If you’ve ever published a book, or are in the process of writing and publishing one, you’ve likely thought about marketing and what you’ll need to do to make book sales. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Selling books.
And while that’s not totally wrong, it’s also not totally right.
Selling books is the goal, yes. But it’s not what the focus of your book marketing should be.
That’s where I see so many authors getting it wrong.
And that’s why when you go into writing groups on Facebook or Google+, a lot of times it’s just a promo fest of people drive-by sharing links to their books. Or you see people’s social media accounts just covered in promos, but without any real value to be found.
Totally worthless and the worst way to try and make a book sale.
Why? Because of two reasons:
- People aren’t on social media to buy stuff–social media is supposed to be for being social, so people aren’t reading stuff or watching stuff and thinking, “I need to buy that right now.” They’re there to engage and connect with other humans, and also to be entertained.
- There’s not enough value in a book promo on social media to get someone to open their wallet–and on the off-chance that someone does buy directly via social media, it’s because the value being presented in the post (written, video, etc) is so awesome that they can’t not buy.
So, if you’ve been trying to sell your book by posting promos on social media (or in Facebook groups) and it hasn’t worked, it’s time for a new strategy.
What Actually Sells Books
When it comes down to the core of what online marketing is, you’ll find two things:
1. Relationships–online marketing is all about building relationships and making connections with other people, both potential readers and industry-related.
2. Valuable content–at the core of online marketing is content. Content is what helps you make the connections and build the relationships that will earn you a readership. Now ‘value’ will be defined by you and the type of book that you’re marketing.
For example, if your book is a humorous novel, creating content aligned with that makes the most sense for adding value. So sharing things that make people laugh is a good way for you to connect with your readership and get them interested in your novel.
And these two things–when combined–are what sells books.
The worst book marketing myth is that it’s all about selling books. It’s not. And believing that is what’s keeping you from selling books.
Especially if you’re trying to market your books online (which most authors these days are).
People go online for one of three reasons:
- To learn something
- To be entertained
And that’s what you need to be thinking about when you do your book marketing.
Book marketing is not about selling books. It’s about being an interesting author (with an impactful message) who teaches potential readers something, entertains them or both, and because of that connection and that relationship with the potential reader, they will buy a book from you.
Your New Book Marketing Strategy
From here on out, you’re no longer allowed to do drive-by book promos on social media. (And I know YOU wouldn’t be doing that anyhow, because that’s not how a pro writer thinks or acts, right?) You’re no longer allowed to only post things that just promo your book.
From here on out, your marketing strategy is the following:
- Build connections with readers and with industry/genre-related people
- Create valuable content that your ideal reader wants and needs
- Share your author message, in whatever way makes sense for you
There’s a lot more to it than that, but these are the foundational pieces of being a success author and successfully marketing your book online.
I got where I am right now with my publishing career because I spent 8+ years of my life building a following, connecting with others in my industry and delivering valuable, kick-ass content (on a consistent basis) that my ideal readers want. I’m now living my dream writing life, and it just gets better and better every day.
If you want to create your dream writing life, where you can write and publish books and actually sell them and make money, you’ve gotta be in it for the long-haul. And this is a long-haul book marketing strategy.
No, it won’t make you sales immediately overnight (unless you’ve already got a bit of a following), but it will help you build an author brand that will make sales–and, eventually, enough sales to support you in being the full-time author you’ve always dreamed of being.
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