As indie authors, we all want to sell more books. And with 2017 barreling its way through January, I want to share with you 10 ways that you can make the most of your book promotion efforts. As I’m sure you’ve learned a successful book marketing plan is made up of a range of actions that build on one another, and it’s wise to vary your efforts to get the most bang for your investment—whether it's time or money or a combination thereof. So with this in mind, here are some of the top ways that you can sell more books in 2017.
A Dozen Do's to Help You Sell More Books
1. Be consistent: Whatever you do, do it across the board. So often indie authors try to do more than their time and bandwidth allow. Fix this by picking the things you know you can do consistently and forgetting the rest. Trust me, you will make greater strides in your efforts if you do.
2. Price your book to sell: How does your book stack up to its competitors? If you’re not sure, please review my prior post on book pricing strategies to sell more books.
3. Do an eBook promotion: You really can’t do too many of these—and you don’t need to give away your books for free all the time. Even discounting your book by $1 can generate a big surge in sales. Read this for tips on successful eBook promotions!
4. Refresh, repackage, or reboot your older books: As your older books continue to age, consider refreshing your bookshelf by re-releasing older books, or even breaking older books into smaller ones and creating a new bundle. This will help you sell more books from your back catalog.
5. Get creative: Now more than ever, we need to get creative with our book marketing efforts, whether we’re pitching to bloggers and media or working on our social media. Consider using any and all book tie-ins, no matter how off the wall. One example that I’ve used before is how I used a presidential election to make a romance novel into a bestseller.
6. Do more videos: Let’s face it, video is big and only going to get bigger in the new year. If you don’t have a YouTube channel you may want to grab one and repurpose any of your Facebook or Periscope videos and put them on YouTube! Here are some tips on using video for book promotion!
7. Develop Superfans: Make your fans feel special. Maybe you want to create a VIP reader group on Facebook where you give them early access to books, gift card promos ($5 on Amazon), contests, and exclusive content.
8. Start an email list: It’s a great way to stay in front of fans and on their radar. Consider including a letter in the back of your book that invites your readers to join. Or, offer a free copy of your book for your email subscribers and run ads on Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook!
9. Use your back matter: Including a letter in the back of your books is one of the most effective ways to market your other books. You only need to do this with your eBook, since live links are most effective in an electronic format, although you can also include one with your print book, too. So what would the live link lead to? Well, it could be to your website, a bonus content you are offering, or you might invite readers to sign up for your newsletter and ask for an honest review on Amazon.
10. Don’t chase shiny objects: This is more of a precaution than a book marketing action item. Throughout the year lots of new opportunities pop up—and if you’re anything like me, it’s often hard to resist them. But your time is limited, so make sure that you don’t allow yourself to be distracted from proven tactics that will help you sell more books.
11. Network with other authors: Join online groups, go to writer events or join local author groups. Networking with other, similar authors is not just good business, it can help you brainstorm new ideas, and most likely expand your knowledge!
12. Host an event at your library: While bookstore events can be great, libraries are often big, missed opportunities to connect with serious readers.
Make Your Plan and Get Going!
With 2017 off to a brisk start, take some time to review these ideas and factor them into your marketing plan. If you haven’t built one yet, it’s time to get started! With a roadmap in place, you’ll stay focused and on task and sell more books… and maybe just maybe you’ll have the next bestseller!
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