7 steps to maximise your book sales

Greg Weiss, founder of Career365 wrote and published three books: Career Clarity, Career Networking and Career Success

This article should really be titled From Garage to Book Sales as this is the journey most self publishing business book authors books travel.

While there a lot of book coaches out there, most don’t deal with the all important aspect of how to market and sell your book.

And, I’d venture to say that this aspect of self publishing is way harder than writing your book. Why is that?

Because most of you have never marketed a book before so EVERY aspect of it is new.

There are so many aspects and steps to successfully marketing and selling your book. Get these right, and in the right order, and your book sales will happen quicker, more effectively, deliver you more revenue and exposure and last longer.

In this article I summarise the 7 most important steps to maximise your book sales.

1. Target Audience

Be clear about your target audience. You can’t market to everyone as you don’t have the time or money. So focus on 1-2 specific audiences.

Once you’ve worked out who your readers are research where they are currently going to find information/inspiration, who they are listening to, what they are typing into Google as this is where you need to be engaged.

2. Understand and implement SEO

You might have the best book in the world but unless your target audience can find it easily it will be one of the world’s best kept secrets. This means you need to understand SEO and embed it across ALL your content: on and in your website, in your blogs, posts and articles, in your video captions, newsletters, media releases and more.

I am not talking here about stuffing keywords (phrases) everywhere, rather knowing what the keywords and phrases are and making sure they are integrated into your content.

It’s worth paying an expert to help you with this.

3. Know your objective

What are you self publishing your book for? To build your visibility, to bring in new business, to secure speaking gigs as an expert, share your knowledge, a bucket list goal? Depending on your answer HOW you sell your book will be different.

For example: If you want to build your business and network sell your book via your website. This way you not only sell your book but you build your database and have the potential to build a longer relationship with those who buy your book.

If you just want the Amazon ‘Best Seller’ – sell it through Amazon. You won’t know who has bought your book (Amazon does not provide purchase information), your revenue will be lower

If you just want book sales put more effort into bulk book sales rather and 1-to-1 sales. It might take longer to land these opportunities but they don’t take a lot of time. Selling 200-500 books at a discount is a smart, effective way to get your book out there.

4. Develop a content marketing plan

Books do not sell themselves. You have to sell your book, and the best way to do this without spending a bomb on advertising (although you can do this too) is to develop a 12-month content marketing plan and then execute it diligently. If you don’t want to/don’t have the time to implement it, or all of it, pay someone else to do this.

Consistent visibility and engagement with your target audience where they spend their time will underpin consistent book sales over time.

Your content marketing plan should cover all types of content: text, video, audio; key platforns: your website, newsletter, blog, LinkedIn, Insta, Facebook etc; third-party engagement: Podcasts, LinkedIn Lives, TV and radio interviews, industry magazines and websites.

The key here is to work out what you can deliver consistently and deliver it. Book sales will follow.

5. Protect your IP

This might sound counterintuitive but stay with me.

You should NOT put all your IP in your book. Keep some of your IP for your contract consulting.

And, I would NOT produce an eBook straight away. There’s three reasons for this.

  1. Google and Microsoft’s Ai models will vacuum up your content in a flash and share it for free everywhere.
  2. You don’t make that much money from eBooks and you want to maximise the revenue from your print book first.
  3. You can launch your eBook 6-8 months later. This gives you another option to focus attention on you/your book.

6. Spend money on a GREAT book cover

People do judge books by their cover.

You have about 45 seconds to grab someone’s attention when they come across your book. Make sure your cover stands out and is clear, that the title, subtitle and image (if there is one) work together to get your key message across.

And, don’t forget the back cover. Ever noticed what someone does in an actual bookshop when they pick up a book? The look at the cover – well it attracts their attention. Then they turn it over and read the back cover blurb. If they are still interested they’ll open it up and look at the contents, perhaps even scan the Preface.

Online it’s the cover and ‘blurb’. Make sure there’s a short paragraph that captures the essence of your book. I call this the compelling story, and it’s not your story it’s the key challenge/s your book will help the reader solve.

The back cover should also include one or two endorsements. The more well-known the person is the better. It’s called social proof.

And, there should be a photo of you and a SHORT description about why the potential reader should read what you have to say.

7. Launch/present your book often

Most self published authors launch their book and focus on the weeks immediately after it. I get it, it’s been a long time happening and it’s exciting. However, one event will not secure significant book sales (although if you plan your content marketing the right way you can secure pre-sales).

Plan to launch/present your book once a month over the first 12 months, and plan this in advance. You could present your book to companies within your existing client base, companies you’d like to engage with (now you’re a published author/expert you have a reason), industry association programs, events, conferences, Podcasts, business networking groups you’re part of . . .

All these events give you a platform to present and sell your book. They also provide GREAT content to feed into your content marketing plan = more visibility.

If you want to sell more copies of your self published book, we can help you. Contact me today.