How to Improve Low Book Sales, Post Xmas

It’s always hard to get book sales via print on demand or independent bookstores anyway; it’s even harder when you cannot do in-person launches. So how can we improve on low book sales after Christmas, in lethargic January?

First of all, down-under we have the advantage of many parents taking a bit longer break over summer holidays — and getting bored. What do people do when they are bored… they read, of course! Or loll about on the pool or at the beach, often reading while sunning.

Trouble is, the Audible, Amazon, and other book reader feeds are chock full of bestselling books–not easy to get any sunshine there!

Unlike Self-Publishing School, I’m not going to bullshit you and say you can make a full-time income from your books, unless of course you are a talented fiction writer who is subsidised by wonderful traditional or even hybrid publishers.

Still, progress is the main aim, so you’ll have to market your book once it is published. This is because Amazon rewards books who bring in more patrons from other places to the page by pushing it into the recommended reads. In addition, more reviews help to push the book listing up the Amazon book page in search results.

Tip 1: Check out your Book’s Listings across all Retailer Sites

When you have checked out these sites, you’ll notice that descriptions may be lacking some appearance qualities. In fact, it may need much more spacing, funky bullets, and sometimes the cover image is missing.

Use this free meta description generator to make better book descriptions.

Amazon.com.au, .com, .co.uk

Goodreads – claim your own book by being an author there

Booktopia.com.au (Australian retailer)

Book Depository

Kobo

Access the early-bird course page by clicking the picture.

Tip 2: Get Reviews via Niche Bloggers

This one means being nice! After being helpful by pointing out something they could add for better monetisation, or rearrange, the blogger is more likely to pay attention. Find book bloggers that review books on your subject matter (or are likely to) and approach them for review. You’ll give each blogger a free ePub or paperback copy in exchange for an honest review. (Usually it’s only on their website but some give Goodreads reviews too).

You might also arrange a virtual blog tour over a week or two pre-launch or post-launch, across multiple blogs. This means more people listing your book review or article.


This is where you write certain length articles at online zines and news sites. If you’re trying to rank better on a particular bookseller, it’s best if your article links point there. But if you are writing for general credibility, then you’d link back to your own site.

First of all, check the Submission Requirements, including if they give you a byline and allow a link in it to the book page.


Tip 4: Run a Reader Giveaway

I have done this before with some level of ease and reward. Ideally, it’s best with a site that lets you collect email addresses – so you can tell them all next time you have written something amazing. The sites to use are StoryOrigin (best value), BookFunnel and Rafflecopter (paid $15 to have it look much better when sharing my book competition link).

You can do reader giveaways on Goodreads ($129 to do) or Amazon.

We explain exactly how to do a free promotion using ‘Select’ on Amazon in Book Creation Success. Or you can also look up the KDP Help menu, to find the basics.

You cannot run a ‘giveaway’ as such for Kindle books, but you may be able to run one for your own paperback book WHILE logged in. Don’t forget–you must log in first, using the username of your KDP account.

Also, you won’t be able to do any special activities for a book published through IngramSpark.


Tip 5: Ramp up Sales Through Seeding

Seeding is one I wasn’t game to try at first, because it involves sending physical books to literary reviewers, magazine editors, and other notables (okay, influencers).

I relented and after enquiring via email for a yes, I sent my book Power Marketing to a noted brand and marketing blogger. After that, I heard crickets. So not a great result… but in other cases, my client did get a request for a book from a Tasmanian newspaper that reviews books.

As they say, no risk, no reward.

That’s all I can think of today to improve low book sales, post-Xmas.


Get in touch with Jennifer Lancaster (Brisbane, Australia) for a personalised marketing mentoring session.

Creating a Book Sales Page

Today we look at making a book launch page, with no design costs, at BookLaunch.io. It can be free — or for more reach, you can upgrade for a small fee per month.

You need to have your ISBN, book description, Bio, and your front cover design (JPG) all ready. (Change the bio to suit this book).

In addition, you’ll need to gather the URL links from the major retailers – which you’ll pop in the ‘add purchase links’ section, along with the logo for Book Depository, which they don’t currently have.

Don’t forget your new Book Title and Meta – under Page settings!

https://booklaunch.io/powerjen/power-marketing-book


At BookLaunch.io, there is a walk-through set-up guide. On login, you’ll see ‘Discover’, Dashboard, Builder and Analytics. Discover lets you discover other books, and once paying, ask for your title to be there too.

Dashboard is your home space and Builder lets you edit the page. It is very simple to change things, you just use Section Settings (for section colours) or Page Settings, and pick a new colour for fonts or background.

Besides the option of joining up your own custom domain to this page design, you also can use a free plug-in. Their WordPress plugin allows you to seamlessly integrate your Booklaunch page onto your existing WordPress website.

You will still log in to BookLaunch to fix anything on the page.

Fill in the SEO Metadata when Upgrading to Paid Plan

The plan I chose was Plus, at $US6 a month. There is another one, at $10-12 per month (save if paying yearly) that allows authors to have a pop-up to capture reader emails. I will keep the Plus plan for six months.

I immediately filled out every section in Page Settings and ‘launched’ my new book – just a quick 45-minute job all up.

