that describes you is beside the point. Your success as an author is in your own hands and marketing your books is no different. Having a solid book marketing strategy is key.
There are many ways you can leverage your book to bring in more business and ultimately help more people. In this article, I will share one avenue where you can use your book as your golden ticket to receive more exposure for you and your business. I’ve used this method with my own book and have helped my clients do the same. And what is that avenue? Leveraging public speaking to bring a face to the words of your book and generate business from that.
Are you thinking about publishing a cookbook? In the digital age, the opportunities to market a cookbook can seem endless. In this article, I'll share nine steps to help you build a following, three keys to planning a successful book launch, and eight different ideas to add to your marketing plan.
As science progresses, so do the tools we have for understanding the human brain and human behavior. The development of fMRI in the 1990s has opened the door to neuromarketing. You may be wondering, how can neuromarketing help me sell more books? In this post, I'll share three specific reasons.
Let’s face it. A lot of people decide to write children’s books because they seem easier. I mean, it’s a 32-page book for 5-year-old kids. There are lots of 5-year-olds in the world, how hard could it be right?
The thing is, you don’t realize just how hard it is because when you Google “How to market a book”, you get 2 billion results. The problem is that the majority of the book marketing strategies online focus nearly entirely on the adult market.
It’s not until you become a children’s author that you realize that children’s books are an entirely different beast.
Amazon book ads have become complex, but a definite necessity when it comes to book promotion. If done right, these ads can really help to boost your online exposure—but if they’re done incorrectly, they can end up costing you a lot of money. So, let’s look at some ways that you can boost your exposure, without adding to your daily ad budget!
Running Facebook ads can be a total came changer for your book career, but it can also be a big waste of time and money if you don’t know what you’re doing. Over the last few years, we’ve worked with a ton of authors and publishers, but one question we get almost daily is this: “Is running ads on Facebook the same thing as boosting a post?” I’d like to give a very Facebook answer and say, “it’s complicated.” (Read on, it’s really not that complicated.)
Over the years, serious fans have taken a variety of different shapes and been called everything from “Super Fan” to “Street Team” to “Tribe.” And while each of these terms is a great descriptor, not all mega fans are created equally.
You posted a photo of your dog on Facebook and all your friends liked it—building a Facebook page to promote your book to fans should be easy, right? Wrong! While your Facebook fan page may look the same and even function the same, the content and mission is completely different. You aren’t talking to your close friends and family, you are talking to over one billion potential viewers, because unlike your personal Facebook page, your fan page is public and a vehicle of your social media marketing. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
Have you started planning your holiday book sales yet? Cyber Monday and Black Friday are right around the corner in marketing minutes and those sales are secured by the planning that happens before the big shopping days, and all the effort in between. If you want to grab big holiday sales, you’d better start early, so let’s get up to speed by qualifying your book and brainstorming unique book marketing strategies!
Many authors write a book based on a subject they like, or perhaps on a unique experience they have had. As a book marketing consultant, a question I frequently hear is, “My book is finished, now what do I do?” Successful book marketing lies in giving prospective readers what they want to read. Figuring that out depends on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability.
We are now living in a golden age for indie content creators. Through Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, and publishing portals like IngramSpark, artists can connect directly with their fans and bypass traditional gatekeepers like agents— they can even make more money this way.
Social media writer’s block. It’s a thing! You have no problem hammering away at an 80,000 word novel, but when it comes to a 280 character tweet? Forget about it! You end up posting about what you had for dinner or what you did during the day, and nobody seems to be listening... or following. If that sounds like you, then these 10 social media marketing tips are just what you need.
Many of us authors get tired of hearing the word “platform.” Working to build an audience can feel like climbing an impossibly high mountain, where the peak looks farther and farther away as you go. The good news is that the potential audience for your book might be bigger than you realize.
So you just tried advertising for the first time. You signed up for Facebook's ad tools. You made your first ad. You chose an audience, and you uploaded some pictures, and you wrote some great ad copy. Maybe you even tweaked a bunch of settings over time as you figured out what worked and what didn't. Heck, you probably even sold a couple more books than you usually do. So why didn't your ads work quite like you wanted?
