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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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5 Tips To Rescue Your Failed Nonfiction Ebook

5 Tips To Rescue Your Failed Nonfiction Ebook

You wrote a nonfiction ebook. It failed. One of my writing students is in precisely this situation. At the start of 2016, she wrote an ebook, and… Crickets. She can count her sales on the fingers of one hand. She contacted me, to ask whether I had any ideas.

Of course I do. You ask, I deliver. 🙂

Nonfiction ebooks: can you still make money?

Firstly, let’s talk about whether you can still make money writing nonfiction ebooks. The Amazon Kindle store is crowded. That said, some authors report that 2016 is their best year since 2010.

Here are the tips I shared with my student.

1. Keywords! Update your meta data today (be creative, and persistent)

Discoverability is the biggest challenge for all authors on Amazon, as well as on the other ebook retailers. If your readers can’t find your nonfiction ebook, they can’t buy it.

Check your ebook’s product page, and redo your keywords and description. Start by putting yourself in your readers’ shoes. If you were a reader, looking for the information in your book, what words would you use?

You have seven keywords you can use, as well as 4000 characters (approximately 800 words) which you can use for the description.

In addition to discoverability, remember that once a reader reaches your product page, he needs to feel that your book can help him. Give a clear description of your book: the challenges it solves, and the benefits to the reader. If you have great reviews, add a snippet of a review to the description.

Once you’ve revised your ebook’s meta data, you should see an uptick in sales within three or four days. No results? Tweak the meta data again.

2. Create a bright and sparkling new edition

I love ebooks, because you can edit them as often as you please to create a new edition. If you have material you’d like to add, go ahead and add it. Happy with the cover image? Change it if you aren’t.

Put “2nd edition” on the title page of your book, with the year: “2nd edition, 2017.” Update your meta data as well.

Additionally, remember that updating your nonfiction ebook is news. Create an online news release, and promote your new edition on social media.

Consider creating a new edition of your ebook once a year, or once every couple of years.

3. Contact influencers (your blogging and Facebook page finally pay off): reciprocate on promotions

The more people who know about your book, the more people can buy it. One of the best ways to promote your ebook is to use other people’s audiences.

Contact influencers in the subject matter of your ebook, and offer to do a guest post on their blog, with a link to your ebook. If you have a following on any of the social media networks, offer to do reciprocal promotions with an influencer in your niche. You promote them, they promote your ebook.

Consider partnering with three or four other authors in your niche, to create an ebook. Each of you writes a chapter or two. Add a link to the signup page for your mailing list in the book, as well as a link to your nonfiction ebook.

Webinars are a great way to promote ebooks. Join with another author or two, and create a webinar. With each of you promoting the webinar, you’ll be able to expand your audience, and create buzz for your ebook.

4. Give away free copies: hint you’d like a review

While “free” is no longer the excellent promotional strategy it used to be, you can still use it. Give away 200 free copies. You can’t force people to give you a review, but you can ask.

Aim to get copies into the hands of influencers.

5. Write more ebooks on your topic: explore it vertically (find out how well your topic sells, first)

Consider your nonfiction ebook’s subject matter. Could you write another ebook, which promotes your first ebook? Write another ebook, exploring your subject matter more deeply.

A suggestion: do make sure that ebooks in your subject are selling. KindleSpy is a useful tool which can show you how many ebooks are selling in any niche. If you find that the bestselling ebooks in your nonfiction ebook’s area are only selling a hundred copies a month, writing another ebook on the same subject may be a waste of time. Can you find a topic which sells better?

Use the tips to rescue your failed nonfiction ebook

Start by updating your ebook’s meta data. You should see results within a few days. Then revisit your ebook’s product page every three to six months, and update again.

My writing student put the above tips to use, and is thrilled with her sales. She’s now consistently selling copies every week, and is confidently getting ready to release her follow-up ebook.

I wish you similar success when you use the tips. 🙂

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 AND Sell in Just 8 Hours: Create Top-Selling Ebooks FAST

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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.

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