Tag Archives: marketing

Book Marketing For Authors: Yes, Social Media Sells Books

Book Marketing For Authors: Yes, Social Media Sells Books

Many authors find book marketing — and marketing in general — a challenge. So let’s try to overcome your fears and doubts, so you can sell more books. Today, social media is the easiest way for you to sell if you’re pressed for cash to invest in marketing.

(By the way, by “books” I mean ebooks too, of course.)

Book marketing on social media: get comfortable with ONE network

You know that I’m a veteran blogger, and I recommend blogging for authors. I started blogging way back in the late 1990s, and my love for instant publishing hasn’t wavered. What can I say? I’m all about the instant gratification; I started out as a writer using golfball typewriters, and communicated with my publishers and literary agent via airmail letters, and telegrams. So blogging is always wonderful to me… Write, and PUBLISH. 🙂

Currently I’m reading The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand. It’s an excellent book; I highly recommended it to you. It gives you a lot to think about. He has a lot to say about connections.

Blogging, as well as social media, is all about the connections you make.

I strongly recommend that you create your author blog, but whether you do or not, choose ONE social network on which to get started. There’s a real danger, with social media, that you’ll spread yourself too thin, and won’t get results if you try to manage two or three networks when you’re starting out.

Which network? Choose the one which appeals to you: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+…

Book marketing on your network: give it three months

In my copywriting business, clients complain that “social media doesn’t work…” By which they mean, they posted to their social network of choice five times, and then gave up.

Think about the two words: social media for a moment.

Social: get known, engage, and be there. You can’t make friends and contacts unless you show up.

Media: publishing.

So in summary: be on social media. Get social, and publish there.

A word about publishing. Please, I beg you, don’t make a social media platform your major publishing platform. Use your own blog for that. Medium is in trouble, and it’s just the latest in a long line of social platforms which found it hard to stay in business.

The best tip I can give you for book marketing on social media is: be patient, and consistent. It takes time to get your first 100 followers. After that, it’s much easier. Be on your chosen social media platform daily, for at least ten minutes — for three months.

Consistency counts: show up, every day — engage, and publish

Social media is social, so you can’t spend all your time on your social media network pushing your own book, or books. Indeed, very little time should be spent on promoting your book.

Remember: social, and publishing.

There’s nothing in those two words to suggest promotion.

Promotion happens in your profile on the network. Link to your Author Page on Amazon, or to your blog, or even to your book’s product page on Amazon, if you don’t have a blog or an Author Page. (Get a blog, and Author Page.)

Think longterm. Your social media account will become more valuable over time. The more years you spend there, the more your presence will be felt — and the more books you’ll sell.

How to sell your books on social media: use Facebook’s pages

You sell your books on social media by engaging, and publishing.

You’ll sell books, if you do that, but please don’t expect results within your first three months on a platform.

Many authors find that Facebook’s Pages function is very useful. You can create a Page on Facebook for your self-publishing business, as well as for each book you write.

If you’re not sure what to publish on your Facebook Pages, read this article, Facebook Adds New Post Prompts for Pages:

Facebook’s added a new Page posting options listing to help guide Page admins on the various outreach tools and functions available, making it easier to try out new tools.

We haven’t scratched the surface of social media yet. Over the next few months, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of book marketing on social media.

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Easy And Fun Copywriting for Writers

Easy And Fun Copywriting for Writers

Genre: Writing
Tag: copywriting
Are you making money as a freelance writer? Or do you aspire to? If so, you need the ability to SELL your writing, and any products, like ebooks and blogs, that you create. Simple, but powerful copywriting skills help you to do that. More info →
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Book Marketing Made Easy: 3 Secrets You Can Use Today

Book Marketing Made Easy: 3 Secrets You Can Use Today

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. 🙂

Resources to build your writing career

Watch for free contests, writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. More info →
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Self-Publishing: 5 Essential Tips To Sell More Books Via Your Blog

Self-Publishing: 5 Essential Tips To Sell More Books Via Your Blog

You’re a self-publishing author. You have a blog. You wonder why your blog isn’t helping you to sell more books. You’re starting to think that blogging is a colossal waste of your time and energy.

It’s not, I promise you. Blogging can help you to sell more books, more consistently.

The self-publishing author has one concern: sell more books

“I want to sell more books!” I hear this plaintive wail over and over again. Not only from my writing students, but also from blog readers.

However, when I click over to the author’s blog, nine times out of ten my immediate reaction is… You could have fooled me.

