Is one of your business goals to publish a book this year? If so, I’m going to assume (dangerous, I know) you want to sell your book. And not just one or two to your family and friends, but sell more books to get your message spread far and wide. Am I right?
(audio version of post, 5 minutes)
Seems like a lot of my clients and colleagues are writing and publishing books.
I’ve had quite a few conversations in the last several weeks with entrepreneurs in various stages of writing a book, and I found most of them have one frustrating thing in common.
These smart, successful entrepreneurs are struggling to sell more books.
After doing a couple of brief audits of their online presence, I discovered why...
Most author entrepreneurs do not take the time or know how to, create a solid online foundation before they write, publish, and sell their books.
Without a foundation (also known as your “platform”) on which to build a visible presence on the Web, it’s going to be difficult to attract attention and get connected with enough potential readers to make a significant number of book sales. Period.
A traditional publisher is not even going to look at you unless you have your own platform, which means a Twitter following, Facebook following and/or a significant blog following. ~ John Altucher
Before you can initiate an active visibility campaign, there are five foundational elements you must have in place.
5 Easy Steps to Sell More Books Immediately
Building your online foundation is essential if you intend to sell more than a few books. Here’s what you need to have in place:
- Blog – this is a no-brainer. You absolutely must have a piece of digital real estate you own and control. This is where all traffic is directed as you build your audience. This where you post the search-engine friendly content that helps you get found by those searching for the solution you and you book offer. (See the slideshow below for tips on how to use a blog to dominate your niche.)
- Email management service – this is also non-negotiable. Without an email list of qualified prospects and customers, you will always struggle to sell your book. The people who give you their email address are telling you they value what you offer and want to hear from you. Do your research and find the best email service that meets your needs and your budget. The most widely used are Aweber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and InfusionSoft.
- Optin/Landing page – you need a blog site (#1) and an email service (#2) to set this up. Create a simple page inviting people to get free updates about your book. Offer a gift like a free chapter in exchange for their email address. This is list building 101. (Sample optin page)
- Know your audience. Maybe this should be #1 since it dictates everything you do, from the topic of your book to the content you publish on your blog site. Where does your ideal reader hangout? Use Quantcast to check out demographics on the sites your audience frequents. Use your Facebook Page Insights to learn more about the demographics of your followers. Use Google Analytics to find out how your blog readers are finding you.
- Set up and complete your social profiles. Make sure you are using the social networks your ideal readers’ are using (#4). If they are on Twitter, you better be using Twitter as well. It should go without saying, but I see this mistake all the time… make sure your social profiles are COMPLETE. Include your headshot, cover image, bio, and links to your site and other social networks. Your social networks are where you will be posting microcontent to entice your readers back to your blog.
What’s next?Once you have your online foundation in place, then it's time to start actively and consistently building your visibility.
Start by optimizing your blog. The slideshow below was created for several presentations I gave to authors a few years ago. I recently reviewed it and the content still stands up with a couple of tweaks to update it.
Ok, now your blog is optimized.
You’re ready to start boosting visibility for your book project. If your goal is to sell more books, then this step must happen at the same time you’re writing your book.
It drives me nuts when I see a great book flop because no one knows about it. It makes me sad knowing how hard the author worked to birth their book and then get dismal sales results. I’m on a mission to help author entrepreneurs get their messages out to the world…
My VIP mentoring program includes working with author entrepreneurs who are looking for guidance and support with building and implementing a visibility-boosting book promotion plan (that’s a mouthful!). Click here to get the details and schedule a complimentary strategy session to see how we can work together to generate more sales for your book!
Denise is amazing at helping solopreneurs like me go from zero to 100 in online visibility. Her creativity is never ending when coming up with fresh marketing ideas. She helped me launch my book and take it to #1. She also showed me how to get it in front of readers that really needed my book in a non-salesy way. If you are new to online marketing or have a product to launch, I would highly recommend her to help navigate through the process.
Updated October 3, 2017
Feature image: Janko Ferlič