I recently invited Penny Sansevieri to my Conversations with Frances webinar series. Below you’ll find a condensed summary of some of our conversation. Be sure to watch the video to glean all of Penny’s great suggestions.
- Book selling strategies vary depending on the genre and title. But what we know is 95% of books are sold by word of mouth. So look at getting reviews. The No. 1 thing she recommends is building your list of super fans or a street team.
- 99% of authors don’t market their books. A good measure of authors believe in the field of dreams theory … that because they wrote a book, readers will come.
- Authors need to turn to their super fan base to get them to review books. You don’t need a huge list as long as your readers are fanatical about your writing.
- One way to build a fan base is to include a letter in the back of the book and ask readers to contact you. The next step is to add them to your email list and start communicating with you. Then start asking them questions, such as what they want to see in your book or let them help you to select a book cover. They in turn get exclusive deals. For example, give them a free book two weeks before a book goes off presale or a tote.
- According to the book The Curve, you need 1,000 super fans to get on the New York Times bestseller list.
- Nowadays, it’s easier to connect with readers due to social media, email, and video.
- Book launches are very important but the most successful books are those that are promoted over the long term.
- Pre-orders are fun but once the pre-order is over sales can drop and that can in turn will hurt sales.
- She loves to re-launch books. Sometimes you can split up books and create a series. Consider refreshing a cover. Update the content.
- Book series are doing better than movie series.
- Christmas novellas are popular.
- Always pitch bloggers for reviews. Reviews continue to help your amazon visibility. Amazon is just a search engine and it responds to the same cues as Google does. Continually reach out to readers, ask readers for reviews, and do speaking engagements. Give out character trading cards.
- How should authors use social media to promote their books? There’s a lot of noise out there that’s not productive. You need to remember that it’s about conversations. Also, it’s not about being everywhere but being where it counts. Cut out the useless noise and get rid of the social media sites that are doing anything for you. In some cases a video connection can be great.
- Start to research similar authors in your genre. You want to find what social media sites they are on, where they’re getting the most momentum, and invest your time there.
- Be sure to talk to your readers on social media.
The Next Webinar is January 11th!
Sharon Hamilton started writing several years ago on a rainy day. It’s wasn’t long before she was publishing, writing more books, blogging, and achieving success as an indie author. We’ll follow the trajectory of her career and the factors that contributed to her success in this webinar. Join us on January 11 at 11 am PST / 2 pm EST.
Author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.
Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web