Summary: 5 min
Book published in: 2021
- Write the book the audience wants to read. Don’t write the book you want to write.
- Build an audience with your website and your newsletter.
- The cover is the number one most important marketing element for a book.
- The blurb is the second one.
What How to Market a Book talks about
How to Market a Book was written by the founder of Reedsy, a platform that helps indie writer makes money. The book tells you everything about book marketing and self-publishing. What I retained from it is don’t write a book and then offer it to an audience. Instead, write a book your target audience wants to read.
It was a bit long.
Summary of How to Market a Book written by Ricardo Fayet
Marketplaces: Amazon Kindle, Google Book, Kobo, Apple Book, Nook (Barnes and Noble), Gumroad,
Authors don’t find readers. Readers find books.
Think about 5-10 ways readers would discover your book.
Book marketing fundamentals:
1. Know your market: you should know who is going to buy this book BEFORE you write it as it will guide every one of your decisions.
2. Get the right product for your audience: content, style, tone, cover, etc
3. Learn the secrets of Amazon: you can’t ignore Amazon
4. Establish your presence on the web: build an author website; an email list;
Sales channel: find one or two that work – and don’t focus on more than that.
- Fb ads
- Amazon ads
- BookBub ads
- Price promotions
- Email marketing
- Group promos
- Amazon SEO
- Goodreads promos
- Guest posting
Focus on the silent majority: people that will not write a review but tell their friends about your book.
Good book -> effective word-of-mouth -> more money.
What indie authors have in common:
- They found their place in the market (profitable niche)
- They know the niche well enough to write and built an important catalog (they know how to write and publish fast)
- They build bridges between books
When you promote your book to your newsletter, split the newsletter so you don’t create a spike that Amazon will interpret as an anomaly.
Writing about what you know is good if writing a book is a challenge.
Writing to fit the market works well to make money.
How to find a niche:
- Go on Amazon
- Look at the categories and number of books there are
- Choose one where the competition is low and you think you can do better.
Once you have found your niche, research your niche. You need to write a book the readers will read.
-> Read the best-selling books in your market. The goal is to identify the material and see the features the authors used to make the book successful.
Practice rapid-releasing: the art of writing several books of the same series and releasing them once every 30 days more or less. The most successful indie authors release 4 books a year so they are not forgotten.
Once you have published a few books in a niche…stay in that niche.
When you write a series, you only have to do the marketing once (for the first book) -> series are more efficient and will make you more money.
Don’t design your book cover yourself. Authors are often too close to their stories to be able to design the book by themselves. Hire a professional designer off Fiverr that can propose several designs and test them with FB ads.
The cover is the number 1 most important element for marketing.
The blurb (descriptions, or copy) is the second most important thing.
- Too many story elements
- Review in disguise
- No stakes
- The description is too generic
How to write a good book blurb.
- Readers need to instantly know what the book is about -> the most important feature.
- Sum up the main message of your book.
- Use the right keywords in your description. Don’t stuff them.
Make sure that each book you write gathers at least 20 reviews after a day.
The best way to get reviews is to get a street team, a team of ultra-fans of your writing. Give them the book for free and let the reviews pour in. They are extremely important.
The best way to sell a book is to get someone with an established audience to talk about it.
How to get other people to quote your book:
- Create a list of prospects: people on your level that would be likely to comment on the book. They can be authors, politicians, celebrities, blogs, professional reviewers, podcasts, YouTubers, IG influencers, FB pages.
- Build a relationship: engage with their work on social media, follow their Twitter/FB accounts, answer their newsletter emails. Go to their conference and meet them in person.
The best way to be selected by the Amazon algorithm is to sell a lot of books. The more books are sold, the better it is.
How to find Amazon keywords: go to the Amazon search bar in incognito mode, and look for autocomplete suggestions Amazon is giving you.
Don’t optimize your Amazon page for keywords that have nothing to do with your book.
Make sure you only list your book in the categories it fits 100% in.
Send clean links to friends and family when getting reviews so Amazon does not account for them as fake.
In order to share a link leading to the Amazon’s store of your recipient, paste a clean link in the website Books2read or Booklinker.
In order to know in which categories your book fits, search on Amazon for similar books and look at their categories.
In order to know whether you should go to Kindle Unlimited, look at whether the top books in your category are in Kindle Unlimited.
- Barnes and Noble
- Apple book
- Google Play book
These marketplaces don’t use algorithms to curate content -> build relationships with these people at book and authors conferences, for example.
What matters most for ranking in the Apple Book store is keywords.
The first tip to boost sales in app stores is to understand how readers search for and buy books.
- Google Play gives visibility to deals (free, cheap, discounted) books -> run promotions through the partner center + use keywords in the blurb.
- Kobo is a book marketplace and distributor -> you could have your book being sold in Fnac, Mondadori, Walmart, etc. Attract the attention of the merchandising team by selling a lot of books + apply for promotions.
Kobo algorithm shows the books having exact matches of keywords written by readers in the search engine.
Build an email list. Give people a free VALUABLE pdf/ebook when they sign up, and another one when they open the welcome email so that they feel you are generous.
Segment your list. People signing up for your newsletter through FB ads will be different than people signing up from your website.
The more you can make your readers feel special, the more likely they will open your newsletter.
- Provide value.
- Make them feel like you’re talking to them (be ultra vulnerable).
Clean your mailing list: get off people that do not open your email. After x emails they didn’t open, send them an email telling them that unless they take action, they will be unsubscribed from your list. The best way to do so is to send them an email with the subject “are you ok?”
Practice newsletter swaps to get more customers.
Price promotion is one of the best ways to get your book to sell.
How to get data from Amazon as an author?
- Set up an Amazon Affiliate account and generate links for your books.
- Use these links everywhere.
- While this is authorized, Amazon forbids using affiliate links in ads. If you get caught, your Amazon Affiliate account will be terminated, but nothing worse than that.
Running ads: you can use Amazon, Facebook, and Bookbub.
- you only pay when people click on your ad.
- Amazon will display the ad to people that actually want to buy the type of book you are selling
- Easy to achieve positive ROI
Con: difficult to scale.
- Versatile ad tool
- Complex to use
- People on FB are not especially there to buy books
If you write a series, you should publish a box set.
Expensive but efficient method: release your ebook, paper book, and audiobook on the same day on Amazon and other retailers at the same time.
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