Your Book Won’t Sell Itself – Reframe Your Mind, Jumpstart Sales
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Copyright © 2017 Sandee L. Hemphill
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Your Book Won’t Sell Itself
__][_Reframe Your Mind, _
Jumpstart Your Sales]
-- What This Book Is About
2) [+Marketing, Advertising, and PR—Oh My! +]
3) [+Your Book Marketing Success Formula +]
4) Avoid These Visibility Roadblocks
— [+Moving Forward +]
WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT
The introduction to most books begins with a soft opening that leads to an overview of what the book is about.
THIS ISN’T MOST BOOKS!
To get the full impact of this topic (Your Book Won’t Sell Itself), I’ve decided to open with a blunt statement:
_“Nobody cares that you wrote a book.” _
Let this sink in for a moment or two. Now allow me to elaborate on this statement a bit further.
[_ “Nobody cares that you wrote a book … at least not yet.” _]
Now, that’s better, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, this statement holds a lot of truth. Initially, no one will care that you wrote a book. You’ll have to make them care. As an author, part of your writing tasks is marketing.
Or stated in line with our quotes, it's your responsibility to get people to care about your book. For 99% of all authors, it's not optional.
The reason I wrote this book is to address the issue of marketing in general. For this book, I’m working on a custom definition of marketing. I’m trying to make a point here so I’ll give you a list of items to clarify what marketing isn’t.
Marketing isn’t about…
Marketing is a mindset you should develop as you begin to write your book. It should be built into every phase of your book publishing.
Marketing is about making yourself known to the right audience so they can enjoy your books. And, if done correctly, these buyers also become fellow marketers, sharing their reader experience with friends, family and colleagues.
This book explains why you need to develop an author-marketer mindset and the benefits to you and your readers for doing so.
It also shows you have to develop your marketer mindset. Hopefully, you’ll do it in such as way that you see the two duties (writing and marketing) as inseparable. Like love and marriage (or so the song goes), you can’t have one without the other.
Remember, YOUR BOOK WON’T SELL ITSELF is a quick read. It is not intended to provide ALL the information you’ll need to master this topic. It’s an appetizer; it jumpstarts your appetite and prepares you for the full meal. It’s satisfying but not so much that you don’t want to continue with the full meal.
You’ll notice a few strongly worded statements throughout this book. That’s because I’m passionate about drilling this message into the minds (and hearts) of authors: “Your Book Won’t Sell Itself.”
I’ve seen what happens when an author discovers this truth after they’ve published their book. Getting this information after you’ve published is like finding out that you ran the wrong way for the 100-yard dash. It would mean your efforts were wasted and you can’t get the outcome you prepared for.
If I have my way (and I’m working hard to get it), this will NEVER happen to ANOTHER author! Therefore, my marketing platform (the marketing arm of my business, Work Your Book) is dedicated to this topic. It’s equipping authors with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to develop an author-marketer mindset.
This may sound simplistic, but it’s quite a challenge. Trying to reframe the thinking that says marketing begins after a book is published is going against the grain. It’s imperative, therefore, that authors are armed with this information very early in the publishing process. This action could determine if your book sales creep or leap.
So without any further adieu, let’s move on with learning how to develop our author-marketer mindset. YOUR BOOK WON’T SELL ITSELF will prepare you to generate mega sales as a result of developing these skills.
Dedicated to the Author-Marketer in you,
Sandee L. Hemphill
Work Your Book
No matter how good it is, your book will not sell itself.”
― Elinor Florence
Author, Bird’s Eye View
]]Why Authors Should Promote Their Books
You’re an author and you love to write. That’s why you’re working feverishly on completing your next book. You’re dedicated and you’re committed to the finished work. You’re on your way to a great launch, mega sales and more fame than you ever thought imaginable.
Oh, if it were only this simple. The truth is, you’re not just an author. By today’s publishing standards, every author is also a book marketer. This means you must also invest time (and yes, money) to learn how to promote your books (or be prepared to pay someone to do it for you).
There were approximately 3.4 million books printed last year. That’s a major publishing pool to compete with. Seventy percent of these books are by first-time authors. Most of these authors (90%) never sell more than 100 books. I’m guessing you don’t want to be in the 100-book sales crowd.
Some authors are of the mistaken notion that if they publish with a traditional publisher (as opposed to self-publishing), they’ll be on easy street. They think their agent (the person who handles the business between the author and publisher) will get them a best-seller deal with lots of fringe benefits.
If your agent is skillful, you might receive a giant advance and be given a publicist to handle your book marketing. In only a few months, you’re headed for several best-seller lists. If this is how you think, your information about the book industry is grossly outdated.
About the only time a first-time author secures this once-standard advance package is if they are a celebrity. This almost always guarantees mega book sales based on their name. For the remainder of us, marketing will become a self-service task with, unfortunately, lots of trial and error.
