Tag Archives: promotion

Self-Publishing Strategies: 5 Easy Ways To Promote Older Titles

Self-Publishing Strategies: 5 Easy Ways To Promote Older Titles

If you’ve been self-publishing for a while, your backlist is growing. You’re promoting your new releases, and over time, your backlist is left to fend for itself.

A couple of weeks ago a reader asked: “How do I promote my older books without spending money on advertising?”

Great question.

Self-publishing? Your books are available as long as you choose

One of the benefits of self-publishing is that your books are available forever, more or less. You can publish/ unpublish, edit and republish… Everything is up to you.

Keeping this in mind, that you can edit and republish at any time you choose, here are some strategies for promoting your self-published back catalogue.

1. Give an old title a makeover, and republish it

I’m a tinkerer, and I love hitting the PUBLISH button, whether it’s on a blog post, or a book.

One of the easiest ways to promote an older title is to edit it, and republish it. You can add new info (nonfiction) or a new chapter. With fiction, you can add scenes.

Remember to use the backmatter of all your titles for promotion. Add a (brief) preview of a recent release. Make sure that you’ve added a link to your website, and mailing list. Got many books? Develop a list of titles, and add the list to your entire back catalogue.

When I suggest a title makeover to students, they ask whether they should republish the book as a new title, or a new edition.

My rule of thumb:

  • More than 50% new content? It’s a new title. Unpublish the older title;
  • Less than 50% new? It’s a new edition of the title.

2. Change an older book’s cover to give it a fresh new look

This is the easiest way to promote an older title. Change the cover.

In some cases, this can have an enormous impact. One student changed the cover, and her book started selling copies every day. In her case, her new cover was more in line with her genre’s expectations, so the big uptick in sales made sense.

3. Update your most recent titles, with ads for your older books inside

When you publish a book, it’s done. You forget about it. However, always keep your backlist in mind.

See the first strategy, above. Advertise older titles in your new books, and add a list of all your titles to each book you publish.

4. Change the price on your older titles

Whatever the price you’re charging, change it. No, I don’t mean that you should lower the price of the book: increase it.

When I share this strategy with my students, they’re stunned. I encourage them to do it, assuring them that the sky won’t fall, and they’re even more stunned.

One student had a cozy mystery which hadn’t sold more than ten copies. He increased the price: now it sells, so he’s writing a series based on the characters… Go figure, right?

A side-benefit of increasing the price of older titles is that you can now afford to advertise them.

5. Pop a book into KDP Select for three months (or remove it from Select)

KDP Select is a conundrum. Some authors won’t have anything to do with it, and that’s OK. Other authors enroll everything in Select.

This is understandable. Some books do brilliantly in Select, others don’t.

Here’s what I suggest to new authors. If you’re publishing a novel, pop it into Select for three months, then go wide with it. When publishing nonfiction, go wide immediately.

With an older title, if it hasn’t been in Select for a year or more, pop it in for three months (be sure to give it a full or mini-makeover first), then take it out.

For older titles already in Select, take them out when their current three months is up, and give them a makeover, then publish them wide — and raise the price while you’re at it.

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Book coaching may well be the best investment you ever make in yourself and your future.

Yes, writing a book can be scary, but I’m happy to coach you through the process, just as I’ve coached many other authors.

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Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99

Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.

What if you could market in just 15 minutes daily?

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Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

$5.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 5
Genre: Writing

You're a writer. You need to make money from your words. What if you could create AND sell a nonfiction book in just a day?

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Write And Sell: 5 Social Media Tips For Book Marketing

Write And Sell: 5 Social Media Tips For Book Marketing

Oh the horror… Many authors hate book marketing, and they aren’t that keen on social media either. Authors want to write, and leave everything else to others.

Would that we could. That would be the best of all worlds. Sadly, even if you have the money to pay a good publicist, you’re better off doing most of your marketing yourself. No one knows your novels (and nonfiction books) as well as you do.

You’ll learn a great deal from marketing too. This helps your writing.

So — is social media useful, or useless, for book marketing?

Social media marketing: slow growth, then a healthy, ongoing harvest

Important: be aware that NO form of marketing is an ATM machine.

I posted about visibility on the freelance writing blog:

… (some) writers think of marketing in terms of “launches”. That is, they believe that marketing is something that you do for a few weeks a year whenever you have something new to promote.

… It works for a lucky few. For the vast majority of writers however, launches produce a tiny number of sales or none at all.

Look at marketing in general, and social media in particular, as a cumulative process. Just because no one’s bought your book in a week, after you posted on Twitter FIVE times, it doesn’t mean that no one’s seeing your tweets. (Try posting something stupid, and the instant response will provide a quick reality check. :-))

A reader may need to see mention of your book several times before he clicks through to your book’s product page on Amazon or elsewhere.

Now let’s look at the tips.

