Today I got a message from one of my customers. I could hear the “pain” underlying her questions simply because I too have experienced (and still do experience) that same level of pain and frustration.
I think that in my correspondence with her I had been blithering on and on about exposure. So she said …
“I’m struggling with sales. Exposure isn’t the issue, it’s sales. Should I just publish through amazon to get reviews or go through goodreads, online book club? I don’t know where to start. I know it’s all about strategy but at this point I’m just stuck. Thank you”
Here was my reply to her (slightly edited). Be sure to absorb and then implement this information this because it equally applies to you and your books. It discusses:
- exposure and the role it plays
- marketing for long term success
Setting up an online business (which includes selling books) is NOT easy as so many of the “so called gurus” imply.
It is hard work.
And the ONLY way to make it work, is to settle into a routine of marketing. Marketing is what gives you exposure. Exposure leads to sales. If you don’t have exposure, you don’t have sales.
You need to be marketing every single day!
It is the LONG TERM set up that eventually turns everything around.
Looking at stats and sales on a daily basis can be demoralizing and is what stops people from continuing. I see so many authors who are “too enthusiastic” out of the gate and then when they don’t make mega $$ in their first month they simply stop.
Many start-up authors sell less than $100 during the total LIFE of their book. Something the “gurus” fail to talk about!
It’s the entrepreneurs who just keep on going that create their own success.
I give myself ONE marketing target a month. The target has nothing to do with money. It has to do with setting up my marketing “machine” and creating an audience.
An example: for YOU … YES get your book on the Amazon platform. Amazon has a built-in audience, and if you position your book correctly (see newsletter) your sales will trickle in because of the work they do for you. What many self-publishers don’t realize is that the harder THEY work to promote their book, the harder Amazon works to help them.
If you don’t DO anything, Amazon won’t do anything. Simple as that!
Work on various “Amazon” tasks for a full month. Set up a routine where you are looking for reviews either daily or weekly. You should maintain that routine for the LIFE of your book. I had one book that sold for well over 20 years … every week I did something on my list 10 – 60 minutes. Year after year after year!
The second month … add on Goodreads. Goodreads is great because you KNOW these people love and buy books. They are passionate about books … (vs the “general Amazon audience). Start building this audience. Set up a routine that you can maintain daily or weekly for the lifetime of your book.
The third month … focus on what you are doing with your newsletter. Can you get it on auto? How can you get more subscribers? How can you give something relevant to your book to your followers? How can you engage your audience? How can get them to help you market your NEXT book? Whatever you set up here should be added into your marketing routine.
The month after that …. LOL I think you have the idea by now!
The challenge is to set up as much of the routine work on auto or semi-auto. This could include a part time Virtual Assistant who you have trained to do the daily/weekly work routine.
Marketing is ALL about EXPOSURE.
Exposure is what leads to sales.
The “sales funnel” takes you from marketing (exposure) to the sale and then to more sales which includes another book, a bigger product, someone else’s product or advertising revenue.
As much as I LOVE the Energizer Bunny … his BIG SECRET is that he is a turtle in disguise!