Author Life, Marketing

7 Ways to Sell More Books!

Whether you’re self-published, traditionally published, or dreaming of being published, you’re probably looking for a way to sell more books! Am I right?

You might have a garage full of copies, an Amazon store with zero sales, or you’re working on a book proposal to lay out a strategic plan of exactly how   you plan to sell all those copies.

Do any of the above situations sound like you? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s dive into 7 Ways to Sell More Books!  

  1. Judge a Book By It’s Cover You know what they say. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. The only problem? Everybody does. Readers absolutely judge books by their covers…including yours! So if your book sales are under-performing, I highly recommend giving your covers a face lift!

    My first, self-published, non-fiction book for teen girls, Beauty Boys and Ball Gowns, had a gorgeous cover-girl, but I did what all first time authors do: designed the cover myself. (Wrong move, first time authors!)

    All things considered, it was a nice cover. But it looked a little self-publishy. I still sold plenty of copies, but take a peek at this new, professionally designed cover.


    Doesn’t it look bookstore ready?!

    Working with a professional cover designer doesn’t have to cost your entire life savings. I recommend working with someone from Fivver.com who has stellar reviews, or the lovely lady who designed my latest book cover, Valerie Howard.

    If you write fiction, make sure all of your covers within a certain series coordinate with one another. Its nice to keep the font and branding the same, that way when your readers are browsing on Amazon, they immediately know, “Oh, those covers go together, that must be the next book in the series!”

  2. Request Reviews (And Endorsements)


    Why should first-time-readers check out your titles?

    Bookshelf space is a highly competitive market. There are seriously million’s  of books for your reader to choose from. What makes your book stand apart from the rest?

    You may have a dazzling cover, but is that really enough to encourage your reader to buy?

    They want to know what’s inside your book and if it’s going to fulfill all the lovely things suggested from your cover! Will your reader be satisfied with their purchase? What if a friend, online influencer, or famous celebrity suggested they check it out? Chances are, they’ll be far more excited and eager to do so!

    Here’s a fact to keep in mind: 80% of Book Sales come from word of mouth!

    That means, it’s important to have a group of people behind you who love your book! Excited fangirls will do far more to promote your book, than even the most expensive marketing plan!

    Requesting honest reviews and endorsements from friends, family, book bloggers, and your dog (oh, if only our pets could write reviews!), is a great way to gain word of mouth approval. Ask your reading friends and fellow authors in the industry to share their reviews on Good Reads and Amazon.

     

  3. Give Your People What They Love (Build your platform and stay engaged)

    What kind of reader are you hoping will pick up and fall in love with your book? What kind of music do they listen to, and movies do they watch? Where do they work, go to school, and hang out? What’s important to them? What are they Tweeting about, and chatting about with their friends?

    It’s important to know who your ideal reader is, because that’s the person you want to connect with. You don’t want to sell your book to everyone. (Yeah, yeah, tempting I know…but don’t do it. There are SO many people out there who are not in your genre and will hate what you’ve written, so please, spare yourself the heartache, and focus on marketing only to those who WANT to read the kind of content you create.)

    Once you know who your ideal reader is, make it your mission to connect with them! And I mean, truly connect. Follow them on Twitter, comment on their Instagram pics, and be a true friend! Authors and readers have such a special relationship, and it’s important for your followers to know that you’re following them too!

    Find out what your readers favorite way to stay in touch is, and then focus on that form of media.

    It can be overwhelming to run an email list, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, AND YouTube all at once, so don’t feel like you have to be on all of those platforms, all the time.

    Focus on your favorites, and pour your heart into it! Your goal is to genuinely connect, so do whatever works best for you, and your readers.

  4. Plan a Blog Tour


    Anyone who’s been reading this Blog for awhile, knows I’m a huge fan of Blog Tours! You can find an entire post dedicated to why I believe Blog Tours are so powerful, here. Online Blog Tours are a fantastic way to connect with readers all across the world, without having to plan a physical, bookstore tour. If you have the finances, resources, and connections to plan a nation-wide bookstore tour, then absolutely go for it!

    But online Blog Tours are something every author can do who has an internet connection. Even those with the smallest marketing budget. Although a Tour doesn’t always guarantee you’ll sell more books (it depends on which Blogs you partner with, if their readers are engaged, if your connect clicks with them, and if they’re in the mood to purchase!) but it will definitely help grow your platform, and connect with new potential readers!

  5. Give Away Far More Than You’d Ever Expect to Receive In Return


    It is more blessed to give than to receive! I know your goal is to sell more books. But a fantastic way to do that, is by giving away more books!

    The majority of readers aren’t going to spend their hard earned cash on some up-and-coming Indie author they’ve never heard of before. If potential buyers don’t have any kind of history with you, they may be hesitant to purchase you new book.

    But, they’ve received something of true value from you in the past, and already know they’re IN LOVE with your style or message….of course they’ll want your book!

    Here are some fantastic ways you can give your books away! I highly recommend that with each new book launch you set aside some money purely for giveaways. Especially if you’re a fiction author planning a series. If they don’t read Book #1, how will they ever be excited for the sequel?

    -Email Freebie! Give a book, or even just a sample chapter away, in exchange for signing up for your epic email list! (For example, I’m giving away Regal Hearts Episode 1!)