For these and other reasons, you’ll want to master the art of book market-ing. It requires knowledge, skill, patience, resilience, a financial investment, and the help of others. And the sooner you get started on this journey, the better.
When I first learned the marketing side of book publishing, I was shocked to find out how much time was involved.
With the gamut of duties attached to writing a book, how on earth could I be expected to market it as well? I had to reframe my mind in order to move forward. It took some adjusting but I finally yielded to this do-it-if-you-want-to-sell-books feature of publishing.
Little by little, and book by book, I came to realize that I needed to learn how to sell books as well as write them. In fact, this truth turned my publishing career around and led to the establishment of WORK YOUR BOOK, where we focus on PAGE TO PROFIT STRATEGIES.
It’s A New Day in the Publishing World
As an author, you are responsible for 95% of your marketing. The 5% will happen when others share information about your book. This feature was added to publishing when traditional publishing took a nosedive.
To date, there are five major publishing houses worldwide. This is where you’d secure a traditional contract. Most of them no longer have the time, money or staff to sort through a host of book proposals.
Quite a few publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts, which makes securing a traditional contract even harder.
This means you’ll need to find an agent to pitch your book for you. In addition to the expense of this process, it requires 12-18 months to get your book from a manuscript to a bookstore. And in the final analysis, you’ll probably earn less than five dollars a book when you sell it.
To make matters worse, there are very few dedicated bookstores remaining where you can sell your book. In fact, a quick search online found only two brick and mortar chains still standing (pun intended).
There’s Barnes and Noble, of course, and Books-A-Million (aka BAM). Quite a few independent local bookstores are managing to survive, but there are no new brick-and-mortar entries.
Online, I’m sure you can guess that Amazon leads the pack, with Barnes and Noble following (but not closely). Several other online stores tend to fair well but none compare to the behemoth, Amazon.
Self-publishing created a major shift in the publishing world. This new model was due to the differences in profit margins. It was noted that an author could jumpstart their sales and retain up to 85% profit with a self-published model. This is in comparison to the 10-15% profit from a traditional contract. As this knowledge grew, the traditional model shrank, self-publishing rose, and the rest is history.
Why YOU Must Market Your Book
Most self-published authors accept the fact (reluctantly or otherwise) that they need to promote their books. They know it involves lots of work and they also know that they retain huge profits on their sales. Most of them managed to reframe their minds after their first book flopped.
This feature alone motivates them to dig in and learn what’s needed to continually promote their books.
Savvy authors recognize that marketing is about a lot more than money. It’s also an opportunity to make authentic connections with their readers and supporters. This is an invaluable benefit to any author who is looking to build a long-term author platform. Profits will come but you have to be in the game to reap them.
If you’re a self-published author, marketing your own book should be a given. You should understand that self-publishing equals self-marketing. This means that regardless of how you approach the topic, the responsibility and success of your sales depends upon you.
Book marketing can be manageable. Yes, there are lots of pieces to this puzzle, but you don’t have to do it all. You can hire a virtual assistant to do some of the promotions for you. Or you can build a team of supportive authors and friends to help you sell your books. You’ll have to teach them what to do, of course, but at least you won’t be working alone.
Once you understand your role in creating your success, you’ll be surprised how quickly book marketing ideas come to you.
Here is a brief list of why YOU should be the person who is in charge of marketing your book:
Keep reading through YOUR BOOK WON’T SELL ITSELF. You’ll find a few more reasons why you need to take charge of your marketing as you work your way through this book.
The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write. ”
[* Marketing, Advertising and PR—Oh My!*]
One of the first questions authors ask when they stumble upon the marketing element of publishing is, “How can I do this? Where do I start?” “When will I have time to do anything other than write?” The questions are endless.
I’ve chosen to respond to a few of these questions with a few definitions. Hopefully, this will clarify the issue of marketing and help you embrace this challenge. This is one of the chief goals of YOUR BOOK WON’T SELL ITSELF.
Book Marketing 101
Let’s define marketing as a system or process of getting other people interested in your products and services. It’s everything you do to get noticed by others and to create a buyer environment. There are a number of tools you can use to accomplish this task.
You should invest in other books and trainings focused on book the subject of book marketing every chance you get. That’s because you will ALWAYS want to promote your book. This isn’t an action you take at a launch and then ignore it afterwards. Or at least it isn’t if you want to generate a chain of sustained book sales.
Book marketing is what gets you to the level of success your book deserves. It’s the flip side of the publishing coin. The sooner you develop the author-marketer mindset, the sooner you can jumpstart your book sales.
Book marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all activity. It differs from genre to genre, and sometimes from author to author. If you are a non-fiction author like myself, you’ll want to market differently than a fiction author.
A fiction author can build their marketing around the characters and locations of their books.
