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Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
Of all the questions I get from authors, the biggest one is: "Why isn't my book selling?" I wish there was one single answer to this question or an easy fix. There isn't, really, but I hope the insights in this week's article are helpful. More than anything, we want you to keep trying, keep plugging, and keep believing in your work.
I hope you enjoy this week's issue. We keep hearing from authors who love these newsletters and find them so helpful. We really enjoy hearing that, so thanks for letting us know. I'm off to the Unicorn Writers Conference which is an outstanding writers conference, if you're going please drop by and say "hi." I'm speaking again about - guess what? Internet marketing and my latest addiction: Pinterest.
And speaking of marketing, did you know that we do marketing? If you'd like to know more email us at email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
Wishing you publishing success,
Penny, Paula, Amy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Timeline for Pages
On March 30, all Facebook Pages began using the Timeline format. Social media expert Amy Porterfield has a tip-filled webinar that will guide you through what you must know to take advantage of the change: https://themarketinganimals.net/fbaup/fbvideo.html
Feature Article: Why Isn't My Book Selling?
It's a question I get asked a lot: "Why isn't my book selling?" This question isn't reserved for the author who is clueless about marketing. I've been asked this by savvy authors, even business people who can't seem to figure out the system for selling.
Sometimes the reasons why a book isn't selling are easy: the cover is poor, the content is not edited or the topic is unappealing. But in most cases that I've seen, you need to dig deeper. So, overlooking the obvious, let's go a step further because the mysteries of selling might be a lot easier to fix than you think.
1. Start Early: In many cases starting early means earlier than you think. Often, I see authors beginning their campaigns a month prior to book launch. If you do that, keep in mind that your results won't show up for months (and months), often it takes up to six months to see anything you seed start to grow. That's partially why marketing people will encourage you to start early because it can take so long to see results.
2. Limited availability: Having a book that can only be purchased off of your website isn't a great way to promote a title. You want to make sure that the book is where your consumer is: on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and even if you aren't stocked on a bookstore shelf, you want to be sure that someone can order it. Limit your book availability and you limit your success. If you don't give your consumer enough places to get your book, they will probably get someone else's title instead. Don't let your marketing serve the competition better than it serves you.
3. The rule of seven: You need to be everywhere. A lot. But what does that mean, exactly? It means that your reader (or potential reader) needs to see your book in a lot of different places. Have you asked yourself how many ways you are marketing the book? Are you active in any social media? Do you participate in blogs? Are you getting reviews? Think of the seven ways or access points that you need for your book to gain traction with the audience. Seven seems to be the magic number for many marketing people so go with that, use it as a goal. Your book should have access points in seven different areas. With so much out there begging for your readers' attention you want to be sure that your book is getting an equal amount of attention.
4. Multichannel marketing: How many different ways are you marketing your book? No, I don't mean the rule of seven, though this applies here, too. What I mean is how many channels are you using to market your book to the reader? Email? Video? Print mailings? A successful campaign is one that encompasses the rule of seven, so seven public channels to reach your reader, but also consider multi-channel marketing, as well.
5. You don't think this applies to you: Often when I give these talks, I have authors who say, "Well, this may be true for some, but it's not really what I'm about." It might not be what you are about, but I can guarantee you it applies to everyone, across the board. Are there success stories that break out of the norm? You bet, but it's rare.
Now You Know, What Do You Do?
Let's say that you're reading this, you are knee-deep in promotion and thinking "oh, brother, this is me. What now?" A lot of authors just toss the first book out and focus on the second figuring they made the mistakes with the first and chalk it up to a "learning curve." I don't think that's a great idea. You put a lot of work into that book, yes? Don't you want it to succeed? I thought so. Here are some tips you can implement, right now, to get things back on track:
* Get to know successful authors: Yes, it's good and cathartic to commiserate with other authors who feel their book isn't selling, but beyond that it won't really do much for your success. Step out of your comfort zone and start looking for authors you want to emulate. Successful authors who have it going on. Build your list. Find at least 10 authors in your market that are doing well and presumably selling books.
