Professional’s Guide to Marketing Your New Book

This blog post is much more for me than for anyone reading.  A reminder that marketing your book is not something you “did.”  It’s something you do.

A couple axioms for the short attention span:

  • You have to market consistently, but not constantly.
  • Facebook doesn’t sell books.
  • There is no such thing as Facebook marketing.
  • Nothing sells your book as well as it’s sequel.
  • Please see the previous entry.  Writing is more important than marketing.

There are three phases to marketing.

  • Attracting new consumers
  • Converting those consumers into customers
  • Transforming customers into clients

Attracting New Consumers

This section will focus on Attracting new consumers.  Every one of us will attract new consumers in different ways, but the key is to attract consumers, not customers.

How to market a book

Marketing your new book

“Buy my book” will never, ever work.  No matter how many times you say “Hey, my book is in sale, go buy it!” it will never work. (Okay, maybe your mom will buy your book that way.)

Why doesn’t it work? We want it to work.  Based on the number of times it shows up in my facebook feed, we think it should work.  Dozens of times per day, a post by some author shows up in my news-feed saying ‘Hey, check out my book,” along with a link.  There are thousands of facebook groups full of hundreds of these posts every day.

Imagine if those groups were rooms. And two hundred new authors were in the room, each talking about their book.  No one would ever be heard. The voices would all just be a jumble.  That’s because it’s NOT TIME to ask them to buy your book, because you haven’t made them consumers yet.  Asking a stranger to buy your book will never work.  But asking a consumer to buy your book is a completely different story.

Instead of screaming from the mountains asking strangers to buy your book.  Ask them to read your work.  That’s the heart of attracting consumers.

Author marketingOn my own blog, WhatZombiesFear.com I give away hundreds of thousands of words worth of reading material.  There are dozens of whole, complete stories for people to read.  I post regularly about new free stories I’ve written.  This is the primary way I attract consumers.  I write free stories, and post about them every place I can find.  Because I know, once someone reads my work, once they become a consumer, I can then work on turning them into customers.

There are lots of ways to attract consumers besides writing free stories.  There are thousands of websites that will allow you to post excerpts.  Even Amazon knows this strategy, that’s why they offer the ability to read a portion of the book before asking people to buy.  That’s why you can send a sample to your kindle for free.

I challenge you to come up with new ways to attract new consumers.

For each method you come up with, figure out how much work it will take, and realistically estimate how many new consumers you will generate.

I start with 60 hours per week.  Forty of them are dedicated to writing new content.  The other twenty hours are spent on marketing and administration.  So of my roughly fifteen marketing hours per week, I try to spend no more than five attracting new consumers.  That works out to an hour or so every day looking STRICTLY for new places to post my stories.  The goal of this hour is to expose new people to my work, not continually expose the same people over and over.  Then you just become spam.

Don’t ever become spam.

In the next segment, I’ll tell you how I turn consumers into customers.  And in the third post, how to turn those customers into lifetime clients.

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