7 Book Launch Lessons – #1 Book Marketing Mindset #MondayBlogs

Ahh, ‘marketing,’ that filthy word writers hate slightly less than ‘self-promotion.But, marketing is what sells our books, generates an audience and builds a fanbase… So why the apathy folks?

Whatever the reasons (unbridled imposter syndrome, unfathomable irrationality, a case of lost-your-fucking-mind-itis), we can’t help but cringe, whimper and cower away from saying those dirty words.

*cough… buy my book…please…*

Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair. We do say it… Just the once mind, and only quietly using our best polite-British voice.

*forehead slap*

Let’s get a grip, shall we?

If you’re even half serious about selling books or writing full-time, then you’re going to have to get with the self-promotion program, and fast.

Did I mention that I published a book…?

Cause I have…

It’s called 13 Steps To Evil, and you should probably check it out…

See… that wasn’t too bad, was it? No one died because I promoted myself, and I’m only sweating and twitching a little bit! *deep breath* *reaches for paper bag*

Before we move into hardcore tactics – here’s the ‘what I’ve learned about marketing through publishing my first book 13 Steps To Evil stuff.’

If you don’t want to advertise and promote yourself, that’s okay, but just so that you know, you ain’t gonna sell any books. Putting a book out there and hoping for sales, is a dead method. Beyond dead, in fact. Even the grim reaper himself won’t take pity on you if you plump for hope marketing. So let’s agree we’re not going to do that.

THE MARKETING MINDSET

Image from Pexels

What Is Marketing? And What Should You Expect From it?

Marketing IS selling. 

the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.Dictionary.com

What it isn’t is a cause and effect miracle science. Just because you whop out blog tours like candy bars, doesn’t mean you’re going to sell a hundred books. In fact, you might not sell any. But… but… but… a blog tour is so much work. I know, I know. It hurts knowing that work put in might not equal an exact number of sales out. But that’s marketing for you. If there’s one truth I can give you, it’s that…

MARKETING IS THE LONG GAME

Image from Pixabay

The really, really, painful stab-yourself-in-the-eye-till-it-bleeds type long game. There’s an accepted rule in business and marketing that a person needs to hear your message (or see your book cover or author name) seven times before it even registers. Of course, not everyone needs to hear a message seven times before they buy, but it’s a good average.

SEVEN.

Considering how hard it is to get your book in front of people just once, that’s torture to hear too. But it soon adds up, a couple of blogs here, a sprinkle of Twitter, a dash of advertising and then hey presto you’re in someone’s ‘also boughts.’ All of a sudden you’ve hit seven ‘sees’ and you’re in an Amazon basket.

NOT NOW – ALWAYS

Image from Pixabay

The point is. Don’t think about the marketing you do now in terms of instant results. 

Unless you’re doing a BookBub, paid advertising, or have a large subscriber list. You’re unlikely to see huge numbers of sales from the marketing you do now. But that doesn’t matter. You might do a guest post now and not see results, but that shits evergreen folks. I’ve had blog posts go nuts eight months after I posted them because that’s the insanity of social media. So hard work now is never lost. It may generate sales in the future. And like Suzie and Elena said at the blogger’s bash, KEEP promoting that shit.

Once you’ve done the hard work, you can keep reusing it. The internet (until we have a technological blackout style apocalypse, is evergreen. People will find material that’s years old… IF you keep sharing it.

For clarity –

  • I do mean reshare helpful blog posts across social media that might also promote your book.
  • I do mean iterate the content from your book to help others, or share snippets.
  • I DON’T mean repost ‘buy my book’ a million times. That shit is annoying, and doesn’t work.

But don’t be afraid you’ll piss people off by resharing. Social media has the half-life of a gnat’s piss. Most people won’t even realize you’re resharing stuff, and if they have a problem, they don’t have to follow you.Which brings me on to the next point:

DON’T CRY OVER LOST FOLLOWERS 

from Gify

If the fear of losing followers is preventing you from doing certain things or promoting your work, you need to take yourself off to the corner and have a word.

