Learn to be out front and be more comfortable as the face of your book marketing efforts.
These days it doesn’t matter if you have a traditional publishing contract, if you self-publish or if you publish with a hybrid publishing partner. When it comes down to selling books, it’s not enough to write the book; you have to be involved in the marketing side of things as well. Of course, you can get some marketing training and some practical assistance to keep things humming along, but no one will be able to sell your book as well or as passionately as you (the author) can. That’s why it’s crucial to take ownership of your book’s marketing efforts if you want those sales numbers to climb higher.
At the same time, sometimes that passion and personality that first led you to successfully write and publish your book can inhibit your potential as the lead marketing force behind your book. But if that’s the case, you can’t let it hold your book sales down!
Let me help you to cultivate the mindset of a marketer and sell more of your books today.
Don’t Be Afraid, Be Book Positive
The truth is that many authors are introverts, or are naturally shy, or experience bouts of self-doubt, or don’t particularly enjoy being in the spotlight, or are scared of being judged and criticized. If any of that rings true for you as well, that doesn’t mean you have to let those feelings hold you back from selling more books.
In my experience, many authors have a great many intelligent things to say, but they can balk at the whirlwind of speeches, interviews, social media interactions and general shout-from-the-rooftops activity they often imagine book marketing to be. But that’s not what successful book marketing is about.
Book marketing at its core is about building relationships with others, like your readers, friendly bloggers, fellow experts, etc. It’s about getting to know them, listening to what they want and then satisfying those needs.
Chances are you know your book is great and you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a friend who needed that kind of wisdom in his or her life. So why not do more of that?
You don’t need to be a spammy marketer or do things that you aren’t comfortable with to sell your book. You just need to do more of the things that you can do to build book-positive relationships.
Does the concept of giving speeches at events make you break out in hives? Then try connecting with people on forums and through blogs instead. Do you bristle at the idea of shouting into the void on social media? Then try to build real connections with local groups or else work to foster a community spirit among your social media contacts. These are just a couple of examples, but you get the idea.
Find Your Groove, Don’t Give Up
Cultivating the mindset of a marketer can set you up for sustainable book sales and repeatable success as an author.
It’s all about the long haul. You see, book launch activities may form an important part of your initial book marketing efforts, but your book launch won’t mark the beginning and the end of your marketing mission. Unless you don’t genuinely want to sell your books, then you should plan to make book marketing a regular habit. Like in gardening, you’ll need to be methodical, persistent and patient before you can really enjoy the fruits of your labor.
So what does every marketer have? Drumroll please… a marketing plan! And you should have one as well. In the first section, we touched on finding book-positive, relationship-building activities that respect your natural inclinations and talents. Now start your marketing plan by sitting down and creating as big a list of these activities as your time and imagination will allow.
Classify each activity into one of three groups: A, B and C. Put all of the activities that you would most enjoy doing and/or you believe would yield the best results into Group A. Then put all of the activities that aren’t necessarily your favorite but you wouldn’t mind doing, along with the activities you believe would yield solid though not necessarily stellar results, into Group B. Lastly, put the remaining activities into Group C.
Consider how much time you have to devote to book marketing each week. 30 minutes? Three hours? Three days? Whatever that figure looks like, be honest with yourself. What can you comfortably commit to to get your book sales numbers exactly where you want them to be?
Now assemble your plan. Create an activity schedule using your Group A activity list and the amount of time you have each week. Let’s say you have four activities in your Group A and one day to devote to your marketing activities. You might decide to focus on one of the four activities each week, or you might decide to dedicate two hours to each of the four activities each week.
Every three to six months, or on a schedule that works for you, briefly take stock of what you’re doing. What is working well? What is working less well? If you need to, progressively start adding in or substituting activities from Group B. Then when that list is exhausted, move on to Group C or start generating a new list.
The key is just to experiment, have fun, build relationships, help other people and sell more of your books. Go out and find your groove and don’t give up!
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.
For more information, including about DCP’s programs for writers including Writers’ Sprint, Memoir Writing Made Easy and Aspiring Author to Published Pro, please get in touch at publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com.