You may be ready to start building your marketing plan for your debut book—but where do you start? Some authors avoid planning in general because they don't know how to do it. There are two different ways for first-time authors to create their future marketing plans. One solution is discovery-driven planning in which much is still assumed, but the plan evolves over time through trial and error. A second technique views planning as narrative, conducted as you would when writing a novel.
Writing and marketing a memoir is so personal. Unlike a work of fiction or a business or self-help book, this is your life. While memoirs probably offer the most opportunities for marketing, knowing how to harness the specific power of your story and use it to make a difference is key.
“You have to be on social media. You simply HAVE to,” is something you’ve likely heard before. If you were to believe this advice, you’d be under the impression that a new author’s career is made or destroyed on the back of every tweet and ‘gram. That your social strategy forms the backbone of every book launch. Which is… less than true.
Let's face it - many indie authors (which I generally refer to as "independent publishers," albeit smaller ones) will dismiss podcasting out of hand.
Too hard. Too time consuming. Don't quite get it. Pass.
And that would be a bad idea.
As an author you’ve probably been told to look at competing titles through multiple stages of your journey from writing, to publishing, to book promotion. Competing book titles can be lucrative references for cover design, book length, choosing your categories and keywords, pricing your book, determining the best strategies for marketing to potential buyers in your genre or topic, and more!
When you visit any indie author’s website, it’s not unusual to see that they’re giving away a book (or part of one) for free. It’s classic marketing: give your customers a taste and they’ll come back if they like it. But in the digital age, there’s more to it than just that.
Two concepts determine your success in answering questions during a television or radio performance: preparation and flexibility. In most cases, you will not know the questions you will be asked during the interview. But if you understand your topic and know beforehand what you want to get across to the audience, you will be able to perform more successfully.
The self-help and wellness industry is thriving. In the U.S. alone, the personal development industry takes in just under $10 billion annually. Books represent a substantial part of this market. So, while this means there is indeed great potential with such a robust market for self-help authors, it also means the competition is fierce. With self-help book marketing, you must make you and your book stand out from the crowd.
While looking for something to get my mom for Mother’s Day this year, I decided to go out on a limb and buy her a copy of Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs. My mom is certainly a reader, but as far as I know, she’d never seriously considered reading poetry before. A few days after Mother’s Day she had already started the book. She called to thank me, explaining she can only read one or two poems at a time because they make her cry so much. “But,” she said, “I really love it.”
As a romance author, you’re given a wonderful opportunity to speak to readers on an intimate level. Every time they purchase one of your titles, they’re inviting you into their lives and admitting their (sometimes very secret) fantasies and desires! Take this role seriously and use these five essential strategies for selling romance novels and building your return fan base.
When authors are told they must actively market their books, many say, “I don’t like to promote. I only want to write.” However, when a book is published the author becomes a salesperson running a business. It is an abrupt, and in many cases unwanted transition that is usually not handled well. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I created a formula to help people make the transition from author to marketer. It is not a scientific, qualitative equation, but a quantitative method that is adaptable to any author’s personality and genre.
Here’s a big question: why do most successful self-publishing authors write series rather than standalone books? The answer is quite simple: once you manage to hook a reader into a series, they are likely to buy all the books in that series.
When you're self-publishing a book, you have ultimate control over your publishing decisions. You have control over the editorial, creative, and marketing process; you also have control over your book promotion schedule. So, when do you start promoting your book? How can you start planning now for a successful book launch? We have answers to these questions and more in today's post.
It’s easy to tell a story with words—but pictures? What is a writer supposed to do with Instagram? Should it merely be a tool to post cats getting in the way of your writing by sitting on your keyboard? Perhaps. But if you want to use Instagram as a way of connecting with your readers, here are a few things to remember.
Every author aspires to have a perfect book launch. However, the problem for most authors is that there’s always a lot going on around the time you launch your book. Maybe you’re planning a book launch party, some local signings, or even a big virtual event. But, there are a few key elements specifically related to your Amazon launch that shouldn’t be overlooked. With that in mind, let’s dig further into their ecosystem to better understand how to plan a successful book launch on Amazon.
