In order to be successful in selling your books, you need a clear and focused approach to marketing. The following steps will help you gain an understanding of how to create a successful book marketing strategy.
The first and most critical step to creating a marketing strategy for your book is to focus on the product you are offering. Some of the key items which must be considered in your strategy are:
Both cover design and page layout (also known as page formatting), are critical components to the success of your book. This cannot be stressed enough. Up to 80% of books purchased are sold based on the cover design alone. Books which consist of a poor quality cover design will very likely suffer from poor sales regardless of the content of the book. While we do offer a professional cover design service, we also offer information on producing your own professional quality cover design for your book.
Even more than cover design, page layout rarely gets the attention it deserves. Along with a professional book cover design, a professional page layout will help to give your book an edge in the marketplace. If you would rather create your own cover design or page layout, we provide helpful tips to creating your professional quality page layout as well in our self-publishing guide.
The use of quality materials and workmanship combined with a professional cover design and page layout will give your book a distinct advantage over other books on the market. This is true for every type of book.
Positioning is how people see your book in relation to other books. In order to effectively market your book, you need to focus on what sets your book apart from other books in order to identify your target audience. The three key components to positioning your book are 1) quality, 2) design, and 3) the topic of your book. Since we have already looked at the importance of quality book production, cover design, and page layout, its time to turn our attention to the topic , or theme of your book.
To determine the theme or topic of your book, you must look at the main characters as well as the location in which the story takes place. What is special about your characters, or the situations they find themselves in? What is interesting about the location used in the story. You should identify any content which makes your book unique.
It is important to choose a descriptive but short title for your book. You must ask yourself “what is the point of the book?”, and then convey this in your title. It is usually best to have a title of 5 words or fewer (not including the words the, and, or etc.). Try not to use words which most people are not familiar with. If you're short title is not descriptive enough, a subtitle may be used.
Beginning your title with a number will cause your title to be noticed (not to mention your book title will then be displayed first on lists). With self-help books, It is important to promise something in your title. For example: 12 Steps to a Better Life. This promise will make the purchaser feel as though they are getting much more for their money.
Choosing the proper venue from which to make your book available is very important to the sale of your book. No matter how you ultimately decide to do this, we strongly advise having a website to sell your book from. This is why we offer a website to every author printing their book with us.
In order to determine the best venue to market your book you must focus on the theme of your book, or what makes your book unique. In the previous section on positioning, we looked at the importance of identifying who would be most interested in your book. This is referred to as your target market. After some consideration, you may conclude that your target market are people who enjoy travelling, or own a specific breed of dog, or people who are renovating their homes.
The next step is to find the most effective way to reach the people who would be most interested in your book. The most common way is to place your book in local bookstores. This is a quick and easy way to get your book in front of potential buyers.
A more targeted approach would be to contact associations whose members would likely be interested in your book. For example, if you have written a children’s book, and the main character of your book is a Cocker Spaniel, your local Humane Society or an association devoted to the care of Cocker Spaniels would be worth pursuing. Having your book mentioned in their monthly newsletters would be putting your book in front of thousands of potential buyers. A link to your website in the newsletters would drive traffic (and orders) directly to your site. An offer to make a donation (of $1.00 per book as an example) to the organizations would be a good gesture.
Targeted approaches such as selling to associations, corporations, specialty gift shops, or tourist attractions, will often bring far better results than simply listing your book with a general brick and mortar or online retailer.
Determining a retail price for your book depends on several factors. From the topic of your book to the number of pages in your book, many things must be considered before coming to a decision on the retail price. We will often recommend first time authors not print the price of the book on the cover, or encode the price of the book into the barcode. This will allow you to alter the price of your book if need be. We provide advice on pricing to each author printing their book with us.