Creating a product you’re proud of, whether it’s a widget or a book, is only the first step in developing a successful career. As an author, you’re also building a business around yourself, and that means taking all the steps necessary to build a successful enterprise.
Marketing is a vital part of a business in which you must attract, inform, and persuade people that you are offering them something that will be of value to them. So marketing is more than advertising. It’s a way to get others to believe in you, gaining their buy-in. Marketing is about building customer relationships and adding value to their lives.
In the world of publishing, there are two marketing strategies that undisputably work well. These are strategies that, when utilized correctly, can bring you up to a thousand book sales in a day and put you on the #1 spot in Amazon’s various bestseller lists.
Are you ready for it? Great!
1. Book Promotion Sites
The first marketing strategy that you should be using as an author is book promotion sites. One of the most effective ways to boost your book sales in a day is to harness the power of well-established promotion sites.
Sound too simple to be true? I know, but let me show you actual results that we’ve seen so far from using book promotion sites.
My book Destroy Your Distractions became #1 in the Home-Based Small Business category on Amazon.
Another of my books, Schedule Your Success, reached #1 in the Business & Money Short Reads category.
Now, even if you don’t have much experience in marketing Kindle eBooks, you can probably guess that it’s almost unheard of for a self-published author to make it to the #1 or #3 position in the entire Amazon Kindle Store. And yet with marketing help from TCK Publishing, these two authors did it!
I could show you literally hundreds of #1 bestseller screenshots, but I think you’ve seen enough to know that it works.
What Are These Promotion Sites?
So what are these book promotion sites I’m talking about?
The first one is Buck Books. They will promote your book for a minimal fee of $29 for nonfiction and $9 for fiction. They don’t accept all submissions to the program, so you’ll need to meet the minimum requirements for the best chance of being featured:
- Price should be $0.99 during the promotion
- At least 60 pages in length
- An average 3.8 star rating and at least 10 reviews
- A well-written and error-free book description
- Book cover must be designed by a non-Fiverr professional designer or by a book design cover service such as 100Covers
All you have to do is to go to http://buckbooks.net/promotions/ and fill out the form to submit your book. In a matter of days, you’ll get a “yay” or “nay” response.
So now that you have Buck Books in your marketing arsenal, let’s add more fuel to the fire!
The next promotion site I recommend is a little bit different—and truth be told, it’s not for everyone. It’s called Bookbub. Bookbub can sell tons of books for you really, really fast. Every time one of my books or a client’s book is listed in Bookbub, we see thousands of sales in a day. They have different numbers of subscribers depending on the genre, but this starts at 170,000-plus all the way up to 3,820,000-plus subscribers!
But there’s a catch. Bookbub comes with a lot of rules and regulations, and it’s priced from $45 up to $2,560 depending on the genre. They are also very picky and only accept 20% of book submissions. If your book gets rejected, you can resubmit four weeks after your original submission. However, if your book was rejected for a discounted deal promo and you are interested in resubmitting for a free promo, then you can resubmit immediately.
Every time we use Bookbub, we see about 2x to 5x return on investment. In other words, if we spend $1,000 on a Bookbub promo, we’ve seen anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 in royalties directly attributable to that Bookbub marketing promotion. Please realize that these are results that I and my clients personally experienced—Bookbub does NOT guarantee those kinds of results.
From my own experience, I’ve never lost money on a Bookbub promotion.
Let me show you some of the results we’ve seen so far.
Here’s a book called Roundtrip that made it to #1 in Metaphysical Fiction on Amazon.
Roundtrip is a mystery, sci-fi adventure novel and it sold about 2,000 books in a single day from the Bookbub promotion. It also reached #1 in the High-Tech Science Fiction category, above the Wool Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey.
If you don’t know Hugh Howey, he’s a self-published author who’s sold two million copies of his books. He’s an incredibly successful author, and Wool is one of the most successful books he’s written.
Here are some more books from my publishing clients. The Paradox Initiative and Willow Grove Abbey are #1 and #3 respectively in the Metaphysical Fiction bestseller category.
If you want to learn more about Bookbub, please go to their website.
Just to be clear, I don’t work for Buck Books or Bookbub. I’m not suggesting that you limit your book promotion site choices to these two promotion sites alone. I’m merely showing you the power of marketing your book on established book promotion sites and how those two sites have worked for us in the past.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to take your business to Buck Books and Bookbub or go elsewhere. There are plenty of great options—but these two, in my experience, can really amplify your sales.
2. Email Marketing
The second and most crucial marketing strategy that you should be using is email marketing. In the first marketing strategy, I explained how effective book promotion sites are, but what might surprise you is the fact that these promotion sites work so well because they are using email marketing to sell books to readers. The way Buck Books and Bookbub sells tons of books is through their massive email list of targeted readers who want books just like yours. So when they promote your book via email, the probability of people buying it is extremely high.
If you’re looking at other book promotion sites and they don’t use email marketing, I would ask you to reevaluate your choices because they probably won’t drive the sales you want. If they only use Facebook, Twitter, or their own blogs to market your book, then it’s not going to be as effective. That’s because instead of sending your promotional message to targeted readers, they are blasting it to a random audience.
Let me show you the results that we’ve been seeing using email marketing. The first is my book The Book Marketing Bible. It made it to #1 in Authorship with a sales price of $2.99. What’s really interesting about this book promotion is that I didn’t use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform to promote this book. I only sent one email to my list and it became #1 on Amazon in just a few hours.
