The term author platform gained traction in the book publishing world alongside the rise of self-publishing. Essentially, it refers to your ability as an author to sell books based on your audience — who you can reach and convert into paying customers. Traditional book publishers were looking for authors with a large platform to help with marketing efforts. Nonfiction writers with a built-in author platform had a greater chance of getting a book deal, especially with larger book publishers. An author platform offers influence, which gives authors a leg up when it comes to book marketing efforts.Read More
Beginning on Black Friday and continuing through the beginning of the new year, the holiday season marks the busiest shopping season of the year. This is great news for author-entrepreneurs, whether your book is new or not. Why? Books make a great holiday gift!
Actually waiting until Black Friday to start thinking about holiday book sales is too late, though. You need to be ready well in advance, so start thinking about your plan now.Read More
If you have followed me for a while, you know that I regularly talk about the long game of book marketing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have seen so many authors treat it like a sprint and burn out — quickly. The investment of time, energy, and money can be overwhelming, and it is ongoing, so pacing yourself is critical. Book marketing experts talk about multiple phases of marketing, and most agree that there are three (called by different names, of course): pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.Read More
With about a million books published each year in the United States, book marketing is absolutely critical. Much of book marketing is trial and error, since every book is unique. That said, here are some common book marketing mistakes I see. Learn from others’ mistakes and avoid these, and you’ll already have a leg up in the book marketing game.Read More
One of the common misconceptions about self-publishing is that you can’t get a self-published book into bookstores. False!
It is absolutely possible to get a self-published book into a bookstore. That said, there are a few things you need to do as an entrepreneur to make sure your book is available to sell in bookstores.Read More
Technically speaking, a book trailer IS optional. But given the explosive growth of video in today’s marketing world, you’d be silly NOT to take advantage of it when marketing your book. According to ComScore, readers are 64 percent more likely to buy your book if they see a trailer that promotes your book effectively. 64 PERCENT. That’s just about two out of three people. Creating a book trailer and including it on your book’s sales page as well as in your marketing efforts in general, then, is a no-brainer.
Here are a few pointers to keep the process manageable.Read More
With so many possibilities — unlimited possibilities, really — it can be hard to know where to focus your book marketing efforts. That includes both time and money. Whether you DIY your book marketing or hire a book marketing/publicity firm, these three tips work for just about every author-entrepreneurRead More
With thousands of books published every day (yes, you read that correctly), you need to give your book the best chance to succeed. One of the smartest ways to do just that is to conduct a book positioning study. (You might also see this called a competitive analysis or a book marketing study.) Of course book success relies on writing a great book that has a great cover. But there’s SO MUCH more you can do.Read More
We’ve talked before on the blog about the importance of your book cover, because the truth is, we DO judge a book by its cover. In addition to compelling images/graphics paired well with fonts and colors, is the cover text.
In addition to compelling images/graphics paired well with fonts and colors, is the cover text. - @jodibrandon
No matter what format you’re publishing (ebook, paperback, audio, hardcover), you need a cover for marketing purposes. Here are the essential and standard text cover elements:
Other optional front cover text elements include a starburst in one of the corners announcing, say, a foreword or something like “Revised and Updated.”
Does Size Matter?
Notice that the size of the book title versus the size of the subtitle versus the size of the tagline. You can easily identify the hierarchy here, and it’s clear what the title of the book is. Also notice the size of the title versus the size of the author. This is Jessica’s first book. Take a look at a book cover by someone who’s written multiple books sometime. You’ll see, more often than not, the name getting larger while the title gets smaller. (Don’t believe me? Check out both Daring Greatly and Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. Or both Crush It and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. This is even more true with fiction books than non-fiction, where readers sometimes have absolute blind loyalty and will buy anything an author publishes, so the name is highlighted in lieu of the title.)
Spine and Back Cover
If you’re publishing a paperback or hardcover edition of your book, you’ll also need text for the spine and back cover. If you’re self-publishing, you won’t have a publisher symbol for the spine. Also if you’re self-publishing, you have the option of changing the price, so you might not want to include your price on the back cover. (Bar codes come with or without the price embedded.)
- Publisher/imprint symbol
- ISBN/bar code
- Author photo
- Author bio
- Book description
- Book category (optional)
- Price (optional)
Whereas the cover art is most likely to grab your attention first, it’s the cover text that will convince you to buy a book. - @jodibrandon
Have you found this to be the case?
A book launch party isn’t JUST a party. Sure, it’s a celebration of your hard work. But it’s more than that: A successful book launch party should be a celebration AND a promotion tool.Read More
Regardless of the format your sales page takes (whether you have a separate website for your book or it’s a page on your current site), it’s critical that you have one. You must have a way to capture emails to stay in touch with your readers, and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers are under no obligation to (nor do they) share customer information with you. Think of your book sales page as a “one-stop shop” for anything and everything a potential reader would want to know about your book.
Whoever manages your website should be able to add a page or create a new site for you. If you want a simple option, check out booklaunch.io. There are paid and free versions to set up a sales page for your book if you aren’t technically inclined and don’t have an entire new site in your budget.
Keep in mind that this page isn’t taking the place of your book sales page on Amazon, but Amazon should be people’s second stop, not first. If you send them to Amazon first, they may never make it to your website, they may never sign up for a freebie you’re offering, and they may never check out your other offers and services. So where do you begin?Read More
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we know the importance of our email list. We don’t “own” our social media followers. This can take on a whole new level of importance when it comes to book publishing. Why? The almighty Amazon. Amazon doesn’t share customer information with authors, so unless someone who purchases your book is on your list, you may never have an interaction with them, That is NOT ideal, obviously. (I don’t mean to pick on Amazon, because obviously this is true of Barnes & Noble and other booksellers, of course, but let’s face it: Most book sales these days are coming from Amazon.)Read More
You’ve likely heard (correctly, I might add) that obtaining book reviews is one of the most stressful parts of the book publishing process. It’s a catch-22 when your book is first released: You need reviews to sell the book, but you need people to read the book in order to get reviews.
Reviews are different from beta feedback, in which you’re guiding a reader through the book in order to get feedback. With a review, anything goes.Read More
Pre-sales are a hot-button topic in the book publishing world. You likely haven’t thought much about pre-sales, so let me break down a few of the most common pros and cons so you can decide what’s best for your book.
First, though, let’s define a pre-sale so we’re all on the same page. (See what I did there?) A pre-sale is, essentially, making your book available for purchase by setting up an advanced listing on a selling platform (e.g., Amazon or your website). When readers “buy,” they are simply reserving a copy, which will be shipped (if a print book) or released (if an ebook) on launch day, and at that time their payment will be processed.Read More
A book, like everything else we create or produce in our businesses, needs to be marketed. A book is the ultimate evergreen product: Once it’s released, it’s ALWAYS available. And thus, it needs a strong marketing campaign that focuses on the launch, the short term, and the long term.Read More
Sure, you can start writing, putting together a marketing plan, and thinking about a title before you determine your launch date, BUT without an end date -- that is, a launch date — it will be impossible to set a time line with deadlines for your book production.Read More
Launching a book is serious business. If you’ve ever launched a course or product, you know this. A book is no different. I asked some of my friends in the creative entrepreneur and writing communities what they wish they’d known before launching their first book.Read More