We are often asked for advice on writing. We also get many proposals or outlines for books that have not yet been written asking if a book on a particular topic or theme would be of interest. Our usual answer to this is that we are editors, publisher and distributor of books, not authors (or critics!). Although we have a fair idea of what makes a ‘good’ or marketable book, the vocation/art of actually writing is not really part of what we do or aspire to do.
Notwithstanding the above, we do want to help authors or those that want to write so we have compiled a large list of advice articles on our Pinterest page. Pick one or more that might help you with your writing.
Of course, when you’ve finished, send us the manuscript and we can see if we can help you publish and get your book in front of readers!
Some authors also choose to spend independently on their marketing campaigns.
Here’s a selection of book marketing techniques and how much they cost, so you can decide which path(s) to take. You can also hire a marketing professional to do all this for you if you’d prefer to focus on writing. However, keep in mind that it’ll be a lot cheaper to do it yourself.
5 low-cost marketing tactics
1. Promote on social media. Advertise your book on Twitter, Instagram, and any other social accounts you may have. This is particularly effective if you already have a large following! Use plenty of hashtags and try to get other “bookfluencers” to promote you. Cost: free!
2. Market through your blog and mailing list. Similarly, if you have readership on your blog or through a mailing list, you can promote your book there too. The costs are more variable here, depending on your platforms, but we’ll give you some ballpark lower-end numbers. Cost: £50/year for a website on Squarespace or Wix, £9.99/month for a Mailchimp subscription.
3. Facebook advertising. You can run targeted ads on Facebook to people who have indicated an interest in your subject matter. Be warned, however, that the expenses can really rack up. Cost: at least £5/day.
4. Price promotions on Amazon. Many self-publishing authors go through Amazon KDP, and if you enroll in KDP Select, you can do price promotions on your book to attract readers! Cost: free, but your ebook must be Amazon-exclusive for 90 days.
5. Other third-party promotions. Contact book review blogs and promotional services to get other people to spread the word! Book review blogs take free submissions, but most book promotion websites involve some sort of fee. Cost: $0 for a review, $5-$50 for a promotional listing.
Cambria Publishing can now offer its authors ‘Book2Look’ the most advanced digital marketing tool for publishers providing “look inside” functionality to bring your books to life.
Nielsen Book2Look is a state of the art digital marketing tool which enables your books’ promotional material to be shared digitally. Promote your titles via social media and across the web, allowing a whole new audience to discover your books. Each Book2Look biblet is a streamlined digital presentation of the book which includes features such as readable excerpts, unlimited audio and video clips, multi-format shop links, reviews, book description and much more.
Check out the slide show below that explains its many features.
Print is facing significant challenges, but online sales are growing.
The widespread closures of bookstores, libraries, and schools have led to deflated print sales in recent weeks.
These challenges impacting print sales (and the bookstores, authors, and publishers who depend on those sales) are likely to continue while businesses remain closed. But while in-person print sales have dropped, many readers are placing orders online instead. There’s also been significant growth in online print sales from independent bookstores.
Readers are turning to ebooks
This shift toward purchasing books online has also impacted digital book sales. Publishers Weekly say that the ebook and audiobook retailer is seeing a spike in new account sign-ups and purchases similar to what they’d see around the holidays. An ebook distributor for self-published authors, reported increased ebook purchases across all platforms: “While we did see ebook sales slow down during the first couple of weeks following the ‘safer at home’ directive, things have recovered very well. All retailers are up by an average of 25%, and libraries are up by over 130%.”
Authors and publishers are also reporting increased digital sales. Quercus, an imprint of Hachette UK, shared with The Bookseller that, “like the rest of Hachette, we’re seeing big double-digit growth in the baseline of our digital sales — both ebook and audio — year-on-year for the corresponding weeks.” This sentiment has been echoed by many of our publisher partners recently. And when we reached out to a handful of our author partners, many of them shared that they’ve been seeing steady or increased ebook sales during this period. Results for individual authors are varying significantly based on their genres, book prices, and marketing budgets and strategies, but in aggregate author ebook sales appear to be up right now.
The trends for adult readers are less obvious, but there are a few genres that are standing out. Some adult readers seem to be tackling books that may have been languishing on their “to be read” lists. One of Barnes & Noble’s top trending categories right now is “40 Books You Always Meant to Read,” and Chirp’s Classics category has seen one of the largest percent increases in sales during this time, perhaps because listeners are catching up on seminal works they’ve been meaning to pick up for years.
Others are looking for books to bring them comfort. “11 Feel-Good Books to Read Right Now” is one of the most popular recent articles on BookBub, and Barnes & Noble’s “Feel Good Fiction” list, which includes similar lighthearted, uplifting novels, is also trending. Google searches for topics like “uplifting books” and “happy books” have increased.
There has been consistent interest and online searches for Bios & Memoirs, Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers, Christian Nonfiction, YA Fiction, and Science Fiction categories.
Readers are looking for affordable books, but still buying full price too
In a time of economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise that readers would be seeking out more affordable books. Google searches for “free books” have been trending since the beginning of March. However, discriminating readers are still purchasing books at full price if it is something they really want.
This is a turbulent time for the publishing industry. Many bookstores, publishers, and authors are facing significant challenges due to the impact on their print sales from store closures. However, one thing that seems clear is that people are still seeking out books to help them learn, escape, find solace, and cope at this time.
Hat Tip! Adapted from an article by Carlyn Robertson of BookBub.
If you are an author and are looking for a publisher or need the services of a professional and experienced editor for your work get in touch and we will do our best to help you.