I wanted to replicate the success of the book launch of The Book Marketing Bible to see if I could do it again. When I launched the next book, Email Marketing Mastery, it became #1 in Content Management in just two hours on Amazon. The book didn’t have any reviews, it was priced at $2.99, and I only sent one email to inform my subscribers about my new book.
It also made #1 in Direct Marketing on Amazon and #1 in the 2-Hour Computers & Technology Short Reads category!
I consider email marketing to be one of the most powerful marketing strategies around, because it allows you to sell hundreds or even thousands of books in a single day. To put that in perspective, if you sell a thousand books on Amazon, it’s enough to reach the #1 bestselling status in more than 15,000 categories. If you’re wondering how I know that, it’s because a partner and I created a sophisticated tool called Best Seller Ranking Pro to track every single bestseller list on Amazon. If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can go to http://bestsellerrankingpro.com/.
Low Cost, High Results
Another great thing about email marketing is that the cost of building an email list is incredibly low in proportion to the amount of sales and income it can produce. Let me give you an example from my own business.
I have an email list of about 10,000 subscribers and it costs me $1,560 to maintain it. In 2014, that list directly led to 5,948 book sales. So let’s say my average royalty rate is about $2 per book. That means that an email list that cost me $1,560 brought in more than $11,896 in revenue from book sales alone. That’s about a 7.62x return on investment. But that’s not all. I also offered coaching programs, video training courses, workshops, seminars, and webinars through my list. And when you add all these numbers up, the ROI of my email list in 2014 is off the charts.
Are you seeing why I’m ecstatic about email marketing? It’s because your low investment can return huge results. But there’s something else I’m not telling you that will make you just as excited about email marketing as I am: You don’t have to spend a dime to start!
Just about every email marketing system out there has a free trial to get started, but beyond that, there’s Launchrock. It’s 100% free to use and you can start using it right now to build your email list.
Here’s what it looks like in action. I made this launch page in just five minutes. It’s super easy to use and requires no tech skills.
And it can also fit onto a mobile screen, just like this:
Launchrock can build your email list on any platform anywhere in the world. It doesn’t require design skills. To get started, just go to https://www.launchrock.com/.
Case Studies and Proof
Now that you’ve learned the secrets to successful marketing, it’s up to you to decide on whether you’ll implement them or just keep them in your arsenal for future use. If you’re in doubt whether this will work for you, let me show you how some new authors have done using my marketing strategies.
Here’s a book by a good friend of mine, John del Gaudio: How to Become Fluent in Spanish. Within one month of launching, it became the #1 bestselling Bilingual Education book.
Here’s another book by a client, Doc Orman, called Stop Negative Thinking that went to #1 in Holistic Medicine on Amazon.
The same book became a #1 bestseller in the category Self-Help Stress Management on Amazon UK. The author is now an international bestselling author.
He also has another book that went to #1 in the Mood Disorder category.
And he even made it to the top 100 authors of all Amazon in Health, Fitness, & Dieting category. That’s extraordinary!
Here’s a book by another client who made it to the #1 spot in Holistic Medicine.
And here’s that same book as a #1 bestseller in Internal Medicine—above the NY Times bestselling book Proof of Heaven. That’s really incredible. She outsold a NY Times bestseller as a self-published author without a very large following or platform.
Here are some of the things our authors are saying about me and my marketing strategy:
Mary Christian Payne
The results I’ve seen with my clients are remarkable—and they’ll work for anyone. If you put in the time and effort to pursue these strategies, you’ll see a positive change in your author business and be able to start earning a full-time author income.
Of course, if you’re not quite sure that you want to pursue self-publishing—maybe you’d rather have more time to write than handle the editorial and production process, or maybe you just want more coaching on how to market yourself and your books—then consider submitting your manuscript to TCK Publishing!
We’re more than a traditional corporate publisher—we offer a 50/50 royalty split and give you all the help and support you need to thrive as a professional author.
Here’s what we’ll do to help market your books:
- Walk you through our detailed market research process, so you understand exactly who your target readers are and what makes them want to buy books like yours
- Create a highly targeted list of the top reviewers who have previously reviewed similar books to yours, and then create a custom outreach campaign and send them a free copy of your book for review
- Pay to promote your book on the top book promotion sites in your genre
- Create, split-test, and pay for Amazon book ads and other online ads that help get the word out to your ideal readers
- Connect you with top authors, bloggers, podcasters, and social media influencers in your market, so you can build relationships and buzz for your work
- Submit your ARC to industry review sites (Publishers Weekly, Midwest Book Review, Kirkus, etc.)
- Run online contests and book giveaways to help you build your email list and fan base even faster
- Connect you with relevant media requests from HARO, SourceBottle, PitchRate, and more
- Promote your book to our email list of interested readers
- And more (we’re constantly testing out new book marketing strategies to see what works)
We also offer premium services on top of these basics for authors who want to invest in advertising with Facebook Ads and other ad platforms, but many authors do great with just our standard publishing and marketing services and their own talent.
If you’d like to work with us, head over to our submissions page to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!
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About the Author
Tom Corson-Knowles, the founder of TCK Publishing, is the international bestselling author of more than 20 books including The Kindle Publishing Bible and host of The Publishing Profits Podcast Show. He is also the creator of EbookPublishingSchool.com, a free training program that shows authors how to publish and market their books professionally.
Tom lends his marketing expertise to TCK Publishing’s clients and projects, helping authors earn a full-time income doing what they love—writing!