As a columnist for Book Business Magazine, my latest article is entitled, “How to Grade an Author’s Marketing Ability.” Below is an excerpt with a link to the complete article. If you’re a publisher or an author at any level, you will find this information both revealing and essential.
Every publisher has endured the horror of paying an author a big advance – only to watch that author do little marketing and sabotage their book launch. It’s a costly mistake that can quickly erode revenue and profits if the problem happens too often.
Recently, I worked with a first-time author who received a six-figure advance from his publisher. But, halfway through writing the book, the author decided he no longer felt interested in the process, turned in a bland manuscript, changed jobs, ignored the book’s release, and cost the publisher thousands of dollars.
I share this story because I see too many publishers incorrectly assess an author’s platform and actual marketing aptitude. The mistake typically revolves around placing incorrect emphasis on the author’s social media statistics or past performance. However, as people on Wall Street are keen to say, “Past performance is not indicative of future results.”
Examining an author’s social media popularity is like assigning grades to students based on their accent or physical attractiveness. It’s subjective and largely unrelated to the actual skillset needed to succeed. There is little correlation between the amount of Facebook followers an author displays and the amount of actual book sales they can generate.
Convincing someone to buy a book will always be a subjective process. Yet, publishers have access to objective marketing data about what works and what doesn’t. Informed publishers should focus greater attention on numbers that reveal more confidence about an author’s actual marketing ability. I recommend using these four metrics…
- Are you an author who would like to take your book marketing abilities to the next level?
- Are you a publisher with authors who need to learn how to sell more books?
Get help from the most accomplished book marketer in America: