Empower Your Authors to Sell More Books
Publishers. It is time we had a chat.
If you’re not giving your authors the support they need to sell more books, you are missing out on a ton of potential sales. The most successful publishers provide their authors with the tools and support they need to maximize book sales. You should be one of them.
Now, this isn’t to say you need to hold their hands. Simply open the door and give them a little nudge. Show them how their name alone, the person behind the masterpiece, can multiply book sales.
Why Tap into Your Authors Marketing Potential?
Authors are people—creators. Publishers are businesses.
This is the perspective of the average consumer. Most people rarely look for the latest book from Publisher X. However, they do look to see what J.K. Rowling or Stephen King have brewing.
Your books are gold. The challenge is getting people to discover and buy them. But you don’t need a huge team of marketing and sales pros to build interest; an author can be one of a publisher’s best sales and marketing assets. Plus, when you do well the author does well, and vice versa; with this symbiotic relationship, it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure your authors’ are equipped to sell & market their titles.
Most of the tools & strategies we’ll discuss center around establishing an “author platform” - a position from which an author can easily connect with readers. A properly constructed author platform can do wonders for publishers wanting to help their authors sell more books.
Create an Author Website
This should be the brain center of your author’s platform.
There are a few basic services publishers and authors can use to build their own websites. We suggest paying a little extra to own your domain so your author has complete control of their website. This way, they avoid having to deal with invasive host advertising.
We’ve detailed out how to create a basic website here, but here’s a basic structure to get you started:
The last three of these items show why a website is so important A blog, newsletter, and social media are the next items covered in this list, but an author website ties them all together.
Setup Social Media Pages
We’ve written before about using social media to sell books.
The same social media marketing rules that are useful for publishers can be applied to authors, except it’s that much easier for authors to find success on social media because authors are people, not entities.
Keys to author success on social media revolve around creating conversations, engaging with followers, and offering valuable content. Nailing your author platform on social media can be summed up in one phrase, “be social”, which means:
- Don’t always be selling
- Post meaningful content
- Share content from experts
- Be responsive and engage
Create a Blog
A blog is the next level of an author platform. It gives them a stage to share more intimate and in-depth information with the public. Readers visit blogs to get the inside scoop on what is happening and dig a bit deeper into the author’s personality, creative process, and more.
Ideas for blogs are unlimited, covering a wide range of topics. Not every post needs to be about selling books. Make sure authors are providing variety as well as interesting and useful information. Here are a few suggestions to get an author blog rolling:
- Author Q&A
- Insider industry news and insights
- What’s coming next
- A review of a book they love
- Insight into their creative process
- And of course, a book highlight
Start Email Marketing
Emails direct from authors build strong relationships with readers and empower your authors to become more involved in the marketing and sales process.
As a publisher, if you have a collection of emails from current or prospective customers, you can share that list with your author so they can reach out on their own, or you can create and send communication on behalf of your author. The important thing is to have both author and publisher working together to build a unique email marketing list.
Also, make sure your email marketing platform is providing you the tools necessary to make emails engaging for your readers. For more info on how to choose the right platform, click here.
More Ways to Help Authors Sell Books
We covered a few essential author sales tools—website, blog, social media, and email—but there are tons of other ways publishers can empower their authors to boost book sales, such as:
- Becoming a visible feature on community forums like Goodreads
- Seeking out guest blogging opportunities
- Offering giveaways and running contests
- Paid advertising on Google and social media platforms
- Networking, networking, networking
Of course, all these tactics take time and dedication. An author may argue that being a sales person takes away from precious writing hours. Reassure them that the most successful authors do this, and if they can find balance, they will find success on both sides.