98 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase Sales

3 February 2016

From BookBub:

Whether you’re a self- or traditionally published author, there’s a wide array of marketing tactics you or your publisher can use to amplify a book’s exposure and reach more readers. To spark inspiration and get those creative juices flowing, we put together 98 book marketing ideas.

. . . .

Publishers, this is a great resource to share with your authors. If you’re collaborating with them on marketing efforts, this can help them brainstorm ways they can promote their own books alongside your promotional pushes.


Link to the rest at BookBub

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Kindle Instant Book Previews

26 January 2016

From Amazon:

Do More Than Just Reference Your Favorite Book – Let The World Preview It For Free

We all know how easy it is to share our favorite pictures and videos online. Now you can just as easily share your favorite book with Kindle instant previews so anyone can start reading the book for free. With the Amazon Associates program, you can earn advertising fees from Kindle instant previews on your site or app!

How it works

Kindle instant previews can be embedded on the web or shared as a link via email, text and other favorite apps. Anyone can start reading the preview for free by clicking on the link, just like this example. The Kindle instant preview provides:2px-spacer

• Free content to keep traffic on your site

• Free access to a sample of the book

• Adjustable font sizes for the readers’ comfort

• Direct link to book purchase from Amazon

• Download link to get the free Kindle app

Link to the rest at Amazon and thanks to Bill and several others for the tip.

Here’s an embedded link to one of Mrs. PG’s books. You can click on it to read.

99 Ways to Spread the Word About a Book You Love

24 January 2016

From BookRiot:

You’ve bought a book, and you’ve fallen in love. Or, your best friend’s first novel is coming out. How do you make sure as many people hear about these books you love or these authors you care about? I have a feeling, completely unquantifiable and unprovable but borne out by my own experience, that the more times someone hears about or sees a book, the more likely they are at least to check it out and see if it’s something they would enjoy. So all of the things below matter! They may seem like tiny things, and many of them are, but cumulatively, they make a difference. Many of them take seconds and most of them cost nothing. But if you want to put in serious money, time, creativity and commitment, there are options for those, too.

. . . .

Buy the book. Buy it early. Buy it often.

That first week of sales matters immensely.

1. Pre-order the book.
2. When the online store prompts you to, share that pre-order on social media.
3. Buy the book for other people.

Read (or at least start reading) the book.

This is necessary for many of the other steps, and also so you can make eye contact with your friend. (That said, your friend would probably prefer you buy the book and not read it, rather than not buying it at all.)

4. Read the book in public places.
5. Read other books inside this book so that it always looks as if you’re reading the book even when you’re not.
6. Get your book club to read the book.
7. Invite the author to your book club discussion, then blog or tweet about the experience.

. . . .

Leave the book in strategic places.

Preferably with some kind of sticker or note indicating that it is there to be taken and read. If you want to join something official to help with this, is a good place to start.

39. Leave it on public transport.
40. Leave it in one of those airport bookstores where you can leave a book/take a book.
41. Leave it on a bench in the park, if it doesn’t rain much where you live.
42. Leave it in a Little Free Library.
43. Donate a copy to your local library.
44. Donate a copy to the local charity shop/Goodwill store.
45. Lend it to your friends.

Link to the rest at BookRiot

Oxford Literary Festival looks to start paying authors

19 January 2016

From The Bookseller:

The Oxford Literary Festival has said that, following the next festival in April, it will “meet with all interested parties to discuss how to achieve payment of fees for all speakers” from 2017.

The move comes after Philip Pullman stepped down as patron of the event in protest at the festival’s failure to pay authors for appearances. Many more authors have joined a call for a boycott of literary festivals which do not pay their speakers.

In a statement, the Oxford Literary Festival said it “recognises and understands the strength of feeling in the literary community regarding the payment of speaker fees to authors and writers and we are sympathetic to this cause.”

It went on: “The Festival’s aim has always been to showcase as wide a variety of writers and their work as possible. Each year, as well as famous and successful writers from Britain and overseas, more than half of the speakers at the Festival are lesser known writers or those starting out on their literary careers. Our ethos has been to support them all.”

The festival went on to explain that “notwithstanding the grandeur of our setting and scale of our vision”, it is a registered charity that receives no taxpayers’ or public funding, and has no full-time staff.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

Why English writers accept being treated like dirt

18 January 2016

From The Spectator:

A few months ago, one of the organisers of the Oxford Literary Festival contacted me.

Hi Nick

I may be putting on a free speech event at Oxford Lit Festival 2-10 April 2016  and wondered if you’d be willing to take part?  It’s the usual festival deal.

As I have written a book on free speech, and banged on about it to the point of tedium (and beyond) in these pages, I was happy to go to Oxford and bang on some more.  I had one small query.

Should be able to. Does the ‘usual deal’ involve anything so vulgar as a fee?

