Book marketing strategy for better marketing
Book marketing strategy to increase sales year around, with better marketing and branding.
A book marketing strategy can drive book sales in slow periods. Tracking book sales throughout the year and then comparing year over year sales is extremely helpful. But, what if this is your first self-published book? Regardless, write a marketing plan!
Develop your book marketing strategy for the peaks and valleys.
Sales trends are similar from year to year. The summer months and holidays are often slow. If you have enough data from previous years, use it to build a marketing plan. This will give you the information to increase the number books sold in peak times, and bolster lagging sales in slower periods.
Establish a book marketing strategy and promotion plan. Let’s say you write a how-to book called, “Tips to Keep Your Home Warmer in Winter”. Book sales would likely lag in June and July! But, what if you write a companion book, “Tips to Keep Your Home Cooler in Summer”? Now you are creating a new revenue stream and bolstering summer sales. That is a new book marketing strategy put to good use!
Use proven strategies.
The newspaper industry was my world for a number of years, as a publisher and an advertising executive for major accounts. I noticed that using a book marketing strategy in down time is not very different from how advertisers would advertise. A book marketing strategy can be built on the same principles. Here are a few tips:
“Shoot while the ducks are flying.”
Book sales are going well, so why should you promote or advertise? That is exactly the time to jump go for it! Put your newest offer out to the largest audience, email list, website, social media, your network, or just buy advertising.
Send an invitation to potential buyers and grow an email list.
If you were going to have a party, you send invitations to they people you want to have there. If you don’t invite them, they won’t come. Authors can spend a little or a lot to establish their business. They need to continually develop a book marketing strategy. Invite and stay in touch with potential buyers via an email list.
Create a website and landing page.
Even before you write your book, authors need a website. Decide if it will be for author or publisher. You may have plans to write more books. Another book marketing strategy is to have a website for each title you publish. Invite potential buyers to sign up on an email list so they can get news about your book(s).
Grow your audience.
Developing your audience is a hugely important book marketing strategy. The bigger the audience, the more sales you will have.
Statistically, you will only get sales from a small percentage of your audience. Your job is to reach a bigger audience. Develop a strong sales message with greater frequency. A book marketing strategy is always a numbers game!
Don’t forego a website because you are selling on Amazon. Be sure to add content frequently, and promote it in email and newsletters. We like WordPress for frequent blog posts.
Always run a sale or advertise an offer.
Whether it’s bargain-based Walmart, or Tiffany with their luxurious goods, both companies always have a sale in progress.
Think about your brand.
Your brand is not just about your logo or book cover design. It is the culture of your business. Here are two examples of book marketing strategy for branding:
The Tiffany style.
A fine, high-quality, hardcover coffee table book will have an elegant look, and a simple message. It has a higher retail price. You’ll sell fewer books, but you will make more profit.
Get the look: Let’s say that you have a photography book that you want to sell in a gallery. Include embellishments in a hardcover book, like cloth or leather binding. Add a French fold dust jacket, use heavy paper of good quality, and add extras to make your book unique.
The Walmart style.
A paperback is cheaper to publish than a hardcover, and has a lower retail price. That is the book marketing strategy at Walmart.
Get the look: Say you want to sell a mass market edition of the same photography book you sold at the gallery. You need a lower retail price. Print a soft cover book on lighter weight paper. Maintain quality; just trim the budget.
Another book marketing strategy is to design a book so that it screams ‘cheap’ with loud graphic style and content. You may use this for a deeply discounted book. Since your retail price is low, you need to make up the difference with volume sales.
Note: The merchandise sold at Tiffany would never be sold in Walmart, or vice versa. Establish your book marketing strategy and stick to it.
What a good designer can do for book sales.
A good designer cannot only create elegant style, but also many varied styles. They may create Swiss design on a grid, retro looks, a dense reference book, children’s books, or a novel.
I knew of a newspaper where you check a box for ‘Schlock’ on the ad form. It was useful for used car lots. ‘Schlock’ is easy to create for any inexperienced desktop publisher who just tested InDesign in a student trial version.
The most difficult design work is knowing how to create balance in white space, understanding good typography, achieving great color, and how to implement it. We fix poorly executed books, so we know how to do this! Yes, this is part of book marketing strategy too!
Two titles are better than one in a book marketing strategy.
If a buyer shows interest in a particular book on Amazon, they pair it with one or two books by the same author, or similar titles. Pairing two books by the same author can mean more book sales.
Print, self-publish, and market two books simultaneously. Do you have a workbook that goes along with your primary title? Maybe publish two coffee table books, like ‘mountains’ and ‘oceans’, or two cookbooks, like ‘everyday meals’ and ‘dinner parties’. The possibilities are endless. This is yet another book marketing strategy.
In summary, promote and advertise when sales are good. You can gain even more sales. When sales are slow, promote and advertise as part of your book marketing strategy.
If you use an on-demand service, do you actually get your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores, or just have access to those bookstores? We have a secret for you. If you have your own ISBN and barcode, you already have access to brick-and-mortar bookstores. You are in the database already.
Create a strategy and marketing plan that includes frequent sales and offers. Start by working on a good book marketing strategy now. We would love to print your books!