You can’t do this with a non-fiction book (unless it’s a travel book). Your main goal should be to sold a problem the reader has encountered.
What this means is you’ll have to tailor your approach to fit the different reader genres. You don’t want to implement a strategy for your readers that will be rejected. Therefore, you’ll have to reframe your mind with respect to your book marketing.
This could mean that an investment in learning about book genres is warranted. Unfortunately, we can’t cover it in this book. Feel free to do an online search and study this topic on your own.
Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
Here’s another example of marketing distinctions. Non-fiction books cater to the readers’ senses first, whereas fiction books are considered more cerebral. This will make a difference in the colors and font styles you use for each respective book category. These are the keys you can use to successfully market your book.
Like writing, marketing should be done almost every day. Setting a marketing schedule will help you keep up with your daily marketing duties. I've heard it said by more successful book authors that if you fail to market your book for as little as two weeks, you'll lose up to 40% of your audience. I don't know about you but I'm working hard every day to gain new readers. Losing them is not an acceptable option.
There are lots of books, webinars, teleseminars and other resources you can get (both free and purchased) to learn how to systematically market your book. Feel free to conduct a search for other sources as well.
Advertising is a subset of marketing. Through advertising you pay others to promote your books and related products and services. The reach of your advertisement is generally a dollar decision.
In most cases, you pay more and you reach more. This strategy is generally cost-prohibitive for most first-time authors. However, it still needed to be covered.
PR Made Simple]
PR (Public Relations) is also a subset of marketing. Through PR (publicity), you are given exposure to large audiences who may become buyers of your products and services. However, the key difference between marketing and PR is that publicity is free. When done right, it’s literally money in the bank!
According to Sandra Beckwith, founder of “Build Book Buzz,” publicity is “free exposure (interview and article) that has become a part of the news. You gain credibility based on your knowledge and expertise. This exposure is generally ten times more powerful than advertising.”
PR for authors is often overlooked because it’s thought to be out of their reach. They think that only celebrities or well-funded authors can use this strategy. This statement has proven to be wrong over and over again. It’s all in what you can do to make your book newsworthy.
Most authors can generate some form of publicity. If your book can become part of a story that appeals to certain audiences, you’re in. If and when this opportunity presents itself, you’ll want to be prepared.
You probably can’t remember the ISBN for your book, or know the exact page count. Therefore, you need a press kit or, at the very least, a one-sheet with relevant publishing information.
A press kit prepares you for interviews and other media events, whether live or by phone. By having a press kit (both print and digital), you’ll have a quick and easy way to promote yourself. And you’ll find success right around the corner.
Could You Be the Next EL James?
Here’s a testimony to the power of a well-oiled PR machine. Granted, this won’t hold true for most authors. But it is encouraging nonetheless. EL James is the author of the 50 Shades trilogy.
This series was self-published in 2011 as fan fiction. As a result of it’s success, she raised the bar on mainstream erotica. She has single-handedly flipped the publishing industry upside down.
Granted, the reviews of both the books and movies have been negative. However, to date, EL James has sold 125 million copies of 50 Shades of Grey worldwide. The success of this series was due to a PR campaign.
PR Kit Essentials
If the PR feature of marketing is of interest to you (hopefully it is), be sure you have these minimal items in place for your marketing:
It wouldn’t hurt to have a well established platform in place to support your PR efforts. Get started on your platform by using my book, “Jumpstart Your Author Platform.” In some cases, the abundance of social media has created a disconnect between the author and the reader. A PR campaign can easily bridge this gap.
Which tools should you use—marketing, advertising or promoting? I’d suggest all of them, perhaps at different times. Once you adjust your mindset, you’ll discover how easy it is to apply different tools. Each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. A better question to ask, however, may be when should you use them, and how? Let’s explore some scenarios.
Now that we understand book marketing, I’m going to take the edge off the topic by shifting to the word ‘promotions.’ This may be easier to digest as we continue with this topic.
Basic Book Promotions to Explode Your Sales
A book promotion is an effort towards selling that offers a discount or a bonus to the buyer. They’re offered something in addition to the regular product or service cost.
Here’s an example. One of my regular promotions is this book, which has been listed on several sites as a permanently free (permafree) book.
The benefit to the reader is they don’t have to pay for the book. That’s because I’ve discounted it to $0.00. The benefit to me is that I receive the email address of the reader, and permission to send them future emails.
This type of promotion (marketing) is called a giveaway or reader magnet. For me, this particular one is called a permafree promotion.
By the way, you can find a quick and easy resource for creating reader magnets on my website (www.workyourbook.com). Use this link to secure your copy of “Reader-Attracting Giveaways.”
Another type of book promotion (marketing) could be a discount. For President’s Day, I offered a “Keep a President” sale and offered a $10 discount on a $30 product. This was my [_President’s Day promotion. _]I’m sure you’re getting the point so I’ll move on.
