One of the most important things authors must do is gain visibility. As the old saying goes, “You can have the best product or service, but if people don’t know you exist, it does you (and them) no good.”
Your book may be a masterpiece, but if readers have no idea it exists, you likely won’t sell many copies. Sure, there’s always the exception to the rule, but as a general rule, you MUST gain visibility.
There’s online and offline visibility. Depending on your market, your offerings and your goals, would determine where you need to put your effort.
Why am I Not Selling Books?
I’ve been consulting with authors for many years now. The one question that always comes up is this, “Why am I not selling more books?”
Without fail, it’s usually because the author is doing little, even nothing, to promote their books. Sure, they may tell family and friends, post an announcement on Facebook and Twitter, but beyond that, they have no strategy.
Countless authors have not understood nor have they been willing to take responsibility for sales of their books. Many still believe all they need to do is get a book to market and somehow readers will find it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As with physical books, it is necessary for authors to take control of marketing their books, regardless of the chosen format.
In the past few years, online book launches have become very popular. In the late nineties a few progressive marketers gathered together dozens (even hundreds) of joint-venture partners, who would help spread the word about the author’s book.
In trade for promoting the book, the partners would offer an ethical bribe in hopes of getting lots of opt-in subscribers. Launches came and went in one day. There was a big hurrah for 24 hours but then things fizzled out.
Although an author could feasibly sell hundreds, even thousands, of books with a one-day launch, most had no plan for what came next.
Additionally, most book buyers are no longer interested in a bunch of useless bonus gifts they will never use. Today’s reader would much rather get a quality book. Bonuses can still work, but fewer are better, and they absolutely need to be a high complement to the topic of the book.
A More Sophisticated Approach
Today, more than ever, an author needs a more sophisticated approach to a book launch. Not only does the author need to plan for what I refer to as a rolling launch, but to get the greatest result, the launch needs to begin as much as 6-12 months before the book-release date.
A rolling launch simply means it is ongoing and has more benefit than simply being able to say the book hit bestseller on Amazon.com and BN.com for a day.
Fortunately, many authors are finally realizing that in order to have a successful book launch they need a long- term view for the success of their book. Below are a few considerations for your own book launch.
To get the most out of your book promotions it is best to have a three-pronged approach.
- Post Launch
Your pre-launch efforts should be to build a community of potential buyers. You can do this by being highly visible on social networks, building your opt-in subscriber list, submitting articles to various online article directories, guest blogging and interviews.
Your launch will include many of the same aspects as a prelaunch but now you are driving traffic to either an online book store or your own website.
Post launch is where you create other opportunities for readers to invest in other products and services you offer.
Identify Your Reader
To get the most out of your efforts you need to identify your ideal readers.
- Who are they?
- Where do they hang out?
- Social networks
- Radio programs
You should also prepare as much of the following as possible:
- Media releases
- Interviews opportunities
- Blog posts for your blog and guest blogging opportunities
- Articles for your ezine
- Book video trailer
- Affiliate partners who will promote your book with an up sell opportunity on the back end.
- Optimize your profile on all your social-media platforms
- Images, videos, presentations to be dripped out during launch
- Prepare images for Pinterest
- YouTube videos
- Develop a series of videos with tips that tie into your book
- Slideshare can be huge for a book launch
If your goal is to simply write a book and get it listed on Amazon, then you need not do much else other than write and publish the book. However, if your goal is to make money from your writing and generate multiple streams of revenue then you absolutely must have an extremely strategic approach to all you do.
Ready to Hit #1 on Amazon? Check out my FREE report that teaches you exactly how.
Thank you, Kathleen. I think you were speaking directly to me. Thanks for sharing this.
So glad you enjoyed the information.