Last January I declared 2023 my Year of Marketing, and throughout the year I’ve tried to look into what’s in, what’s out, and what are the basics every author still needs to be successful. Here’s a recap of some of the marketing tips we’ve discussed in this newsletter in the last 12 months.
- Prepare Your Marketing Platform
This is a basic that every author needs to think about—as soon as they start writing their book. Your platform is all the ways you market yourself, your ideas, your products and services. Do you have an up-to-date database of all your contacts? Are you using it? Send out a newsletter, blog, and use other social media to get the word out about your book.
- Get a Website
At the very least your business website should have a page about your book and a way in which people can purchase it. You might also consider a second website using your book’s name and linking it to your business site. If you don’t have a business already, there is even more reason to have your own author website.
- Use Social Media Regularly
This may seem more difficult now than ever before. Tweeting is out, TikTok is cute but doesn’t sell books. Facebook and Instagram are still the most popular ways for authors to connect with readers. Use them regularly!
- Direct Sales Make the Most Profit
Direct sales to customers online, at the back of the room after a speech, or as part of a seminar package, earn the author the greatest return per book. Add a sales site to your webpage. And definitely consider a Kickstarter as a way to make money on your book before it is even finished.
This is a not-so-new way of marketing and selling your book before it is even published. Kickstarter requires you to throw away your inhibitions and sell yourself and your book. It can work!
- A+ Content
This new feature on Amazon allows indies and self-pubs the ability to make their page look just like the pros. You can highlight reviews, show off some additional photos or graphics, even add a short video. Check out your Amazon A+ through your KDP portal. Log in first then click on the promote and advertise tab. You’ll find it there.
- Define Your Goals
Making a profit on the sales is just one possible objective. There are as many reasons to write a book as there are writers to write them. You can increase your credibility and visibility, bring in more clients, bring you recognition in your field, and finally it can bring personal satisfaction.
Your goals need to be taken into consideration when you are deciding on your marketing strategy.
- Run Internet Promotions
Targeted internet promotions are one of the best ways to sell books, increase your Amazon rank, and get the word out. Consider a Kindle Countdown Deal once a quarter as a great way to keep the momentum going.
Podcasts are a great way to increase your reach—and I don’t mean that you need to start and produce your own podcast. Look for other people who are already producing podcasts on your topic or theme. Producers need content. Be ready and willing to offer it to them.
- Check Your Price
Last June Amazon announced increased prices for author copies. If you didn’t take a look at your older books and change your prices then, now is the time. Inflation is real. You can charge more for your books now than you could a few years ago.
- Find the Best Category Listings
Amazon KDP has changed its “category experience” as they like to call it. There are few categories available, and that makes it even more important to find the best match for your book. Sometimes that seems impossible! Do an online search for other books that are similar to yours and see where they are listed. Try to change your book to that category. And if you still have problems, check with the Amazon help desk. They are very responsive.
That’s a wrap-up of a year of marketing ideas. I hope it jumpstarts your thoughts on how you will market your book in 2024.