After your book has been published, there’s a whole range of new questions you’ll be asking yourself. Unfortunately, they probably won’t be questions like “where will I park my new Ferrari?” or “what’s the best island location for my summer home?” …at least not yet!
To enter the realm of the highly paid author-entrepreneur, there’s going to be a lot of legwork to put in before your calendar is brimming with high-dollar guest speaker appearances. Today, I’m going to be sharing some tips on how you can put your 2018 marketing budget to work for you so that we can inch closer to that new Ferrari.
Top 3 Marketing Spends
First, the hard stuff. These are the things that will involve you parting with some money to get your book trending in the right direction.
If you’re unsure of how much money you can or should be earmarking for your marketing budget, this marketing budget calculator is very helpful. Once you have an idea of what you can part with, take a look at the top 3 marketing spends to consider below.
1. Advertising and Promotion
Probably the most significant expenditure you’ll need to budget for once your book is complete is for advertising. But, since our goal is to maximize your exposure and sales while minimizing spending, we’ll want to take a very measured approach to our advertising plan.
Consider KDP Select
For most author-entrepreneurs, Amazon is the most attractive marketplace to sell their book.
If you agree with that statement, then you may want to consider KDP Select. KDP Select is an incentive program where you agree to sell digital copies of your book exclusively on Amazon.
In exchange for this exclusivity, Amazon offers authors a higher royalty rate and some options to promote their book, including a countdown deal, which allows you to offer your book at a deep discount for a short period.
Promote Your Countdown Deal
The greatest countdown deal in the world won’t mean a thing if nobody knows about it. Once your deal is set up, you’ll want to establish a daily digital marketing budget for advertising so you can promote your countdown deal while it’s active.
Unfortunately, there’s no golden rule for where you should spend your ad dollars in this case. You’ll need to experiment with different platforms before you can definitively say which provides you with the most bang for your buck. Google, social media, and mailing lists are all great places to start.
2. Record an Audiobook
Audiobook sales have increased by 148% since the year 2000, and that figure is continuing to trend upwards.
Recording your book in an audio format opens your book up to an entirely new customer base.
But, it’s far from free. You’ll need to hire a narrator and an audio engineer at the very least, and there may still be some additional expenses you’ll incur along the way. But considering the direction audiobooks are moving in, it’s well worth the money you’ll spend up front to produce your book in an audio format.
3. Website and Social Media
You’re selling yourself as much as you’re selling your book. So having a high-quality website and an informative and engaging social media presence is of paramount importance.
Thanks to sites like Wix and WordPress, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to create an impressive website—you can do it yourself, use a professional template, or hire a developer depending on your tech savvy and budget.
As for social media, there’s also a vast array of options available to you depending on your budget. If you have the time, you can do it yourself. If you don’t have the time but have a limited budget, look to hire an intern, college student, or freelancer. There’s also the agency route if you have a large enough budget to accommodate a social media marketing agency.
Maximizing Your Marketing
Now that we’ve looked at the top 3 marketing spends, let’s briefly discuss what you can do to supplement your marketing plan for little to no additional money.
A key component that’s often overlooked when it comes to author-entrepreneur marketing is optimization. For most authors, there’s plenty of room to improve the appearance and information that’s available on the marketplaces your book is available, notably Amazon.
Once upon a time, a book tour was a useful tool to maximize your reach and sales as an author. While those days may be behind us for the most part, there are still some effective avenues to consider.
Appearing on podcasts with a similar audience to your work is a great way to increase your exposure as an author. These appearances are also a great way to drive sales, as well. Seek out podcasts that make sense for your brand, and contact as many of them as possible about appearing on an episode.
It’s always best to plan ahead when it comes to marketing. The end of the year is a great time to plan your marketing campaigns for the year ahead. Think about:
- Ongoing marketing: What will you do to get the word out about your work in general?
- Title-specific marketing: Are you planning to release a book this year? Think about how to prepare to give it the best launch possible. Start early and keep the momentum going strong!
- Backlist marketing: How can you give an older book a bump during the year?
Once you have a sense of what you’re going to be focusing on in each of these three areas for the coming year, divide your marketing budget up between the areas, then apply the tips above to get the most bang for your buck.
And remember—you don’t have to do this only at the beginning or the end of the year! You can review your marketing and set up new experiments and campaigns at any time.
Just be sure to keep track of what you’re spending, measure the results, and be willing to adjust as needed.
In no time, you’ll be on your way to a solid author income…and maybe even that Ferrari!
For more great marketing tips, read on!
- The Two Most Powerful Marketing Strategies
- The Best Way To Market Ebooks With a Limited Budget
- Top Kindle Book Promotion Sites for Paid Kindle Books $0.99 and Up
Tim Brown is the owner of The Hook Agency, and is a web designer and SEO specialist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can check out his recent project, The Marketing Budget Calculator, to plan your marketing budget for this next year and take a look at his blog to learn cutting-edge methods to get the most out of your digital marketing budget. Tweet him at @timbdesignmpls