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:
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:
Pricing your book properly may be the most important marketing decision you will make as a publisher. The price you choose will determine your sales, revenue, profits and opportunities for long-term growth. However, there is a big difference between pricing for sales through retail stores (including bookstores) and to non-retail buyers. You can improve your business significantly if you price your book correctly foe retail or business-to-business (B2B) sales.
Most publishers price their books for sale through retail stores, particularly bookstores (brick and clicks). They consider their costs (production, distribution, shipping, operations) and the desired profit, and then set the price. This is placed on the rear cover and included in al metadata. It tells consumers how much the publisher values the content, and it sets the point from which distribution discounts are calculated.
Today, there are authors of every stripe, from those in time-honored fiction and non-fiction categories to business people and professionals who've learned that writing a quality book is essential to building their brand.
In 2012, Americans self-published more than 391,000 books, according to market research giant Bowker. That's a 400 percent increase since 2007. Also in 2012, traditional publishers released nearly 302,000 titles for a whopping total of nearly 700,000 new books. In one year! With the glut of new books being released each year, promoting just one can feel like a mission impossible.