Book Marketing That Actually Works
The good news is that book marketing isn’t that hard; but it does take time to build your audience. In this article I will cover book marketing that actually works in 5-easy-steps that over time will help to make your indie book publishing a smashing success.
In the modern era of instant coffee, fast-food, and information moving at the speed of light, it’s not hard to see why we as authors also want instant gratification when it comes to selling our books.
But as you will soon learn if you haven’t already, nothing in the book publishing world happens quickly. You didn’t write your book overnight, you’re not going to sell a million copies overnight—buy you can get there, eventually.
Book Marketing is a Process
Pick any famed author you like, and you will discover that it took them a decade or more to get to where they are.
Well, for starters, they needed to learn how to write. I don’t care who you are, as a writer your first book is never going to be as good as your third, or your tenth. As authors we need to realize that it takes time and practice to write really good stories and build a following of readers who love our work along the way.
Don’t get discouraged! The fun is in the process, not the destination!
Along the way you are going to need to invest in some marketing and some marketing tools to help you build your following.
This series of marketing articles by BeauxArts Design have been written by successful indie authors to help you get there without wasting thousands of dollars on scam marketing services that will only disappoint you.
Do Not Hire a Marketing Consultant
The biggest waste of money you can imagine will be spent on these so-called book Marketing Consultants who will spin up a marketing plan that you pay for over several months with little to no value to show for your wasted dollars. Oh, they are out there, and they will give you a masterful sales pitch and take your money; but they will deliver next to no value; and you could have done the vary same things yourself.
Do read some books on how to run ads on Facebook and Amazon and other social media to attract new readers. You’ll spend $5 to $10 on a book and save thousands of dollars in the process.
Do Not Buy Into Some “Amazing System” for $50 to $100 on Facebook
I mean, you can, but you’ll be wasting $50 to $100 on their stupid “get-rich-quick” system; but at least you didn’t spend thousands. Although, my guess is the guy or gal selling you their system then wants you to buy deeper into their worthless marketing gimmicks. Don’t fall for it. If they advertise that you can make all kinds of money selling books on Amazon, run. It’s a scam.
Do Not Use Free Book Giveaways
There are millions of authors all over the world right now trying to give away their books. Sites like BookBub, FreeBooksy, et. al., make promises that they will give you “exposure” as a new author. It’s BS. Don’t fall for the scam. People on these lists only download books for free and they will never buy a single copy of a book from you. Ever. Unless you’re into giving away books for free to people who will likely never read them, don’t waste your money advertising on these sites.
You can get even more information about marketing scams by clicking on the image above and downloading our free report.
Now let’s look at what you need to do to really be successful as an indie author.
Step 1: Write a Really Great Novel
As I just alluded to above, you need to be a great writer and a great storyteller to sell books.
You likely have your favorite authors that you really love and identify with; you love their worlds and the people in their stories. YOU need to be that good as well. And you can be, it just takes practice and time.
My first novel took me 5 years to complete. It was a mess. And after I wrote it, I hated it. Not because it was bad, but because it was really my first work and I knew it could be better. That first manuscript actually became the foundation for my first real published novel. In time, that first manuscript became book five of my series after I basically massaged the story and re-wrote it. It was a much better story after that.
You get the idea. Practice makes perfect. Don’t stop, even if you’re not the best writer out of the gate. What’s important is your passion to better your craft.
Give yourself the time it takes to write really good stories. I’m not saying don’t publish your first book. DO publish it! I’m simply saying that you have more books inside of you clawing to get out and onto the page than you know. These could become your bestsellers later on.
Step 2: Get a Rock Star Cover Designer
It doesn’t matter the kind of masterpiece book you’ve written, if your cover designer sucks, if they are not experienced enough in the industry, if you only paid $100 for your cover, you’re not going to sell any books with a cheap or terrible cover. You’re just not. Sorry. That’s the reality. I’m not saying go out and spend $2,000 on a book cover, but a really great cover from an elite cover designer will cost you $800 to $1,000.
Sure, you can get a cover designed on Fiverr for $100 or even less. Maybe it will look okay, maybe it won’t. But professional book cover designers know by experience what it takes to make a great cover that will sell your book when it’s stood up next to hundreds of other books whose covers were designed by amateur designers. Even professional designers you find on places like 99Designs or Reedsy may not be true industry professionals.
We recently took on a web design gig from a client who got a cover design from Reedsy. It was so bad I told the client that BeauxArts would redesign their cover on spec. If they liked the new cover, they’d get a discount since we were already doing their website. They’d paid the Reedsy designer over $900 for a cover that should have cost $50 on Fiverr. It was just that terrible.
The client loved our new cover for their book and became the new look and feel of a fantastic website as well.
It is imperative that you find a real industry expert cover designer with a stunning portfolio of different works who knows what they are doing. They will be worth every penny as you begin marketing your book to new readers.