Then I claimed it by going to Discover section and emailing the team with the book page. Then they can add it to their busy little Discover new books section.

You could feasibly add just ebook retailer links to purchase, if you only have ebook version available.

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Remember the Reason for Book Sales Pages

Remember that few find these pages just by being curious. I did get a number of visitors to my other BookLaunch sales page (Creative Ways with Money) from my own blog, but I did not really capitalise on it as two crucial images were missing!

These book sales pages are best when used in campaigns. So, if advertising on social media portals, send the people to a one-stop book page rather than a busy website. That way, they have just one choice to make: buy or don’t buy!

Also, make sure you give value first by sharing snippets of your book on social media. Plus make a longer sales page, full of value-adding points!

Go to: Book Launch.io

Remember to support Book Creation Success by tweeting our pages or buying the course!

Nurturing Readers & Leads via Email Marketing

You’ve heard that an author should be capturing their readers’ email addresses, particularly before book launch day. But have you got to it yet?

To interest and nurture new readers, marketers tend to offer them something called a Lead Magnet. You use lead magnets for lead generation and email capturing for later use.

Yes, I know lead generation is a dirty concept to some writers. However, what I’ve found is that book writing and publishing does not provide enough income for my family (maybe the cat only), so working out what my readers want and using different earning opportunities helps this. You may find the same.


What’s the Best Type of Lead Magnet?

The study found that Video content is the preferred lead magnet type among solopreneurs in this 2020 Lead Magnet study.

It’s interesting that 47% of marketers who participated said that video and text-based lead magnets performed best as incentives, with short-form video content slightly preferred (24%).

If a video marketer you are not, never fear. Second highest in ‘conversions’ (opting in) was written content, with 22% preferring it. Yah!

I wrote a 4-page guide on How to Write a Memorable Book. This is a nice, consumable size. It was offered as a pop-up offer on my other blog.

lead nurture masterclass

Show me the Way with Nurture Email Funnels…

As many authors don’t know the advantages behind offering a lead incentive and automating these emails, we can easily give more information in Book Creation Success program… or on a video-based author mentoring session. (I will put the 30-minute Nurturing Readers with Email Marketing video in the program soon!)

This is a practical strategy that many business-oriented authors use for selling courses or merchandise to their book readers, as well as their own books. It should not be overlooked.

Once you have a list of targeted people who know your name, you can also promote other creators’ products to get paid a commission. This all helps support your authoring activities and, if chosen carefully, reflects well on your online reputation.

These days, we can’t just rely on the ‘today’s news’ marketing on social media. Mainly because we don’t run Meta or LinkedIn and have no say in what is shown to whom or how often.

Two Choices for Learning about Nurturing Readers and Email Funnels

You can either go your own way with this all-in-one marketing tool… (This link is from our affiliates and the writer will get a bonus if you subscribe):
GetResponse partner

Or, you can sign up to our FREE Masterclass and learn all about the reader welcome strategy we endorse.

What You Will Learn in Woo New Readers…

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Why you can’t rely on Amazon to sell books
  • Why Lead Magnets?
  • Mistakes authors make when selling a book
  • Mistakes solopreneurs make when getting interest
  • Parts of a Lead Funnel
  • A system for new friend nurturing
  • Typical Email Marketing features
  • Benefits of creating a Lead Nurture Funnel in a system
  • Parts of the welcome email series
  • Use it for your website
  • FAQs

We also supply marketing training, if you want to take it up.

To sum up, after the lead magnet is created, a welcome series is required in order to nurture new readers and find out more about other things you offer.

Should I Advertise my Book?

It’s a common question, with the number of book launches today: is advertising a good option. Moreover, should I use Amazon Ads?

In AuthorU, a LinkedIn group, I posed this question to expert in book publicity, Sandra Beckwith. Here’s what she replied to whether a newbie should use Amazon Ads:

“Nobody — regardless of whether it’s their 1st or 10th book — should be buying ads until they have a lot of positive reader reviews. If it’s the former (authors doing it themselves), authors can manage their own advertising, but should learn how it works first. There are a lot of courses available that will help with that. Just as authors shouldn’t self-publish until they spend time learning how to do that, they shouldn’t spend on ads until they truly know what they’re doing.

Building an Author Platform: for Non-Fiction Writers

At author meets and even on email, I seem to have struck a similar vein when authors are asked when it will be time to build their author platform.

“I will focus on that when I’ve finished my final draft”

“I will start planning the marketing when I’ve got my production (cover, edits) done”

“I am in creative mode now, so I will worry about that when I am administrating and launching”.

In other words, they are putting off till tomorrow what they could (and probably should) be doing NOW.

Admittedly, it might help to have named your book title and come up with the angle – that is always going to help. But you don’t need to wait… FAME as an author never happens overnight. It is a long, slow road, best taken one pitch, tweet, or post at a time. Here is a simple break-down of the author platform steps.

Brand:

Set up your author brand colours (two is good), theme (i.e. saving money is mine), and get some initial author photos done. You’ll need another photo with the book cover later (which will contain your colours). Working with a designer will help to ensure your brand is awesome, from the typeface chosen down to the relevant logo for your imprint.

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