4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Book Selling Strategy
Have your book marketing strategies got you down?
You may have written a great book, had it professionally edited and designed, and maybe even built an email list. Now, you're wondering why you're not selling books. You can improve your book selling strategy by following the outlined steps below:
1. Recognize & Understand the Issues
You may have heard the phrase, "If you build it, they will come." Well guess what - that only works in the movies! Take a good look at your strategy for selling books. (If you don't have one, that's your first problem!) Start by writing down all of the steps you plan to take to market your book and increase book sales - and keep it simple.
If you already have a book marketing strategy, identify any problem areas such as editing, poor design, improper price point, and lack of distribution channels. Consider revising your strategy to achieve a better result, taking into account your time and budget. Here are some "free vs. paid" tips:
- Professional editing and design is worth paying for. All it takes is one "terrible editing!" review to bury your book for good.
- Free or almost-free book selling strategies that are worth pursuing include:
- Developing a social media presence
- Creating videos or recordings
- Holding contests or giveaways
- Networking with other authors
- If you’re not a digital guru, consider taking a class, hiring a college intern, or hiring a pro to make sure your ebook is perfect and your online presence is solid.
- Wider distribution equals more books sales. Consider our partners like Ingram Content Group and IngramSpark , who distribute books worldwide to tens of thousands of retailers, libraries, schools and indie bookstores.
2. Be Realistic with Your Expectations
- What is your budget? You might want to hire a social media pro, but you might have to start with a free college intern. Establish a realistic budget that makes the most of your available financial investment.
- Paid vs Free. Be aware that using a paid marketing tool vs a free one might not get the same result. That's why you need to evaluate which parts of your sales strategy are working and which ones need a bigger investment. In other words, you have to decide what kind of professional services and marketing tools will help you the most.
- If you do nothing to market and sell your book, it won't sell! It takes more than a "how to sell my book" Google search to increase book sales; selling and promoting your book is an ongoing process. Keep tweaking your selling strategy after your book is published, maintain your online presence, and take advantage of free marketing tools and online resources like our Aerio blog.
3. Step Back and Evaluate
- Assess your circumstances. If you want to know how to sell books, you have to understand your written strategy for selling books. You also need to understand your budget, your data analytics, what your book looks like in the sea of competition, and where you want to go with your author brand and business.
The quality of your book content and cover design should be your first concern. The sales and marketing skills you possess(or lack) can help you decide where and how to invest your time and money.Track which marketing tools are working and those that aren't, then adjust your plan.
- Know what you are selling. This goes beyond page count and cover design. Consider what you want and/or expect your content to do for your readers. Are you providing self-help advice? Do you want your memoir to inspire or encourage readers? Do you want to entertain? You have to understand what your book says and does before you can figure out who will want to read (and buy!) it.
4. Know When, Where and How Your Readers Shop
After you've determined the audience who might need or want your book, the next step is to figure out when, where, and how they shop.
- Know how to pitch your book. When you understand what you want your book to do for readers, do some research to find out where and how to distribute it. Your best audience might be local, nationwide, or even global. Pitch your book to retailers that specifically sell books, local merchants that have a tie-in to your content, and appropriate social media groups.
- Know how to reach your buyers. Your data analytics can help you discover how potential readers find books to buy. Employ social media strategies (including email newsletters) to learn whether contests, giveaways, book trailers, audio samples, free content, author swag, book club appearances, author signings, or anything else is a good way to reach your audience.
The simplest way to increase book sales is to have a plan and know when to change it. You have to do more than "build it" to make people "buy it" so keep tweaking your selling strategy - and don't give up!