Session: Book Marketing Basics: the Five Foundations Every Author Needs
Whether you’re new to indie publishing an book marketing or have tried marketing before and been unhappy with the results, “Book Marketing: 5 Foundations & 5 Strategies” will show you how to build a strong foundation for your marketing efforts and embark on 5 simple and effective marketing strategies that work when that foundation is in place. By the end of this session you’ll:
1. Understand the 5 foundations that need to be in place before effective marketing can begin.
2. Learn 5 marketing strategies to reach and grow an audience.
3. Discuss examples of how this simple and effective system works.
Audience: All Levels
This post is part of London Book Fair Self-Publishing Advice Conference (#SelfPubCon2019), an online author conference that showcases the best self-publishing advice and education for authors across the world — harnessing the global reach of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ network. Our self-publishing conference features well-known indie authors and advisors, for 24 sessions over 24-hours, in a one-day extravaganza of self-publishing expertise straight to your email inbox. We hope you enjoy this session. Let us know if you have any questions or input on this self-publishing topic. Visit our Facebook Group and join in the conversation there, or leave your questions and feedback in the comments section below.
Hi, welcome to Book Marketing Strategies. I’m Kathy Meis and I’m the founder of Bublish. I’ll be presenting this to you today. Bublish is the world’s first complete publishing platform with built in marketing and you can write market, publish and track your sales all from your Bublish dashboard. So we’re a complete publisher in a box for anyone who’s interested, we hope you’ll visit us and learn more about us. I have more than 25 years of experience in the media and publishing industries. I’ve been a professional editor, a journalist, and a nonfiction ghostwriter in that time. So I know what it takes to make your living as a writer. And I speak and blog frequently about book marketing, publishing and all the brand building in the digital age. So I hope you enjoy today’s presentation. I’m going to start with the five foundations of successful marketing.
And I start here. A lot of people would like to go right into the tactics. You know, how can I market my book? But quite honestly, the biggest mistake that I see with authors when they go out as they have not built the foundations for a successful marketing campaign. So I’m very much about building foundations throughout your publishing journey. Marketing, in my opinion, really starts as you’re writing the manuscript and understanding where your book is going to, you know, fit in this very, very competitive marketplace in which we see 70,000 books published every month or more. That’s by some a 20% underestimate of the number of books. So I like to start with those foundations and that is clear positioning of your books. So, you know, do you know your genre, do you know where your readers are hanging out? Do you know the other titles that are in your genre that are new and what the trends are in covers and synopses, even voice and inside your manuscripts.
So really doing the research very early on about positioning your book. It’s a very, very important foundation for marketing. At Bublish we see that. If we can help an author clearly position their book right from the start, all the marketing that we do later falls into place. It’s effective. It works. But if a book is not clearly positioned, meaning that, reader expectations in the genre aren’t met, the cover doesn’t clearly speak or the synopsis doesn’t clearly speak, or the pricing doesn’t clearly speak to the audience for in that genre, then then things don’t work so well. So really understanding how your book is positioned in the marketplace, what your genre is like, what your reader’s desire. Those are very, very key foundations for effective marketing down the road. The second thing, and there’s tons of ways you can research that by the way.
So, I’m going to get into some of the tools during the talk today. But the second, the third thing here on this list is social proof and social proof is basically, you know, on Amazon it’s the gold stars. It’s the editorial reviews. It’s the blurbs on the back of your book. It’s the awards you’ve won. Anything that says to a reader who doesn’t recognize your name or the name of your book, “Hey, this, book is well thought of by others” because remember in a marketplace that is this competitive and where you have amazing, powerful brands that are very well established author brands that people recognize and that their name alone and inspires a sense of what the reading experience is going to be like, then you know, that’s tough for you to compete against that.
So you’ve got to have tons of social proof everywhere. You can, to tell readers very quickly in a matter of seconds that yes, your book is worth their time and money and that they should go deeper and learn more about you and learn more about your book. And it often takes, you know, seven touchpoints to get a sale. And in an online world where people come from all different directions onto your website or your social channels or your product pages at an online retailer, having social proof everywhere to reinforce as people bop around on the Internet reinforce that your book is worth their time. And money is a very important foundation for your marketing. The next thing is your ability to articulate your offer, your value proposition. And again, this goes back to really understanding where you fit in this vast online marketplace of books, that readers have access to at the touch of their fingertips.
So this means that you’re able to say, I fit in this shelf, I’m like this, but I also stand out. I’m different because, and that’s coming down to your pitch about the book and you should be able to pitch your book through the copy that you write to describe your book. And that would be your synopsis, your descriptions of yourself, your author bio, your descriptions of your book, and in short form and long form on your blog, on your social channels, anywhere that you guest post, anything like that, you need to clearly be able to state in a variety of, you know, links to short to long what your book’s about,why, you know, what’s it like and how is it different from the others in your category or genre. Then you need a clear path to purchase. Now, this sounds very basic, right?
But you will notice yourself as a reader, that sometimes you want something and you can’t get it because there’s not a clear path to purchase. So, because we are so distracted in this vast online world that we shop in, now, you know, we’ll see something and in that moment we want it, but there’s not a clear way for you to get it. So there’s not a button, there’s not a, that takes you to a place where you can purchase it or you go to the place where it’s available, but it’s not in a format that you want as a reader or it’s not available in the channel that you want. So maybe you have a Nook and, you want it on your Nook, but it’s only available on a Kindle, things like that. So there’s a lot to think about with clear paths to purchase.
But anytime that you post anything, put yourself in the reader’s shoes and say, what is the path to purchase here? So imagine that you’re writing a blog on medium, which I’m going to talk about in a few minutes as a great place for you to be posting content. If they read your work on medium and they liked it, how are you going to make it easy for them to learn more about, to either go to your website or purchase the product right away and you should offer both in that kind of setting that would be maybe your author bio or your profile that you set up. So you need to think, how am I going to make sure that that’s on all my posts there so that they are productive for you. So they invite people in, people enjoy it and make it really easy for them to get your book in the format they want at the retailer they want, as easily as possible.
So format’s important. You need to, that’s another thing that you need to understand. You know, in your genre, when you’re positioning it, do you need an audio book? In some genres it’s really important and other genres, it doesn’t matter. But if you need to have an audio book to be competitive in your genre, that’s a purchase thing that you need to be aware of. So you may lose sales because someone wants it in a format that you haven’t provided. Again, do your research. Make sure you have a clear path to purchase in the formats, in the channels that readers want. The sixth thing to think about is a clear plan with goals and a timeline. Now, again, pretty basic here, but a lot of indie authors just wing it and it’s not a great way to be successful in your marketing. So have a timeline from pre launch, you should be, you know, nine months out, really thinking about a marketing plan that paves the way for a really successful pre order campaign, which I highly recommend, a launch campaign and then afterward, how are you going to continually market your book to keep those sales up, to keep your ranking up, to keep your book in the limelight? All of that’s important and it’s not something that you can make up as you go. So as much as you spend time on craft as a writer, you should really think about how to spend some of your time thinking as the publisher of your book. How are you going to successfully publish a book that’s going to delight a particular kind of reader and how are you going to keep those readers engaged in your journey so that they want your book and they ask for more.
Those are the foundations of successful marketing. And I did say five, but I added a sixth for a bonus. So now let’s get into the strategies. So I’ve got a number of strategies on marketing. Now that you’ve got your foundation in place, we can talk about them. And again, don’t begin any of this until you really have the foundation in place and you’ve set yourself up for success. Very, very key. So lead magnets are the first strategy that I’m going to talk about. And lead magnets will help you build your email list. What a lead magnet is that they are valuable assets that you share for free in exchange for a reader’s name and email or first name and email or just email. At Bublish our lead magnets typically ask for first name and an email because later when we email people, we sometimes like to use their first name in the content that we share with them.
But other places we’ll just capture email. But it’s an exchange. It’s a barter. You’re basically saying “Here I’ve created something valuable that I’d like to share with you and I’ll ask in exchange is that you provide your email and perhaps your name.” We’re going to get into the types of lead magnets that you can create and some, and some resources for doing that in a moment. But let me just share with you where lead magnets can go and why they’re important. So, you know, we see a lot of authors build websites and they’re just stunning and they’ve spent a lot of money on them. They’ve invested a lot of time and they look great, but they don’t actively work for the author in any way because there’s no call to action. There’s no way for someone who visits to say, “Hey, I visited, I liked this and I would like now to interact with you going forward.”
A lead magnet on a website will enable you to invite a visitor to your website into a longer term relationship. And so websites are very important places to put lead magnets, social profiles and pinned posts. So, another missed opportunity that often happens is you share all this great content on your social media channels like Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram, Linkedin, wherever you are, but you don’t actually have a profile set up that enables people to engage with you in a more direct way on Twitter and Facebook. You can do something called a pinned post at the top of your social stream. And it always stays there. And in that you can put a lead magnet so you can offer something of value. We’ll go into the types of lead magnets in a moment but you offer something of value.
They click on the pinned post, they give you their first name and email. And then through automation that we’ll talk about in a moment, that asset is delivered to them. So your website and your social profiles could be actively working to help you build your email list. If you use lead magnets as a strategy, another place you can share lead magnets are podcasts, webinars, conference links. I haven’t built one into this, but I often build a lead magnet in. So I may say, you know, you can get these slides in the pdf format and here go to this URL to do that. You would give me your first name and your email and then through automation, it would deliver the thank you for signing up. Here’s the PDF, you can enjoy it. And so now I can email you and tell you more about what we do at Bublish and I can provide you with more value and we can start a relationship as a consumer and service provider.
And the same thing as an author. You know, it’s all about providing value. Your lead magnets are ways to provide value that someone has signed up and said, “Yeah, I’m interested in your content.” And so then you continue to give them great content, but any place you go, if you were a guest on a Webinar or if you do webinars, you can embed lead magnets right there. If you go to a conference, you can put a lead magnet on your promotional materials. You can even put a lead magnet inside your book. So in an ebook setting, as long as you’re not selling anything, that’s the big rule on Amazon and all of the retailers you can say, would you like a free short story? And you can have an image at the front of your ebook and people can click through the ebook, sign up and then have the short story delivered.
If you’re a nonfiction writer and you could provide some type of lead magnet in your area of expertise, you know, click through to get my resource list on where to get the best real estate value in the New York City area, something like that. So, you want to think, again, this goes back to the foundation. You want to think about what would be of value to your particular reader of the audience for your book and provide something of high value. So let’s get into that a little bit more. What are the qualities of a strong lead magnet? Well, they solve a real problem for the reader. Now in a nonfiction setting, that’s pretty clear. You know, I want a, I’m looking for answers on this topic and you provide a lead magnet that has resources or answers or guidance to solve my real problem.
And the more you know about the problems of your audience, the more effective that lead magnet will be in attracting people to sign up for your list. For fiction, you know, it might not be a real problem except I’m a reading addict and I’m always looking for new, interesting stories. So, you know, solving my real problem, my real addiction to fiction in your particular genre, you’re going to provide me with a very compelling offer to provide me something really interesting to read. And it typically it should be something short. So, a quality lead magnet promises one quick win. So you’re not going to solve, you know, the global environmental problem in your lead magnet or give me a copy of War and Peace. Those are too big, too grand for lead magnets. So you’re going to give me a chapter or a short story as a fiction writer or you’re going to give me a, you know, a 10 page booklet or you’re going to give me a list or an infographic.
We’re going to get into some more ideas on the next slide, but it’s going to be quick. You’re promising me a quick win, a quick solution. Also specific, okay. Specific, again to the problem. So nothing general, you know, it’s going to be more like your 10 points to achieve success in your area or a short story or a chapter again, that’s very specific to the genre in which you write in and that’s important that you again, are writing, creating lead magnets for your audience, a specific audience that you’re trying to attract to your list. Your lead magnet should definitely demonstrate your expertise or your unique value proposition. So for expertise, that’s pretty clear, right? You know, you have the answers as a nonfiction writer and this lead magnet is going to show that off that you’re the person with the answers.
So then after they read the lead magnet at the end, you can have a link to your product page for your book where they can get more on this topic because now they understand that you really know what you’re talking about with a fiction writer, the unique value proposition is more important. Again, like what type of reading experience are you providing that will delight the reader in your genre? And that is a very, very important thing to understand. Again, very early in your publishing journey, you know, what are, what’s going to just delight readers in your genre? Do you know and have you studied, you know the top writers? Do you read in your genre? And it does surprise me how often people do not read in your genre and it really does show up because they don’t find the fit because they don’t understand the genre enough.
They don’t understand their readers. So if you really understand your genre and the readers in that genre and what delights them, you can craft unique value proposition because you know what they like. You’re a little bit like this, but you’re different because, and that’s what you want to show off in your lead magnet. Maybe it’s a strong voice, maybe it’s the pace that you write, which the twists and turns. Maybe it’s the setting, the descriptives or the dialogue and the characters and the wit. Those are all things you need to think about in crafting your lead magnet. And it all starts with understanding your audience. Of course, they’re going to have high value, right? So you’re not going to hold back here with your lead because you are trying to impress your readers with how much you want to share and provide assistance to them.
Build trust, you know, don’t be stingy when it comes to your lead magnets. And also the lead magnet should be instantly accessible. So you say, sign up and they get it right away in their inbox. So, or through a click. But once they’ve given you, that barter has taken place, you’ve said, I’m going to give you this lead magnet. They’ve given you that email, you want to instantly provide access to what you’ve promised them. And like I said, quick to digest. So types of lead magnets and you know, there are many, many more than, you’ll find right here. But the thing that, to understand is you want to also think about, you want to study actually the lead magnets maybe that are being provided by other authors in your genre or other authors who, top authors who talk about the subject matter that you address in your book.
So free books, free workbooks, you know, shorter types of books are great lead magnets. You can do checklists or cheat sheets or resource lists. Infographics, like I said, or wonderful spreadsheets. If you’re in finance or you know, some type of business. I’ve actually signed up for lead magnets that provides spreadsheets to show me how to organize something, you know, in marketing you can be, calendars or planners, you know, to map out your marketing calendar. And spreadsheets the same way. Invitations to events or groups. This can be great for both nonfiction and fiction. So you can have a private Facebook group and you can talk to experts there or writers there, critique groups, beta readers, anything that might be an invitation to a real world event or an online event or a private group that would be exclusive that would make me want to click.
Prizes and free products are also great lead magnets. And when we go to conferences, we often will give away, you know, pieces of a publishing package so that authors can sign up. And we use a tool called Leadpages on our Ipad. And all the author has to do is put in their first name and their email and then it goes into a list. And then we use a randomizer to pick the person who won. You can do the same thing. It’s just a little bit of technology, pretty easy to set up, and they’re great for capturing emails of people who are interested in what you have to offer discounts. So at the end of my presentation, I do have a lead magnet because I have a discount for you. So there you go. I forgot about that. Yeah, discounts are great lead magnets.
So, if you know, you can offer something that is a value and they can go and sign up for it for a limited amount of time for less, and you can capture their email and so doing now you can speak to them, they can sample your content at a discounted price. It’s a win win for everyone. Exclusive content again is just a great thing, something that you don’t offer anywhere except maybe on your website. Webinars and video tutorials are fabulous. You know, these online conferences are a great way to collect, you know, emails from people who are interested in the topic of independent publishing. So you sign up, you get all this great value and you know, you will be interested in hearing more hopefully from the people who are presented to you. Recipes I’ve even seen.
So in fiction, oftentimes there are recipes associated or offered in the book, so you can give the recipe out and a cute little designed card. All they have to do is give you their email and their name. So some of the tools that, and there are many, many tools. So this is just a sampling. MailChimp, if you have a wordpress website, Mailchimp is absolutely awesome, very affordable, great tool for authors to start with. You can create a number of different ways to introduce your lead magnet. Something that might slide in with a very nice visual of what you’re offering. The signups right there and they are very effective. You have a lot of control over how you introduce them so that you don’t annoy readers and they will capture the email in MailChimp.
You can tag it so that you know how they came in and how you want to talk to them going forward. And then there’s all the tools you need to deliver an automated thank you to that person’s inbox with the asset that you’ve created. Leadpages was one that I mentioned. It’s a great tool. There are a number of other competitors to Leadpages, it’s just, this is just an example of the company we are familiar with, you can set up a landing page like I said, we do this at shows. It makes it really simple to capture emails, very simple for the user, very simple for you. And you can tie it in to, in our case we use Infusionsoft to send out our newsletters and MailChimp can also be used. So you can upload those lists that you capture and start to speak to people.
Canva is a great, great, tool for making lead magnets. So we are power users. We love Canva at Bublish. It’s great for so many things, but say you wanted to create an infographic, they have templates. You don’t have to be a designer, you don’t have to hire an expensive designer to make these lead magnets. We make ours right on Canva and you can too. You can make them in all different sizes. Another great thing you can do on Canva is create a sell sheet so that you have something to hand out, or bookmarks or anything you need to hand out in real world, you know, situations, to visit bookstores, libraries, to set up consignment deals. Some of the stuff I’m going to talk to you about later in the presentation. Facebook of course, is a great tool.
You know, the pinned posts, the same with Twitter. So using social media. PushCrew is a great way to capture emails on your website and for people who want updates when you blog. AnyMeeting is the tool I’m using to tape this webinar. If that’s something you’re interested in there’s many, many offerings for webinar platforms. We use AnyMeeting at Bublish. So I’m a big fan of that. Hello Bar is a fabulous, very affordable tool. You can get started for free where you can basically right at the top of your website, you can create a bar. Again, you don’t have to be technically savvy to do this. You just have to have someone insert the code into your website one time. So if you have somebody who manages your website, they can do this, but you can create the bars, which would be teasers to your lead magnet.
And then, Hello Bar will take them to the page or take them to a URL or to a video to whatever, whatever you want. But it’s a great, great tool and book funnel. If you really don’t want, you don’t have a website or any other way to build your list, bookfunnel.com is a great way to offer something for free and they kind of manage all of the capturing of the emails and it’s very affordable and effective. Okay. The second strategy for marketing after you have your foundation in place of course, is that you can do quality content in targeted places. So at the beginning of your journey as a writer, you often don’t have your own platform where you don’t have a lot of followers. You’re trying to build the audience of readers for your book. And the best thing to do is kind of go to places where there are big audiences and put your content there and you need to, I call them targeted places cause you don’t want to go somewhere where your audience definitely isn’t.
You want to go to places where your audience hangs out. Again, you’ve researched this and you’ve studied these things well before you launched. So you know where your readers are hanging out. Here are a couple of ideas for you. So you know, if you’re writing in a specific genre, there’s typically podcasts and blogs that you can go and offer to be a guest blogger or guest podcaster. And it’s just a great way to get in front of your audience. And of course you’re going to have your lead magnet somehow tucked into your bio or your presentation or your blog or whatever, but you’re going to have that planned out in advance so that you can draw these people from that guest blog post or guest podcasts to your list. But that’s a great way to build your audience. So if you know the bloggers in your genre or on your topic and you know the podcasters, that’s a great place to start.
Another one is Quora, this is especially good for nonfiction writers, but it can also be good for fiction writers. But Quora is basically a social platform where all you do is ask and answer questions. So for, for us at Bublish, because we help independent authors, we answer questions that independent authors have. And our bio of course has our website and we often add into our answers resources that are lead magnets to enrich our answers. We never sell on Quora, we never push our, you know, our platform. It’s very subtle. We always provide value, which I’m going to talk about in a minute and we really take our time to answer the questions and it is a very powerful lead magnet for us because these are people who have said to you, this is my pain point. You know, this is what I don’t understand.
And then you answer their question and provide them with value. Well, that’s a great way to start a relationship, don’t you think? So they’re very likely to go ahead and click on a document or a webinar that answers their question further and sign up for your list. As a result, Linkedin has become a very powerful content platform. For anyone who writes in nonfiction, I would highly recommend that you start to use Linkedin to disseminate your content. Medium is great for both fiction and nonfiction, and it’s an essay writing platform. You know, a lot of people use Medium just as their blog. I don’t recommend that, but, it is a great way to take your blog and put it in another place where people can follow you, has a very viral built in nature to it, it gets a lot of engagement on questions.
So be prepared to, you know, get involved in that engagement if you post. But Medium is a fabulous place, again, to put your quality content in front of a targeted audience. So if you write genre fiction, take a look at Medium, find your people there. If you write on a particular topic, they have a lot of topics that they cover. So, I highly recommend taking a look at Medium. And there are plenty of other niche groups, you know, everything from goodreads to Reddit, places where you can go and post your content and delight readers that are in your genre. And then with a lead magnet embedded, it can be an effective way for you to share content because they will come over and sign up for your list and again, answer questions, provide value and be consistent in posting. If you decide to engage somewhere, for example, on Quora, once you’ve started to really post there, people will request your answers. So be cognizant of that and make sure you answer those questions because you want to be consistent. That’s how you really build trust.
This is our third strategy for marketing. It’s very powerful. So, at Bublish we, as I said, are like a publisher in a box and one of the things that we do is distribute print and digital books and soon audio books. And as a result, you know, we have access to all the channels where the book is available. That’s everything from the online retailers, you know, from Apple books to Amazon to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google play, all of those online retailers as well as the wholesalers through Ingram. And that takes you into the bookstore and library markets and we actively run Amazon ads for our authors. And if you are an independent author and you have access to the channel and meaning either you work with a distributor like Bublish or you place the book in the channel yourself, you can run Amazon ads and Amazon ads can either be a total flop for authors or very effective.
