Book Market – Tips for Writers (Part 2)
Take advantage of social networking when entering the book market.
Facebook is a great tool, but you need a lot of contacts to be effective. Begin friending people – even those you don’t know. Remember, this is a marketing tool. You can create another Facebook account for personal friends if you’d like. Focus on other writers. Writers friend writers because they also are trying to build up their contact base. Though you may connect with thousands of friends, only a fraction of those will respond; however, each one is a potential contact. And a potential promoter. When your book comes out, have a giveaway where Facebook friends get entries for posting links to your book on their profiles. Or links to your landing page. Each person that posts expands your marketing exponentially.
Twitter isn’t as effective as Facebook. In fact, the response is usually quite low. Yet, it’s still a free marketing tool and since tweeting takes seconds, it is still worth the effort. At this stage, every little bit counts.
Price your book reasonably in the book market.
Unless you have specialized knowledge that’s in high demand in the book market, you won’t sell many books if you price them over $10. The best marketing in the world can’t overcome an overpriced book. Avoid vanity presses like the plague. Most make their money by selling you overpriced packages and care nothing about selling books. There are exceptions, but few. To verify a press, go to their store and see how they are pricing books. If the press sells 28 page books for $10-12 or a full page novel (300 pages) for $18-25, walk away. Readers will not pay that for a famous author, so a new author won’t stand a chance. If you are not going the traditional publishing route, start an imprint, or partner with someone who has.
Ebook prices are also important in the book market.
Don’t sell an ebook for $9.99. The cheaper the book, the more the sales. If you want to get attention, sell it for .99 cents. I know most authors baulk at that price, but consider the facts. You are a no name author. People will take a chance on spending a dollar, but they won’t toss out $10 for someone they’ve never heard of. Your family and friends might, but once launch day is over, your sales will plummet. I’ve used this philosophy, and my launch day put my book in the top 10 in two categories. After several months I am still staying in the top 20 in my book’s category.
Consider the business world. How do new businesses attract people? They offer great values at low prices. The introductory marketing plan is not designed to make money, but to build a reputation. Grabbing customer’s attention and becoming known is the initial focus. If you’re an independent author, you should approach marketing with the same philosophy. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. Marketing your writing is a slow and deliberate process. Create value and draw readers in. Build your reputation with the first few books and work toward reaching a sustainable income.
Get influencers before entering the book market.
One or two reviews will not present a good impression to readers. Contact people who are interested in the genre of your book and recruit influencers. Provide them with a free book for posting reviews. The purpose of an influencer is to influence the market to look at your book. If you locate reviewers from your genre, they can post honest comments about your book and rate it. This builds your book’s credibility.
For the cost of a few books, you will have gotten advertising that’s invaluable. When you market your book, readers want to see if it is worth their time. Reviews give a good indication of the value of your writing. Readers can tell if the reviewer is sincere, so don’t pad your ratings. If customers feel deceived, they will sink your ratings with bad reviews.
Give books away.
Allow bloggers to give away free copies of your book. They post the interview and blurb, they appeal to their readers and handle the contest, but you must ship the book free of charge to the winner. Some new authors don’t like this idea, but let’s face it, $10 for focused advertisement is a great deal for attracting readers to your book. Market through contests often.
Look at book marketing as a long term effort.
Don’t launch and then let your book plummet to the ground. Launch, and follow up with marketing. Then market some more. Let the marketing pay off for a week or so, and then start a new campaign. Find new ways to reach readers outside your circle of influence so you aren’t wearing people out. Don’t saturate your market; find ways to reach new ones. Be creative. Make connections. Build relationships. Remember, it’s about people, not just your book. Take care of people, put in the work, be persistent. Then let the book sales take care of itself.