A savvy author will launch several types of promotions during the course of a month. This keeps your book in the minds of your readers and creates new buyer opportunities.
And, of course, you could have a book launch promotion when you release your book. A book launch requires more details than this book allows. Just know that it’s another type of book promotion.
You’ll find additional promotions in the last chapter, [_“Get Visible NOW and Sell More Books.” _]
The book promotions presented here are basically free to launch, with the exception of the time required to create the required graphics and sales copy. You may want to pay an assistant to cover these features for you, but that’s usually your only expense.
On the other hand, advertising will require an initial dollar investment based on the results you want to get. There are both paid and unpaid sites for generating book sales. But bear in mind that you’ll generally get what you pay for.
Social Media: Tool vs. Strategy
Very few authors understand how to use social media to promote their books. I’ll admit that I was once named among them.
Instead of building engagement, I spammed my connections with subtle and not-so-subtle cries of “buy my book!” Thankfully, I’ve come to understand how to approach social media from a different perspective.
When viewed as a strategy, your social media goal should be to comment, respond and share with your connections. From this perspective, your connection is built on the dedicated social media site.
At some point (and the sooner the better), you’ll want to move this relationship away from the social media site to your website.
“You can easily automate”
Excerpt From: Sandee Hemphill. “Unknown.” iBooks. When using social media as a tool, you’ll want to connect, convince and convert your new contacts. This approach builds engagement and allows for ongoing contact with your connections. This also helps in moving the relationship from the social media site to your website.
The conversion (your ability to secure their email address) validates the fact that you’ve convinced your contact to trust you. You are now positioned to build valuable engagement and nurture your new connections (Tribe) from your website.
Without this understanding and adjustment to your social media approach, you are firing a shotgun rather than a rifle. This means your efforts are scattered and you may be wasting your time and money.
You’ll spend copious hours trying to connect with individuals who may or may not be in your readers’ profile. If you fail in your mission, you’ll abandon this social media platform, disappointed that it didn’t work.
A greater truth might be that you didn’t know how to successfully work that particular platform.
Paid social media advertising can be a profitable investment if you understand how to play the game. Not surprisingly, Facebook leads the pay-to-pack. I’ve heard both success stories and horror stories about this form of advertising.
This book is intended as a short read (less than 45 minutes) so we can’t get into details on this service. There are other social media services with pay features. A quick internet search should lead you to them.
Book Promotion Services
If you’re not familiar with book promotion services, allow me to introduce you to them. These are companies who advertise your books to their readers.
The use of the word “advertise” should lead you to know that you need to pay for such services. Depending on your book, your genre and the time you may or may not have to invest, these services could be a lifesaver.
Invest in an internet search for these services. You’ll find specific sites for Kindle books, free book giveaways and general book sales.
Caution should be given to the Kindle book promotion sites because most of them (about 95%) are geared towards promoting a FREE book. If you are selling your e-book, be sure you note the distinction when visiting the sites.
Regardless of the marketing strategies you make use of (marketing, advertising, PR), know that it’s an investment. Therefore, it needs to be investigated thoroughly and added to your budget and your calendar.
You’ll want to fully understand how to market (promote) and which strategy to use to make the most of your investment.
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you have to write it.”
― Toni Morrison
Your Book Marketing Success Formula
As noted earlier in this book, authors often view marketing as a challenging topic, and rightly so. However, throughout this book, every effort will be made to present it in bite-sized pieces.
Hopefully, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of book marketing without any sense of overwhelm. We want you to fully understand that book marketing is doable! It simply takes adjusting your mindset to make the most of it.
A Book Sales Success Formula
The book marketing success formula we’ll work with in this book consists of the following:
V (Visibility) + C (Credibility) = P (Profitability)
Our easy-to-remember formula is V+C = P. Book marketing is centered on visibility. The idea is for you to be seen everywhere your readers are, and to connect with them regularly.
Blogs and podcasts abound and create this type of visibility. Authors are also using Periscope and Facebook Live with great success. Pinterest and Instagram are also gaining in popularity with authors and their readers.
These are only a few of the book marketing tools offered by social media. And we haven’t even begun to talk about direct marketing, speaking and the many offline strategies that are available to you.
When you select and master the marketing tools needed to attract your readers, you’ll find the results later in your bank account. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s get back to visibility.
Let’s Generate Some Key Visibility
A definition of ‘visibility,’ from the online dictionary (www.dictionary.com), the word means, “the degree to which something has attracted general attention; prominence.”
Visibility is the combination of actions you take to become visible. It’s the byproduct of your author platform. This may sound a bit like double talk, but I’m sure you’re getting the point.
Visibility plays a key role in marketing success because you are working in a crowded pool of authors, one that is growing everyday. You’ll want to engage in marketing activity that will keep you top-of-mind with both current and future readers.
