It’s November, which means that you’re getting ready for the holidays. In the southern hemisphere, it means summer vacation time too. We’re all super-busy in the final weeks of the year, but take a little time for planning — nothing is more important. Whether you met your ebook publishing goals in 2016 or not, it’s time to plan for bestsellers in 2017. Ready? 🙂
Ebook publishing: your challenge for 2017
Ebook sales dropped off a cliff for many authors, starting in September — you can read my post on the disaster here. In the post, I talked about permanently free titles being dangerous, because they may trigger a “scam” algorithm on Amazon:
Free ebooks on the ebook retailers are much less useful than they were even a year ago. Until the dust settles, you may want to avoid offering permanently free ebooks.
In summary, be careful how you handle freebies in 2017.
I also discussed diversification. Consider diversifying, if you haven’t done so already. Now let’s look at the tips.
1. Write more, and write short, so you can test more
I adore writing long novels — 100,000 words and more. Unfortunately, that’s meant that I haven’t published as much as I should have in 2016. Next year, I’ve decided to release more titles, and shorter titles. Rather than writing a novel of 130,000 words, I’ll write a serial of four episodes which total 130K.
If you follow this strategy, it means that you publish four titles where previously you published a single title. Readers get a better chance to discover your ebooks.
The benefit of the strategy:
- It’s easier to get found, and to build your mailing list;
- Your income increases because although you’re making less per ebook, you’re selling more titles;
- You get to experiment more. If a series or serial languishes, go on to the next thing.
2. Integrate ebook writing with ebook promotions in your ebook publishing
With freebies becoming dangerous on Amazon if your ebooks aren’t in KDP Select, many authors are bewildered, because “free” formed their entire marketing strategy.
It’s time to get serious about marketing. Integrate it with publishing. Begin to market an ebook as soon as you begin writing.
3. Focus on your mailing list — it’s vital for initial sales, and ongoing sales
It’s a challenge to attract readers. With millions of ebooks in the ebook retailers, and thousands published each week, it’s vital that you build your mailing list of readers, so that you can let them know about new titles, and promotions.
Create a mailing list (it doesn’t matter which provider you use).
Also, of course, create “lead magnets”. These are enticements (free courses, free ebooks) to join your mailing list. And of course, make sure that you add a link to your mailing list’s subscriber page inside each ebook you publish.
4. Consider video in your ebook marketing: book trailers are easy to create, and they grab attention
I know that creating multimedia is challenging, but book trailers are relatively easy. All they are is a bunch of images, some text, and music. I’ll do some posts on book trailers in the next month or two.
They work. Authors report an increase in social media engagement, as well as in sales, so they’re well worth a little effort. 🙂
5. Consider writing both fiction and nonfiction, and sell everywhere
In my article on increasing ebook sales if your numbers are down, I mentioned diversification. The easiest way to diversify in ebook publishing is to write both fiction and nonfiction. We’ll have more to say about that going forward. 🙂
Onward to 2017…
Whether you’re a newbie publisher, or are selling already, 2017 will be wonderful, if you plan for it. Take a few minutes today, and create your plans.
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