How can you boost book sales? There is no quick answer to this question because book marketing is an ongoing process. Still, you can have some marketing strategies and take steps that will impact sales. Each day, no matter what is going on, no matter how busy you are, you can take a proactive step.
Keeping a book marketing log is one way to track your steps. That’s what I do and the method is working for me. I also keep and update a financial sheet.
Although I can crank out a manuscript quickly, format it for submission, post on social media, and send emails, my skills end there. So I search for simple solutions like keeping a book log. Reading past entries made me realize that my marketing steps fall into several groups: reviews, social media, special websites, “freebies,” and new directions.
Get Amazon reviews. This company is the largest book seller in the nation. Website visitors pay attention to the reviews, so the publisher advised authors to get at least 10 reviews, and strive for more. As I discovered, getting reviews is slow. Friends who agree to write reviews are often busy with their own lives. Some people are too busy to read a book, let alone write a review. Allow lots of lead time if you pursue this route.
Tap social media. I found a social media marketing service that looked like a good fit for me, and signed up for two promotions. The company is posting on social media and created two ads–services that cost me just over $200. Although many people are reposting, only time will tell if these efforts lead to substantial sales. According to my publisher, sales are picking up.
Give books away. Surprising as it may seem, giving books away is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, form of advertising. “Freebies” are cheaper than print and television ads. I keep a supply of books on hand and have given them to potential reviewers and community groups. As a former publisher explained, “People feel special when you give them a book.”
Use review websites. Your publisher may post your book on a website that downloads free books in return for reviews. But the people who receive your book may not follow through with a review. My publisher sends me the email addresses for those who received my book, and I send them an email thank you. Hopefully, my thanks will prompt the person to write a review. You may also contact a professional reviewing service and pay for a review. If you do this, be prepared for a favorable or unfavorable review.
Follow leads. I donated books to an elder network organization in my home town and The Salvation Army, two organizations that work together. When I donated the books, I offered to give talks and workshops that expand my books. Both organizations have expressed interest in this idea. In order to follow leads, you need to be on the lookout for them. New leads can lead to new sales.
I am following my own one-a-day advice. Every day I take one step to foster book sales. This approach has energized me, led to new contacts, and generated more Internet listings. The one-a-day approach may work for you.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 35 books. Her latest releases: Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, The Family Caregiver’s Guide, Affirmations for Family Caregivers, and A Journal for Family Caregivers. Visit her website and learn more about this busy author, grandmother, and caregiver.
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