It’s really important to understand the world of social media and online publicity when releasing a non-fiction book for sales success (and not just fulfillment). To see how good online book publicity creates general success, look at how ThankYou.co are now growing their business.
With a growing army of 267,000 Facebook fans, they’re pushing their whole business by publishing a book: Chapter One. The book gives people an insight into their journey and some personal inspo’. Their sales? Check the link and see for yourself.
Notice how I said understand — and not just ‘do’ — social media. It’s true that you can post stuff all day, every day and not interest anyone except people you know already. But understanding how people interact online and why they get interested and buy something is key to successful book sales.
Why don’t my books sell?
It’s something all authors ask ourselves. I often wondered why my books didn’t sell via the print-on-demand (except library orders) and only a few via Kindle/iBooks networks. A harsh thing after earlier ebook success via Lulu in 2006-08. The listing might be worded great, the keywords are there, the category is niche enough, but that doesn’t convince peeps to buy an unreviewed book.
They need to know you first! I had to put the social media, email and blogging work into getting the right traffic to my JenniferLancaster publishing blog. Visitors who sometimes return. I had to alert potential readers through my online channels before some (stop-start) sales came in. If I was younger and more Mummy-bloggerish, I would put more work into Pinterest.
Go to the Next Level in Book Sales Success
To go to the next level, I would spend time on creating engagement in one social platform, either Facebook or Instagram, most likely. The difference now? I would create visually-enticing pictures and video around a theme, not just blog posts. (No cats).
Nonetheless, sometimes people do travel from Twitter or LinkedIn status update to my blog. A co-campaign with Quickbooks on one blog post about freelancer tools worked pretty well and helped get 250 likes to my book page as well as 20 sales. Naturally, I scheduled the social media updates to capitalise. So, JVs can work.
Secondly, if I was launching a book now I would create several short press releases and a giveaway of a worksheet or calculator (via an email marketing system). I find these are most wanted, because sideline hustlers want to work stuff out for themselves. I’d perhaps offer the giveaway via other bloggers after sending them a release about the book and an offer of the calculator, book itself, something like that. You can find bloggers at Blogdash.com
PEOPLE LIKE FREE STUFF… and bloggers are no exception.
Journalists regularly get sent giveaways of new products being launched; the same goes with editors and high-level bloggers. It’s best to be really friendly and have a clear and awesome email signature, if you want to get a relationship started.
Word-of-mouth advertising is directly responsible for 19% of purchases. And up to 90% of purchases are influenced by word of mouth.
Source: PR Extra Daily, Sept 18
Just Using a PR Agency for Online Book Publicity
Some authors think they’re a celebrity and can get publicity for a book through a PR agency. Well, good luck with that. I had a client who was on a hot show on TV, talking about her book on both primetime and Foxtel, and sure she sold books (via POD/personal launch) because of that. But the PR agent work — for which she paid $10,000 — did NOT cover the revenue generated from the sales. A modicum of gossip mag stories does not a book publicity campaign make.
However, for an ordinary Joe/Jill, the book sales success would have been good. It just wasn’t at the level where $10K is a breeze. I did her book production and proofreading, and that amount was covered by the revenue. However, the book was canned on Amazon due to fans trolling the reviews.
Book Reviews are Gold
Book reviews and ratings of 3 to 5 stars sell more books. The more authentic they sound, the better it will perform in selling books.
Your readers are not always going to love your book, but any reviews of 3 stars and above you should be happy with. Look at what people say, if they can string a sentence together, do they have valid points? Can you make the next book better?
Also, book reviews don’t happen by themselves. An email reminder to your house list or a small request on your busiest Facebook page might be the best way to ask for a review (post launch).
Summary of Why Online Book Publicity… Leads to Book Sales Success
You need to use your blog/website as a hub to interest readers in your theories and your books.
Sure, use bloggers to put the word out about your book, but you must reward them with something tangible.
You might also try Joint Venturing on campaigns, with a big company who sells to your target audience.
These days, visual campaigns via Facebook or Instagram (or both) work well for gathering interest, but you still must engage personally with readers. Because people don’t just lob upon your listing and think, I’ll buy that! That’s why good book reviews (at the point of their decision-making) work well for most authors.
You can see that Online Book Publicity is a process fraught with hurdles, so set your online brand up professionally and keep your raving fans in touch with your goodness. This will lead to book sales success.