Yes, there are a couple of books in the blog’s sidebar, but little else. Often these books aren’t even linked to the product page on Amazon, or anywhere else.

Look at:

  • Your sidebar;
  • Your blog’s footer;
  • Pages on your blog;
  • If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, install MyBookTable.

You need to ensure that your blog’s real estate offers lots of opportunities for you to promote your books, AND for readers to EASILY BUY THEM. Getting a visitor to your blog is a huge accomplishment, please don’t waste website visits.

Now let’s look at some tips.

1. Create campaigns for each of your books: and target specifically

A huge challenge authors have when they want to sell more books is a lack of understanding of their book’s audiences.

Each of your books (ebooks too, of course), whether nonfiction or fiction has a specific audience. Often, there’ll be more than one audience. To sell more books, you’ll need to create a marketing campaign for each book, and for each of the audiences for that book.

For example, here’s one of my books, the Easy Write Process.

Let’s say I wanted to create a campaign to sell more copies.

I’d start by thinking about the audiences for that book, by listing possibilities. Audiences might include:

  • Bloggers, who need to write a lot;
  • Social media marketers, ditto;
  • New writers of both fiction and nonfiction;
  • Established writers of fiction, and nonfiction…

Without breaking your brain, I’m SURE that YOU could come up with at least two audiences for your book.

Your next step is to choose ONE of those audiences, and create a mini marketing campaign. Just a small one, so that you get an understanding of the marketing process.

Your campaign could include:

  • Ten blog posts;
  • 30 social media mentions over the next month;
  • Two online press releases;
  • 20 blog comments over the next month…

Your campaign can include anything you like. What you include is completely up to you. It’s vital however that you do know what your campaign will entail, how much time it will take you, and that you schedule your time.

If you’re already selling books, you can hire someone to do some of this work for you. That said, you can’t just toss all this into someone’s lap — YOU need to know, and create, a specific brief for each promotional venue.

You’re thinking that this will take time?

Yes, indeed it will. Looking on the bright side — each blog post you write increase your reach, so it’s well worth doing. Today, there’s a lot of competition for attention online, so to sell more books, you need to plan, and act.

2. Discover the power of social media (it’s not an instant fix)

Social media — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest et al — is a big challenge for authors. Not because social media is hard, or boring, but because authors imagine that there’s an instant fix. Craft ten tweets, sell ten books.

It doesn’t exactly work that way… 😉

On social media, you need to build followers, as well as promote. That means that you can’t just promote your own stuff. You need to engage, and post others’ stuff as well as your own.

I suggest to my students that they schedule a few minutes every day, to post on ONE social media network, just to build awareness and build followers. Then your social media account is primed and ready for you use in your campaigns (see our first tip.)

3. Use social media to make more contacts: use other people’s audiences

You have a bunch of followers on social media.

Now it’s time to expand your reach, by using other people’s audiences.

Start by promoting the content of the people into whose audiences you’d like to tap. Comment on their blog posts. Mention them in your own blog posts.

Then, when you’ve done that for a while, suggest a collaboration.

This takes time. You won’t be able to do it in your first few campaigns. Much depends your audience — grow it, so that it’s appealing to others.

4. Be prepared to make an effort: WRITE and sell

This is a huge challenge for many authors. It’s hard to keep writing your books, AND to market them at the same time. It’s a challenge for everyone, but if you want to sell more books, you’ll need to do it.

Create campaigns, and follow your campaigns.

5. Set ONE major goal: build your mailing list

The bigger your mailing list, the more books you will sell.

Building that list however, takes time.

Expect that it will take time, and that you’ll need to build your mailing list one reader at a time.

When an author tells me: “yes, but I only have five people on my list”, I congratulate them, because:

  • They have a mailing list;
  • They know it’s important; and…
  • They can grow their list to ten people, then 100, then 500 and then 5,000.

The more people you have on your list, the easier it is to grow that list — and “the more people” proviso applies to everything.

The more readers you have, the more books you will sell

All of the above tips will help you to get readers, and sell more books.

The more readers you have, the more you will get. Success breeds success.

Everyone starts at zero. I often suggest to authors that your first five followers on your blog, or on a social media account, or on your mailing list, are the hardest. It gets easier. 🙂

If you’ve read this far, please take the next step: spend five minutes creating a campaign, and start selling more books. You can do it. 🙂

Resources to build your writing career

Watch for free contests, writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

What If You Were Twice As Successful, Or Even THREE Times More Successful Than You Are Today? There's No Ceiling On A Writer's Income... You Just Need To Be Prolific. More info →
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