Self-publishing is booming, and with this transition comes a plethora of organisations worldwide offering author services to writers. But what if your budget doesn't extend to a professional editor, typesetter, cover designer, and so forth? Does this mean your book will not meet industry standards, be of poor quality, or sadly never be published? Absolutely not.
Book publicity is one of the least expensive and perhaps most productive of the promotional strategies used to generate exposure for books. And a press release is a commonly used tool to stimulate publicity. However, too many publishers' press releases go unheeded because of one major mistake—they write their press releases about their books.
Marketing plays a huge role in any book’s success, but this is especially true for self-published books. Before you publish a book (or before you even start writing it!), it’s important to think about who you’ll be selling your book to—and how. Digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be tough for authors to keep up with the top trends. We've rounded up the top digital marketing strategies to help both new and savvy indie authors understand how to market self-published books.
I’ve been speaking professionally for over twenty years and know first-hand the impact it can have on book sales. No matter how digitized a culture we become, there is no substitute for actual human contact—the sacred connection between an author and their audience. As an author, how can you harness that power of speaking engagements? Here are some tips to use speaking engagements to help you build your author platform and sell more books.
Getting your book reviewed is a crucial step in your book marketing strategy. Positive reviews tell readers that your book is worthy of their time, entice your potential audience with plot descriptions, and give you instant credibility. But there’s more to the book review process than simply sending your book off to a reader and waiting for the result. First, you need to ensure that your book is ready for to be reviewed. Second, it’s important to choose the type of review that will best help you achieve your goals. And finally, you need to learn how to use your reviews to your advantage to sell more books.
You could sell more of your books if you'd answer two questions honestly. First, how often do people think about your book? Second, how often do people think about their own problems? You will probably agree that people think more about how they can solve their own problems, learn something, improve themselves, or be entertained than they do about your book. However, if you can show them how reading your book helps them achieve these things, you are likely to increase your book sales and revenue, so let's cover how to target your book's audience.
Book publicity can be defined in one sentence: it is using the media as a conduit to spread word of an author and book to general and/or target audiences. It really is, in its simplest form, a “you scratch their back, they scratch yours” scenario. You, the author, offer great material or ideas for a story, article, broadcast interview, podcast, etc., and the host or editor “plugs” your book. Here are 15 important tips to consider when you’re trying to get media attention and coverage to promote your book.
Over 850 million books are purchased in the United States each year. According to Nielson, a global information, data, and measurement company, 47% of the American population purchases books. If you do the math, 151 million people bought these books. This means, on average, these book buyers purchase five to six books a year. Why do people buy books? There are four main reasons people buy any product, books included, and understanding why will help you build your author platform.
When you decide to self-publish a book, you are signing up for all the duties a traditional publisher would typically take on. That means you not only have to write a great book but you also take on the job of marketing it. Where do you begin? You construct a book marketing strategy and forge ahead step by step! Here are a few key elements for a good book marketing strategy.
Selling books at local events such as craft fairs, gift shows, and holiday celebrations can help you make some money as it provides additional benefits. Here are several reasons, short and sweet, you might want to sell your book at these events.
With so many book marketing strategies available to promote your book, it's easy to get overwhelmed and have difficulty determining what to do and when to do it to give your book the best chance. Marketing a book is a complex part of the overall publishing process and takes proper planning. This book marketing timeline for indie authors is designed for the author who is just about to begin writing, however since all these strategies are important, you can begin to address each one no matter where you are in your publishing process.
Social media marketing is important for almost every industry. Consumers use it to make purchasing decisions and see what non-marketers are saying about a person, brand, or idea. Authors and publishers use social media marketing to direct consumer awareness in the online community.
A great book publicity campaign can be derailed by a poor author website. A quality website is essential in our increasingly digitally-based world, and is a powerful book marketing tool to introduce audiences to you and your book.
When a reader is standing in the aisles of the local bookstore or library or browsing around their favorite online bookseller, they will quite often start by looking at their favorite categories. If they’re in the bookstore, their eyes will start scanning for their favorite authors. Online shoppers quite often type in the name of their favorite authors or favorite books to find out what else is available.
