Self-published authors wear many of hats—some reluctantly and some enthusiastically. Book marketing is probably one that many are not quite so excited about. But without that hat, it will be a challenge to sell more books. And the problem is not lack of information.
Book marketing advice is abundant. But not all book marketing advice is a good fit for every author. The more you educate yourself, the more you’ll be able to make solid marketing decisions based on your own knowledge. Spend time building your essential skills and you’ll be cutting down on the time you have to hunt and peck for somebody else’s book promotion to copy.
Three Skills Every Author Needs
Some skills are optional because some marketing strategies are optional. For instance, it isn’t vital that new authors know how to use Facebook ads. But there are three book marketing skills every author needs no matter what level.
There are two basic types of copywriting: sales copywriting and content copywriting. Both are different animals than writing a book. A self-published author is in the business of selling books and in order to sell books you have to write sales copy and content copy such as blogs, social media posts, and emails. Copywriting is formulaic and without the formula, you are not running on all cylinders.
Over the years, marketing research has made short work of deciphering the buying process. We now have mounds of data about the psychological triggers involved in the buying process and stages that buyers go through that are the same whether you are selling refrigerators, cars, or books.
If you’re in need of better copywriting skills, start here:
- How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen
- Words That Sell by Richard Bayan
- How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards
Doing your taxes, hiring book cover designers, editors, buying ads, book formatting, uploading books on KDP, contracts, rights, and the list goes on. In order to be successful as an author you have to think of yourself as a business person. Setting up a small business takes some work. Luckily there are many good resources out there to help
If you’re in need of business skills, start here:
- Business For Authors by Joanna Penn
- You Must Write A Book by Honoree Corder (nonfiction specialty)
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch Business Musings
Marketing 101 Skills
How are people going to find that wonderful book you’ve written? After they discover you, how are you going to get them to buy? Whether it’s email marketing, finding your audience, optimizing your Facebook author page, or knowing which book promotions to buy and when, you need to understand marketing 101. And, believe it or not, some of the best marketing resources and not from book marketers.
As I said earlier, selling is the same whether it’s refrigerators or books. The sales funnel applies to all products. And marketing isn’t about tactics, it’s about goals and strategies that produce a list of tactics for success. It’s not about copying what worked for others, it’s about building a plan based on your platform and skills.
If you’re in need of Marketing 101 skills, start here:
- Platform by Michael Hyatt
- Youtility by Jay Baer
- Sell More Books With Less Social Media by Chris Syme
I also have an extensive list of book marketing resources on my website here.