Frequency also plays a role in increasing your visibility. But it’s not just about the quantity of tactics you use. It requires a delicate balance of connecting with the right people in the right place, who are the ideal readers for your books.
Authenticity is paramount to making the right connections. Gimmicks must be resisted at all costs. Not only will your readers see right through any less-than-stellar approaches, you’ll also lose your credibility… fast!
In addition to authenticity, the tools and tasks you set your hands to must also be manageable. This means you must have the time, resources, and energy to create consistent promotions to feed and attract your readers.
You can’t spend all of your time marketing or you won’t have time to write, and vice versa. You’ll learn to create a delicate balance to successfully navigate the author-marketer mix.
Visibility, by definition, means that you are being seen. However, in our examples, it also means that you are heard. You have access to every possible means of pursuing, attracting, connecting and engaging with readers—past, present and future.
This will involve any number of tools. Here are a few you can consider:
This brief list should give you the idea of how you can create visibility. As you can see, there is no way you can do all of these tasks. Care must be given to only select the items you feel you can manage.
Remember, you must have the time, resources, and energy to create consistent promotions. Inconsistency is often considered disloyalty, and can cost you readers.
Who Knows You?
Let’s move on to C in our formula: Credibility. Using our previous dictionary, we define credibility as [_“the quality of being trusted and believed in; the quality of being convincing or believable.” _]We’ll see how this fits in with our marketing mission.
Visibility deals with who knows you, who is aware of your work, and who can vouch for your writing style. This sets the stage for establishing a marketing campaign that includes a variety of marketing strategies.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be everywhere all the time (which is, of course, impossible). What it means it that you need to be where your readers are, and you need to be there consistently.
When it comes to publishing, every author starts at zero. You have the same opportunity as any other author at achieving greatness.
As a first-time author, it’s a given that you are launching your publishing career without visibility or credibility. You’ll have to prove yourself one promotion at a time.
Think of credibility as your credit rating. You should always want a high score. As your credibility increases, you’ll find it easier to:
An underlying goal of all of your book marketing should be to strengthen your reputation and boost your credibility. As you learn more about book marketing YOUR book, you’ll find the strategies that give you success.
[*The Sum of All Book *]book
We’ve come to the last factor in our equation: profitability. This is the numeric bottom line of all of your effort. Although our key emphasis in book marketing IS NOT sales for the sake of sales, it’s still a factor.
The key emphasis should ALWAYS be on visibility. Visibility leads to credibility and credibility will ultimately lead to profitability.
Initially, profitability relates to your sales. But in essence, it’s not that simple. Profitability should be a long-term strategy and not something that is accomplished through a launch or a few promotions.
You’ll want a plan of sustained sales vs. a one-time blowout. This steps requires planning and keen management of your resources.
When you establish a long-term book marketing plan, you position yourself as an author who it in it as a career and not as a sales ploy. These strategies must be executed consistently, and should be of the highest caliber possible.
You may want to consider a book marketing partnership, or at least have a hired assistant to help set up your automated strategies.
From an article by Jane Friedman*, a very successful book publisher, you’ll want to consider these book marketing models:
Market Your Book… Always!
One of the most cost-effective tactics you can use for book marketing is to continue to nurture your current reader community. There is a general marketing principle that states that it’s less expensive to market to a current customer than it is to find a new one.
As you nurture your current readers, they will be motivated to share with their communities. You’ll easily kill two birds with one stone.
You can easily automate your marketing strategies to keep your brand visible. You’ll want to investigate several services to make sure you find the fit that’s right for you. There are great free and paid services available.
A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life. ”
― Tobias Wolff
*Avoid These Visibility Roadblocks *
Visibility is the number one factor in book sales, especially if you’re a first-time author. Generally, the more a book is promoted, the more sales you can expect. .
When you’re on a physical journey, you might encounter any number of unexpected roadblocks. The same is true for your book marketing journey. Let’s view some of the most common roadblocks you could encounter on your way to publishing success. The list is numbered but the roadblocks are listed in no particular order.
[*Visibility Roadblock #1 *]
_Not having a visibility hub. _
Authors are constantly on the prowl for an edge to attract the right readers to their books. One of the easiest ways to create this level of visibility is with a hub. The most cost-effective hub is an author website. A website can be your show-room for all of your books and related products and services.
*How to Avoid This Roadblock *
This one’s easy—get a website! It doesn’t matter if you use a site developer (GoDaddy, Wix) or you have a site designed for you. You’ll need a website. Just think of how much traction you can get from this investment. You can include the following pages on you site:
You can also include a giveaway page (landing page) and add those sometimes annoying (yet proven) pop-ups to your site. Don’t skimp on this investment. It will pay for itself with the reader interaction you are positioned reap.
[*Visibility Roadblock #2 *]
Your book doesn’t meet Industry Standards* *
This error is seen physically by all of your readers. They include:
These factors will cause your book to be rejected at first sight.
