Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ebook Marketing

Today I was invited to be on a panel at my local library's author's day about marketing. For people who live and die by their ebook sales, I don't think any of this is revolutionary (yes, yes, I know I am not selling this blog post), but for people just starting, these are just the best tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

More than anything—and I cannot stress this enough—write more books. Stop stalking your sales, returns, ranking, and reviews and write.

12 Tips for increasing sales and visibility:
1.       Finish your series! The majority of the money I made in year two was made toward the end of the year. The factor that changed was I published the third book in a series. Having a complete series can dramatically change your people’s willingness to buy the books. The audience doesn’t want to wait between books. They want it all now.
2.       Don’t be afraid to publish multiple books at once. In fact do it. The more content you have available the better you will do in the algorithms which in turn affect visibility which is the biggest challenge we all face.
3.       Don’t be afraid to price a little higher. I have found certain genres do better at a higher price point. The best part about being independently published is you can test different price points, covers, and blurbs until you find the right combination that works for you.
4.       Use your books. Your novels are the best advertising for your other books that you can do. Readers are already engaged and interested in you enough to pick up your book. Make sure you have links to all your other books, one excerpt, a newsletter sign up, and web address in every book you have available.
5.       Utilize sales and free days to their highest potential. Plan them carefully, set up advertising, and make sure you capitalize of having your book on sale.
      Personally, my feeling on free days and sales is that they don't actually help a lot until you have more than one book because the sales will trickled through all of your books, so the more you have the better the results will be. You can plan a sale or a free day at anytime, but what you need to make sure you do is advertise the hell out of it. Don't leave anything up to chance. Try Bookbub, Pixel of Ink, and Ereader News Today, as well as any and every other place you can find. You want the biggest push you can give it while it is at that price. You HAVE to capitalize on these moments. They will give you momentum and visibility
6.       Social media is meant to be social, not to share links to your books. No one cares about the random person they don’t know tweeting out a link. No one. They do care about the fun, interactive person who has chatted with them about cat videos and made them laugh. Let your personality and interest shine through and people will respond to you. You don’t have to run around begging for attention because then you become white noise and people stop listening.
7.       Know your audience. Facebook users tend to be Kindle users so sharing Amazon links make sense. Twitter users are more geared toward iBooks. Know what your audience in looking for from you.
8.       Don’t ignore the other retailers. Amazon is massive and the majority of my personal sales. However, Barnes and Noble takes a while to get warmed up but once you reach the point that you are making sales they continue. Kobo is big in Canada and in the fantasy genre. And I believe iBooks will be Amazon’s biggest competitor in about 5 years.
9.       Capitalize on all the different markets you can place one book. Ebook, print, audio, foreign translations, etc.
10.   Don’t give up any rights the publisher doesn’t plan to use. Often contracts will ask for rights they don’t intend to use (like audio or translations). Don’t sell them unless they plan to utilize them. If you retain your rights you can look at pursuing these paths or selling them separately.
11.   Know where your advice is coming from. There is lots of terrible advice on writing and marketing on the internet. People who have no business offering advice proclaim themselves as experts. Do your research. Check sales ranks, check the content they have produced,  and educate yourself as much as possible. The truth is there are two way to publish right now. Independent or Traditional.  Neither way is bad. If someone is telling you one way is the wrong way to do it, then it is pretty clear they are feeling threatened or insecure about their own position in publishing.

And my last tip. This is a business. Treat your career like a hobby and it will serve you as a hobby. Treat it like a business and you will build a career


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liz, I was at the panel and I enjoyed hearing your advice! Super helpful!! So glad to see you've published it here so I can get all the details I missed on Saturday. Thanks again :)

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