Let’s apply this to something meaningful (to me) – Subscriber List.

I’ll go into sub lists in more detail in a different lesson. For now, know that I have to pay for my subscriber list, so I only want subscribers who are engaged and enthusiastic about my work. I get a few unsubscribes every.single.time.I.send.an.email. Do you see me weeping tears because I lost two followers? Nope. Good riddens. Okay, not true. I did find it hard at first, I may have even shed a coal shaped tear or two; then I realize the benefits…

A) It saves me money in mailing list fees

B) I’m only sending emails to people who want them and are engaged with them and will potentially buy books

The same principle applies to finishing books – I had to take a blog break to get books completed – did my stats suffer? Yes, a bit, but my mailing list still grew, and that’s the most important bit – a direct link to inboxes to let people know your book just went live. Plus because of the break, I’m building a backlist of books.

Priorities. Nuff said.

THE BUSINESS MINDSET

Image from Pixabay

There are 6 million books on Amazon. SIX FUCKING MILLION. Do you even know what 6 million of anything looks like? Cause I sure as shit don’t. But I’m guessing it’s chuffing big!

Why am I saying this? Cause, we need to stand out. We need a way of reaching the hundreds of millions of Amazon customers, waving our hands and saying ‘pick me.’

How do we do that?

Business mindset – Your book isn’t just a book.

Especially so for non-fiction, but the same can be said for fiction.

You need to be asking yourself how you can iterate your book. In fact, how’s about we don’t even call it a book anymore? Let’s call it was it is, a product.

Have you got an ebook? A paperback? An audiobook?

Got discarded excerpts or deleted scenes? Why haven’t you slapped them together to create a freebie?

If you write non-fiction, can you turn your book into cheat sheets to encourage subscribers? Have you got a workbook? A course? Can you bastardize your chapters into guest posts?

Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.

Content made once can be used a hundred times over. Each one is another stream of income.

Boxsets, iteration, selling, you always have something to offer. Think evergreen.

Yes… There’s stuff that works, and some stuff that doesn’t. And likewise, not everything will work for everyone, but if you don’t try how will you know? Oh, and once you’ve tried once, try it again with an iteration, just because it didn’t work once, doesn’t mean it won’t another time.

YOUR NETWORK IS EVERYTHING AND NOTHING

You need a street team comprised of people you know, trust and can rely on to help you (a subject for a different lesson). Usually, your street team comes from your network. Which means you’ll be reaching a wider sector of your audience. Extremely useful, but doesn’t tap into wider networks of people you don’t know.

So two questions:

  1. Who DON’T you know? Who’s your idol? Who would you die to guest post on their site? Who gives you imposter syndrome even thinking about asking to post on their site? That’s who you should be targeting. 
  2. Who do you know that has a bigger or different audience to you? Who could you either work with or market jointly? What big guns do you know that you could owe a favor to and post on their site?

I lied, that was at least ten questions… *shrugs*

Blog tours are time intensive; there’s a million other ways to market that take less time – podcasts, recommendations in other authors subscribers lists, affiliate programs… the list is endless. There’s two things you need to know:

  1. Know why your doing the marketing your doing
  2. Know what impact it will have.

However you choose to market, think about the time required to do the thing you want, versus the impact of whatever it is your doing.

 MAKE IT EASY FOR READERS

Image from Pexels

If you want people to buy your book, make it easy for them.

Sounds like I shouldn’t need to say this, but I do… cause, well, it’s my blog!! How easy is it for readers to find your book?

Have you got book links EVERYWHERE? Slathered over your platforms like cheap perfume in a brothel. You need to.

How many pictures have you got of your book over your website? Brand awareness folks. People need to visually recognize your book.

You think you’re pissing people off with the repetition. You’re not.

A) You just sweated blood and all the other bodily fluids over this book-puppy, it’s your goddamn right to scream naked at midnight from city rooftops about this book badger.

B) People are dumb, lazy, forgetful and often preoccupied with shit… like, you know, their own lives. Whatever, selfish. The point is, they need reminding about your book SEVEN TIMES. So keep fucking reminding.

