Do you know the difference between book marketing and book sales? Well, it’s pretty easy.
Book marketing is raising awareness. It’s the social campaigns, the websites, the Amazon profiles; it’s what introduces you and your book to a potential reader. Meanwhile, book sales is done by your book. Is your work good enough to secure the sale? Is your cover enticing and your description flawless? I hope the answer is yes if you’re doing all this work to market it.
If you’re drawing potential readers to your book and getting them in the door, but you’re not getting many sales, that’s a sign there’s something wrong with your book, not with your marketing.
So let’s dig in and find out what really matters:
1. Know your buyer market.
The first secret to generating sales is knowing who your buyer market is. Everything you do should be done with your reader in mind. You may think you know your reader, but if a lot of what you’re doing in your book marketing is failing, this could be the reason. You can’t sell a puppy to a cat person. If you’re following the strategies popular for romance readers but you write historical biographies, you’re probably not targeting the right readers.
2. Make sure your Amazon book page is solid.
Don’t be a grey box on Amazon. Fill up your author profile, and never leave out a profile picture. Show readers who you are and why they should want to read your book. Too many authors leave out their bio or don’t have a good description.
3. Fail fast.
I know this sounds awful. Why would I want to mention the “f” word in a positive article on book marketing? Well, the truth is we all fail. The trick is to fail quickly and get ahead of it. If your book cover isn’t right, replace it. If your opening chapter isn’t a hit, rewrite it. Whatever the reason, don’t hang onto the idea of your book if it’s not selling. Find out what’s wrong and fix it. A lack of sales often means there’s something that needs fixing.
4. Book marketing and book sales are not one in the same.
Before a plane can take off they first charge the runway, then the plane can fly. The runway is your marketing. It’s your brand and platform. It’s where you prepare for take off. The longer you’ve been writing and publishing books, the shorter (in theory) your runway needs to be. If you’re new to the game, you’ll likely need to work on building your name.
5. Make sure you’re doing all the right things.
One of the biggest issues many authors face is picking the wrong book marketing. There are a lot of fun strategies out there for you to try, but you’ll need to listen to your readers and get to know where they are. Are you sure they’re on TikTok? Do they actually listen to podcasts? Smart marketing gets you in front of the right people and, in the end, that’s the only bottom line that’s worth targeting.
If what’s happened since your book launch has been less than ideal, it’s time to reflect and try again. There are so many great strategies out there to help you market your book, gain the awareness it needs, then generate sales. It may take time and money, but it will all be worth it to watch the sales flow.
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 visibility campaigns as well offering national media pitching, online book marketing, author events, and other strategies designed to build the author/book visibility.
She is the author of 18 books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon, Revise and Re-Release Your Book, 5-Minute Book Marketing for Authors, and From Book to Bestseller. She also hosts the top ranking podcast Book Marketing Tips and Author Success.
AME has had dozens of books on top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.