With an amazing book on the way, you're sure to look forward to massive sales once you hit “publish”. However many authors make 1 big mistake in the early phases of publication: non-existent/poor marketing.
Not only do many e-book writers ignore the need to market their book and create hype before it’s out, they also make several mistakes that are detrimental to e-book success. Many would say that this is a “trial and error” wisdom that can only be fully understood once experienced. But what about the 80, 000 words you've already written and invested a lot of effort in?
Those mistakes won’t cost you an arm or a leg, but they may cost you your first e-book’s success — and of course the author’s morale needed to keep writing in the future.
As indie authors, every small step makes the path to success that much easier. Consider these simple ways to avoid the most common marketing mistakes.
1. Solve The No Marketing Mistake
You must have seen those posters and trailers that are slowly “released” before any movie is released in the theatres. That’s the marketing phase of the movie and the revenue generation is highly dependent on the hype created. Although your book is not going to be “removed” any time soon, it's unlikely to yield increasing and excessive sales after the first few months. By that time, the readers will be able to judge its “popularity”.
You don’t have to create a blog about your book to create “hype” — although that is something many writers prefer.
A creative email marketing campaign on your opt-in emailing list is a brilliant way to get your work out there.
Once that has been accomplished you’ll need to come up with a pre-launch landing page. If you’re not in the game of landing pages and websites, go for social media marketing through page creation or Facebook ads.
2. Perfect The Product Description
After hours and hours of editing your book content, you wouldn’t want to make the mistake of not editing the description. It's the first thing your potential readers are going to come across to judge your book.
Spelling and grammar errors convey unprofessionalism, no matter how flawless the grammar and punctuation is within the book.
Furthermore, according to Carolyn McCray and her post about the best practices for Amazon ebook sales, you need to think of your Amazon book page as a “glossy magazine ad”. Make it catchy and comprehensive. Most authors opt for a thorough summary of what the book will be about, along with a purposeful “hook”.
3. Optimise For The Right Keywords
You will need some SEO knowledge, even when it comes to publishing your ebook. Buyers are going to look for your book using specific keywords. If you haven’t invested enough time in deciding which keywords will lead your potential customers to your book, there's a high chance that they'll be landing elsewhere.
Get in the minds of your ideal readers and take the time to select the most relevant key words that will lead them to your book. Clever use of this technique will make sure your book is exactly what they were looking for.
One way to do this is by searching for similar ebooks and peek into the number of keywords the authors have used and which ones. You should have at least two “categories” in mind before you dig deep into to the world of “keywords”.
4. Choose The Right Category
The category you choose can greatly affect the success of your e-book, especially when it comes to considering competition. If the category seems to be “overloaded” with competition, you're unlikely to win a handful of sales and readers because everyone else seems to be interested in other authors. It'll be just like entering an overfilled market where there are too many barriers to entry.
Choose your category wisely and make sure you stand out from the crowd in a distinctive way.
Usually, the best strategy is to start with a “primary” or general category. For instance, a guide book for authors would come under “education and reference” or “writing and publishing”. Apart from the parent category you shouldn’t be afraid to choose a distinctive category since this is most likely where your leads will spot your work.
Previously, Amazon displayed the number of books in each category, but now that’s not an option. However, you can still figure it out by using the Kindle’s Best Seller’s List.
5. Set Measurable Goals And Make Detailed Plans
You've finished your book, it's been professionally edited, and it's almost ready to be sold. You've decided you need to market your book online before the publishing can take place. But how?
Many authors make it through up until this point only to realise they have no idea what to do next. They fail to plan and develop goals necessary to market their ebooks. This involves knowing who and where your target market is and how you can reach that audience.
For example, if you're looking forward to your next science fiction novel master piece, you need to find out where science geeks are at. What blogs do they visit? Which online video channels do they watch? What groups do they “follow”? Then comes the part where you spend plenty of time marketing your book and making sure they're cringing with anticipation before your book is published.
6. Create A Compelling Thumbnail
Believe it or not, your ebook cover is going to make a major impact on your marketing efforts. The e-book thumbnail that users will view is going to be just like a profile picture – and we all know how important those are.
Avoid using a black and white cover or one that has only text on a plain background. Humans love visuals. So much so that they will consider your plain background cover with plain text to be “dull”. They often won't give it a second look. The sad reality is that people do judge books by their covers. For your electronic book, that means the thumbnail as well.
Make sure your title font is large enough to read even from a distance. Also ensure your font is nice and bold so that it literally screams out the title. Most often the title should occupy 30 % of your book cover space. Choose contrasting colours to really make it pop. Remember this is going to appear on a computer or mobile screen. If need be, hire a graphic designer to do the job for you.