August 8, 2018 • Aerio Staff
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
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
to bury your book for good.
- Free or almost-free book selling strategies that are
worth pursuing include:
- If you’re not a digital guru, consider taking a class,
hiring a college intern, or hiring a pro to make sure your
is perfect and your
- Wider distribution equals more books sales. Consider our
Ingram Content Group
, 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
- Paid vs Free. Be aware that using a paid
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"
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
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
- 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
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
- 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!