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Publishing Success Leaves Clues

Publishing Success Leaves Clues

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This week our #SelfPubCon highlight features Penny Sansevieri and her session Sales Success: How to Evaluate Your Book Marketing. One of the things Penny talks about in her presentation is how success leaves clues and how you can use that to your advantage. See below for more.

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Till next time, happy writing and publishing!


Publishing Success Leaves Clues by Penny Sansevieri

When I teach this class in person, one of the things that I talk about is how success leaves clues. Looking up other similar authors in your genre and getting to know what they're doing to promote their books can really be helpful to you in that.

So to use the example of your writer friend in your writers' group who recommended something to you. If that person has had success overall, so not just oh, I got lucky with Facebook ads or something, but if that person has had success overall, if it is really somebody that you aspire to, like that's really where you want to get with your book, that would be considered a good clue to follow, right?

Start by Googling your genre and add the word "author".

So, for example, "contemporary romance" and "author". This used to be a much cleaner search a couple of years ago. Now you're going to get lots of ads, you're probably going to get lots of publishing companies, but you want to click through until you find other authors that are getting fairly high rank in Google. If Google's paying attention to them, then they're doing something right. Their website is getting a significant amount of traffic. They're probably blogging, they're on social media, with the social media acting as a feeder site, feeding traffic into their website.

So, let me give you an example, right? So, I did this once with a mystery author. And I told him and I said, "all right now once you go through this exercise, then let's talk about what you found out". He came back and he said, "okay, well, I have this one author, and he is blogging consistently. And he's developing a new, shorter version, easy-to-solve cases on his blog, right? He writes a whole series of mysteries with one protagonist. So, this protagonist actually runs his blog, so to speak, and solve little mini-mysteries." Right.

Then one of the other things that he observed was that this particular author was only on one social media site. And you know, couple of other things that he observed was the simplicity of this author's website ... the author was very clear on what they were writing about. ..the author was very focused on so he didn't have a lot of flash...very, very focused on where his what his core audience wanted, and where he showed up, so he wasn't on a whole bunch of social media sites. He just sort of focused on the one.

Every time I do this exercise with authors, it comes up with surprising results.

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