With my previous post, “Prelaunch Book Jitters” I opened the subject about book marketing. I admitted after I self-published my first book, that I had waited too long to develop a marketing plan. In fact, I really didn’t have one at all. The first few months, sales were brisk for being a novice writer. However, the sales were from friends, and friends of friends. Each month my sales dwindled until I went two month with no sales.
It was a big mistake waiting so long to start a marking program. Yet, it was even a larger mistake not having one formulated at all. I remembered all those post advising me to prepare a plan and implement it. I read that an author needed a website as well as being set up on social media. I also read that social media would not succeed alone. You must have a large following and email subscriptions too.
I was already on a couple social media sites, but they were friendship oriented. I did post on them the availability of my book. My next step was to set up a website. Not knowing anything about building your own or having the budget to have one built for me was a major obstacle. It took me long hours and huge mistakes, but after a month, I had my site running. Now what was I supposed to do with it?
Since I utilized WordPress as my website platform, the resources were abundant. Everything I read advised an author to have a blog site. A what—? It was back to more reading and research, I started following individual author’s blogs. I quickly learned what sites worked and what sites didn’t. What seemed to be the common element for a successful site was to have a theme. A good theme along with good material, would lead to followers. My idea was to named my site “Getting to Know Chuck Jackson”.
I don’t know how to determine what is a successful blog site. In nine months, I published thirty-eight posts, I have over sixty WordPress followers and equal number of email subscribers. It was a lot of work, but the positive thing, it was a great education. The people I met following their blogs were gracious and always willing to support a newbie.
Now that I had a blog site, I was on five social media sites, and had some following, why wasn’t I selling any books? Back to the research to find out what I had done wrong and how I needed to remedy the problem. What I quickly learned, there was no tried and true marketing plan. In fact there were many plans, each claiming to be the successful one.
Over these months, I had received numerous emails from Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur. In fact, I followed his instructions for setting up my blog site. As luck would have it, I got another email from Dave promoting his marketing plan for self-publishing authors. After two days, I completed his multiple step tutorials. His program seemed logical, yet very confusing. Then Nicolas Rossis published a post, “Don’t Advertise With Amazon Until You Read This”. Now I had someone I had followed simplify the Dave’s marketing program.
I am delighted to report that in not quite two months, I have sold more books using this plan than I had sold all the previous months. It enabled me to break that friends and friends of friends barrier and I was now selling to the public. I even have a couple international sales. My regret is that I did not start a marketing plan earlier. It makes me wonder what my royalties might have been.
I’m not going to claim that this marketing plan is the best or am I going to attempt to explain it. If interested, go to the Kindlepreneur site and take the course. Also, don’t forget to go read Nicolas Rossis posts. He has now published a series discussing the do and don’t of the marketing plan. It is not difficult, yet it is a hands on and time-consuming process. So far, it has been successful for me.
Don’t get caught doing as I did. My advice is to set up a marketing plan before publishing your book. Set up your goals and objectives for promoting your book. Remember it is a combination of: (a) promoting your writing and book on social media, (b) establishing an effective blog site, (c) promoting yourself by following other writers and getting them to reciprocate, (d) establishing a substantial subscription following, (e) utilizing a marketing plan that works for you. Each of the above on its own will not succeed, it takes all of them working with each other to make a winning plan. I wish you success.