Happy New Year! As we enter 2019, you might feel overwhelmed with resolutions or the desire to improve upon last year’s book sales. Sometimes, the hardest part of attaining success is figuring out the right priorities to make your focus. There is a plethora of ways to market books, so authors can fall into analysis-paralysis. To help ease your mind, here’s my 10 Book Marketing “Do’s and Don’ts” for the new year:
1. Do Grow Your Email List
My most successful author clients have large email lists with over 50,000 subscribers. If you don’t have a newsletter, start one today. If you do, maintain consistency and focus on growing your database. Encourage signups by offering a free resource to attract new subscribers. Set a minimum goal to add at least 100 new subscribers per month.
2. Don’t Let Your Amazon Page Languish
During 2018, I talked about Amazon’s dominance over the publishing industry. They sell nearly 50% of all print books and over 70% of all e-books in the U.S. If you want to sell more books, your Amazon book detail page must shine. I teach how to master this topic in my books and courses. Don’t overlook the importance of Amazon in 2019.
3. Do Advertise Your Books
Advertising makes some authors nervous due to all the money that can be wasted on Facebook. But, there are affordable options on a cost-per-click basis with Amazon and BookBub that every author should consider. You won’t sell more books if you only market to the same people over and over. Advertising is the fast track to reach new readers.
4. Don’t Let Your Website Get Stale
Are you guilty of going through 2018 without updating your website? If so, you’re implying that your author brand and books are stagnant. Your website is your “digital first impression.” This year, liven up your online presence by adding new articles, samples, testimonials, short stories, updated bio, video testimonials, case studies, blog posts, etc.
5. Do Launch New Products
For every book you write, especially nonfiction, there are usually 2 – 3 spin-off opportunities. Examples can include audiobooks, curriculum, devotionals, workbooks, video courses, public speaking, consulting opportunities, fiction sequels, novellas, theatrical rights, etc. Make a point to launch several new products in 2019 as entirely new material or spin-offs from past books.
6. Don’t Forget Your Backlist
The life of an author means constantly writing new books, so it’s easy to forget your backlist and let those titles languish. But, to the average reader, every book is new if they haven’t read it yet. Make a concerted effort to remind people about your backlist. Revive interest with a limited time discount. Host a webinar related to a backlist book. People can’t buy what they don’t know exists.
7. Do Attend Major Conferences to Meet Readers
Where do large groups of readers gather? At major conferences and events. If you want to expand your author platform, go where you can rub shoulders with readers. Pick at least one new conference to attend and put it in your 2019 budget. For example, I’ll be speaking at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City this August. Come see me!
8. Don’t Burn Yourself Out
The typical author can work a tireless schedule, especially in the midst of family or another job. Downtime can get pushed to the backburner, which leads to exhaustion, stress, and lower creativity. Plan your vacations now and make them sacrosanct. You’ll face 2019 feeling more relaxed knowing a vacation is already on the books.
9. Do Pursue Bulk Book Sales
Bulk sales provide more revenue with less effort. For example, if you’re an author who speaks at conferences, encourage the event director to buy your book for every attendee. Provide volume discounts or create a special version of your book unique to the customer, such as a custom cover, exclusive content, bonuses, etc. Why sell books one at a time when you can sell 100 books en masse?
10. Don’t Avoid Your Personal Development and Growth
Don’t view professional development as an expense. When you hire a coach or take an online course, you are investing money today in order to make more money tomorrow. But, only take advice from someone who has succeeded at achieving your intended goal. If you want to increase your book sales, you must increase your marketing skills.
As you read these 10 Marketing Do’s and Don’ts, I hope you’ll pick two or three issues and make them the focus for this month.
Don’t let this advice go to waste. Do have a happy and fruitful 2019!