Are you 100% happy with your book sales? Then let’s get ready to sell more books.
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
In a recent blog article, we began to discuss some of the ways that you as the author—and your book’s publisher, if you have one—can promote your book and achieve your sales goals faster. As promised, we’re picking back up where we left off with three additional ways that you can use to promote your book and generate more book sales.
#5. Get More Book Reviews
Would you buy an untested product? Probably not.
Before the rise of product reviews on shopping websites, carefully-selected testimonials helped book buyers in their purchasing decisions. But now, the experience of average buyers—in the form of reviews—can carry much more weight. People want to know what experience they can expect to have before putting their money on the line. And this is as true for books as it is for any other product.
Book reviews from readers can inspire confidence among potential book buyers and make buying your book more of a natural choice. In addition, on some shopping websites, having a lot of book reviews can bring more visitors to your book’s sales page in the first place, creating a form of sales cycle.
This is why I recommend that you start soliciting reviews for your book today! Ask those who have already read your book to write a book review and have their opinions heard. And if you plan to participate in a book giveaway or book promotion, you could ask participants if they can review your book once they’ve read it.
Just don’t forget to thank anyone who writes a review, no matter how many stars they ultimately give your book.
#6. Reach Out To Your Audience
At Dudley Court Press we talk a lot about the importance of an author platform for your continued success as an author. In essence, an author platform is a series of sustained efforts that give you visibility and influence among a particular audience. Here is one example to illustrate what I mean…
Tina created a blog about flowers in New Zealand. At first, only her children were regular visitors, but over time, her blog grew and she cultivated a significant audience of subscribers. These were all people who wanted to hear what she had to say about flowers in New Zealand. Then when Tina wrote a book about her travels in New Zealand, her audience of subscribers were the first to buy the book, shooting her book up the best-seller list in the New Zealand Travel category.
Just like in Tina’s case, reaching out to your existing audience can be the quickest way to promote and sell copies of your book. However, as an author, you don’t have to become a blogger like Tina. There are many different types of author platforms out there, and surely many that haven’t been invented yet.
Author platforms come in all shapes and sizes, require different types of knowledge and imply different levels of commitment. We’ll be talking more about creating and cultivating author platforms soon, but in the meantime, please be thinking about where you currently have the most visibility and influence. Is it at work? In your community? Among those who share your favorite hobby?
Wherever it is, start reaching out to the audience you already have. It is they who will be the most likely to listen to all the virtues of your book, and then buy it.
#7. Guest Post On Blogs
You don’t need to have your own blog to leverage the sale-making power of blogs. Blogging regularly can be a job within itself, which is why many bloggers are only too happy to accept relevant and well-written guest posts from other writers. This can give bloggers a break, allow them to network with others operating within their niche and/or help them provide more value to their readers. However, you should be aware that not every blogger will accept guest posts. Also, the more popular the blog is, the more guest post requests the blogger probably receives and the pickier he or she will probably be concerning which guest post makes it up onto the site.
That said, guest posting can be a great way to promote your book and connect with new readers. First, research which blogs would be a great fit for your book. Is the blog’s audience a good target audience for what you have to say? Second, look at the blog with a critical eye concerning guest posts. Does the blog have a visible guest post policy? If so, you’ll need to follow the blogger’s wishes with regards to submission procedures. For example, they might want to see a full guest post, or else something as short as a two-sentence summary to get an idea of what you’re thinking. Has the blog ever had guest posts before? If not, is that because the blog doesn’t accept guest posts, or because no one has ever offered one to the site before?
Third, create your pitch. Succinctly tell the blogger why he or she should effectively lend you their audience. What value can you provide to the blog’s readers through your guest post? Fourth, get crackin’! When a blogger gives you the green light, write the guest post if you haven’t already. You may need to work with the blogger regarding how much self-promotion they are comfortable with in the post text vs. in your accompanying bio.
Finally, repeat the process until you are satisfied with the number of guest posts and book sales you have achieved.
Successful book promotion is more than just a collection of great ideas, it’s about being consistent and persistent in the promotional activities you undertake. And we can help, if you need.