Tag Archives: promotion

Book Marketing Tips: 3 Low-Cost, Savvy Ways To Sell More Books

Book Marketing Tips: 3 Low-Cost, Savvy Ways To Sell More Books

My students tell me that the biggest challenge they have with book marketing is finding time to do it. Authors are busy, especially those authors who work a day job. Add children to the mix, and you end up writing in the marginalia of your life.

So how do you find time?

Book marketing: time, energy, and money

You need time to promote your books, as well as the enthusiasm for it — and the money, today. So I’m always looking for easy, fast, and low-cost marketing strategies for my students, and of course for me.

Try these tips; they work for my students, so they’re worth trying because they may work for you too.

First, a tip which concerns writing.

1. Many books from one idea: think smaller books and publish more often

In Self-Publishing Tips: How To Sell Books Without Marketing we pointed out:

Amazon doesn’t care whether you publish a book of 100,000 words or 2,000 words. I’ve been encouraging you to write and publish short stories, and short nonfiction too.

We’re on the cusp of 2019. I’ve developed my publishing plans already. If you’re still working on it, and mulling over what you’ll publish next year, consider adding shorter books to the mix.

Think in terms of novellas for fiction.

With nonfiction, think of “easy solutions.” It takes forever to research and write a nonfiction book of 50,000 words. Moreover, the market’s well supplied with them already, in many categories.

Consider short nonfiction.

Start by researching current trends in whichever categories of books you write. Then research trends and crazes in the news media. What movies are coming up which indicate a trend? (Movies set fashions.)

Take a risk, too. When an idea strikes, trust your intuition. Who knows, you may be in the vanguard of a brand new obsession. Rush to publication, and you may sell thousands of copies. (Remember the coloring book craze of a couple of years ago?)

2. Sell your books from your own website, and keep more money

When you sell your books via retailers they of course take a chunk of the profits. When you sell from your own site, you get to keep more money.

That’s a big benefit. Here’s another benefit: by slowly transitioning to “going wide” (publishing everywhere you can), and adding your own website to the mix, it gives you a chance to build community.

When they think “community”, authors tend to think “oh — a Facebook group.” Creating a Facebook group became popular once Facebook started restricting what appears in your news feed, because you get group postings in your feed.

BUT (and it’s a big, juicy but) when you tie your fortunes to a big company, it’s like swimming with a killer whale. Yes, the whale may play nice for a while, but sooner or later, you’ll be swiped to oblivion.

It’s a challenge to set up your own website. However, if you use a website creation company like Squarespace, you can set up an online store in minutes. And the big company takes care of all nuisance housekeeping tasks.

More and more authors are spending time and energy on their own websites. Consider whether it might work for you, going forward.

3. Build your community: reward readers who love what you do (and find new readers)

Authors are hopping onto Patreon too, to build their community of readers. They publish complete short stories on their Patreon blog, then publish the stories elsewhere. They also offer snippets from works in progress.

In 2019 and beyond, building a community around your author name will become imperative. Today, it’s a challenge to find your readers because audiences are so fragmented. The only way to get a wide reach is via advertising, and that’s becoming increasingly expensive, as well as taking lots of time.

Try out different book marketing strategies: test, to see what works for you

We all long for a magic bullet when it comes to book marketing. Unfortunately, no single strategy works for everyone. Nor does any strategy keep working forever, except for carrying on with your writing, while marketing.

Onward, ever onward. And do have fun with it all. 🙂

Book coaching: struggling with your book?

Book coaching: struggling with your book?

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

Angela’s guidance helps you to write, publish, and market your books successfully.

Check out our new Book Coaching options, and come write with us.

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 →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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 →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
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.

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.

Get Angela’s guidance to help you to write, publish, and sell your books successfully

Make writing, publishing, and marketing your book much easier, when you have a coach

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.

In response to students’ requests, we’re now offering monthly book coaching packages. Check them out, and come write with us.

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 →
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?

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
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.

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.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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.

More info →
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle

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.