Omsetgo.com - There is a new book being published every 30 seconds. Currently, more than 32 million books are available worldwide. The book industry is indeed a very competitive space. The most famous books will be sold in the quantity of millions of copies. While the rest will only be sold in the number of hundreds or thousands. How much income does an author make?
A research has shown that the median income for all authors worldwide is below $5,000. There are of course exceptional authors like J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. 'Hybrid' authors who distribute their books with traditional publishing method and also self-publishing make more sales from the rest.
A survey shows that traditionally published authors making a median annual income of $3,000–$4,999, and independent authors a median of $500–$999. So-called hybrid authors, however – those who publish in both ways – did best, earning $7,500–$9,999 a year.
- Traditionally published authors: The book is published by a publisher.
- Independent writers: The book is self-published.
- Hybrid authors: The book is published by a publisher and self-published.
So, how do we actually increase book sales of an author? Digital marketing is the key, whether self-published or published by a publisher.
Imagine an author publishes a book and then expect someone to discover his/her book in a bookstore. It is tough and unlikely for someone to actually be very interested in the particular book when they see it. There are thousands of books in every store. It is unlikely for many people to choose to pick up your book if they do not know you previously.
However, a book has its own advantage. As an information product, it is searchable online if people talk about it in forums or mentioned by bloggers in their posts.
Amazon.com has become a giant e-commerce company and it started with books. Why? People actually search for books online, because looking for a specific book in the store is tiring.
So if you are an author and you are not leveraging on online marketing channels, you are missing out a lot.
Moving on, we will discuss on how authors can improve their book sales.
Increase book sales of an author with more sales and marketing channels:
1. A website is the most important channel an author can have.
A website is customizable according to what the author is all about. It can also be filled with the identity, the story behind the book, blog posts, and a way for readers to directly purchase the book from the website. It is a presence online that an author can control. It is also the place for an author to gain subscribers, loyal readers, and communicating with them time to time. A website is a place where people can know an author better and understand deeply who he/she is, provided the author writes blog posts regularly to share his/her thoughts and updates.
Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup has been raising an awareness about the book through startup community and getting subscribers on its website. Lean startup is a method for developing businesses and products first proposed in 2008 by Eric Ries. Based on his previous experience working in several U.S. startups, Ries claims that startups can shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and what he calls validated learning.
As of now, The Lean Startup's website has about 100,000 visitors every month, constantly giving them hundreds or thousands of potential buyers every single month.
Now let me ask you a question, does a book without a website can have 100,000 interested viewers per month? Maybe yes, maybe no.
2. Social Media is the way to engage with your readers or potential readers.
Social media is one of the best ways to gain loyal fans and followers. This is the place where an author can talk to their audience and builds a personal brand. Gary Vaynerchuk is the author of the books Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook and CRUSHIT! He uses almost all channels of social media to engage with his audience. Channels include YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
He currently has 180,000 subscribers on YouTube alone.
Gary Vaynerchuk's social media channels are being updated daily.
With all these channels, Gary has created a personal brand that represents entrepreneurship, hustle, and straightforward truth.
Gary's total followers as of 9 April 2016: 2,270,626++
- Facebook: 554,867 likes
- Twitter: 1.24 million followers
- YouTube: 180,759 subscribers
- Instagram: 295,000 followers
- SnapChat: ???
Authors have to constantly post updates and engage with their loyal readers with social media, or someone else will do it. Authors are in the business of attention. If you are an author and you have not built a large engaged audience, you are missing out a lot.
3. Sell everywhere: Online stores and offline stores.
If an author has been selling his/her books in a bookstore chain, that is really great. However, there are still many places he/she can sell the book. Look at where The Lean Startup is being sold online: Amazon, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Powell's Books, Borders, Random House. It is even sold in ebook format. Followers have many options to choose from!
Gary Vaynerchuk also sells his books in many channels, you will always be able to find it by a quick search in those online stores.
The idea is to make it very easy for a reader to find the books. The process of finding the book has to be seamless for a potential reader. If it is very difficult to find a book, it will indicate that the book is not famous enough. People believe in famous books, fame indicates value. The more people talk about a book, the more valuable it seems. The more stores selling the book, the more popular it seems.
After the channels are all ready to be used. The next thing to consider is to build an audience or traffic to come to the website, social media channels, and online stores.
Increase book sales of an author with digital marketing campaigns:
1. Search Engine Marketing: Make sure potential readers can find you.
Imagine when someone searches for a particular book and cannot find it in Google. What would he/she think? "The book is not that famous", "Is the book really good?", "Why doesn't it have a website?"
Those are the thoughts that would appear if someone can't find a book when he/she searches for it. The purpose of search engine marketing is to make sure that people can find the book.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the first result is an advertisement by a company called LivePlan that leverage from the search traffic of people looking for The Lean Startup book. The next 3 results are links that actually bring visitors to the right website about The Lean Startup.
LivePlan is selling tools for entrepreneurs, which is the same audience that searches for startup books. By using a simple search engine marketing. LivePlan gains high-quality traffic of entrepreneurs that might be their customers.
LivePlan's landing page targets entrepreneurs
This is just an example of how powerful search engine marketing can be, if we use it well. Search engine marketing is one of the best ways to deliver our products/services when people need it. People usually search for something because they want to know more about it, need it, or want it. All of the three are awesome for business.
2. Social Media Marketing: Get new readers and sell to website visitors.
If a search engine is a place where people look for something, social media is where they hang out. Social media is where they see new stuff and develop a demand for something. Social media marketing is a must-do strategy in 2016. We can now target very specific audiences that might be potential readers such as:
- Gender: Male
- Age: 20 - 40
- Location: San Francisco
- Interest: Entrepreneurship, startup, business.
- Education level: College, MBA.
- Placement: News Feed
- Many more
Rick Mulready is selling me his course through Facebook Ads
From the example above, we can see that people are showing ads in my Facebook news feed. They know what I am interested in, I learn about various digital marketing strategies that can help people to increase sales with online media channels.
With social media marketing, we can get new prospects that might be interested in our products/services with our own customer personalization, or target market we want. We can also show ads to people that have already visited our websites before, or those who almost bought our books.
3. Content Marketing: Write blog posts or articles that matter to the target market.
Blog posts can be a good way to generate traffic to a book's website. A blog post can be a little bit of information about how valuable the book is. It can share the fundamental idea of the book, and if people like it, they can purchase it!
Ash Maurya, the author of Running Lean, has been writing blog posts to generate relevant traffic to his website.
The blog posts have done a really great job considering the 200,000 website visitors the website gets every month.
The blog posts share stories about how Ash Maurya develops the Running Lean book using its lean startup principles. Yes, the way he develops the book is included inside the book itself. That's a very interesting way to market a book.
Digital marketing is the key to increasing book sales of an author. As of now, there is almost no better way to get the results like how search engine marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing can deliver. Utilizing various channels like a website, social media, and online bookstores are also ultimately important to make sure people can know about an author's book, know about the author, love them, and purchase the book.
About OMSETGO Digital Marketing Specialist
OMSETGO is all about increasing your sales. OMSETGO is a Digital Marketing Specialist with expertise in Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Data Analytics. We have seen many businesses that have spent huge budgets in various media without being able to really understand the success rate of their campaigns.
We believe there must be a better way. OMSETGO utilizes the best technologies to assist our clients to gain high Return on Investment (ROI) for their marketing campaigns.
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