A book, no matter how impressively written, will not sell itself. All too often, authors are a one-person-band, in charge of the writing, editing, marketing and selling. The process can be exciting, but also frustrating. Here are a few refreshing tips and reminders from industry experts.
The Importance of Marketing Consultants
Companies like Amazon have provided a host of marketing tools for self-published authors, and they can be effective when used in concert with solid reviews, a great book cover, an A-level plot summary and parallel marketing tactics.
But the simple truth that most writers don’t want to hear? If they want to sell a lot of books, they need marketing help.
A seasoned marketing consultant is a writer’s secret weapon to success. According to Cindy Ratzlaff, an expert marketer who developed award-winning publicity campaigns for hundreds of New York Times bestsellers, feels that a marketing consultant can help new authors tap into the publishing industry: “A marketing consultant can help a new author navigate all of the metrics that must be in place in order for a book to be successful, including a promotional plan that coordinates the timing of in-person and online advertising and publicity, consumer outreach, and social networking that should all occur simultaneously when point of purchase ebook and print retail distribution is active.”
It’s Still Up to Authors to Build an Online Presence
Ratzlaff is quick to point out that it’s up to authors to build a social media platform to increase their reach and visibility. For non-fiction writers, creating a blog will help attract traffic from Google, and give writers a way to connect with their audience, which can help spread news regarding the book through their own blog networks. According to Stephanie Chandler, CEO of Authority Publishing and author of several marketing books, authors need to commit time in promoting their work via social media every day, and look for groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to effectively reach their target audience.
Put an Emphasis on eBook Publishing
While print publishing is still very much alive, authors will get more reach – and can do so more economically – by also publishing digitally. No longer just devices for playing and making calls, smartgadgets have evolved into portable e-readers with multiple settings to make reading easier on the eyes. Gaming Realms, an authority in software development and creators of Free Bingo Hunter, suggests that the increased adoption of smartphones by consumers, which currently accounts for 17% of mobile usage, is facilitated by the increase in mobile internet capabilities. People no longer have to wait for a bookstore to open when they can simply fire up their devices, browse Apple or Android’s app market, and download a book of their choice. There’s no point in keeping up with tradition to only sell via print. Even the Bible, one of the oldest publications in history, has a myriad of versions available for tech-savvy readers.
Consider Creating Soundtracks for your Books
Book marketing expert and author Joanna Penn wrote an fascinating blog about her experiments with a service called Booktrack. It’s not an audiobook in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s actually a soundtrack that readers will listen to while reading your book. While she admits that the marketing opportunities for booktracks is still in its infancy, she offers several suggestions, adding “The market for booktracks is out there. The challenge right now is reaching it.”
The bottom line? Writers need to take advantage of every available channel in order to market their books well. When needed, go to the guru, but also be aware of all the tools available to you.