Every author wants their book to sell. Unfortunately, most authors are hoping the Book Fairly will magically swoop down and push up their title to the top of the Amazon Best Sellers List – better yet, the New York TImes Best Sellers List.
While you’re waiting for that to happen, here are the most tried-and true – proved things YOU can do to help get your message into the hands of the most readers possible. Note that none of these ideas are expensive. They just take time and effort.
- Get endorsements – Endorsements are essentially product reviews. You want to get at least 20. Work to get them from people who represent spheres of influence… People who have a following. Anyone willing to endorse your book might also be willing to recommend your book to their audience.
- Get on Amazon – Yes you want to know your book can be ordered from any bookstore in the country. But the fact of the matter is, that the majority of books sold in America are sold on Amazon, so make sure you are there and your listing is set up properly. There are several important things you need to do here:
- Be sure you have the Look Inside feature set up
- Have a compelling description that doesn’t just say what your book is about, but shares how it will help the reader – what pain points it will solve.
- Set up an author page where you can add videos, links to your website, more backstory about the book, ways to engage with you
- Be sure your book is available in print, ebook and audiobook
- Get lots of positive customer reviews
- Work to improve your ranking within the categories you have established in your book
- Get Speaking Engagements – The authors make the most money and sell the most books are the ones who are out speaking on topics related to their book. You can join a speakers bureau, but while you are waiting for those big speaking gigs, start locally speaking at Rotary, Kiwanis, local chamber of commerce, any organization that needs a speaker. You need to be out speaking about your book.
- Build your email list – If you don’t already have a robust email database, start now in developing one. Your email database is the best measure of the size of your audience. These are people you can talk directly to, people who will most likely open your email and read what you have to say. Build a campaign to both collect new email names and have a series of e-blasts that offers valuable content based on your book.
- Identify Your Influencers – Who are the people you know who have their own following? It could be a blogger who has a large readership, a financial planner who oversees hundreds of brokers, a college professor who has a large list of students, a restaurant owner who has a large customer base. Everyone know people of influence. Make a list of the people of influence you know and then think of what you can offer that would give them a reason to want to promote your book to their audience. Will some people do this just to help you? Perhaps. But think about what you can offer that would bring value to them or to their audience. Make it easy for them to want to promote your book to their tribe.
- Use Social Media the Right Way – Asking your followers to buy your book doesn’t work all that well. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram are not set up to be selling sites – they are social sites. So be sociable. As your followers to recommend your book to their followers. Offer insights from your book and ask people to share those insights with their friends.
- Send Out Review Copies – Make a list of the periodical papers, blog sites radio station and television programs that review books or feature articles and interviews on topics covered in your book. Then send these people a review copy of your book along with a press release and/or article that is adapted from your book. Follow up with phone calls. The key here is to offer valuable content that their readers, viewers and listeners would be interested in. Nobody is interested in promoting your book – what they want is content that will help them sell subscriptions or gain more listeners and viewers. So be interesting and relevant to what their followers want.
- Build a Landing Page – for anyone who has heard about your book or is looking for information on the topic of your book where do they go to find that? The internet of course. So make sure you have a highly searchable website or landing page within your current website that shows and tells about your book. Offer a free download of a sample section. Post positive reviews. Share the backstory of why you wrote the book. Tell how the book is making people’s lives better. Make your book irresistible and easy to order.
- Go for Bulk Sales – I have a friend who told me; “It’s just as easy to sell a box of books as it is to sell one book.” So find organizations who would benefit by re-selling your book to their audience, or even donating them. Come up with a deeply discounted wholesale rate that incentivizes organizations to purchase your book in quantities of 50, 100, 250 or more.
- Go for Sponsorship or Charity Sales – Find a non-profit organization who has a cause you believe in and offer to donate $2, $5 even $10 of every book sold to that cause. Ask the sponsoring organization to promote this to their followers as a way for them to generate new donations. Find other organizations who believe in the same cause who would be willing to promote your book to their audience for the same reason.
Are there more things you can do? Of course! Should you need help in executing any of these things, call us at 407-563-4806 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be honored to help.