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We’re told that the best way to market a book is to write another one. But when you have a fairly healthy amount of books on the Amazon bookshelf, say ten plus, and the daily sales figures are still in the single digits, what can you do to market your books more effectively?
The first and obvious place to begin is with social media; there are literally thousands of book promotion sites on Facebook alone; but while it seems perfect to be able to just drop your book links onto these pages and watch the sales pour in, just think carefully about why this is very unlikely to work. Authors seeking publicity join these groups in their droves and trust me, they are not there to buy books, they are there to sell their own.
So taking a deeper look at these groups that seem to offer so much for the publicity-hungry writers, ask yourself this question: how many of the thousands of group members do you think are looking to buy your book? Well, the reality is, probably none. If you are an active member of these groups; active meaning that you participate in conversation and the exchanging of advice, then you may just sell a few books to other authors who feel they have a connection with you. Aside from that, you are actually just adding your advert to thousands of others that day. Hundreds of writers posting hundreds of book blurbs just means that your advert stays at the top of the page for all of about 30 seconds, and within the next 30 minutes, your book will have dropped off the page never to be found again. So you re-post every day, sometimes even two or three times a day, and that’s when you realise; you’re just doing what everyone else is doing and not really achieving very much because you are trying to sell books to writers, not readers. Of course, you could always pay someone on Fiverr to blast your book advert out to all social media, but this has become a widespread service which is used fairly excessively by many authors with the same result: writers trying to sell to other writers.
So how do you find groups that may serve a better purpose? You need to be thinking laterally and looking for groups that have an interest in what your book is about. Say you have written a book on dog training, join all the groups you can find that are dedicated to an interest in dogs. Seems obvious, right? Here’s the rub; you are going to have to work harder in these groups; actually become part of the community and make connections; you need to establish that you have some authority on the subject before you can launch any kind of hard sell. This all seems so time consuming but it’s probably the best way to ensure sales. Sure, it’s easier to drop links into book promotion groups and leave immediately but you really are just a drop in the ocean that way. By building a relationship with potential customers in a different group, you will achieve better results; yes, it is going to take longer but it will be more beneficial.
Another option is to go with a paid book promotion service like BookBub. This is a site for serious readers who are looking for high quality books and if you want to reach those readers, you are going to have to pay hundreds of pounds/dollars to get your book on their radar. The payoff will be guaranteed sales, hopefully enough to cover or exceed your initial outlay, There are strict quality guidelines though, and your book will quite possibly be rejected many times before you meet the full criteria, but this is definitely an option to give some serious consideration to.
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind the ‘write the next book’ marketing strategy, as it is likely to work in the long term. If you still want to post your links in social media without establishing the connections which take time, well I suppose it can’t hurt. Any publicity is worth having, but pay some attention to what you are doing. It’s hard not to go for easy options when it comes to marketing, and social media offers very easy ways to promote your book; just be aware that every other writer will be doing the same. Clever promotion is what will really boost sales.
Writerpreneur Magazine has been created by author and journalist Ruth Newman to guide, encourage, inform and inspire you on your self-publishing adventures.