Confused about book marketing? You’ve written a book, and tried to market it, without notable success. You’re blogging. You post to your social media accounts, and you’ve built up your Facebook author page, but sales are slow.
The biggest mistake I see both new authors and beginners make is this: they consider that building a mailing list is optional — they never see their mailing list as the essential marketing tool that it is.
Does this sound like you? If so, relax. You can change that today.
For powerful book marketing, your mailing list is ESSENTIAL
Many authors forgo mailing lists. Creating a list seems complicated, and your life is complicated enough. I know, I know… 🙂 However, consider that if you invest a small amount of time and energy now, it will impact your book sales forever.
Even a small list gives you guaranteed sales on publication day. These early sales mean that Amazon will promote your book too. Moreover, your list is a prime source for reviews. As your list grows, so will your book publishing business. You can go from one or two sales a day, to several hundred (or even thousand) sales a day, as your mailing list grows.
Here are three book marketing secrets.
1. Freebie subscribers are nice; buyers are better
Many of your mailing list subscribers will come from freebies you offer in exchange for an email address. That freebie is usually a free ebook. Unfortunately, some of the readers who get onto your list via a freebie never read the ebook. They’re rarely engaged enough to buy a book, or to leave a review.
Your best subscribers are always those who’ve paid for a book, even if it’s on special, for 99 cents. This means that you need to promote your mailing list subscriber page in every book. Make sure the link is in both the front matter and back matter of your books.
2. Develop a content and social media calendar, so you can promote each book well before you publish it
Marketing becomes a hassle when you need to think about it too much. If you don’t have a content and social media calendar, you’re always having to think about what you’ll post next. Inevitably, you’ll skip posting to your blog and social media accounts when you get busy.
I use CoSchedule on my blogs; it’s the best content calendar available. My content starts out in my (paper) planner, then once I’ve brainstormed campaigns and themes, I add the posts to CoSchedule. You may be thinking: “oh no — now I need to plan, too?” be assured that planning, then scheduling content, saves time — it builds your mailing list, and leads to book sales.
You’re never left wondering: “what did I post last week?” You won’t get into a panic either: “I’ve got no idea what to post this week!”
When you plan and schedule your content, you can match your promotions to ebooks/ books you’re publishing. You know that you’re publishing an ebook next month, so you can start planning and scheduling content for the release today.
3. Reward your loyal readers: offer Advance Reading Copies to kickstart your reviews
Loyal readers on your mailing list are your people. Reward them. Offer them glimpses into the life of an author. On the mailing list for one of my fiction pen names, I offer snippets of chapter drafts, character bios, research I’ve done, and images I use for inspiration.
I want my readers to be part of what I do, and I want them to feel special. When I have a new release, I offer printable notecards, and sticky notes. Yes, I pay a designer to create my printables, BUT the results are worth the effort. Not only do I get mailing list subscribers, my readers post reviews, and they share my posts.
Additionally, when I’m editing an upcoming release, I offer free Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) in PDF form to anyone on my list who asks. Reader feedback is wonderful. And sometimes shocking too. 🙂
Use these three secrets for book marketing; you’ll love the results
Book marketing needn’t be complicated. Start by creating a mailing list, and then build your list.
Building your mailing list takes time.
I always tell my students that your first ten subscribers take longest. Once you have ten, they become 100, and then 1,000.
Some years ago, a study revealed that you can make a nice living from just 400 engaged subscribers on a mailing list. I wish I could find the research study, because it shows that you don’t need thousands of subscribers. Please remember that each subscriber is a person. Be grateful to everyone who subscribes. You readers can take you from few sales, to hundreds of sales within months.
Your mailing list subscribers are important in another way too — they hold you accountable. On days you just don’t feel like writing, you’ll remember that you’ve promised your readers that you’re sending out ARCs next week, and you’ll sit down at your desk, and write. 🙂
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