Did I mention that I published a book..?. It’s called 13 Steps To Evil… AND IF YOU NEED NEON LIGHTS…. 

By Lestat (Jan Mehlich) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia Commons

Okay, I’ll stop with the sarcasm. Maybe.

Have you heard of a universal book link? No, shame on you. Get one – Read Sarah’s post on them. It’s a single link that takes your reader to whichever bookstore they use.

annnnnd….. I’m done! For now.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THE MARKETING MINDSET? WHAT PERSPECTIVE HAVE YOU FOUND USEFUL? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

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OUT NOW in all good retailers

If you liked this post, why not get even more awesome tips in the book 13 Steps To Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villains

OUT NOW

Click this link to purchase and then click the logo of your device or regular bookshop, and it will take you to the right page.

You can also get a FREE villains cheatsheet by joining my mailing list just click here.

 

You can also find me on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest, Goodreads

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P.S. Yes, I am back… sort of… slowly… gently… my priority will always be book writing now though, so expect delays in comment replying.

P.P.S. See what I did there? One more bit of self-promo… That wasn’t so hard, was it?

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Blog Cover Photo Originally by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

38 comments

  1. I vividly remember unsubscribing from an author’s Twitter due to the constant bombardment of requests to buy their book. Not only did this author use Twitter to bombard his followers, his blog was also utilised. I am sure that I was not the only person to unsubscribe. Yes we should promote our work but it is, in my view disrespectful to behave as this person did. Kevin

    1. Pretty sure I haven’t said bombard anyone, anywhere in this post.

      Plus, I follow (like most people) hundreds, if not thousands of people on Twitter, it’s highly unusual I see anyone’s tweets more than once in a blue moon unless I go looking for them.

      Also – to practice what I preach, this post is promoting my book, but it’s promoting it by being helpful and sharing content and lessons I’ve learned in order to help other writers not to make the mistakes I made. I would hope that, that’s the take away message, given the content of the post and not that any one should be bombarding anyone. Because ‘buy my book’ isn’t a tactic that works.

  2. I believe the key is to re-share, but re-share with some variety. When I am determining whether or not to follow someone I look at their past post history. If I see their last, say, three to five posts have all been the same article, it raises a red flag for me that the account spams their followers. However if that same person were to retweet or reblog an older post or better yet someone else’s content that builds upon their own in between their three to five re-shares, chances are I won’t notice.

    1. Agreed, definitely. It’s all about sharing useful content, and providing snippets. All I meant is that if I have a post from a year ago that promotes my book but also shares great content, there’s nothing to stop a person sharing it in a years time. 🙂

  3. I completely suck at marketing. I messed up my first book launch (as in I didn’t have one). And I’ve still not done much. I’m trying to get out there but… Eh. I’m bookmarking this post. And I will make… A PLAN. Or not. Maybe I’ll just keep writing. 😉 I hate promoting. Waah! Oh, hey, thanks for the shout-out for my universal link post. Those are important. (Yes! I’m getting one!) <3

    1. Hey, woah, I’m not great at marketing either – I haven’t sold a million copies, and I’ve only published one book… but we all start somewhere and this is just me, sharing the things I’ve learnt so far. I bet you when I do another post like this in five years, the content will be WAY different!

  4. Great post, Sacha. I feel braver just reading it. I hate marketing and feel so squeamish about it. But you’re absolutely right that it must be done – that’s the point. Thanks for some great ideas too to broaden the reach and hit new audiences. I need to make myself a to-do list. 🙂

  5. Fantastic tips Sacha and written in such an entertaining way. I never would have thought a marketing post would make me smile, but yours did. I shall be saving this later (when I’ve had my breakfast!) in my Facebook club Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club. Awesome sauce. 🙂

  6. Some good tips here Sacha. I am The WORST at self-promotion and that certainly reflects in my lack of sales. Looks like I am going to have to find a bit of courage and go for it a bit more! 🙂

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