* Investigate: What do other authors do in your genre? You now have a list of other, successful authors, right? If you've collected this list, follow them on their blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow them everywhere, start to build your tribe. Get to know them almost better than you know your own marketing campaign. You may say "well, they have more money than I do to market!" That might be true, but I bet it's not - not entirely anyway. Most of the really successful authors don't get there with just a checkbook, they probably have a great sense of who their market is, what their market wants and exactly how to give it to them. I'm not telling you to copy, I'm telling you to learn from other successful authors.
* Google Alerts: Now that you have your list of fabulous authors, plug their names into Google Alerts and see where they show up. Yes, when I say investigate I mean doing just that. Do your homework. Why does this matter? Because the blogs they show up on will be great places for you to network, and guess what? All it costs is a little bit of time.
* Count the ways: How many different ways can a reader access you? Count them. I'm serious. You should have at least seven access points. Maybe you are syndicating articles, maybe you are on YouTube, maybe you are on Facebook, Pinterest, whatever it is it's an access point. If you don't have seven of them and aren't sure where to start, go back to bullets two and three.
* Get rid of what's not working: I was at an event a few weeks ago and talked to an author who was doing lots of Google ads. He was careful to stay within his daily budget, but he wasn't sure if they were working. Why was he doing them? He had been to a seminar that talked about Google Ads and thought he'd give it a shot. Initially it did well, then not so much. He kept doing them because he thought eventually it would turn around. Sometimes things like ads have a lifespan, if you aren't monitoring this stuff you'll never know. Don't hesitate to get rid of what's not working and be brutally honest with yourself. Remember that if you keep doing something that's not working it will take away time and probably money from doing something that could make your book successful. The choice is yours.
* Distribution: Make sure your book is out there, and I mean really out there. You may hate it that Amazon takes 55% of your book sales but would you rather have 45% of a sale or nothing at all? Don't have an ebook yet? Why not? It's easier than ever to have your book converted to an ebook. It's so easy I've known authors to do it in less than 15 minutes. It's no longer a matter of whether you can publish a book; it's whether someone can find it. You might not be in stores nationwide, but if you can be on online e-tailers that's a big and helpful start.
* Persistence: Maybe the biggest piece of success is persistence. I know I sound like a motivational speaker right now, but it's true. Persist, persist, persist. Often I find that authors are just weeks away from their success and they give up because of some of the reasons cited in the first part of this article. Persist even on the days you can't be bothered. On those days do just one thing. Just one.
The key to success isn't always easy or clear-cut, but the key to failure often is. If you have produced a good looking, well-written book but it's still not selling then go back through this article to find the missing piece or pieces. Once you do, I can almost guarantee your book will start to take off.
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Need book marketing content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/articles/.
Watch "How to Be Successfully Published" with Ken Atchity and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing! http://www.youtube.com/user/BookmarketingAME.
Having trouble getting your book published? Perhaps it is time to start thinking globally. Just like any business, the publishing world increasingly functions on a global scale and the majority of book publishers are international conglomerates. Luckily, books written in English are at an advantage in the global market, since many editors at foreign publishers are bilingual. However, there are still ways to use language to improve the likelihood of success.
Here are some ideas for broadening the likelihood that your book will make it to print.
Know the Business
The first step is to make certain you have a keen understanding of the publishing business, http://foliolit.com/resources/a-step-by-step-guide-to-getting-published/. Oftentimes, books fail to find their way to market simply because the author never put his/her work into the right hands. Take some time to fully understand the ins and the outs of the publishing machine.
Research Foreign Markets
Understand which markets might receive your book well. For example, if you've written a business book, Korea has increasingly been interested in publishing translations of American business books, whereas literary fiction could go over well in France. Once you've figured out the literary appetites of foreign markets, brush up on your language learning skills and get ready to write strong query letters, http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx.
Focus Your Proposal
Once you have your book written, it is important to take some time to think about why it is relevant and who will specifically appreciate the book. After you have done this, write to agents and publishers who seem to share the same goals as your book. If they are interested, they will oftentimes ask for a proposal, http://www.hiwrite.com/bookproposal.html. This is your chance to explain how you see your manuscript playing well in foreign markets. Be specific and let them see you've done your research.