    -Email Freebie (at someone else’s blog)! Consider reaching out to an author friend with a similar audience and give away one another’s books, in exchange for email sign-ups! This is a great way to ‘cross-pollinate’ your following, and give a lovely gift to everyone who decides to follow your blog! This will also give your author friend fantastic promotion as well…a win, win!

    -Amazon Kindle Giveaway 

    -Amazon Paperback Giveaway

    -Blog Giveaway

    -Raffelcopter Giveaway

    -Instagram Giveaway 

    -Good Reads Giveaway (Note, Good Reads has recently changed their policy, and now charges a fee to do Giveaways hosted on their website.)

    -Local Giveaways (Think library’s, schools, hair-saloons, churches, bookstores, coffee shops, summer camps…anywhere your core audience is hanging out!)

  6. Hang with the Book Nerds (on Good Reads!)
    If you don’t have an Author Account on Good Reads, you need to go do that. Like, right now. There are many, many places you can share and market your book, but Good Reads is the best place to connect with potential readers. Good Reads is like a never ending book club, as all the book chatter NEVER stops. Your goal, is to join the conversation.

    Don’t join Good Reads with the intention of heavily marketing…that will turn off readers extremely fast. Good Reads is a place to share book reviews of the books you’re reading. Start there.

    Make some friends. Connect with people who are interested in similar topics as you. DON’T START BLABBING ABOUT YOUR BOOK AS SOON AS YOU JOIN.

    Get connected with the community, make some friends, and then later on down the road if you feel like doing a little post about your new release, go for it. But do not, I repeat, do not try to sell it.

    Good Reads has strict policies about these kinds of things, and if your friends, for any reason, feel like you’re abusing your account or are trying to push them to read your book, can get you shut down real quick. So just don’t do it. It’s rude, inconsiderate, and just plain annoying.

    Join Good Reads with the purpose of making new friends and having fun, and the networking and promotion will grow naturally!

  7. Write a Sequel
    It’s easy for authors to become completely consumed with a simple goal: sell more books.

    But this is where a lot of fictional authors get it wrong. They become so hyper-focused on platform building and marketing, they forget about the most important thing in their career: writing their next book!

    Now, this is a little bit different for non-fiction authors. Non-fiction authors really need to zero in on platform and kill it with marketing. But, if you’re a fiction author, one of the BEST ways you can promote your books are by…wait for it…writing more.

    Gasp!

    That’s right! The more books you write, the more your audience will grow! Every new book release bumps the sales of your last book, because the excitement draws in more readers.

    Remember that little number we mentioned above? 80% of Book Sales come from word of mouth! 

    And who is that word of mouth going to come from? Your fans!

    So if you aim to please your fans (even if you only have twenty of them!), your book sales are naturally going to grow over time. As they share with their friends, leave reviews, and blab about how excited they are about your next book to your friends, you’ll see growth with each new release!

    So what are you waiting for? Close this blog, whip out your notebook, and get those fingers-a-typing because the world is waiting for your next novel! Go write!

    Were these tips helpful? What have you found to be the best way to sell more books? Comment below!

5 thoughts on “7 Ways to Sell More Books!

  1. Awesome post.
    A quick question: If you want to be traditionally published, when should you create a Goodreads author account?
    When you’ve written the book as a polished manuscript?
    When you have an agent? When you have a publishing contract?

    1. That’s a good question! Every aspiring-author should definitely be active on Good Reads long before your first book comes out. But as far as creating your official “Author Profile”, I’m honestly not sure about the wisest time to do that, simply because I didn’t create mine until after I had several books published.
      In my opinion, I find it a little strange when I stumble across an author profile with absolutely no books listed, but at the same time, I know traditional publishing and agents alike love for you to develop a strong following ahead of time. I’ve seen some aspiring-authors who have yet to release published works with official Author Pages, and even though they don’t have any personal works listed, they have a decent following…so I guess I’m not really sure.
      If I were you, I’d simply focus on building your personal Good Reads page and continuing to connect with friends, share reviews as you read, and not worry about an official Author page at this point. But, I could be wrong! Lol. So I’ll ask one of my agent-friends your question, and see what she says! I’ll email you once I get her response, and hopefully it’ll be helpful to you. 🙂 <3

  2. Great post, Livy! I’ve found I am definitely more of a writer than a seller, and I get discouraged a lot because I feel like I started out wrong. But I’m hoping to make it work and find my audience of readers! Thanks for sharing these tips!

    1. Thanks, Riley! And yeah, I know how that feels! When promoting your work, it’s hard to get past the barrier of feeling like you’re bragging or self-promoting or begging for attention. Especially on Social Media, because it feels like everyone is constantly screaming about their accomplishments, and you hate to feel like one of THOSE people. Lol.
      But, at the same time, when you’re still in the process of building your platform, and don’t have huge sales yet, or not enough income to hire a professional marketing team, it’s TOTALLY okay to put on your business-girl-hat, and take the role in your writing career that a marketer would! God can totally give you wisdom to be gracious, kind, and humble in the midst of your promo-times, and as long as you just keep surrendering and leaving it in His hands, HE will connect you with the people who need your stories! <3
      When it comes to marketing, everyone has a little different journey, and it's totally okay to experiment with different things. I know He'll lead you down the right paths! <3
      Oh and PS…I think staring 'wrong' is better then never starting at all! Just the fact that you've taken ANY steps at all toward making your dream of being a writer into reality, puts you way ahead of the game! So many people dream and never do, and you're a do-er, so you're learning along the way and doing fantastic!

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