If you are a newly published author, but are experiencing less-than-stellar sales or a book launch that didn’t quite go as planned, here are some reasons why, and what you can do about it.
5 Reasons Your Book Promotion Isn’t Working
- You didn’t plan ahead. Being a “pantser” when it comes to writing (“fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants”) but that mindset will not work so well when it comes to marketing and selling your finished product. Effective book promotion needs to have a thought out plan with plenty of time to implement and build buzz. Spontaneously thinking, “Today I will run a sale,” plans rarely work to their fullest potential. Careful planning for all launches, promotions, and sale is essential for sales success.
- You didn’t let your potential readership know sooner. Back to the “building buzz” comment: you need to create a marketing calendar that plots your efforts, events, and promotions months in advance. Knowing what’s upcoming gives you the chance to build anticipation for your launch, product, or sale to your readership and followers via teasers, book cover reveals, and things like behind-the-scenes looks at the “birth” of your book.
- You have too much competition. Yes, your story may be about a bunny and promoting it around Easter seems like a no-brainer, but the Internet is filled with hundreds of authors with the same idea. Your bunny story can have just as much leverage and success if promoted in the “off-seasons” when there isn’t as much noise and competition.
- It Isn’t Unique: Books need to enchant and intrigue book buyers with unique perspectives and plot twists. Your bunny story could be about a rabbit who wants to switch places with Santa Claus only to find out being an Easter bunny is the better deal. Weave a fun story and a great lesson (ex: envy or being grateful for what you have) may have a better chance of catching customer’s attention.
- You didn’t build your platform ahead of time. Many authors (and business folks too) think they can create a Facebook Page and come out of the gate with their “buy my stuff!” barrage of posts and updates, and people will respond favorably. That’s rarely the case. They also think that social media is their platform to constantly toot their horn and sell their products. They think that if they build a Facebook Page or blog, magically readers will come. All of the above is very far from the truth. The key is to take the time to create your social presence and build relationships FIRST. Once your Likers, Followers, Connections, and Fans have gotten to know you they are less likely to tune you out when “selling time” does come. Building relationships come FIRST, the selling will come later.
- You didn’t leverage. Ever heard the saying, “the power is in the list?” This refers to the act of tapping into the power of your email mailing list to keep your potential buyers informed, interested, and up-to-date on your book’s activities. Don’t have a list? Check into using someone else’s. Ask friends, families, and business connections to “pass the word.” If you know of influential marketers or bloggers, offer a trade out. Ask to be included in their latest email newsletter (leverage their list) while you return the favor with your strong social media and blog presence. It’s a win/win.
NOTE: If #5 seems too forward for your liking, use the “spread the good news” tactic with your email list (ex: “I am so excited to share with my closest friends and family!”) angle instead. Please don’t consider this “bragging.” Consider it sharing special news, with people who are dear to you, in a very authentic and honest way. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also encourage them to share with their friends, family, and connections. This my friends is leveraging.