Book marketing is an ocean, let’s face it. There are as many opinions about how to do it right out there as there are grains of sand on the Cornado beaches in San Diego. Well okay, that might be an exaggeration. But you get the idea.
In order to cut through all the crap on how to market your books, you first need to know the skill sets required to market books effectively. Many of today’s general marketing books for authors just skip over the “skills needed” and leave you with a laundry list of tactics you need to start…today. But before you can get moving on that list, you need some skills.
I’ve decided to add a new feature to my blog in 2018 called Improve Your Skill Set. In each of these posts I will identify crucial marketing skills or strategies that authors need to succeed. There won’t be any woo-woo stuff here or futuristic strategies—you’ll get that in our podcast, The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast (Disclaimer: We don’t do woo-woo much).
This post gives you straight up five books you need to read to acquire the specific skills each book entails. They are aimed at authors. No BS, just practical how-to info. Read them, and then read them again. Buy paper copies so you can outline important stuff you want to remember. Get good at what the books tell you. You’ll be way ahead on your marketing journey because you’ve already eliminated much of the fluff out there and kicked your FOMO in the butt.
Here they are with links to each.
- Prosperity For Writers by Honoree Corder. This is the best book out there, IMO, on the writer’s mindset–a critical skill set we all need. Writers are creative and business people. But if you don’t pursue the business part of that equation with confidence and determination, you will struggle. Read this—it really helped me define who I am as a writer. This is square one. Mindset doesn’t come naturally–it’s a skill. Get your mind on the right track. Practical guide.
- How to Write A Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen. There are many good copywriting books out there but this one is specifically for authors from a guy who’s written a lot of creative writing instruction books and knows what he’s talking about. Get it. Do it.
- Mastering Amazon Ads by Brian Meeks. Again, this is a book aimed specifically at authors. And this is currently the best instruction manual out there on AMS ads. It will be a while (or never) until we have another book this thorough and informative. And if another one comes along, Brian will probably write it. Deep stuff, but he is kind and takes you along the adventure as if you’re a newbie.
- Do Less. Write More. The Author’s Guide to Finding, Hiring and Keeping an Excellent Author Assistant by Maria Connor. If you’re not there yet, you will be. This book is thorough and will answer all your questions about how to find, interview, hire, and manage an author assistant. Short and informative.
- The Newbie’s Guide To Sell More Books With Less Marketing by Chris Syme. If you’re just starting out and have no idea where to go or what to do, read this first. It will outline three simple but required strategies for marketing books. Nothing more than that—it’s simple. Master those three and you’re on your way.
These books highlight basic skills every author needs right now: mindset, copywriting, Amazon ads, hiring an assistant, and bottom line basics for newbies. Keep an eye out for future editions of Improve Your Skill Set.