And I’m going to come back again to just reiterate. You can’t run effective Amazon ads if your book is not well positioned in the marketplace. So it only works if you’ve done the positioning work very early in your journey and you’ve researched those comparable titles, which I’ve mentioned before, and the keywords. So what does that mean? It means that you know what titles your audience is already reading. Now that’s pretty easy if you write nonfiction on a particular subject, you know, you can search for that subject, you can, take one comparable title and then use it to find other comparable titles on the subject. So that’s pretty clear cut. But what if you write in literary fiction? That’s tougher, right? So, more important for you to really think about thematically or perhaps the way that your content reads, the voice you use, the writing style, you know, where would your readers be hanging out now?
And Amazon is a great place to research all of that. So, you know, even before you do the ad study how other big name authors in your genre are managing their ads. Start to be cognizant of how the Amazon ads are showing up for you as a reader. But when you run Amazon ads, you are allowed to put up to in one ad you’re allowed to put up to a thousand keywords, which can be single words or or strands of words. They can also be comparable titles or authors. So the title of a book or the name of an author and you are telling Amazon, I would like my ad to show up, when someone either searches for this term or author name or title or I would like it to show up on that page. So as, it will literally, your ad could show up as a sponsored product on a title’s product page. So it’s very powerful because of the targeting. So if you really understand, you know where your readers are hanging out, what they’re reading now, and you do that homework early, they can be very, very affordable, effective. The other thing that has to be done foundationally is you have to have that page, that product page for your book where when they click on the ad, they’re going to go to your product page. Are they going to see the format that they want? Are they going to see a price that makes sense to them? Are they going to see a book cover that looks like book covers in that genre? Or are they going to see something really homemade that doesn’t fit because you have less than seven seconds for them to say, “Hmm, I think I’m in the right place.”
This is the type of reading experience or the type of content I’m looking for. Let me read that synopsis or go into the look inside feature and read a sample or buy the book. Seven seconds. That’s not a lot of time. So you’ve got to have, the cover also has to have metadata on it, which is you know, things like your title, your subtitle, your series title. If you’re in fiction, and you’ve written the first book in a series and you have indicated that it’s the first in a series missed opportunity because in some genres, readers will not pick up the book because they only want to get and give time and energy to something that’s going to give them a longer reading experience. So if you’ve studied your genre, you would know that and make sure you indicate that it’s a series and you have to have it on your book cover.
And so if you have it on your book cover, you can put it into the fields when you upload your book. And then right next to the book you’ll see the name and then you’ll see a colon and the subtitle. And then in parentheses you’ll see the series title. And that gives the reader a lot of information very quickly if those things are handled correctly. So again, there’s no person selling your book online. So you’ve got to get all these pieces right on your product page. You can try audience segmentation. This is a little bit sophisticated, but you can literally, and this is very interesting for literary fiction. You can even try running some ads and target nonfiction books. So not just fiction books, because your reader might be a voracious reader of things in that time period or around a topic or just because they’re very well educated.
So, in nonfiction and fiction, there’s lots of interesting audience segmentation you can do if you run multiple Amazon ads, you can play with pricing while you’re running an Amazon ad. So, you know, do you, you know, do you want to see if you drop the price a little bit on your ebook if you got more sales, you know, will the volume compensate you because you’re selling more books at a lower price. There’s a lot of things you can learn from Amazon ads. It is a great tool. You know, if you’re willing to do the foundational work and to work at it, you know, adjusting your bids. We’ve got, if you want to, you can email me, I’ve got some good resources, Kathy@bublish.com for resources on Amazon ads, so feel free and for tools to look for those comparable titles, right?
Which can be very time consuming. There’s quite a few interesting tools you can use. These are just a few. Yasiv.com is a free tool. You just put in a comparable title and hit return and it will show you all the books that were purchased with that book. Great resource. There’s also paid versions, KDP Rocket, Kadaxis, K-lytics that can help you with keywords and comparable titles and comparable authors. So there’s a lot because these are so effective, there’s a lot of tools that have emerged that are powerful to help you come up with those thousand or more, comparable titles and keywords and comparable authors. The next one is social engagement. Not selling. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one, you know, I think a lot of people have talked about social media, but again, lead magnet.
