Monday, May 15, 2017

The Value of Consistent Book Marketing

From my years in publishing, I find many writers expect to have instant success. While they may not say it verbally, they show this expectation in other ways. It makes sense since we live in a fast-moving, instant message world. One of the ways I see this expectation is in contract negotiations with new authors. In the details of the contract sometimes writers try and narrow the length of the contract to two or three years. I understand their desire but I often end up explaining that books sometimes take several years to take off and reach the public. At Morgan James Publishing, we've had a number of books with modest sales in the beginning, but the author consistently works at marketing and spreading the word about their book. These authors try multiple approaches to reach their audience. Then almost without explanation, their book begins to consistently sell in large numbers—month after month.

It is one of the truths in publishing that consistent regular action is the path to success. Whether it is trying to write a 100,000 word novel or a 60,000 word nonfiction book or a book proposal or sell a magazine article. The process of taking consistent action will eventually pay off.  You will complete the novel. You will finish writing the nonfiction book or book proposal. You will find an editor who wants to publish your magazine article.

Marketing a book is not a sprint but more of a marathon where slow and steady rules the day. Penny Sansevieri is a marketing expert who runs a book marketing company. 5-MINUTE BOOK MARKETING FOR AUTHORS is filled with practical, easy to apply information. Sansevieri gives the straight scoop in the opening page, “With more than 4500 books published every day, unless you’re a big name, you can’t afford to set it and forget it. It’s true that the success of a book doesn’t happen overnight; the biggest constant in the publishing industry is that consistent, regular exposure of your books is the best way to reach your book marketing goals.”

Each chapter of this book is designed to encourage authors to take action. As Sansevieri writes, “You only fail if you fail to try! So dig in with me, and learn some great marketing efforts that you can begin in around five minutes!” (Page 11). There is a wide range of action in this book from Goodreads to Amazon to ebook pricing to website to newsletters to social media (Facebook, twitter and Pinterest). Whether you are a brand new author or an experienced author, you can gain valuable insights from 5-MINUTE BOOK MARKETING FOR AUTHORS.

Author insights are embedded into each chapter. For example, the chapter on how to get the best Amazon reviews begins, “Reviews can really help to drive the sale of a book. In fact, several marketing survey companies have cited that 61% of online purchases were made after reading a review.” (Page 45)

Sansevieri is an author but also works with authors all the time. She designed this book with short chapters and each one concludes with a “5-Minute Marketing Action Item” For example, “Join a Giveaway Group (on Goodreads).  Groups are quick and easy to join. You can see what members are excited about and get them excited about your title. The more you engage with potential fans, especially in your genre, the better!” (page 21)

Why are a variety of actions and strategies included? Sansevieri explains, “It’s important for you to remember that there’s no one marketing strategy that will help attract and retain fans. Instead, marketing is a series of actions and consistent engagement over time that will help you to grow your following and keep them engaged.” (Page 88).

As a long-time member of the publishing community as an author and editor, I learned a great deal from reading 5-MINUTE BOOK MARKETING FOR AUTHORS. I highly recommend every author get this book then start applying it to their own book marketing.

I want to return to where I started this article: consistent, steady action will pay off. Remember the parable of the race between the tortoise and the hare. It was the slow and steady tortoise that beat the hare. From my experience, it is the same in publishing. Too many writers quit too soon and never get their work published or achieve the book sales that they dream about. It is critical to keep going and not give up. 

Have you had this experience ? If so, tell me in the comment section.

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