Try Foreign Literary Agents to Sell Foreign Rights
Success really does beget success and a fast track to that in the publishing world these days is by selling the foreign rights to a book. If you can prove to an American publisher that your work already has found an audience abroad, you'll be halfway toward convincing an agent or a publisher to pay attention to you. Many writers have found success by self-publishing their work and selling the foreign rights to it before they've actually published in the US.
Pitch Directly to the Publishers
If you are having difficulty obtaining foreign representation, try selling your manuscript on your own directly to publishers who have shown interest in similar books. First, research foreign publications that are within the same genre and see which publishing house put them out. Then contact them directly. For example, Bertelsmann is the largest book publisher in Germany, so try pitching your book directly to them. Do your research and explain why German readers need to know about your book. If you're not fluent in German, use something like pimsleur German to brush up on your skills.
As the world becomes a smaller and smaller place, it is important that writers follow suit. A little bit of research and some outside-the-box thinking can really mean all the difference for a writer trying to sell that book.
Adria Saracino is a blogger and the Head of Outreach at a creative internet marketing agency, http://www.distilled.net/. You can find her writing about style at her personal fashion blog or brushing up on Spanish, her preferred second language.
The Self-Publishers Online Conference May 8-10, 2012
At the fourth annual Self-Publishers Online Conference, you can learn from 16 expert speakers. You can attend this virtual conference from the comfort of your own computer, wherever you happen to be located. All you need is an Internet connection. With our unique online conference software, you can attend seminars live or via recording, learn about useful publishing resources in the Exhibit Hall, and interact with speakers and other attendees through the live discussion areas.
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - and her guests - offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!
How to Create a Brand-Building Buzz with Media on Tuesday, May 1at 4 p.m. Pacific: Special Guest Liz Goodgold
Publicity in today's Internet world is a whole new game: it is NOT about writing press releases and hoping the big media call. Instead, it is about using all of the new social media tools to grab attention, stand out, brand out, and capture the attention of bloggers, reviewers, and reporters. Branding Expert Liz Goodgold will share How to Create a Brand-Building Buzz with Media.Tune in and discover:
1. How to respond to HARO (Help a Reporter Out) with a 90% success rate of getting contacted.
2. The magic formula of writing emails to the media so that your message gets read.
3. The essential rules of what works and what doesn't when working with bloggers, reporters, and producers.
4. How to tie your expertise into today's news that will land you in the press.
5. The importance of speaking and writing in juicy soundbites that get you invited by the media over and over again.
6. The secrets to writing "screaming good" headlines for your articles, blogs, or social media savvy press releases.
About our guest: Speaker and author Liz Goodgold is a fiery redhead with over 20 years of experience in marketing and branding. She is the author of RED FIRE BRANDING: Create a Hot Personal Brand and Have Customers for Life and DUH! Marketing.
Shows available for download include:
* Book Reviews: Do You Need Them? * Special Guest Amy Porterfield on The New Facebook Page * All Things Pinterest * "Like" My Stuff * Secrets to Creating Children's Book Apps * Lead Without Followers with Dave Ursillo * Facebook Facts from Social Media Expert Mari Smith * Special Guest Mike Stelzner on social media marketing * Special Guest Amy Porterfield on Facebook Marketing * Special Guest Chris Brogan on Google+ * How and Where to Sell Your Self-Published Book * Speaker Tips for Authors * How to Get Your Book Reviewed * The Future of Author Events * What Authors Must Know About Book Cover Design * SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box * Smart Self-Publishing: Why Book Design & Editing Matter * Smart Self-Publishing: Making Money with eBooks * Smart Self-Publishing Series: Becoming Your Own Publisher
The Nonfiction Writers Conference is a VIRTUAL event conducted via teleconference May 16-18, 2012. Topics include traditional and self-publishing, ebooks, virtual book tours, social media, strategies to sell more books on Amazon, blogging, SEO, professional speaking, and other book marketing tactics.
Pull up a seat on your couch and join us as 15 top speakers cover how to publish, promote, and profit with nonfiction books! Details and registration: http://NonfictionWritersConference.com.
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
WHO ARE WE
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.
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