Also, it is imperative that you listen to your design professional. They know more than you do about what will make a really great design that can sell books. You might have it in your head that you need A, B and C on your cover, but if your designer balks, there’s a reason. Don’t try to junk up your covers with stuff no one will ever see or care about, just because it’s in the story. The best cover designers will work with you and let you know what is best and what will sell books.
Step 3: Get a Rock Star Website
If you’re going to market your books in the modern world, you are going to need a rock star website that looks as good as your book cover and the story within your book.
Again, be careful who you hire to do your website. Here’s a fact: most web designers suck. Seriously, they do. But they will be all too eager to sell you a cookie-cutter website that looks like they tossed it together from some tired canned theme they downloaded for free online. Don’t hire these people. Look at their work portfolio. Compare it to what truly elite designers do.
I do elite web design; I used to work for Disney if that tells you anything. But there are other designers besides me, really good ones; you just need to find them. Again, beware of places like Reedsy and other platforms. Just because Reedsy says someone is “vetted” doesn’t mean they’re a talented designer. Even hosts like GoDaddy offer web design services, but they are expensive and often just as bad as what you find on Fiverr. I’ve taken over projects that GoDaddy refunded because the client who then became our client was so disgusted by their cookie-cutter unimpressive work.
Also, do not think you can save money by using a platform like Wix or Squarespace. I consistently get clients who tried to use these pre-made template sites and their sites looked awful and they came to us for help. You may be a great writer, but don’t think this will make you a good designer, even with a template.
A rock star website will run you about $1,000 for a good 1-page site. If someone is charging more than this, they may be ripping you off. I’ve built $3,000 author websites before, but they had e-commerce and custom video and other programmed features most authors really don’t need out of the gate.
I also own a web hosting company, 3AO.com, so not only do you get great web design, but we host it for free for the first year too. I know, I’m giving a blatant commercial here, but I’m just telling you what’s out there. You don’t have to hire me or our studio. But just make sure your website looks as good as your new book cover and that there is a branding synergy between them.
Step 4: Start Building a Mailing List
Here is where the rubber meets the road with your author marketing: you need your own mailing list of readers. It’s going to start out small, but it will, in time, get huge because you are going to be building this list over several years and with numerous books.
If you click or tap on the 6-Figure Author book image at the left, you will see a keen little popup window with a a form telling you that you can get a copy of my Ultimate Guide, The 6-figure Author Business Plan book, a $10 value for FREE, just give me your name and email address.
And this same mechanism is how you will find and build your mailing list of readers too.
And once those people are in your email list database, you will have the ultimate marketing tool to use to market any new book you publish directly to them! All without having to rely on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media or advertising.
Right now you can find ads on Facebook with people who want you to buy their “market direct to readers” system. You don’t need to buy their wonky system. You just need to work your marketing to build your mailing list.
I cover all of these marketing tips in the above book, again, it’s yours for free. Unsubscribe if you don’t want to ever hear from me again. But you need this information if you want to be a successful 6-figure author.
What makes this direct-marketing to subscribers work, however, is that you need to give your audience something they want bad enough to give you their name and email address. For me, it’s giving away hard-hitting marketing advice to other authors. And as an author, you can give your new prospects something else they might value, like a free book that introduces them to your work.
At BeauxArts Design, we design exceptional covers, build beautiful websites, and design attention-grabbing social media ads that allow you to market and collect this information and build a lasting relationship with your readers.
Final Step 5: Write Another Book and Market via Your Mailing List
It starts small, I know. I’ve been there and done that. But as you build your mailing list, you will start to see your sales build. The days of you selling just a handful of books will be long gone. If you can build your mailing list to between 5,000 to 10,000 readers who are fans of your work, you will make all kinds of money without spending another dime on marketing. And things will only grow bigger as you grow your fans and your mailing list.
Most authors, it seems, are not prepared for running their indie book publishing as a business. But that is what you have to do to be a successful 6-figure author. Thousands of authors on Amazon earn over $50,000 to $100,000+ each year on Amazon. There’s no reason you cannot be one of them.
It all Begins with Professional Book Covers, a Rock Star Website, and Well-designed Ads
There are of course a lot more details to this marketing of your books, but now you know the best way there is to market your work on your way to becoming a 6-figure author. In the coming articles, I’ll show you how I design ads that get noticed and where to place them for maximum draw for your marketing dollars.
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In the mean time, if your book or series needs an update with an elite touch and deep professional experience; if your website didn’t quite turn out as awesome as you’d hoped; or you need some social media ads that will turn heads and get clicks, BeauxArts Design Studio can take your existing or new book marketing from ho-hum to that cover and website everyone points to and says, “That’s how I want my books to look!”
Until next time … Don’t stop writing!