So social can be a very strong way to build your email list. If you are sharing great content and you’ve got that profile or a pinned post that has a lead magnet. So now social is really productive. But it’s also very important from a brand building perspective so that you’re sharing great content on a regular basis. You’re supporting others, readers, writers, you’re engaging in conversations, you’re inspiring your followers. So they look forward to your posts. You’re never selling, you’re serving your community, you know, what can you do to help others and promote others? This is not a place where you should be competitive and not a place which you should be selly selly. You’re inviting people into your journey. You know, one of our technologies, the Book Bubble, allows authors to share an excerpt from their book and it’s very visually branded around the author and book cover.
And it has calls to action. But most of all the secret sauce is it allows authors to augment their book sample with an author insight. So like a director’s cut for the book. It allows you to talk about what went into creating a scene, why you write in the genre you write in, what your challenges are as an artist, what you aspire to as a creator. The power of your why. There’s some great work by Simon Sinek on the importance of sharing your why. People are fascinated with what motivates people. So don’t be afraid to share your why when you’re on social media and to delight in the why’s of others. You can also align yourself with top brands by sharing their things and you can create content buckets. So again, have a plan with a calendar. There’s great hashtags on most channels, and you really need to understand what the different channels allow you to do. Of course, you know, you’ve got a real focus on visual now. So you want your posts to be visual on almost every platform that you share on and create content buckets that align with the different hashtags and memes that are out there.
The fifth one is, you know, you can do real world, take advantage of real world opportunities. So you can sign consignment deals with bookstores or other retailers, gift stores where you know, you literally go in a professional manner. You have your sales sheet, you present it, you offer them a discount, they buy from you directly. If they don’t sell them, then you know, they would, you’d have to buy them back, whatever the deal is. But don’t be afraid to go out and, deal locally and get the book into lots of outlets locally through consignment deals. You should be ready for all kinds of unexpected opportunities that would occur by having a business card or a bookmark, a sell sheet, a sell card, things that you can carry around that make it, and you should always have some books in your car.
So if somebody that you meet give, provides you with an opportunity in the real world to get your book noticed, you’re there and you can react like any entrepreneur would by saying, “Hey, yeah, I’ve got this, you know, let’s exchange cards. Here’s my cover.” Or you’ve got your pitch nailed down, you’re ready to rock and roll when these real world opportunities happen. And the other thing I love is some creative local things around real world experiences. And you always want the, you know, to try to, if you come up with something really creative that’s local to, you know, get the local media involved. So now something that isn’t a big, but it’s just interesting and creative can become bigger because you get some press coverage around it. So, you know, think about hiding books or something that’s related to your book around town, a scavenger hunt and organizing a scavenger hunt and then having the local media cover it.
Another great one is placing conversation starters, little cards that start conversations around your book and maybe invite people to an online discussion or real world discussion, as a result of the conversation starters that can work for fiction or nonfiction. And of course, reading and events, there’s just a lot you can take advantage of, you know, people instantly want to go national, which is great. And you can do that through things like Amazon ads, but you can also just do great real world opportunities. So take advantage of those as well and don’t discount them. And finally, you know, I just want to say, you know, thank you for listening. I hope you’ll visit bublish.com, we do have a free trial. You can check us out. We don’t even take your credit card. So play around, create a Book Bubble. We’ll do a lot to get those Book Bubbles in front of thousands of readers who can take a look at your book.
We can even do it from your manuscript. We have a writing tool and you can share excerpts from your manuscript and drive awareness. And if you have a pre order campaign, you can drive that too. And like I said, we do everything soup to nuts. I’ve been an editor for almost 30 years now. I’ve got great editors, designers, anything you need to publish your book, and you can use the ALLI19 discount til May 31st, ALLi19 by 5/31 and get your first year of Bublish for only $79, which is 40% off our typical monthly subscription. So I hope you’ll check us out. I hope you found this valuable and you can follow us @bublishme on Twitter and ask us questions there or write me directly at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for being part of the webinar.
Do you have any questions or feedback about this Self-Publishing Advice Conference Session? Leave a comment below, or send us a question using hashtag #IndieAuthorCon
Register for #SelfPubCon2019
Our next online conference for authors runs in association with the Digital Book World, September 2019.
Register now and we'll send details of our speakers, sessions, sponsors and competitions closer to the time.
Hosted by the non-profit Alliance of Independent Authors. Always free.