One of the very most important things about being successful with your book sales is that you MUST have a terrific book: well written, well edited with a dynamic, professionally designed book cover. No matter how much money or time you throw at your book marketing, if you don’t have these elements, it’s not going to go anywhere outside of your personal sphere of family and friends.
If you DO have that great book ready to go, however, there’s more to learn about publicity and book marketing that we have years to discuss it. But, I think these are worth noting! Always remember to stay within your budget; in terms of time and money.
And, marketing yourself and your books takes time. A restaurant business isn’t successful overnight. Neither is any other kind of business. Writing is not different. Be willing to plan your campaign for 6-12 months at a time.
According to successful fiction author (multiple series in multiple genres) Susan Kiernan-Lewis, and successful sci-fi author Ben Hale, writing what you love in series, with unforgettable characters and lots of adventure is the key to long-term success in eBook sales. Invest in professional editing and cover designs to make your fans happy. Both earn their living with eBooks, and both are indie published, so I guess they know.
According to Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts, “You can’t afford not to promote your book.” I agree. And I like promotion which is free, more than I like marketing, which includes fees, but I’m going to tell you honestly, you need to do both. And promotion is also investing in others. Build your tribe by contributing to others. Share your expertise, or offer to host another author on your blog. Offer to blog for others. Do a newsletter that’s of value to your readers, not just to you. Be part of the reading community and they’ll be part of yours.
List your free (promo) or discounted eBook on IgniteYourBook.com, or for a small fee, you can pay to advertise it in the subscriber newsletter.
And, if you are interested in any of Penny’s lower cost ($500-1000) publicity campaigns, please visit her at Author Marketing Experts. (And no, I don’t get a commission.)
Communities love to support their local heroes! Write a professional press release and get it out to the local news outlets. Most of this is done by email now, so include the press release in the body of the email, but be sure to attach a picture of yourself and your book cover. Contact the book reviewer from your larger area newspapers and send them a copy of your book.
Check with the US Postal Service about their program Every Door Direct Mail. You might be able to send a great postcard to everyone in your zip code for a very reasonable price! Too large an area? Be sure to get a postcard announcement about your book to all those people on your Christmas card list, at least!
Is your book about a specific era or topic? There are organizations for EVERYTHING these days. Do a little research and see if you can buy an advertisement in their magazine. You’ll be getting your work in front of a VERY well-identified demographic. Is there a convention coming up for those groups? Might be worth the investment to have postcards made up and get them included in the goodie bags given to registrants. Usually, organizers love to have things to give away and they’ll tell you how many to send them. Again, do the cost analysis, but it could be a win win for you.
Is blogging hot? Yes for some, no for others. Does print advertising work? Again, yes for some, no for others. Do your homework. Spend the time to identify your readership demographic and then Google for the information.
And, keep writing darned good books! Don’t disappoint your hard-won fans by NOT having any other books for them to read!
See you next week! Nancy Q.