*How to Avoid This Roadblock *
Book writing and publishing is time-consuming and takes lots of work. It’s quite understandable that a new author will miss a few things. You may want to work with a book coach to make sure you dot all of your I’s and cross all of your T’s. Or create a writing plan to keep you on track.
[*Visibility Roadblock #3 *]
Not Identifying Your Readers* *
Having a book to sell is a wonderful accomplishment. As such, you’ll want to get your book in front of the readers who are sensitive to your topic. Somehow this fact challenges lots of new authors. They find it difficult to get a grip on identifying their readers.
This may also mean that they’ve written a book that no one will purchase. I often ask authors about their reader audiences and most can’t answer the questions.
In most cases, they wrote the book for themselves but have hopes that they can sell it to a willing reader.
*How to Avoid This Roadblock *
To properly identify your readers, you’ll want to create a reader profile. You’ll want to answer key questions such as:
And so forth. This step is frequently avoided due to the time needed to thoroughly research the topic. Believe me, you DON’T want to skip this step. It could mean the difference between success and failure of your book.
[*Visibility Roadblock #4 *]
Over-reliance on Social Media
This fact can’t be stated enough. Perhaps you’re a social media enthusiast. You have accounts on all of the major sites and spend lots of time building your social communities. So when it comes to publishing your book, you naturally turn to these sites.
When it comes to book marketing, social media is a common misunderstanding. The people who Like, Tweet, Friend, Connect, Post and Snap with you MAY NOT be among your ideal readers. Therefore, your social media book promotions may turn out to be nothing more than Spam.
There are two big problems with relying on social media for sales. The first is that social media is a tool—not a strategy. The second is that your contacts are there—on the social media platform—and not on your website (or mailing list).
*How to Avoid This Roadblock *
Considerable effort should be given to convert your social media connections into website connections. You’ll want to create an irresistible giveaway (such as this book) and offer it on website and social media sites.
You’ll want to make soft offers such as, “Learn how to sell your books offline,” then list your resource link, rather than the blatant “Buy My Book” promotions. You’ll also want to have a plan to nurture your website contacts regularly and build up momentum for your next book.
[*Visibility Roadblock #5 *]
Banking Unrealistically on Your Book Launch* *
Too many authors put all of their finances into one basket: the book launch. Convincing them to do otherwise is one of the hardest tasks I encounter. They tend to think that the book launch is the be-all, end-all of book marketing.
With this mindset, they rely heavily on their friends and social media to sell books. They usually fail on both fronts. Instead, their friends are forced to buy a book they probably don’t want, and the launch becomes a pop-up sale. Then it’s downhill from there.
*How to Avoid This Roadblock *
A good book launch takes months to plan and generally requires a team to pull it off. At the very least, a virtual assistant can help you through most of the planning and implementation.
Don’t try to do it alone. It can be an overwhelming project and you’ll want to give yourself the best chance of being successful.
A successful launch also requires a sizeable budget. Invest some time and energy in learning about this feature to make sure you have everything in order for a successful launch.
[Visibility Roadblock #6
**][_Fantasy Island Thinking Regarding Book Sales _]
Don’t be embarrassed if you’re one of those authors who thought your book was so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o good that everyone would want it. You also thought you wouldn’t need to market your book because it would literally sell itself.
This may sound absurd to you, but I’ve heard this from a number of overzealous authors. This isn’t necessarily arrogance. It could simply be misinformation about the market or wishful thinking on your part.
I understand why some authors run from the idea of marketing their book. This necessary task is likened to a part-time job. But if you don’t sell your book, it very possibly won’t get sold. Regardless of how good your book is your book won’t sell itself!
*How to Avoid This Roadblock *
Trying to sell your book without a plan will lead to sporadic sales, if any. You’ll want to get a jump on all facets of book marketing and devise a strategic book marketing plan. If you do this, your book will sell, and sell, and sell.
Wrapping It Up
Avoiding these roadblocks will go a long way towards getting new readers. Remember, book marketing isn’t just about sales. It’s also about building visibility and creating relationships that will serve you now and later.
The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday. ”
― David Schlosser
[Get Visible NOW and Sell More Books
[12 Ways to Generate Visibility to Sell More Books]]
If you’re determined to be a visible author (and you should), you’ll want to make use of these visibility strategies. You may need to test them through your networks. Try to determine the best time and frequency to get the most favorable response. Make note of any strategies that aren’t successful and revamp them for a future promotion.
And by all means, don’t limit yourself to the strategies listed here. Continue to add to your collection of promotions. Very soon you’ll have a boatload of strategies to keep your book sales afloat.
