Category Archives: marketing

Book Marketing: 3 Tips To Boost Sales Of Your Backlist

Book Marketing: 3 Tips To Boost Sales Of Your Backlist

Authors’ book marketing discussions on blogs and forums tend to focus on launching and promoting new titles. What about your older titles?

“Old” books published a year or more ago get short shrift from authors. However, those older titles — your backlist — can be a virtual goldmine. They’re assets.

Book marketing: all your titles are assets you own

Every book you write and publish is an asset, just like your house and car. Recently I asked a group of my students about promoting their backlist.

Only one student out of the entire group had a strategy for backlist promotion. Most students focused entirely on promoting new and upcoming titles with strategies like extensive advertising and pre-orders.

The authors ignored their backlist for many reasons, including:

  • Uncertainty. An author might shove books into KDP Select to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited’s Pages Read’s royalties. He’d promote the titles via Facebook and Amazon advertising, but wouldn’t explore options beyond that;
  • Doubts about a book’s value. An author’s writing improves with each book. If a book doesn’t sell brilliantly authors tend to ignore them, thinking that: “my writing’s much better now…” This is a shame.
  • Lack of time. It takes time to revamp older titles and create and manage promotions for them.

Let’s look at some tips for boosting sales of your backlist.

1. Make a list of your backlist’s titles: can you bundle any of them?

I’m a huge fan of bundling older titles — that is, combining two or more titles into a collection. You’ll sell your bundles for slightly less — not too much less — than the titles’ current price.

Used strategically bundles can not only generate an income for self-publishing authors but they’re also a great way to introduce new readers to your writing.

Start by listing your current titles. The more titles you have, the greater your opportunities to create bundles. Promote your newer titles by adding a preview or two to the back matter.

Don’t go overboard with the bonus content. Amazon’s bonus content rules state that a preview should amount to 10% or less of a book’s total content.

2. Write short stories to boost your older titles, and newer titles too

Amazon’s algorithms tend to favor newer titles. So, new books quickly overwhelm and crowd out older titles. Short stories, and short nonfiction ebooks, are a way of climbing back onto Amazon’s NEW! train.

Your focus isn’t so much on book sales as it is on introducing new readers to your writing. Again, add bonus content to the back matter of your short titles, but no more than 10% of the whole.

3. Share promotional opportunities with other authors in your genre

Clubbing together with other authors in your genre or category means that you can take advantage of more book marketing opportunities.

Not only can your group create genre/ category bundles, but you can also share advertising expenses with other authors. An advertising venue which is too expensive for you as a solitary author becomes more viable when you get together with several other authors.

Book marketing opportunities: review your backlist titles at least every three to six months

Things change fast in publishing. When you review your backlist every few months you’ll find fresh opportunities to market your older titles.

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Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

eBook: $4.99

When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.

More info →
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Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

More info →
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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Social Media Common Sense: Write Books, Do What Works

Social Media Common Sense: Write Books, Do What Works

Do you spend too much time on social media? Are you more productive because of social media, or less?

Photographer Nick Fancher posted an interesting article, Why I Deleted All of My Social Media and 60,000 Followers.

He makes an interesting point:

…social media trains creatives to be inauthentic. At the least, social media trains us to stay within the lane of our “brand”.

Social media: cui bono?

If you feel that social media could be encouraging you to be something that you’re not, read Nick’s article, as well as the comments.

One of the comments made me giggle:

Good point and one that nobody seems to realize.

All those followers are not sending you nickels. They follow you because they want a “how to” on how to shoot like Nick or how to get 60K followers like Nick.

It’s a valid comment. I enjoy social media, but it can be a time sink. It’s vital to remember, cui bono? Who benefits?

Judging by Nick Fancher’s article, his social media presence boosts social media. It doesn’t provide sufficient benefit to him — it may even be destroying his creativity — so it benefits him to walk away.

Avoid the time sink: get on and get off social media

As I point out in Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day, you can do all the social media you need or want to do in a short period each day.

Social media is valuable to many authors, because in an overcrowded marketplace, readers need to hear about your books. You can’t rely solely on your publication schedule.

If you guard your time on social media, a presence on selected social media networks boosts your advertising.

Social media danger: guard your mind state

As well as stealing time in which you could be writing, another danger of social media is your mind state. A writer told me recently that she’d unsubscribed from all her Facebook authors’ groups.

Cui bono, again. The groups depressed her, and she wasn’t writing.

We all suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out.) But as she said, if something happens which concerns her self-publishing business, she’ll learn about it anyway. If she isn’t gaining anything from those groups, she’s wise to unsubscribe.

Social media can be valuable as a promotional tool. It can be fun, too. However, if it’s not benefiting you, it’s time to rethink.

Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day

Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Genre: Marketing

You want to sell more of your writing. Chances are that you've tried social media, with minimal results. You believe that "social media doesn't work."

That's not so. It works, but you need to know how the huge social media networks, and the various advertising networks, operate to use them to your advantage.

Discover how.

More info →
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?

More info →

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Book Marketing On Pinterest: 3 Fun Tips You Can Use Today

Book Marketing On Pinterest: 3 Fun Tips You Can Use Today

If you’ve got a blog which you’re using for book marketing, be aware that Pinterest is a great source of traffic. You may find, as many authors do, that Pinterest sends you more traffic than Google.

If you’re just getting started using social media for your books, you may find this post on book marketing on Twitter useful. My program, Social Media Copywriting And Graphics: Get Attention And Sell More, provides advanced strategies.

Book marketing on Pinterest: make it fun, and be consistent with your pinning

When I coach authors, I always suggest that they choose social media networks which are fun for them. I love Pinterest, but many authors prefer Facebook.

Your social media posts needn’t take much time, and consistency counts.

When you get started on a social media network, it takes time to build traction. That needn’t concern you; everything you do is cumulative.

1. Create a board for each book you’re promoting

Consider creating a “book board” for each book. Alternatively, create a board for the book’s genre, or category.

Create a board for your book

You can also create boards for your interests, as they relate to your books, as you can see from one of my boards, above.

Remember that Pinterest is social, so do repin others’ pins. Some successful Pinterest users have a formula for the number of promotional pins they pin, to promoting others’ pins. Do what works for you.

2. Join with other authors in your genre/ category for a group board

Group boards can be very useful; they can also be useless. Newer Pinterest users tend to join as many group boards as they can, without any intention of interacting on a board.

A tip: make your group board invitation-only, and populate the board before you invite others.

Once your genre/ category board is established, invite other authors, one at a time. Send each author a personal message.

mystery boards on Pinterest

Image: boards for mystery books.

3. Mix it up: get creative with your graphics

As well as posting your book covers, and inspirations for your characters, you can post:

  • Image of the location where your books are set;
  • Brief quotes from your book, added to appropriate images;
  • Snippets from book reviews, with an image…

One author was thinking ahead to promotional opportunities before she published her contemporary romance. She included recipes in the novel, then cooked the recipes, and posted wonderful images to Pinterest.

Book marketing on Pinterest: is it for you?

Much like Twitter, some authors adore Pinterest, others look on it as a chore.

If you’ve never used Pinterest, use the network for a couple of weeks first. See what other authors are doing on the network. Then use Pinterest with confidence.

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?

More info →
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.

More info →
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Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.