Writing and listing done. What next?
One of the most challenging tasks faced by every author is marketing and distribution of his books.
Every author desires to have maximum visibility and coverage of his book and wants more and more audience to know about his title.
Not only is it essential to get the reviews and feedback counted to see the reader interaction but also to take requisite action and improve upon the next work or title.
While the well known traditional publishing giants solve most of the problems of marketing and distribution with their own investment pumped in running campaigns and distributing paperback copies to their listed bookstores, little lesser ones require both themselves along with the authors’ time and efforts to create the market for their titles. The self published books further require entirely the author’s efforts and resources to be put into marketing of his copies.
There are various modes of distribution for getting visibility both in online as well as offline mode, but an author needs to balance both his investments and returns efficiently to reach the success of his title. Online promotion and campaigning may at times become extremely expensive without yielding sufficient results and the author may get disheartened with them.
With all the parameters kept in mind, few effective marketing and distribution techniques are mentioned as follows,
a. Pre – Launch Announcement - Starting out with a pre – commercial launch with a limited number of copies at a rate lesser than that which would be available when launched, serves as one of the powerful tools to attract readers to get the initial traction. Getting an extremely creative cover design becomes an intergral part of the book’s success as it is the first impression which the readers get of the book. The pre-launch with a high creative cover proves to be one of the best ways of starting off.
b. Book Page – Create an exclusive book page either in Facebook or in an exclusively purchased domain at a very nominal rate with details of the book and lots of keywords in the description. Book Pages may also provide ratings, reviews, a purchase tab and few details about the Author. This connects the potential readers more towards the book.
c. List Giveaways – Giveways are extremely effective ways of not only providing the much needed visibility to your title but also to get feedback and reviews. Most of the audience who receive their title as a giveaway provide a review and a rating which increases the credibility of your book and hence yeild to further sales. Participating in Giveaways have been found to be one of the most effective marketing strategies for a long time. Ukiyoto provides a FREE giveaway offer to all its published authors and recommends a month’s time to conduct them.
d. Social Media – Leverage the power of social media by placing texts related to your title and redirecting or driving the entire traffic to the previously created exclusive book page. Use visual search engines such as Pinterest to drive the traffic to your Book Page.
e. Commenting on popular blogs – Search for those blogs which receive extremely high traffic such as Huffington Post or Medium and place contents from your book, with keywords, in them with a redirection link to your Book Page. Leverage the traffic of these blogs to flow to your Book Page.
f. Analytics – Keep a track of your visitors to see where they are coming from and how they have heard about your book. You may tune your resources and investments for book promotions according to that particular segment from where your visitors have found you.
g. Running Campaigns and Promotions – Run effective seasonal campaigns but do not make it too often. Authors often make the mistake of continuously running campaigns yeilding to spams and blockage of mail ids. Short campaigns which maybe seasonal or festive are seen to have more engagement and conversion than those which are run continuously throughout the year.
h. Sponsor copies of book to potential readers and bookstores – Provide three to four free copies, preferably paperback, to your most loyal client or reader who would ensure you get a review from him/her and also spread the word about your title. Often, bookstores want a trial period for the copies to be kept on their shelf and based on the sales outflow decide on keeping inventory. Paperback copies provided to bookstores maybe effective in getting the readers’ attention. Photos of copies placed in such bookstores posted over social media further compound the effect of spreading the word about the title.
i. Use Amazon book widget and Author page – Amazon has an effective book widget which may be embedded in your website or social media and drive the onflowing traffic to your book. Amazon being the largest e-tailer of books also provides the Author to create an Author page which maybe connected to the title. This helps the readers in finding the author and helps the author in developing a strong fan base over a period of time.
j. Author brand building – Conducting book reading sessions or recording videos of book readings and posting them along with a host which has sufficient amount of traffic helps to connect the readers more with the author and in turn purchase his current and future titles. You may also make special announcements such as your upcoming project or any offer that you want to give on your title during your webinars and recordings.
The above are a few selected marketing and distribution strategies for selling your books. You may add your comments below in addition to the ones above and help in contributing to the author community.