Most first-time authors are going to experience a very low volume of sales with their first book. We’ve all been there. We place all of our hopes and dreams on a book, publish it, and then watch it sell 50 copies in the first year. This is a turning point for everyone where we must make an important decision. There are two paths – wallow in self-pity and wonder why we’re such a failure or put in the work to discover our mistakes and grow from them. Unfortunately, most people choose the first option. It all boils down to marketing so we’re going to take a close look at some of the top book marketing tips to help find your footing.
Build Relationships First
The first thing you should be doing is building relationships. Most beginners wait until they publish their book before following through with this step but it’s essential that you start this immediately. Don’t wait! As a rule of thumb, it takes approximately six months to nurture relationships so that is how far in advance you need to plan when publishing a book.
Influencers are a great place to start. Reach out to them as quickly as possible. They love success stories so if you can prove to them that your idea has merit, they might be willing to interview you. If nothing else, you get on their radar so that when you reach out to them with your book, the chances of them looking at it are higher.
Engage your Audience Immediately
Again, you should start engaging your target audience well in advance of publishing your book. In fact, start ramping up the interest as you work on your book. Don’t wait until you decide to publish it. In fact, get your audience involved in the whole process. Ask for input on things like cover design. Run taglines by them to see which ones they like the most. Introduce them to the ideas surrounding your book.
Set Goals Ahead of Time and Stick With Them
Carefully research your book launch goals in advance and then once you set those goals, trust in your decisions. Stick to them as much as possible as you go through the process. Having a roadmap laid out for the launch of your book is a powerful tool and it will improve your chances of success. The way you promote your book will need to fit around these goals.
Focus on Getting into Amazon’s “Also Bought” Category
Amazon is going to account for a large bulk of your book’s sales so you need to make sure that you are setting up for success on this powerful platform. Buyer keywords and catchy descriptions are a couple of buzzwords that are thrown around a lot but many people overlook the importance of Amazon’s “also bought” category. Let me explain. When a buyer is looking at something on Amazon, they are also given a list of products labeled as “customers who bought this item also bought…”
The quickest way to get into this category is to utilize the “free giveaway” days that your book received. Every 90 days, you can make your book free for 5 of those days. Guess what? These “free giveaways” count as a purchase in Amazon’s database. So if you can get people to download your book for free, it will show up in the “also bought” category.
Look to the Future
The last of my book marketing tips is to never stop looking to the future. The launch of your next book is not the end goal that you should be working towards. Focus on any sequential book releases by building a marketing funnel. This is a sales technique that is designed to “funnel” leads into a system. For instance, giving away a free eBook to users who subscribe to your email list is a method of funneling leads into a system.
Sales funnels are effective because they not only give you targeted leads for the next book, but many of these leads are going to be in your system indefinitely. Therefore, you can market your next book to them as well.
Social media is another area that we can funnel leads into and have them around indefinitely. These types of leads are your most important people and they need to be nurtured. Don’t constantly try to sell to them. Instead, drip them with free information and resources so that when you do market, they are much more likely to make a purchase.
Follow these book marketing tips and set yourself up for long-term success. Remember that publishing is a journey that doesn’t stop with your next book.