I hate book marketing. I’d much rather be writing. Do you hate it too? Excellent. We’re on the same page. Unfortunately, although we can hate it as much as we like — it’s nevertheless necessary. We need to make our books visible, and we can do it in ten minutes a day.
If you’re still hoping to get out of book marketing consistently, and believe that readers will somehow magically discover you, I love this analogy. Does it sound like you? Lemonade equals your book(s):
“You decide to sell lemonade. You make the lemonade, investing in all the best ingredients… you ran out of time and supplies, so you have no signs… Kenny from across the street… (has) huge signs “KENNY’S LEMONADE 50c”… Kenny’s booth is super swamped, while nobody is coming over to yours.”
Here’s how to get people buying your lemonade.
Book marketing in ten minutes a day
Let’s look at some book marketing tips which are easy, and which you can do in ten minutes a day (or less) a day.
1. Add the MyBookTable plugin (if you have a WordPress blog)
I adore the MyBookTable plugin. I can’t believe how long it took me to discover it.
The above isn’t an affiliate link; I get nothing out of sharing this amazing plugin with you. I’m telling you about it because I like you. If you have WordPress and want to sell books, install it. You’ll thank me.
2. Pay attention to your book’s meta data: Amazon is a search engine (and so is Google… duh…)
Meta data is data about data. Meta data includes:
- Your book’s title, description, and the keywords you use;
- Your book’s category.
My favorite meta data tool is KDSpy. I’m a long way from using it to its fullest potential. I’ve seen authors create amazing results, just from spending time on their meta data. (Again, I make nothing out of recommending this tool to you — I like the tool, and I like you. :-))
Amazon is a search engine and database.
Once your books are in Amazon’s database because you published them, they join millions of other books. Amazon’s search function, like Google’s, is a series of scripts. You trigger those scripts to present your books to buyers via the meta data you use.
BTW, ALL the book retailers have search engines, and all use meta data, not just Amazon.
Also, remember that Google — the ultimate search engine — indexes Amazon. From SEO for books is vital in increasing your book’s discoverability:
“As in the case with my book example above, every time I write a post about this particular book, I use a few of my focus keywords again. Say I write ten posts over a couple of years about this book, anytime someone searches for say, spy thrillers or British Secret Service, they may well find three or four indexed entries for my book on Google or Bing Search on the first page or two.”
3. Spend a few minutes on your mailing list, every week
You need a mailing list.
I’ve been using aweber for a decade, but there are many mailing list services. Try one, try two, try them all. Nothing in your book marketing is an important as an active mailing list. Aweber provides some great tutorials to get you started.
4. Build up your blog, and your life will change
Your blog is your book marketing hub.
If you’re not blogging, start a blog as a matter of urgency. I know that currently there’s a trend for spending a lot of money on Facebook advertising, and calling your marketing good. This is all very well. For now.
However, it’s short-sighted. Nothing lasts. Once the money you’re spending on advertising outstrips the money you’re making, what will you do then? You need a content strategy which is supported by advertising. Without that, when Facebook changes the rules, as they will, your publishing income drops to zero.
If you’re all at sea with book marketing, spend ten minutes a day on your blog. It makes all the difference, as you’ll discover.
5. Read and study, to write better books, and market your books more effectively
These tips aren’t in any particular order. If they were, I’d make this the most important tip. There’s a lot to learn about writing, publishing, and marketing. Learning never ends.
Read, and study. Put what you learn into practice.
Bonus tip, if your ebook sales have dropped off a cliff
Oh, the horror… Some authors’ ebook sales are way down:
In September, Amazon started to clean house to eliminate scammers, unfortunately this algorithm change seems to have impacted innocent authors too.
Free ebooks on the ebook retailers are much less useful than they were even a year ago. Until the dust settles, you may want to avoid offering permanently free ebooks.
I gave you some advice in the above post, including the tip about free ebooks. Can “free” harm your sales? I don’t know, but in the current climate, they may not be helping you much, especially if you’re all-in with Amazon. Speaking from my own experience, I decided to nuke freebies on the ebook retailers last year. It wasn’t an effective marketing strategy, and it might have been hurting sales.
As I said in the post, “The ebook market is maturing.” It’s time to start marketing, and keeping marketing. And it only takes a few minutes a day.
Ten minutes a day, every day — your marketing efforts will grow your self-publishing career
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Everyone has ten minutes day. Schedule your ten minutes. You’ll be amazed at the difference a little book marketing can make.
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Updated: February 9, 2018