Not a week goes by without an author asking what can they do to sell more books. My response by way of a question is, “What have you done to put yourself in a position to sell more books?” I’m not trying to be difficult when I respond, but I know the answer is YES to the question can authors increase book sales. As the layers of their response get peeled away, we discover a similar trend. In summary, most authors are focusing on the apparent selling opportunities like Amazon, social media and eBook promotional companies and a few others.
In 2004 when I began helping my wife with her children’s publishing company, I knew very little about the book industry. What I did know from years of marketing and sales experience, is that I wanted to get her books into as many resellers, distributors, websites, and organizations worldwide. I wanted every educator, healthcare professional, military family, special needs organizations, yoga studio, and parent to know about our books. Social media did not support my early marketing efforts, nor did Amazon ads, and other internet generated opportunities.
When I look back on that time, I realize these goals were lofty, but it was the attitude that pushed me to focus on these goals. It was this same attitude and hard work that put our publishing company in a position to benefit from getting national exposure when my wife appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank season one to pitch her publishing company. Read more about this experience.
The bottom line is you have to create lofty, but attainable goals if you want to be successful. This begins with developing or revising a plan to sell your book. It also requires continual effort and action in doing so. You need to be creative and think out of the box. The current pandemic is a great example of what I am referring to. More people are searching for books now as they shelter at home. This trend will continue for a while until life gets back to normal. What are you doing to sell more books?
Take a snapshot of where you are right now- Before you revise your plan, take a look at where you are focusing your time, what marketing strategies have worked, and what the results have been. Doing more of the same will not yield different results, so assessing your overall strategy is a smart task. Make adjustments as necessary, and don’t hesitate to do this exercise a few times each year.
Get creative- Although Amazon is a huge source for book sales, there are so many more places that need to learn about your book. The more visible your book is, the more people will be exposed to it. This can happen even if you were not focusing on that strategy. Think about where, when, and how your target audience would look for books. Think about what your target audience likes. If you put yourself in the mindset of your audience, you will come up with these answers.
Create and promote content- Book readings, online events, starting or joining an online book club, creating amusing videos, blogging, and focusing on your social platforms are just a few ways to create thought-provoking content. Once you create this content, be consistent in posting it, allowing you to reach a broader audience.
Develop partnerships- There are a lot of authors who struggle with marketing and selling their books. The bottom line here is if you don’t like something, you are most likely not going to do it. One solution to this dilemma would be to seek out authors you can partner with and learn from. The more efficient strategy would be to hire a professional marketing company or individual who understands what it takes to be a successful author.
Take a fresh look at your social media strategy- Every once in a while, it’s nice to look at your social plan with an objective eye. All social platforms have analytics, which will help you answer important questions like: Are people engaging in your posts? Are people liking and sharing /RT your posts? Are you getting in front of the right people by using the most appropriate hashtags? Are you taking advantage of partnership and review opportunities found within your social platforms?
Focus on book reviews- Authors know that book reviews, whether customer-focused or editorial are essential to their success. Authors should submit their book to as many newspapers and book/blog review companies that they can find. This ongoing process should yield not only reviews that can be posted online, but opportunities to promote your book and message.
With these challenging and uncertain times lingering, more people are looking for books to read. The internet is littered with posts of friends and family asking for books suggestions. All genres of books are in high demand, so now is the perfect time to increase your marketing effort. If you are not sure where to start, consider our marketing assessment. If you want to sell more books, ask us how we can help. Stay safe.
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 17 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and digital media with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.