You need to learn marketing skills if you want sells books for a living. Whether you want to publish through the tradition or self publishing route, it is important to know how it works and what you might be expected to do.
If you want to make money from writing you need to sell your book to thousands of people.
Selling books requires an audience that knows about and wants your books.
Getting an audience to know about your books requires marketing.
If you want sales, then you need to market your book.
Lesson on Marketing
If you want to sell copies of your book and you are not already an established author, you will need to find a way to generate sales.
The good news is you don’t need a college degree to understand the basic ways you will market your stories.
You need to decide who you are marketin to. You can’t say you want to sell your product to everyone and expect them to buy it.
Would a 50 year old mechanic want to read a childrens story about how great it is to be rich?
You would want to advertise car instruction manuals to them, or interesting modifications you can do to cars.
The same goes for your audience.
Write and market your story to the right audience based on:
- Niche (specific type of story like cyberpunk)
This marketing and sales principal describes the journey a customer takes from their initial interest to purchasing your product.
- Awareness: Customers need to become aware of your products existence.
- Consideration: Provide more content to engage consumers interested in your product
- Conversion: Ask consumers to buy your product
Building an audience
Having a following on social media or forums dedicated to writing shows proof of your skill to publishers.
In other words, the more followers you have, the more likely you will generate sales and be successful.
Listed below are common ways to build a following:
Blogs: Prove your knowledge to fans and publishers by writing about topics that relate to your content
Short stories: Writing short stories is a great way to get a lot more content out that can reach different demographics.
Videos (youtube): Create engaging content to get views and subscriptions.
Poems: Showcase your poetic skills to the world and post them on platforms that get the best results.
Guides: Write guides on writing. Thats what I did :).
Social media: Using instagram, facebook, twitter, reddit, LinkedIn, and other platforms is extremely important. Engage your audience and grow your following.
Advertising: Most marketing campaign need advertising to be successful. There are many types of advertising methods such as Search Results Ads, Display Ads, Popup Ads, Email Ads, and many more. Expect to shell out some cash if you want some fact traction.
Enter writing contests: Awards from winning any writing contest are a great method to showcase your skills and convince publishers and viewers that your content is worth reading. https://blog.reedsy.com/writing-contests/
Network at events: *sigh* It’s not what you know, but who you know. People are driven by emotions. Unless you want to be another name on a submission that gets thrown away, connecting with people in the industry is the best way to get your foot in the door.
Interacting with people: Not just industry professionals. Interact with everyone. Interact on content, opinions, on forums, etc. This is how you will promote yourself.
Website: Build a free website on WordPress. Write engaging content. Get traffic.
You may have the best book the world will ever know, but unless you learn how to promote it and get it into the hands of people that can spread it like covid-19, your friends and family may be the only ones to know of its existence.
Advertising is a necessity for a few different reasons. To start off, everyone uses the internet, and there are millions of people selling their products. To stand out from a list containing 10,000 results, you will have to pay money to get noticed.
The unfortunate truth is that you are going to need to spend money to make money in the world of self publishing.
One of the perks of getting a traditional publisher is that they handles all of this for you.
On the bright side, advertising is mostly used at the beginning of an authors career. If you have written and released 10 books, then you will have a following of people that will buy your work without needing some promotion or paid ad.
These people will also tell others about your books, increasing your revenue whether or not they needed an advertisement.
When you think of advertising, you might think of corporations putting commercials on TV or promotional offers on the radio.
Book advertisements are different
To start off, those methods don’t work well for marketing a book. What you need to understand, is this:
To marketing a book, you will need to advertise on digital platforms.
So how do you do this?
You will be advertising your book through search ads.
For example, you want people searching for books to find your book. Once they find it, they need to have their interest piqued enough that they want to buy it, leading to a sale.
Ads to use
Google Ads: Everyone uses google search.
Facebook Ads: If you want to advertise your author page
Amazon Ads: If you are self publishing and want your book to sell any copies on Amazon, you will have to spend money on ads.
Other types of ways to advertise
Have someone with a following recommend your book
Get help from a professional