There are a lot of book promotion strategies out there, and choosing the right ones are just as important as writing a good book. We all want to see our books sell, but I’ve seen many talented authors with fantastic books fail. They just weren’t organized or realistic about their marketing plan.
So if you’re considering investing in book promotion strategies, here are a few things you should ask yourself:
What can you do yourself really well, and what do you realistically need to hire out?
Do the book promotion strategies you’re considering offer clear deliverables and guarantees?
Would the strategies help you long term or short term? Short term is riskier, of course, but that doesn’t mean those strategies don’t have their place.
Do the services clearly target your specific reader market?
And lastly, if something works, can you budget to repeat that effort every month or at least multiple times a year?
If you’re satisfied with the answers, then the book promotion strategies you’re considering may be right for you!
If you aren’t quite sure, then you’ll probably want to keep looking and really get serious about what kind of budget is realistic. Beware of the ones who promise the moon, despite the cost.
You can protect yourself from spending your budget on the wrong book promotion strategies by educating yourself, and always check your gut. If it feels like your goals aren’t being prioritized, they probably aren’t. Move on and make sure you remain in control.
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Can you give some examples of Book Promotion Services that others have had success with? I’ve about thrown in the towel trying to promote my books at all. Everything I’ve tried so far has produced a negative ROI. I’d really like to know what’s worked for others.
Jared hi, I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time with marketing. First off, let me say that your books are gorgeous – yes, I went to your website. Your dragon illustrations are amazing and the Snout series is adorable! So my question is this – what have you done to market your book? Because asking what others have done works but only up to a point. Why? Because every campaign is different, every author has a different set of goals, etc. Tell me what you’ve done and maybe I can offer some guidance – but please don’t give up, your books look wonderful! Thanks for commenting, Penny
Well, I started out with Amazon pay-per-click ads. These work, but they are far too expensive. For every $2 spent, I would make $1. I tried Bookbub ads; same thing. I tried Facebook and Instagram Ads which gave me lots of traffic to my website, but again, practically zero sales. I tried Goodreads; again, not worth the money. Everyone says they love my books and my illustrations, but evidently not enough to actually buy them. Most of the book marketing experts say the best way to market a book is to develop an email list, some sort of blog, and a cult following; but I just don’t have the time or stomach to spend my life writing about dragons and cute animals. The other suggestion is to write more books. I’ve written several really good story books, but they need illustrations and that just takes a lot of time and money I don’t have right now. I am definitely open to suggestions. Thanks for caring. 🙂
Hi Jared, your illustrations are gorgeous. Books for children are a hard sell… there are millions of them. I learned that the hard way. I would recommend you update the description for the “Book of Snouts”. The description is too short and doesn’t have keywords (names of animals) in it. Take a look at a few best selling children’s books and see what they put i their descriptions. You also need more reviews…
Bonnie Jo YES – all of this – update descriptions, add keywords – excellent points! Thanks for chiming in!
Jared hi there – so I took a look at all of your books, journals – picture books, wow you’ve done a lot of work. I can 100% appreciate your comment and why you’re so discouraged. But I hope this helps. First off – some simple changes could help the entire series here (I know they’re not all a series, per se) – you have no Author Central page, so go to author.amazon.com and get one set up and grab all your books. That could really help. Next, boost your book descriptions a bit by starting them off with an excerpt from an enticing review. Trust me, readers love this. Now comes the best part – your journals should be sold in gift shops. Have you gone to any in your area? Keep a stack of these in your car and whenever you see a gift shop, pop in and see if they’re interested in carrying the journals or maybe even the books. Seriously. I mean, Amazon is great for book sales (generally) but I think given your series of books you have some options here. Also, don’t forget to optimize your keywords on Amazon – and pick the right categories for your books – because this will help, too. I’m not sure why your Amazon ads didn’t do well – how many keywords were you using? Hope this helps!! Good luck!!
Hi Jared. I feel your pain! I wonder if you haven’t yet zeroed in on who your book BUYER is? I write thrillers that feature fungi (lots of things to do with wild mushrooms). I thought my buyers would be people that like to hike in the Pacific Northwest. Turns out I get better sales when I advertise to gardeners in California. Gardeners are interested in ecology beyond their yards and the PNW may sound exotic . . .
I started figuring out my buyers when I sold in-person prior to Covid. A lady in a wide-brimmed garden hat was far more likely to buy than a guy in a high-end gore-tex backpacking jacket. Best of luck. Ellen
This is a good article, and I’m right where Jared is. The 4th book in my fantasy series is due for release next fall, and so far, sales for the first three have been just okay. Before I release book four, I really need to figure out a better launch plan. I’m self-published, still learning this industry, and though I did promote and advertised via social media when I launched the first three books, I paid more for advertising than I’d like to admit, and the ROI is up-side-down. I have found that selling directly to the public via fairs, festivals and other such events has a much better ROI. Though COVID has kept this option limited, I’m hoping to do more events between now and next fall.
Patti hi! Thanks for commenting on this post. So I’m curious – how many newsletter readers do you have? If you’re not comfortable answering that publicly, I 100% get it – maybe instead I would ask how often you send your newsletter, and take a look at your open rate. Here’s why: if you feel like prior launches have fallen flat, maybe it’s because you aren’t spending enough time on your fans, building them, and inspiring them to read and review your book as soon as it launches. Are you doing a short pre-order and running some Amazon ads? Have you optimized your book(s)? Great book covers by the way. Are you rotating your books in and out of promotions – meaning do you do something each month to market older titles? I know this can be discouraging, I get it – I hope this is helpful, please let me know if this has sparked any ideas! Good luck! Penny
Where and how can I get legitimate reviews of the book I wrote and published on Amazon, its title “Shadows on the Pathway.” Must I pay for reviews. I submitted to the American Library Association. Readers of the book have provided positive comments about it, but these aren’t a complete professional review.
Frances hi, do you have a newsletter? Are you focused on building your fan base to help garner reviews? You don’t have to pay for them, and sometimes paying for reviews can be sketchy. I mean there are firms out there that do these well, but you want to be careful of companies who are promising lots and lots of reviews. Do their reviewers live in the US? Can they point to some reviews that folks have written? Are they free of typos and thorough. Meaning you don’t want reviews that just say: Nice book. I enjoyed it. In terms of the US based reviews, that may make a difference as to whether Amazon lets them review or not – they don’t have to be verified reviews, but their reviewers should consistently be posting reviews so they have some “platform” on Amazon. And the other reason I like US based reviewers for *most* books, is because something there are nuances in books that someone overseas may not understand – and then there are books that do really well with the international markets – Germany, for example, loves US thrillers.