1. Invest in assets: create or buy great images

Images sell — seriously.

I know we’re all about the words, but people can’t read your words if they’re not paying attention. You grab their attention via images.

2. Create a plan to build your audience, reader by reader

Social media is social. You attract readers individually.

When you’re just starting out (and afterward too) think in terms of small wins. One response to a tweet; a like on your Facebook page… two followers on Pinterest.

3. Leverage others’ audiences with great content

Guest posting on other authors’ blogs used to be super-effective. Now, not so much. However, it’s still valuable. Leverage others’ audiences to grow your own.

4. Write and promote: promote your books before publishing day

You publish your book, and then promote it, yes?

No — if you do that, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build anticipation and readers before you publish.

I gave you a mini marketing campaign for social media on this post. Use that as a template to create your own publishing plan; start when you start writing your book.

5. The 80/ 20 rule: remember to promote your books on social media

Marketing on social media is a balance. If every post you make is promotional, you’ll never sell. On the other hand, if you’re too shy to sell, you’ll sell a lot fewer books than you could.

The 80/ 20 rule is popular in social media marketing. That is, for every four items you post, one is promotional. The other items provide information or entertainment.

You don’t have to adhere slavishly to the rule, but do remember that you’re marketing on social media to sell books.

Onward — book marketing on social media works if you do. 🙂

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99

You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell.

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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99

I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.

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Selling Nonfiction Ebooks: Win With Series

When Amazon released the Kindle in 2007, it changed publishing. It turned thousands of hopefuls into authors. Many of those authors make a good living writing nonfiction books.

Sadly, many authors do not. I work with authors every day, and the biggest error I see authors make is that they category-hop. They write a recipe book. Then a book about dog breeds. Then a book about fish. Next, they try the self-help category.

They make a few sales, but they could be selling many more books… if they wrote in series.

 The biggest opportunity in nonfiction books: series

Here’s why:

  • A series gives you a chance to brand a name;
  • A series increases your visibility;
  • A series gives you an opportunity to build a readership; and
  • with the right series, you can build a great income.

Popular series: think Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup for the Soul was a early-1990s self-published book which turned into a bestseller. These days, it’s an entire conglomerate, which not only publishes books, but also sells pet food and makes movies. That’s what I mean by a brand. 🙂

At this stage, very few authors think longterm. They think about the ebook they’re writing now, worry about their ebook sales, and think about the other ebooks they hope to publish.

Think Chicken Soup. If you hit the right series, you can turn it into an empire.

Is it easy? Heck no. Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected many times, but Jack Canfield believed in the book. Over the years, there are endless stories about how tirelessly he worked to push Chicken Soup for the Soul. According to his website, there are now 123 million copies of the book in print.

Toss your hat into the ring: you never know what will succeed

As you may know, I coach writers. I love it, because I love writers and writing. However, it can be frustrating when I see writers make the same mistakes I made. Here’s one of my biggest mistakes.

Early in my career, I spent way too much time waiting for my editor and agent to get back to me. Finally I dumped my publishing house, and my agent, and struck out on my own. No, that wasn’t the mistake.

The mistake was waiting. I waited around for others to do stuff, instead of writing, and I listened to others, instead of believing in myself, and taking risks. These days, I believe in myself. I know that if I make a mistake, it’s just feedback on something that didn’t work, and the mistake is MINE. After suffering through others’ mistakes instead of taking control,  I’m proud to take the blame when things don’t work out.

Don’t wait. Write, and sell.

As soon as you finish one book, write another nonfiction book on the same topic. And then another one. And another. By the time your third ebook in the series has been published, you’ll have some idea whether you’re making enough sales.

Trust yourself: what do YOU think?

Let’s say you’ve written four books in a series. You’re selling ten copies a week. That’s not a huge amount. On the other hand, you haven’t done any promotion yet. Now it’s up to you. Consider that you have FOUR ebooks.

You could:

  • Create a bundle, so that you have FIVE books in the series;
  • Make one of your ebooks permanently free;
  • Create audio books out of the ebooks;
  • Create print books from your ebooks;
  • Buy advertising;
  • Create a mailing list…

I could go on, but you get the message. Once you have three or four books in a series, even if they’re only short ebooks, you can make a splash. If you want to…

On the other hand, perhaps you think that the topic you’ve covered doesn’t have an audience which is eager for your ebooks. In that case, let the series lie fallow for a few months. Do a little promotion, but focus on writing your next series.

A series gives you options that you don’t have when you write standalones

One of my students wrote 20 ebooks, on 20 different topics. When you write standalones, it’s a real challenge to build a following. I encouraged him to turn his bestselling standalone into a series.

Just three months later, he’s selling 100 ebooks a week. That’s not enough to make his fortune, but it’s showing him the value of writing in series.

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99

In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.

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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

$4.99

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.

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Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.