When you write a book, you want to get it into as many hands as possible. Technological innovations make it possible to reach more than just hands by enabling you to produce audible books and accessible, portable content for a variety of mobile devices. More than ever, readers demand a high-quality user experience with content, and, through social networking vehicles, they have more ways to complain or share with others when it doesn’t go so well.
In a 2015 survey covering trends in digital publishing, conducted by Bowker and Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), 72% of respondents indicated that they currently publish digital content and 79% plan to in the future. Whether you author non-fiction, fiction or technical material, you can leverage opportunities to distribute digital books via your own website, Amazon, Apple, and other ebook distributor sites.
As an author, you work hard to create a book that is flawless – you write a first manuscript, make revisions, make some more revisions, and toil for a long time to finally get your book “just right” and ready for sale. Now you have your book up on Amazon, but it’s not selling the way you want it to. When that happens, it’s discouraging after all that time and effort you put into creating the best book you could. So why the low sales? And what can you do about it?
To answer these questions, let’s take a moment for a quick marketing lesson. When building a marketing plan, it’s important to keep in mind the 4 P’s of marketing: product, place, promotion, and price. Briefly, I’ve defined them below:
People like what people like. I say this a lot to the authors I work with to emphasize the importance of having reader reviews. But what about the authors that already have great reviews, or even awards? Authors often tell me their books get great reviews (on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, etc.), receive literary awards, and still, the book sales just don’t happen. Having great reviews is just one component of having a great marketing plan; the next step is maximizing those great reviews and converting them into sales. Below are six ways to leverage your reviews to drive more sales:
1. Leverage: How are you leveraging your book’s positive publicity? Are you leveraging it at all? If not, you should be. Your first step should be to promote any awards, and there are several free ways you can do that:
You’ve probably encountered a less-than-desirable content experience on a mobile device, like not being able to “pinch” the screen to zoom in and out, or rotating a device and not getting the content to follow suit. You were left with a less than positive impression of that content (and its author), because you couldn’t consume it your way. Time to think about what you can do to avoid giving your readers a less than optimal impression of your work.
Newsletters seem very 1990’s don’t they? They don’t have the flash of “new media” or the shimmer of a shiny new social media site just waiting to be discovered. What they do have, however, is visibility. In some cases, more visibility than you’re getting on all of your social media sites combined.
I speak at a lot of writer events and in the last year, the buzz has really increased around the need for a newsletter. Why? Well, Facebook has declined in reach; in some cases only 1% of your posts reach your fans. If you’re not paying for placement on Facebook, it’s very likely your stuff isn’t being seen. With everyone on sites like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter (which also will start monetizing posts) it’s really hard to get your audiences’ attention.
In my Brand Your Expertise with a Book™ workshop I talk about creating content quickly, and this is another one of those great tools that can help you do that! As an award-winning publisher and award-winning author I get lots of questions on an almost hourly basis about the business of writing and publishing.
How do I put a book together? I have ideas and some written stuff, but nothing concrete as my topic.
This part is simpler than you think. First, when writing any book you have to start with the end in mind. What is the overall goal for your book? You should create your promise statement (aka mission statement) from the beginning so when you get confused with too much content or too little, you will know where to focus to pull it in. Your statement should have the following framework since the idea is to keep it short and sweet:
You’ve done it—you’ve written a book. Chances are that you understand the process for getting the book to readers to enjoy in a print version, but then you’re met with questions such as, “When will this be available for my Kindle, iPad, or smart phone?”
If the world of publishing content for mobile audiences is new to you, you need to consider a few things before starting the process. If you’re self-publishing, you assume all of the cost and effort, and need to know what challenges exist to get your book findable and readable to meet varying audience requests (and sometimes, demands). If you choose to work with a publisher, you need to meet a high standard of quality with the delivery of your book to all formats. Let’s take a look at some of the common considerations you’ll need to make when you transform your books into mobile-ready content.
What kind of book did you write?