[*1 — Learn to Generate High Visibility *]
Video is a HOT medium for book marketing and it should continue in this vein for some time. Note that readers are 64% more likely to purchase your book if they see a video that effectively promotes your book (Source: ComScore) . And using a book trailer on a sales landing page can increase conversion rates by as much as 80% (Source: Unbounce).
Try this idea to create quick and frequent engagements with your readers.
Look for book trailers created by other authors to gain a broader idea of how you can use this strategy to attract new readers.
[*2 — Contests Are Magnetic! *]
Build a contest around your book or any of its characters. You can also build around the physical or geographical setting. Your prize could be an autographed copy of your print book.
Or you may want to donate the e-book or a PDF copy with your signature on the cover. You can offer more than one prize to keep the event running longer. Follow these steps:
Here’s an example of what I call the Question of the Week Contest
Here’s another easy contest. I call it the Best Selfie promotion. One of my clients has used it with great success:
What made this contest unique is that the author only had an e-book, so the ideas really had to be creative
Feel free to expand on either of these ideas to best serve your readers. After all, we’re simply trying to engage and nurture them to keep them as loyal fans.
[*3 — Home Grown Sales *]
Here’s another easy contest. I call it the Best. One of my coaching clients has used it. Don’t rely too heavily on internet sales.
Local sales can lead to you becoming a local superstar (and may create some local publicity for you). Look for local specialty stores to place your books in, such as:
[*4 — Short Run Sales *]
Surprise your social media followers with unexpected rewards, coupons and contests. Consider a pop-up sale, a totally unexpected discount sale that runs for 2-3 hours, with no coupon needed.
Here’s an example of a pop up sale:
These low-risks sales are great for market research, and they can be used to generate much-needed buzz.
5 — Speak Up and Sell Books
There are unlimited speaking opportunities open to authors, both locally and nationally. And they provide you great visibility. Consider these tactics:
As with any new promotional strategy, start small and grow. You can easily grow from a 30-minute workshop to a keynote speaker in only a few months. Your success will depend upon your topic and the sponsors in your area. Be patient, however, and allow the process to develop organically.
[*6 — Cross Promote with Other Authors *]
You have approximately 8 seconds to capture the attention of new readers for your book, as well as promote to your current readers. Why not buddy up with other authors (yes, even those in the same genre) to maximize your selling potential?
Cross promoting is when two authors agree to promote each other’s book. It’s an ideal solution for an author with a piggy bank budget. Think of how Disney and McDonald’s have partnered up. Disney creates the movies and Disney makes the related toy characters.
These promotions serve several purposes such as to increase sales and to increase visibility. In addition, you are now associated with your cross promotional partners. Each of you can build on the others’ list and reputation.
Cross promoting can be fun! Use these steps:
Think of additional ways you can cross promote, maybe with a larger group of authors. And it’s possible to connect with national authors for the same venture. Stay sharp and keep your eyes open for these opportunities.
7 — Hollywood Influence
Create (or commission) a book trailer. You can find this service at Fiverr.com. Read through the various service providers’ profile and services to find one to fit your needs.
Here are some great ways to use your book trailer:
[*8 — Live Events: Show and Sell! *]
Live events (bazaars, fairs, pop-up shops, speaking engagements, etc.) are an opportune time to get in touch with your readers and attract some new ones. You’ll be amazed at how much traffic these events draw.
There’s much to be said for looking a person in the eyes rather than offering them your well-crafted sales copy. Listed below is a list of live events that may be of interest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Reinforce your presence by forwarding announcements to your current mailing list and your social media contacts for their support
9 — Create Your Own Promo Day
We all know of the million-dollar success of Cyber Monday. Why not launch your own Cyber or other sales day? You can give it any name you want as long as it will attract your readers.
Here’s an example. One of my holiday specials is named Sandee’s Cyber Saturday. What I do is discount all of my print books on that day by 50%.
As the name implies, the sale runs only on Saturday, usually for 24 hours. What promotions can you think of?
Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your cyber campaign:
Consider expanding your offering to create a cyber weekend. You can also combine this strategy with cross promoting to create your own annual or bi-annual event.
10 — Piggy Back Sales
This is[* ]a great strategy for new authors who may not have a list to work from, or may have a small list.[ ]You can[ *]generate exposure by connecting with bloggers who speak to your audience. Use these steps:
You can also use this idea for local trainings or networking events where your readers populate.
11— Big Results Promotion
It is my honor to share with you one of my favorite promotions. It’s the Before And After Promotion. This promotion comes in a variety of shades and can be adapted to fit most book genres.
Authors like this promotion because it gives them another viable excuse to contact their readers after the initial sale. Readers like it because it gives them something to look forward to in the future.
Here are some steps for launching this promotion:
These are just a few of the many ideas you can apply under the “Big Results Promotion” theme. Remember, the sky’s the limit!
12 — A Mixed Bag
Here are a few more tips to get you started. Plug them into your book marketing calendar over the next 90 days.
