Facebook usually updates the code on their website twice a day. That’s a lot of updating! Most of the time, you probably don’t notice the changes. Often the changes are to the way your news feed works—but, again, you probably don’t even notice. While these changes may seem small and unnoticeable, they can have a huge impact on author pages. Such was the change this past January.
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!
It's indisputable: all authors and small publishers must have their own mobile- friendly, professional looking author website. It is, by far, the most important element of your book marketing strategy. I have 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 covers the author website basics you should consider as you are getting started—or before you get started.
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.
In the past, getting independent booksellers to shelve self-published books was a difficult prospect. Indie sellers were reluctant to sell self-published books, based on the old bias that self-published meant poor content or poor quality. But that was then and this is now. Not only have self-published authors upped their game when it comes to content, but the quality of self-published books is highly competitive with those of traditionally published books. So just how do you go about selling your book to independent bookstores?
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.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Facebook can help you sell more books. But it’s not as simple as posting a message to your followers. What you may not realize is that not everyone who follows you will see what you have posted. If you have, for instance, 20,000 followers and post something on your page, only a small percentage of them will actually see the message. Boosting posts on Facebook helps you reach more than that tiny percent.
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.