In this training I share some easy book marketing strategies you can use regularly to get more book sales and visibility.
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Book marketing can be incredibly tense and frustrating, especially for newer authors who aren’t used to the grind of marketing. While many authors would probably make great marketers due to their extensive use of words, the truth is that very few have the existing tools and energy for making major strides in the marketing department. Many authors find it dreadful, and they ultimately want to do what they truly love: write more books. Let’s examine why book marketing can be so difficult and what you can do to alleviate it.
Too Many Hats
This is the biggest problem that every book marketer faces: wearing too many hats. What is the primary job of an author? To write books. After the book is written you then need to market it, but there are so many approaches and most authors don’t know where to start or focus.
According to popular knowledge, you’re supposed to do all of the following: spread your books and various marketing posts all over the social media spectrum, create podcasts singing self-adulating songs about yourself and your product, produce a masterful virtual book tour, fish for amazing reader reviews, blog like it’s come from the heart and so much more. Doesn’t reading this paragraph alone make you feel exhausted?
Now, imagine trying to learn all these skills while also tending to your personal responsibilities, working your full-time job and even attempting to get a few minutes to write your next book. It’s impossible to master all of these skills.
So I’m going to give you a radical idea: stop trying. Just stop. Few authors are marketing prodigies, and you’re just going to hurt yourself in the long run. Don’t get Twitter? Stop doing it. Hate the idea of making another blog post? Stop doing it. Just stop doing everything except one or two marketing approaches.
Find out what works for you and stick with it. Master a single channel and stay with it until it really blossoms.
Now that you’re ready to save time, it’s time to consider which channel is best for you. There are two paths to finding this: response and preference. Preference is usually the easiest of the two. What do you prefer doing? Do you like making podcasts? Then stick with that. Just stop everything else and stick with using your golden voice. However, for some authors this may not be enough. Maybe you like too many or too few marketing channels, or maybe your preferred channel isn’t getting you enough buyers.
Then we take the second approach: response. Which channel has worked best for you? What has funneled the most buyers into your website or landing page? You can track where your sales are coming from and then concentrate on that area of marketing.
If you’re still not sure, then you may not have done enough marketing. Keep experimenting to find where your groove is. Besides, you’re not going to make much of an impact unless you are really passionate or good at your chosen marketing approach.
Remember to Write
Do you know what markets your personal brand better than blogging, social media posts and all the podcasts in the world? Writing a new book. Imagine what would happen if JK Rowling spent all her time marketing rather than writing the fifth or sixth book of Harry Potter. Marketing is great and all, but new books are what really sell.
Marketing is a pathway to squeezing out as much money as possible from your products, but too many authors get hung up on perfecting their marketing instead of their craft.
You need to continue writing new books. No author, company or brand survives without making new products. It doesn’t matter what you write: you need new material. Failing to remember this will ultimately make you fail, even if you have one or two amazing books. Writing a new book should supersede your marketing, not the other way around.
Why is marketing so hard for authors? Because you’re asked to display a wealth of talent and ability in a completely different niche. Yes, marketing requires writing, but writing a book is different than a blog post. You’re asked to do too much, but are rarely given the time to master your approach. If you really want to succeed, then focus your time on mastering one marketing technique and going from there.
Every author knows that marketing is the key to successfully selling books, and few websites are as targeted as GoodReads. Where else can you specifically target readers who are hungry for their next book? So, you made an account and shamelessly pound away at the keyboard, making post after post about your books, posting your covers and so on. However, there are a few mistakes that every new author makes, and you need to learn what they are if you want to salvage your marketing and really connect with readers.
Contacting Top Reviewers
One of the best ways to sell books is to get good reviews. Not just five-star reviews on Amazon, but a well written, detailed review of your book and why people should buy it. These reviews are worth their weight in gold, so it seems like a no-brainer to seek out these type of reviewers and request them to review your book. They’re already used to putting in the time and effort into these reviews, so why would they mind a simple requires.
DON’T DO IT! First of all, let’s look at GoodRead’s rules. It states that contacting people for the reason of requesting a review is off limits. Many people have been banned from the website due to this. Your entire account can be erased and all your progress wiped away. It’s not worth it. This isn’t a place to fish for reviews (though you can certainly get them).
Not only that, let’s look at it practically. These people are writing detailed reviews for readers, not authors. It gets a little creepy when the authors come after you. In fact, GoodReads even frowns on contact reviewers after they have reviewed your book, so don’t even try telling them “good job” or “thanks so much.” You can point to these reviews if and when they review your book, but don’t even try contacting them about it. Pretend that these reviewers are completely inaccessible and you’ll be just fine.
Being an Author, Not a Reader
Is GoodReads a great place to market yourself as an author? Definitely! However, what is GoodReads made for? Readers. This social network is all about readers sharing their love of reading. Too many writers are joining just to market themselves. They cry from the rooftops about how great they are and why people should buy their book, but forget that they love books and are readers themselves.
The users here love other readers. So go ahead, talk about your book, but don’t do it as an author. Join groups about your book and about similar genres and just talk. Let people get to know you. The real you, not the author you. Also, avoid the writer groups. They might be helpful here and there, but you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about: shameless self-promotion. It’s sickening and people are very adverse to it.
Be like the people. If you join as the author on the mountaintop that’s better than everyone, then don’t expect to get many views. If you join as a reader and share yourself and your love of reading, then you’ll be sure to get some attention.
Being an Author Island
Too many authors on GoodReads are scared of promoting and talking about other authors. They think it makes them look weak and that they’re saying that authors might be better than them. However, it actually doesn’t send that message at all. Authors who are unwilling to praise anyone but themselves tend to come off as arrogant, isolating and boring.
So go ahead, talk about your favorite author. Really love a quote from a new author in your genre? Post it. Want to review a new book from a competing author? Go ahead, and be sure to post a real review, mud slinging will just make you look like a terrible person. It’s fine to praise other people, and readers will often come to respect you because they’ll see you as a reader who just so happened to join the other side: writing.
The golden rule of mastering GoodReads is to join as a reader, not an author, and to sing the praise of others. Don’t be an island, and don’t be so self-adulating that you forget that you love books just as much as everyone else on the website. If you fail to do this, then you won’t get the response you deserve from this website, and your marketing will end up suffering.