We are social creatures. As humans, we are influenced by others. The choices others make influence our own decisions, and it's no different when it comes to book sales either.
Performances on radio talk or news shows can be a great way to supplement your book promotion activities. With radio as part of your communication plan, you can reach hundreds, thousands, or millions of people at little or no cost. You can even sell some books, if you do it right.
This an article on why you, the author, need to think about creating video content. Regardless of how introverted you are, regardless of how many crappy book trailers you’ve seen (don't do those), video is here to stay, and the sooner you incorporate it into your social media marketing, the better.
Authors often ask me how to get that magic piece of writing at the beginning of the book. You know the one, where Mother Teresa tells the world what a fabulous person you are, and how the world will be a better place with your book in it. This little piece of heaven is called the foreword for a book.
Expert salesman Zig Ziglar said, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Every sale has obstacles. You face these obstacles when marketing and promoting your book to entice people to buy it. Let's break these obstacles down and look at how to overcome each one so that you can sell more books.
Want to instantly capture readers? No matter who you are or what genre your book falls into—nothing beats getting engrossed in a book description that leaves a reader wanting more. Short and long book descriptions both serve a purpose—to make you and your book look good. Before you start writing, here are a few things you need to know.
As a whole, Americans shop a lot. We constantly buy and discard items. Scientists regularly study people’s buying behaviors in an attempt to better learn how people make purchasing decisions. Studies reveal that people’s purchases are determined by three factors: awareness, decision, and availability. You can capitalize on each of these components to sell more books.
Frustration between media and authors can be a frequent occurrence. And warranted on both sides. But since the media ultimately holds the power when it comes to what they decide to cover, here are a few tips to help you avoid certain things that could keep you from having a spot!
You put a ton of effort into getting the perfect cover for your book and the perfect image for your publisher imprint that best represents your author brand. Now, it’s time to apply the same level of effort to creating awesome printed collateral to execute some of your book marketing. In other words, we’re talking about swag. The best pieces of swag are those a fan can keep using long after he or she has read your book. Here’s how you can make your swag the one readers hang on to.
Publisher’s Weekly shared a list of 2018 bestselling books so far in this article, published on July 9. The books on the 2018 bestselling books list are all traditionally published, but that’s one of the best places to look for insight as a self-publishing author. Looking to the successes of traditionally published books is an easy way to learn from those with more money and years of publishing experience than you may have. In this blog we’ll break down some key takeaways self-publishers can learn from bestselling books.
When you self-publish a book, you’re probably the one doing everything for it. Beyond being its author, you’re its publisher and its entire book marketing team. You want people to read your book—what publisher doesn’t?—and so to make that happen, you’ve got to do all you can to get your book into your target audience’s hands. Before you can do that, you need to define who you are and what a reader can expect from you. How? A good place to start is where other creatives begin to promote their work: with solid branding.
In the vast sea of promotional activities an author can engage in it is easy to float adrift. Many authors get overwhelmed by just how much there seems to do! Don’t let that attitude become yours—with a little planning and even a minimal time commitment, you can do easy online marketing for your own book. Each of these items can be accomplished in an hour or less.
Direct mail has been given a bad reputation because of overuse and poorly designed mailing pieces. People tend to perceive direct mail as junk mail. However, when you have a finite, identifiable group of people who are potential customers for your books, direct mail may be an efficient book marketing tool you can use to reach them.
It’s one of the most challenging tasks that can be asked of an author, to choose a passage from their book that represents, better yet, encapsulates its essence. When I owned a PR firm, most of my clients were authors, and I’d select their excerpts all the time. Piece of cake! Then I became an author, and soon discovered, it’s much harder when it’s your book.
Book marketing doesn't have to be complicated, but it also can't be taken lightly. For self-published authors, there are many book marketing strategies and tactics that can be employed, and while some may seem quite direct, or even relatively “simple,” it’s very easy to make mistakes that can derail a book promotion campaign. There are generally accepted methods and many nuances in book publicity, and if you’re going to market your own book, don’t sabotage yourself by making avoidable mistakes.
