Does Book Marketing Work?
Does Book Marketing Work?
Marketing a self-published book has a dual purpose, and only one of them concerns actually selling the book. The other goal is to tell people about the book. The reality is this: the day your book became available, thousands of other books also became available. Since you are an unknown author (so far!), no one knows about your book, and no one cares that the book is available.
This then is the marketing situation. You have to tell the world that:
- Your book exists and
- Make them care enough that they investigate the book and purchase a copy.
Without this marketing effort, your book will languish in the realm of the unknown.
How do you do this? There are many marketing tactics that can be deployed to spread the word about the book. A major problem with initial marketing efforts is deciding which tactics to use and which ones to ignore. A strategic marketing plan is vital to this decision-making. The most important part of the marketing plan is to identify the customer for your book.
This information allows your marketing tactics to focus on where those customers can be reached. Spending time and money on a gun enthusiast website to reach romance readers is not a good idea. Spending time and money on the general population is also a waste. Only a tiny portion of the general population will have an interest in the topic of your book. Concentrate on finding and reaching that tiny segment.
The Best Time to Start Marketing
Another fundamental question that often comes up is when is the best time to start marketing the book? Of course, the ideal time to begin your marketing efforts is several months before your book becomes available. However, if your book is already out, don’t worry. You can still market the book. Actually, it is never too early or too late to start your marketing campaign.
So let’s get to the crux of the matter. You probably have questions that need to be answered.
Here are two that come up a lot:
- Does book marketing work?
- Is it worth the time and money?
The answer to both questions is a definite yes.
Your Best Bet
To elaborate, let’s compare book marketing to playing the lottery. If you buy a lottery ticket, you have a small, very small, chance to win a ton of money. If you don’t buy a ticket, you have no chance of winning the money. With book marketing, if you do the marketing stuff, you have a small, very small, chance of making a ton of money through your royalties. If you don’t do the marketing, you have zero chance of making money on the book.
With the lottery, you can also win smaller amounts of cash. So too with book marketing. If you market the book, you may earn back your marketing investment through your royalties and perhaps a bit more. So what I’m saying about marketing is that a bit of luck is also required to go along with the hard work. But that’s true in almost every endeavor in life.
Conferences and Fairs
You can also influence your luck. How? Consider this. Your chances of getting hit by lightning are minimal, but you can substantially increase those chances by standing in an open field during a thunderstorm while holding a metal rod like a golf club. So too, you can influence your book marketing luck by attending book conferences and fairs. You can also hang out where agents and publishers gather — either in person or online — which will increase your chances of being noticed.
Another way to increase your “luck” is by creating a great landing page. Think of your Amazon book page here. All your social media activity should be designed to do one thing: deliver visitors to this landing page. It’s the job of the landing page to sell the book (or not!).
Your landing page has three critical elements to sell the book:
- The cover
- The book blurb
- The description
To begin, a bland or generic cover will not impress visitors.
When a visitor lands on the Amazon page, she will see six lines of text at the most. Those lines have to convince her to click on the “read more” button. That’s the job of the book blurb: persuade the visitor to read more. Then the book description sells her on buying the book.
Don’t Bore Your Potential Customer
Consequently, this landing page is one of the most valuable market tools you have. However, don’t waste this opportunity by using the synopsis as the blurb or description. A synopsis has its uses, but marketing isn’t one of them. I’ve never read a synopsis that didn’t bore me to tears. And boring a potential customer isn’t a wise thing to do.
You have to use all your creative powers to write a description that convinces a visitor to spend money.
So the real question is this: Will you market your book?
This then is the reality of book marketing. Not marketing the book isn’t really an option unless writing the book was a bucket list project. If your objective in writing the book was to have people buy it and read it, you must market it.