Of course not. The very thought. Like the Huffington Post and newspapers hiring interns, the Oxford Literary Festival expects authors to work for nothing. My contact’s reply suggested that he was a high-minded aesthete who had not thought it worth his while to investigate the terms and conditions of his authors.

I think that they give you £100 but only if you had a book published in the last months to promote. Otherwise it’s the free lunch and travel expenses. Mind you, the lunch is very nice.

I pointed out that I hadn’t had a book published in the last few months, so Oxford was asking me to work for nothing.  I wouldn’t do it, I said, and emailed him a link to the Hollywood screen writer Harlan Ellison’s magnificent rant against Warner Brother’s trying to get him to work for nothing.

. . . .

Ellison offered one reason why authors have accepted zero-payment contracts: they think that exposure will lead to recognition. ‘Look at me, I’m gonna be noticed!’ And with that exposure will come sales and commissions, maybe. And one day when they look back they will realise that all that free labour was  a sound investment.

Think about their position, and you should have sympathy for them. They have poured all they have into their book. It represents the best they can do, the proudest achievement of their lives in some cases. They find a publisher, a hard enough task in itself, as most manuscripts are never published. Their book appears, and more often than not, nothing happens. It is not reviewed or is barely reviewed. The only public recognition of its existence is the Amazon page, which they check, every hour like crazed obsessives, marking each tiny change in the sales ranking with elation, or more usually despair.

What dreams they had of finding a fortune vanish. As the literary journalist, Danuta Kean says, most readers have no idea how little money most authors make, and how desperate they are for any publicity.

. . . .

The worst literary festivals prey on their hope of recognition like conmen preying on lonely old ladies’ hopes of company. If only they could talk to potential readers, writers think. If only they could get them in a room, sit them down and persuade them to give their damn book a chance.

I speak from experience when I say that most authors don’t want fame or money (although both would be nice). After all that effort, they just want to be read. The organisers of literary festivals try to wriggle out of the charge that they are swindlers by saying that the author can always earn money by selling copies of their book after the talk. The organisers know full well that an author would have to shift a great many copies to make that one-sided deal worthwhile.

Link to the rest at The Spectator and thanks to Catherine for the tip.

Authors call for boycott on non-paying festivals

15 January 2016

From The Bookseller:

Prominent writers including Linda Grant, Denise Mina, Joanne Harris and Francesca Simon have responded to Philip Pullman’s protest over the Oxford Literary Festival’s failure to pay author fees by joining a call for publishers and fellow authors to boycott events with the same policy.

Pullman, who is president of the Society of Authors, has stepped down from his role as patron of the festival, saying it is a case of “simple justice” that authors should be paid for their appearances.

Now novelist and critic Amanda Craig has written an open letter to The Bookseller calling for all authors and publishers to boycott literary festivals which expect authors to work without a fee. “For too long, authors have been persuaded to give our services to the public for free – even though the public is paying in good faith to see us,” she wrote. “We are the only people in festivals who are not paid, and yet without us the festivals could not exist. Writing is a vocation but it is also a profession, and it is time we all stiffened our spines, dug in our heels and said No.”

. . . .

The fact that many literary festivals do not remunerate authors for appearances has been a long-running grievance among writers, with the Society of Authors currently campaigning on the issue and “working with them [festivals] to agree reasonable fees and best practice guidelines”, as chief executive Nicola Solomon told The Bookseller earlier this month.

Novelist Robert Harris yesterday tweeted a response to Pullman’s comments on his resignation, saying “So true! A few (insane) punters paid £50 for a front-row seat at my last event. I was given a mug, appropriately.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller and thanks to Diana for the tip.

Some Book Promotion Sites Have Lost Their Luster

15 January 2016

From Indies Unlimited:

I (Julie) ran an ad for one of Bob’s contemporary fiction genre books at a sale price of 99 cents on March 21, 2015 with:

EbookSoda ($10)
eBookBooster  $25 (eBookBooster is a site that agrees to send your ad out to various sites, 25 sites for $25, including Awesome Gang, Sweeties Picks, Ebook-Saurus, eBookLister, and maybe HotZippy – maybe was their word, never did know if it was included or not).
Sold 2 books total.

I thought they couldn’t all be that ineffective, so I decided to try some of eBookBooster’s sites directly. Yep, they’re all that ineffective.

Ran an ad for a different book in March with:

Read Cheaply ($15)
eBookLister ($20)
Ebook-Saurus ($10 for premium listing)
Sold 0.

Ran an ad on April 10 with Awesome Gang ($10 for featured book listing)
Sold 2

Ran another ad with EbookSoda ($10)
Sold 4

Ran an ad in November for BKnights ($5)
Sold 3

Have tried multiple ads with Fussy Librarian ($15)
Never sell more than 3.

To summarize, with ads through EbookSoda, eBookBooster (including Awesome Gang, Sweeties Picks, Ebook-Saurus, eBookLister), Read Cheaply, BKnights, and Fussy Librarian, I spent $120.00 and sold a total of 14 books. At $0.35 per book, That means Bob took in $4.90, which translates to being down by $115.10.

