I get it. You first put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) because you wanted to tell a fantastic story or solve a societal need. And once you finished your book, you realized that the journey from writer to author had only just begun. How were you going to get that manuscript into the hands of readers in search of a great historical romance novel or a how-to book on estate planning?
And now that you’ve published the book, the question still remains about how to get it into the hands of readers through book sales. If you’re feeling a little peckish, I don’t blame you. Feel free to throw a little snit fit. Once you’ve got it out of your system, we can start looking at a handful of truly easy ways to accomplish your bookselling goals.
Each of the following strategies is apple pie easy and effective!
Ask for Book Reviews
I can’t stress this enough. As the owner of a book marketing company, one of the biggest hurdles I face is getting book reviews for clients. Yes, I have a network I can introduce titles to for reviews, but that only goes so far. You need to ask for reviews anywhere, everywhere, and as often as you can. The reality is, most people mean well and will review your book, but they also get busy and have lives. Reminders are helpful to both parties in this situation. So get it of your head that you are being a pest, and instead focus on and feel confident that more book reviews are simply an email or social media post away. When you look at it that way, it’s really quite simple.
This is an often-overlooked author marketing strategy but it’s a great way to gain super fans and sell more books in the long run. If you didn’t know, Amazon lets people comment on product reviews, including book reviews. So use the comment feature to thank people who have reviewed your book positively, and if you have another release coming out soon, let them know. If someone had a few critical notes of your book, keep it classy, and see if you can’t address them in a positive, productive way that will make you come across as an author who is truly dedicated to readers and fans of your genre or topic.
Update Your Categories and Keywords
My book marketing company offers custom category and keyword research, but I’ve also put out a lot of free info out there on how to tackle this yourself. If you want to sell more books, you need to be showing up in searches being done by buyers in your target market. This is where good keywords come in. And keywords change and evolve throughout the year, with seasons, holidays, etc. so this is not a stagnant author marketing strategy. Making sure you’re in super niche categories essentially means you’ll rank higher with every sale. So be sure you’ve gone down the rabbit hole as far as you can, and you better your chances of having a top 10 or number 1 book!
Update All Your Bios
Hopefully you have something new or exciting to report! If you want to sell more books you need to keep your fans and potential buyers interested in what’s happening right now – demand their attention. Update your bios on your social, on Amazon, your website, and anywhere else you’re represented online. Highlight an upcoming release, an interview you just did, whatever you can do to keep you and your brand current. Have a super-current bio gives positive impressions to your fans and followers: you’re on top of things. An added bonus is that changes to your online presence also have a positive impact on your SEO scores.
Set Up an eBook Promotion
If you want to sell more books you need to get in front of more readers and buyers. It’s really basic math. It’s ideal if you can discount your book for the promotion dates, but not absolutely necessary. If you have control over your Amazon account and pricing, drop the price. Everyone loves a sale, even if they save $1.00. It adds urgency. If you don’t have control over your pricing, and your eBook at least falls in the sweet spot – so $5.99 or less – you can get away without discounting and still get decent spikes in traffic and sell more books in a short period of time. Plenty of eBook promotion sites, like Kindle Nation Daily, offer promotion opportunities to both discounted books AND full price books.
So let’s review your To Do List: ask for reviews, thank reviewers, and while you’re on Amazon doing that, check out your categories and keywords and give them a good tune up. Set aside some time to get your bio updated on every platform on which you appear and then top it all off with a sale to celebrate.
You got this!
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a bestselling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She was named one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Amazon Optimization programs as well as Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of 18 books, including How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2021 Amazon Ads Powerhouse Edition, Revise and Re-Release Your Book, 5-Minute Book Marketing, and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet." Her next book, From Book to Bestseller, is due out in Spring 2021.
AME has had dozens of books on top bestseller lists, including those of The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.