Hello and Welcome Authors, Writers and Readers,
Here is a special message and article from a great place I enjoy receiving awesome advice to pass on to all my book clients I promote. As authors and writers, we all know that book sales and reviews don’t happen over night. It takes a long while to build a readership and a social media presence. Many new authors get discouraged so early in their book promoting efforts. But the BEST ADVICE I had ever received was from my own publisher. And? He was exactly spot on of what he shared with me . . .
“It takes many months, days and hours of promoting your books. And it won’t happen overnight. It takes many, many tireless hours to promote ones book effectively.” I found he was right. It took me a good year of non-stop promoting my first book before it caught fire! But when it did? So many awesome doors opened. And my social media followings were growing too! So, for those who don’t always take advice at “face value”?
Marsha Freedman is a long-time PR Professional for The PR Insider, and in this article she shares what it takes to promote your books and yourself as an author to get those book sales! She has been in this PR business for a long time and knows what it takes. And much of what she talks about? It is much of what I do for al my book/author clients . . .
My Publicity and Promoting Is Solid, So Where Are My Book Sales?
“I see this scenario played out too often.”
Authors launch a PR campaign, they get a few impressive hits in print, on the radio or on TV, and they sit back expecting the book sales to come surging in. Sometimes they do. But just as often they don’t.
Why? The reason is simple: Getting media and social media exposure is just one element involved in an overall marketing plan. While public relations on occasion can lead to direct sales, it’s really a branding tool, a way to get your name out there so you can then leverage your newly acquired recognition into bottom-line rewards.
That can take time. Even a mention in a top-tier publication, such as the New York Times or USA Today, has limited impact if everything stops right there or you don’t get additional traction out of it by linking to the article on your website or sharing it on social media channels.
While there is no marketing strategy that can guarantee huge sales, there are certainly steps you can take to improve your odds.
- A professional-looking blog or website: Your website could be your first interaction with readers, and they will make a judgment about you and your book based on what they see. Online is also where the majority of book buying takes place these days. If your website isn’t well-designed, easy to navigate with well-written copy that encourages a visitor to become a customer and want to buy your books, it’s almost worthless. Visit other professional websites & blogs and compare them to yours. Identify the positive elements their sites have that you should incorporate into yours.
- A marketing plan: Marketing plans cost nothing to create and the simplest plan is better than none at all. Your plan will include answers to these questions: Who is your target audience? When will you start and how long will you continue marketing? What kind of publicity or promoting will you need to make people aware of your book? Will you advertise, and in which media? Is your audience using social media networks and, if so, which platforms?
A clear message: You need to have a clear message for your intended audience of readers and you need to be able to articulate the essence of that message. By the way, that message should be about what you have to offer your intended audience, not the other way around. Way too often in my experience authors believe their message to the consumer is, “Buy my book.” That may have value for the author, but it has none for potential readers. What do people stand to gain from reading your book? Does the information you provide entertain them, solve a problem for them or assist them in some other way? Your message helps fuel your marketing plan.
A budget: At the very least, you will need a small budget for things like hiring a website designer if you don’t already have one. You will want to buy books from the publisher to send to the media. Other expenses may include travel, postage and working with a PR professional. Even if you don’t hire a PR firm, you’ll at least need a budget for hiring a book and social media person to help you get the word out.