We live in a world where content is king. Businesses know one of the most important pieces of information they need to have is their content strategy. Without one, how are people going to find out about your business? Successful authors are not just people who write well—they’re people who think of their writing career as a business. Like any successful business, authors need a content strategy.
Have you heard of Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy? It describes a pyramid of needs through which people move as they are motivated to fulfill unmet needs. The foundation is made up of the very basic needs (security, food, etc.) and people advance ultimately to self-actualization. Believe it or not, the same concept applies to book buying from business-to-business (B2B).
It seems simple enough: a media contact or blogger, online reviewer, etc. requests a copy of your book. So, you toss it into an envelope and send it off. Request fulfilled. Done. Well . . . perhaps not so fast.
Every author has a different comfort level with social media. You may be a real star at creating content for your channels but get tired of the constant attention your social media presence requires of you. Or, you may have only discovered recently that social media is a part of the author experience, and you are now trying to figure out how to best use your time in what can be an overwhelming world of likes, retweets, shares, tagging, friending, following, and sharing stories. So what social media should authors use?
It’s a matter of seconds. Perhaps 10, maybe up to 20, but that’s about it. That’s how much time you have to get the attention of an editor or producer when you pitch your book or pitch yourself as the author. It's commonly referred to as the elevator pitch and there's an art to perfecting it.
One of the questions that I frequently encounter when I speak at writers conferences is: “I'm not tech savvy. Are there other ways to promote your book besides social media?” My answer is always: of course.
As authors, many of us secretly wish book marketing would just magically happen. We’d rather focus on writing and producing books than try to figure out how to sell them. Unfortunately, book sales don’t just happen. We have to do the work. Which is why we should discuss blogging for authors.
Are your book sales at the point where you expected them to be when you published your book? Are you doing the same things you always did to try to sell them? Have you heard the maxim, “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”? If your sales are below forecast, maybe it's time to try something different.
As a book publicist, I get asked a lot of questions up front by authors about how book publicity works in general, as well as what services are provided for authors. Learning a base amount of information before you hire a book publicist can help you weed through service packages, project proposals, and also just crystallize your vision for your book’s PR campaign. Here are a few of the top questions authors ask as a starting place for you to promote your book!
Book marketing is one of the most important ingredients in the success of a book. Whether you are published by a traditional publisher or are first-time indie author, understanding how to evaluate book marketing services and what goes into these services is something you should be familiar with, even before you write a book.
Social networking is powerful. One-third of the world uses social networks regularly. Studies show that 81% of shoppers use the Internet to help them make purchasing decisions. While physical book clubs and reading groups still exist, online communities for book lovers make it easy for readers to share the books they are reading and their thoughts about them with a much wider audience. Social networking sites for books allow readers to connect with other readers around books.
Sometimes authors get tunnel vision. They (understandably) only concentrate on getting their book written. And while I’m not saying that’s unimportant, it’s a bit mad to write a book and expect everyone to immediately flock to it. You need to put in the groundwork to make your book a success. This is true especially if you’re planning to self-publish: since you’re responsible for your own book marketing, you want to ensure that your book reaches the right eyes on (and after) release day. To this end, a successful book launch is all about generating book sales and book reviews with different retailers over the first few weeks. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to achieve this.
With any author’s book publicity campaign, there are a few baselines he or she can work from to catapult PR outreach for the book from blasé to butt-kicking. Hiring a top-notch literary publicity firm is only part of the publicity process; the author’s involvement is a crucial component to operating a smooth campaign that results in media attention for the book. Typically, the author who will have the most successful publicity campaign is one who is:
When it comes to book promotion, digital marketing and publicity are often mentioned in the same breath. It’s easy for them to be viewed as the same thing, especially since they both help promote your book and get it in front of readers. However, there are several key differences between digital book marketing vs. book publicity that you should keep in mind as you decide how to promote your book.
Just like you can’t write a book for “everyone,” you can’t expect all media to be a fit for you and your book. Sure, a plug on Good Morning America or a review in the New York Times would be a major accomplishment for any author; however, if your readers aren’t watching that program or reading that newspaper, you’re not likely to see any spike in visibility that could lead to sales. So how do you know what book publicity is the right fit for you and your book?