Link to the rest at Indies Unlimited and thanks to Suzie for the tip.

When is the Right Time to Discount Your Book?

12 January 2016

From BookBub:

Discounting an ebook can be an effective way to drive a high volume of downloads, increase revenue, boost a book up the retailer rankings, build author buzz, and more. And promoting that discount via services like BookBub can expose the book to millions of power readers eager for a good deal. But when should you consider dropping the price of one of your books?

. . . .

 When you’re launching a new book in a series

When you launch a new book in a series, discounting the first book of the series can be a great way to drive sales for that new release. The lower price point will attract new readers who will be eager to find out what happens next in the series. And they’re often willing to pay more for the subsequent books — 77% of bargain readers also buy full-priced books.

If you decide to run a discount to promote the newest book in a series, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Discount the first book in the series. On average, our partners have seen a 5x higher increase in sales of the other books in a series when the first book is discounted vs. any other book in the series.
  • Make the first book free. Downloads of free books featured by BookBub are 10x higher than downloads for $0.99 books. Also, if you make the first book in the series free, the later books in the series will sell 8x more copies than if you price the first book at $0.99 or higher.
  • Promote the subsequent book in the first book’s back matter. Our partners see a 3x higher increase in sales of other books in the series if links are included in the back matter of the discounted book. Go in order so readers know which book comes next in the series without getting confused.

. . . .

When you’re releasing a new standalone

If you’re releasing a new title that’s a standalone or isn’t part of an existing series, discounting one of your backlist books is still an effective way to gain exposure for the new release. After all, 63% of bargain readers have purchased other books by an author they discovered as part of a price promotion.

Make sure to promote the new release in the back matter of the book you’re discounting. Because readers aren’t already hooked on the story or characters of your new release, include a short excerpt or the first chapter from your new release. Make sure this excerpt ends on a cliffhanger so readers are intrigued enough to purchase the new book.

Link to the rest at BookBub

Bookbub by the Numbers in 2015

6 January 2016

BookBub By The Numbers in 2015

BookBub By The Numbers in 2015

Daily E-Book Deals Are Gaining Traction

29 December 2015

From The Wall Street Journal:

Every day, the company sends out more than 7 million emails pointing consumers to e-books that cost as little as 99 cents each and free titles as well.

A host of big and independent publishers list titles there, including New York-based Kensington Publishing Corp. The idea is to entice readers with a bargain, so they get hooked on a new author or series and eventually buy full-priced works.

Kensington’s chief executive, Steven Zacharius, says BookBub is powering sales growth for the company, but he worries about the long-term value of his catalog if he nurtures a generation that won’t pay more than a few dollars for an e-book.

“We know we might be shooting ourselves in the foot,” says Mr. Zacharius. “But I can’t resist because it’s such a good way to stimulate sales.” Every promotion the company has run through BookBub has been profitable, he said, despite the steep discounts.

. . . .

“There are more of these promotion companies, and because their reach has expanded, their effectiveness has increased,” said Liz Perl, chief marketing officer at CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster. Many new e-books from major publishers are priced from $12.99 to $14.99.

For publishers, the promotions are a form of advertising in an industry that traditionally has spent cautiously. There is hope the services could help jump-start stagnant e-book sales. A survey of 1,200-plus publishers by the Association of American Publishers found e-book revenue for consumer titles fell 11% this year through August to $964 million.

. . . .

The risk for publishers is that consumers could become accustomed to paying lower prices and only purchase titles when they are on sale.

“It’s an industrywide concern,” said Heather Fain, director of marketing strategy at the Hachette Book Group. It’s hard to know, she added, whether readers who are dedicated to reading bargain books will ever spend as enthusiastically to buy full-priced titles.

. . . .

Offering cheap prices via BookBub and its rivals is seen as a way to pull consumers away from Facebook and other digital temptations. On Dec. 17, for example, independent publisher Sourcebooks Inc. used BookBub to promote Scott Wilbanks’ novel “The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster” for 99 cents instead of its regular $14.99 price.

“We want people to discover this book and start talking about it,” said Dominique Raccah,chief executive of Sourcebooks. “When that happens you get a viral marketing effect.”

. . . .

BookBub expects to spark the sale of 20 million e-books at its retail partners this year, generating about $30 million in retail sales. Chief Executive Josh Schanker said heavily discounted e-books don’t compromise overall sales for publishers because they target a segment of consumers who otherwise wouldn’t buy those particular discounted books at full price.

“What publishers are saying is that they’d rather you read our book than play Angry Birds,” said Mr. Schanker. “It’s a cluttered landscape with more and more titles. Price promotions give publishers the ability to get a large group of people to sample their books.”

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire) and thanks to Nirmala for the tip.

PG says that a career hawking books to Barnes & Noble doesn’t prepare a publishing executive to have a clue about consumer marketing and retail pricing.

It shows.

Over and over.

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