Best-Selling Books & Marketing: A Necessary Bond

You wrote a book and you’re watching the Amazon sales with wide-eyed anticipation only to realize sales are slower than a snail stuck in Gorilla Glue. You’re confused because you spent the money to create a great team that included a developmental editor, a line editor, a copy editor, a proofreader, a cover designer, and a graphic designer to ensure your book flowed well and looked great on the shelves and through eReaders. You’re wondering why you spent all that money and whether your book is any good. In fact, you’re quite upset that it isn’t doing well and wonder:

What gives?

Writing a book and having it published is only a part of the process for creating a best seller, but most people don’t realize this and many vanity presses won’t tell you this. There is SO MUCH MORE involved in seeing your book become a best seller than just writing a good book. In fact, there are many good books on Amazon and in book stores right now that will never see the best seller list because they are missing the most important aspect of creating a best seller: marketing.

That’s right… Marketing is what creates a best seller. If you don’t believe me, check out some of the top sellers in various categories and read them for yourself. Some are riddled with poor grammar and terrible typesetting. BUT they had GREAT publicists and a strong marketing team or did the advertising work themselves to ensure people learned about them. Create enough buzz about a book and put it in the right categories and suddenly you’re on top of the world – and on the best-sellers lists.

Most authors don’t want to be known for being one-hit wonders so they don’t want to have a best-selling book filled with errors and poor grammar. Instead, they want to create a powerful book that will help get their message into the world WHILE reaching the top of the best sellers lists. To do this, they work with a stellar team and ensure they have a team of supporters who share their work with them. They hire people to work inside the book with them as well as to share the book with the world. They tell their friends and family but also ensure they market the book beyond their circle of influence.

So now what?

If you’ve written a book and want to see it move to the best-selling charts, start marketing your book with purpose. Locate a great publicist or marketing team who can help you share your book effectively. This will include developing a strategy for marketing it to the right audience, setting up a steady flow of speaking and signing engagements, and getting you on various podcasts, videocasts, and promos. They will help you understand which hashtags to use when sharing social media posts, and may even offer to help you with videos and related content.

If you can’t afford a full team or don’t have the faith to invest in yourself (we’re calling it what it is, but that’s another post), learn from what’s available online. With the vast amount of information available to us today, there is really no excuse to not have a great self-developed marketing plan. You can take some free workshops, read some articles, or join a FaceBook group and learn from other authors. Whatever you do, invest some of your time to ensure you make the most of your social media and don’t become that friend who only talks about their book after you publish it. (I know it’s exciting to publish, but no one enjoys friends who don’t talk about anything but work and accomplishments… we have to have substance to use beyond what we’ve done!) Be sure that you are

Helpful Resources

The following articles are helpful to assist with book marketing when you can’t or don’t want to hire someone.

The following sites are helpful for doing research about marketing your book.

Ask Friends to Share Your Book

While you don’t want to be the friend who never talks about anything other than your book, you also don’t want to be the friend who worked hard on a book and was brave enough to publish their story and then never told anyone! Enjoy the fruits of your labor by sharing your book with some friends and asking them if they would be willing to share it on their social media platforms. Maybe they will be willing to support you by sharing some thoughts on the book or leaving a review, if they read it. Don’t be afraid to ask. This is an untapped area of folks willing to support you but that most indie authors never ask because they fear being “salesy” (yet they will flood their timeline with posts about their book to the point you forget they ever were a human who didn’t write!). It’s not being “salesy” if you believe in your message and simply ask them if they’d be willing to share it.

Do Your Best

When all is said and done, you want to reach the audience you set out to write your book for. Find out where they are and how you can best reach them. Talk with bloggers who speak to an audience that fits your ideal readers. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and start looking for new ways to share your message. Depending upon the type of book you wrote, you may be a walking billboard for the power of your words. Talk to people you wrote the book for and offer to share your books free with some of them in exchange for an honest review. Stop by local libraries and shelters, community centers and recreation centers. Offer to leave copies of your book for their readers.

Christian writers, talk to your church about doing a Bible study around your book or starting a book club to discuss it. How fun would that be for folks who would love to hear what you were thinking when you wrote it?! Write and submit a YouVersion Bible Plan that compliments your book. Don’t be afraid of being told no. It happens. And sometimes people agree to read it, and share it, and then you sell more books.

I hope this information will help some of you who have been frustrated by the lack of sales. Remember to read the resources I shared above, as some of them share information about how to set up your description, categories, and keywords for better success. It is so important you use all the tools available to you. I know it’s a frustrating landscape and it can be challenging to navigate it all, but it’s well worth it to know you are getting your message out there to the folks who need it most!

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