Your author questionnaire is an important part of your overall book marketing strategy. It's a document that describes essential information about your title, book cover, marketing plans, book description, comparative titles, and beyond. Author questionnaires help you define your book to retailers and focus your efforts on what's most important. Here's what you should include on your author questionnaire.
You’ve got your book ready to go, but it’s time to consider the auxiliary writing you must do in order to support the publication of your masterpiece! Now that the writing is “done,” it is time to write your author bio.
There’s a great debate: does giving content away actually get people to spend money? Maybe not immediately, but giveaways are part of a longer lead cycle and a great step for nurturing your readers into customers. You should definitely do a giveaway—but you have to do it right. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.
You’ve finally done it! You look at your completed manuscript that’s gone through what feels like a million rewrites and you’re ready to go to print. This is an incredible moment in any author’s career, so take a deep breath and reward yourself. However, you won’t have long to rest. As an indie author, you’re going to need to promote your book, and with approximately a million books published per year, this can be a very daunting task. There are people who specialize in book publicity that can help you along the way, but here are a few tips to help you start planning.
Galleys (or ARCs) continue to be a vital step in the book review process, which can help make or break a book. As important as galleys are, the accompanying galley letter is equally important. Knowing how to construct a letter that helps sell your book (what to include and the overall structure) can help your galley/book get noticed and, ultimately, get media coverage and stocked by retailers.
Goodreads is a platform for book lovers to interact with each other, post book reviews, recommend books, track their yearly reading goals, and other bookish things. Unlike other social media platforms, everyone on Goodreads loves and reads books, and as an author, getting good reviews on Goodreads helps generate more readers. This platform is often new to authors when they’re releasing their first book, so the question authors often ask is, “What can I do to stand out on Goodreads?”
An incredible percentage of books sold in the United States are sold by Amazon. This online retailer accounts for 74 percent of all ebook purchases in the country. In 2016, Amazon sold 42 percent of all print books in the US. Since Amazon holds the lion’s share of the book market in the United States, not only should your book be available for sale on Amazon, you should also be taking advantage of Amazon’s book marketing tools to leverage your book sales. One of the book marketing tools Amazon offers for authors is Amazon Author Central.
Recently, the publishing world has been in a tizzy about the “fixing of the lists” by a now notorious first-time author, Lani Sarem. There is a wonderful summary of all that transpired by Vox writer Constance Grady if you’d like to read the storied background of how this scandal erupted (and you should). This self-published author temporarily tricked The New York Times into bestowing the much-coveted best-seller appellation upon her book (but they later removed Handbook for Mortals from the rankings).
I recently bought a book from legendary American author, T.C. Boyle. When I got it home, I was jarred to notice that the book jacket contained exactly zero advanced praise. I became immediately skeptical that the book could possibly be any good—and we're talking about T.C. Boyle. Now imagine the value of that advanced praise if we're not talking about T.C. Boyle.
Newspapers are one of the key sources of publicity for authors. However, very few writers take the time to understand the types of content that make up a newspaper (either the printed or the online version). If you understand what kinds of stories make up a newspaper, you can see where your book might fit in and how to position it to optimise your opportunities.
I own an independent bookstore, and I hear a lot of pitches from a lot of writers, and most of them aren't very good. In addition to working in my bookstore, I'm also an indie author. This gives me a unique insight from both sides of the pitch.
One of the biggest challenges for indie authors is getting their book in front of readers. There are millions of books published every year, and unless you’re very famous independently of your book, odds are that you’re nervous about how to get people interested. That’s where digital marketing comes in. You’ve probably heard this term before, especially as you travel down the road of independent publishing. You’re probably asking questions like: What does digital marketing entail? How does it get books in front of readers? And how could it work for me?
If independent bookstores are part of your sales strategy, it's important to understand what booksellers are looking for in the books they carry, but first you'll need to get their attention. Booksellers don't always have the largest budgets or the most free time to work with, so if your book marketing materials communicate how your book helps them help their store and represents something they can utilize for in-store marketing, they're more likely to use your marketing materials. And when a bookstore not only purchases a copy of your book, but also displays it with your marketing materials, that means more attention for your book on the shelf.