Variety keeps your book marketing campaigns fresh. Start a promotions file to keep a record of the various promotions you’re offered by other authors and publishers.
Determine the ones you think you can use and store a record of it. Adjust where needed and launch to your readers.
We hope you enjoyed your copy of “Your Book Won’t Self Itself.” We are glad you are armed with the necessity of the topic.
And we trust you got the point. ULTIMATELY, the SUCCESS of your book is up to YOU.
Our goal for this book was simply to shift your mindset to understand that self-publishing also mean self-marketing. If that’s all you received from this book, our efforts have been successful.
But we’re sure you’ve gotten a lot more.
Here are just a few tips to help you leverage the information you’ve received here.
Take it slow; don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by what is required to get your promotions out. There will always be time to promote your book.
Don’t get frustrated. Book marketing is a slow process but it’s top-heavy on the front end. After you lay a solid foundation, you’ll see things moving in a favorable direction.
If possible, set up a book marketing schedule and plan to do something at least three times a week to promote your book. Remember, no one cares that you’ve written a book until you make them care. Get busy making them care.
Lastly, know that Work Your Book is available to you for your book publishing challenges. Visit the website and search for the resources you need to move you closer to a book launch or a successful book marketing campaign.
Please make use of the contact information on the last page and connect with us even further. As a member of our Tribe, we want to keep in touch and are here to assist you along your publishing journey.
You don’t have to wait for an email from us… feel free to take the next move.
And remember, we’re always here for you.
*Now That You’re Read the Book … *
… we can use your help! The publishing world is driven by sales. And sales are driven by reviews.
Even though this book was a gift to you, we can benefit from your input. If you enjoyed this book, would you consider writing a review for us? All you have to do is follow the instructions below. Not only will you do us a huge favor, but you’ll help fellow book browsers who land on this page.
Here’s How to Write a Review:
1) Use this Review Link to go directly to the Amazon review page for this book.
2) Amazon will ask you to give the book a star rating. Once you click on the stars, a window opens so you can add your written review.
3) Write your review. Simply tell the readers what you think about the book (good, not so good or otherwise). Your honest opinion will do much to spread the word about this book. It may also help other readers know this is a great selection.
4) If possible, please include the title of the book in the review. This adds even more credit to us from the search engine standpoint.
5) If you’re a published author, I also invite you to leave your book title along with your signature. This creates an opportunity for you to get noticed as well.
We’d like to thank you in advance for your review. We look forward to our continued publishing relationship.
[*Meet Sandee Hemphill *
Authors are sometimes a peculiar people. We spend so much time putting our books together that we often overlook the importance of marketing that book. This is her soapbox—how to successfully market your book (starting in the writing phase).
Sandee’s role in the publishing community consists of author, publisher, speaker, and book marketing coach. As an authorpreneur, she understands both the writing and promotions side of the publishing industry. Her books and services are dedicated to eliminating frustrations for other authors and publishers.
Book publishing services are offered to authors across all genres, from poetry to children’s books. In 2012, Sandee launched her publishing and book marketing company, Jeremiah One Nine Publishing. More than 30 authors have used her services to complete successful book projects.
Outside the publishing arena, Sandee’s interests include live theatre, watching British mysteries and completing jigsaw puzzles. She prefers a 1000 piece minimum; the max so far has been 2,500 pieces.
New resources are on the horizon. Sandee’s next book, “Build Your Tribe Before You Publish,” and a book marketing course entitled will be launched this summer,
Feel free to connect with Sandee via the social media networks listed on the following page.
Got a Question?
If you need clarity on anything concerning this book, feel free to forward us your question and we’ll get an answer (or two) back to you.
Forward your question to:
Other Books from Sandee Hemphill
Be sure to visit Sandee’s Amazon Author Central Webpage to discover her other book titles.
You can use the link below:
Sandee on Amazon Author Central
[*Don’t Forget to Request Your Copy of *
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NOBODY CARES THAT YOU WROTE A BOOK! …at least not yet! It’s true that most people won’t be interested. So, you wrote a book. So what? This is a common response and one which often takes new authors by surprise. But the fact remains that if you want to sell your book you must develop the right attitude. Your Book Won't Sell Itself: Reframe Your Mind, Jumpstart Your Sales is a quick read. It aims to provide an insight into what you should do to market your book and get those sales moving, with chapters on things like: • Why authors need to promote their books • Marketing, advertising and PR • Your book marketing success formula • Visibility roadblocks and how to avoid them • 12 ways to sell more books Marketing is a mindset you must develop. It isn’t optional and it shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be at the very forefront of everything you do, right from the moment you start writing your book, and should be present in every phase. If you do it correctly your buyers also become fellow marketers, sharing their reader experience with friends, family and colleagues. Get your copy of Your Book Won't Sell Itself now. It’s the first step to your perfectly marketed book.