Well it is obvious that the number of books being published every year has increased but then new marketing options and platforms have also increased. Few years ago, it was quite tough to sell 100 books for a newbie but in the modern world of social media selling 100 books in a month is no big deal. Savi Sharma used Social Media and sold 1,00,000 copies of her first book “This is Not Your Story” within 100 days of release. Social media, Kindle Publishing and Influencer Marketing have made it easier for authors to sell books and make money out of their self-published books.
Traditionally published authors need not to worry a lot about the sales of their book because the publisher will make sure that the book sells so that they can generate Return on Investment but for self-publishers marketing is no option but a necessity.
These popular books were once self-published and they have huge marketing lessons to give. One can easily follow the paradigm developed by these self-published books and sell a few thousand copies but then marketing techniques work only when you have a really good book by your side.
If you are an author, who published his or her book a few years ago and have seen their book die because of almost no sell then this post is for you. Keep reading this post till the end for action based strategy to revive the sale of a dead book.
Why a book fails while some live through decades?
A good marketing can help authors sell a thousand copies and if the book is good enough then it will keep selling whether you continue with the marketing or not. What actually happens here is:
- Marketing makes people aware about your book
- They buy your book from Amazon or a bookstore
- They read it and find it good
- They leave a review on Amazon, pushing the ranking up
- They also talk about your book with their reader friends
- The friend also buys a copy of your book
- In case he or she also liked the book then they will also leave a review, again spiking the Amazon ranking,
- the repetitive marketing in the long run becomes cost effective and generates more money than you invest
P.S: This Marketing Technique Works Only When Your Book is Really Well-Written.
A lot of books keep selling even after years of release without any marketing is because of Word of Mouth, which is nothing but result of good marketing done in the initial days. Some books fail to do good even after good marketing practices because they fail to create the Word of Mouth effect because it was not really well-written or had a genre that is not quite popular.
How to Revive the Sales of a Dead Book?
- Start by revising the price of your book: A lot of self-published books are priced high because the author tends to generate return on investment from the very first book he or she sells. It is important for self-published books to have a price that makes it easier for the authors to generate some revenue at the same time not putting a hole in the reader’s pocket.
Self-published books are already frowned upon by a lot of avid readers and high price will only put them off which will end up killing your book indirectly. Self-published authors need to price their book smartly or look for alternative sources of income that will allow them to lower the price of book.
How to price the book for reviving the sales?
Since it is a self-published book, I am assuming that you must have paid for editing, cover design, printing and packaging, now it is time for you to forget the recovery of these costs. Take a fresh start and look at your book from a very unique angel. Now that your book is already published with all the investment you have made, it is time for you to consider this book as a product and no more as a book you have invested in. Price the book in an accordance which covers the cost of shipping, Amazon’s commission, government’s tax and a small royalty of 15-20%.
15-20% is the royalty every traditionally published author receives and it is not a small amount if the book starts to garner word of mouth.
Other sources of income that can help you cut the price of your book
- Amazon affiliate: Yes! You can earn up to 10% affiliate commission when someone buys a product through your link. THE GOOD THING IS THAT AUTHORS CAN EARN 10% COMMISSION ON THEIR BOOKS AS WELL.
Now, let’s look at the intricacies: Amazon charges 12% of MRP in commission on books and if you are selling your book through your Amazon Affiliate Link then you can actually earn back 10% from the 12% commission you paid to Amazon as a seller.
Amazon Seller and Amazon Affiliate are two great tools and when mixed it can work wonders for self-published authors. Authors must consider this option because in the long run Amazon Affiliate can work as a great source of income.
If you are using Amazon Affiliate program then you can afford to provide 10% additional discount on your book.
Important Fact: If readers are visiting your Book’s page on Amazon through your affiliate link then be sure that you can earn up to 10% commission on every item they buy from Amazon within 24 hours; isn’t that great? Imagine someone buying items worth 20,000INR, that will be 2000INR in commission for you.
2. It is time to get a new Cover designed for your book:
Used a free template from web while designing the cover of your book? Now is the time to fix that mistake, use the available opportunity Internet is leveraging us with and design a cover that says a lot about your book. They say “Never judge a book by its cover” but a cover is the very first thing that a reader sees and it is ver important to have a good one to make the reader grab it.
Canva.com has some really amazing pre-designed book covers, which can be altered to suit our needs. Try those pre-designed options and see if you can give your book a new life. Minimalistic is the new cool and almost everyone seems to depend upon it. The latest sensation “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK” had a minimalistic design and it sold copies like hot pancakes.
3. It is time for you to try eBooks:
You probably published your book a few years ago and had no option to publish ebooks. With Amazon now doing great business in India, we finally have access to ebooks and audiobooks. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allows the self-published authors to publish their books for free and reach out to huge audience base.
Selling your book on Amazon has its own added advantage; millions of people flock to Amazon on daily basis looking for books, all you need to do is pop up for the right searches and sales will happen on its own. With an ebook published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, you can cater to a wider audience base for free and earn a lot in return.
Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited allows readers to read as many books as they want in a month for a very nominal fee; while this may sound not worthy for authors but the payout are great. Authors are paid for every page of their book is read. With Kindle Unlimited authors can earn a lot and also expect a bonus from Amazon every now and then. When Kindle Unlimited is combined with KDP, an author can easily sale a lot of copy and make handsome money.
Pricing is just another thing that plays a crucial role in sales of ebooks. With ebooks there is no cost of production, packaging, storage and shipping, which increases the amount an author takes home but there, right there lies an opportunity to sell more copies. Self-published authors can always let go a bit of their royalty and make their books available to more people. By cutting cost of ebook, authors can make it easier for readers to buy their book. For 10INR less, you can have 50-100 more people buying your book every month.
With every book, the rank of your book also increases, which brings in a lot of buyers and this cycle never ends but it only happens when you cut the price and make your book affordable. Take home less money on per book basis but take home money in abundance.
The good reasons why ebook is such a great tool for making money:
- You can create one, publish one, market one and sale an ebook without moving from your desk.
- The cost input is low, if you are confident about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing then your initial investment can be as low as ZERO INR.
- Royalty is always high
- Promoting an ebook is easier
4. Get it Reviewed by a Popular YouTuber
Digital Kranti has made YouTube a part of Indian Household. With more data to consume, people are now able to try their hands at new things. A lot of YouTubers have started making by reviewing books on YouTube. These are videos, where a book reviewer stands in front of a overflowing bookshelf and talks about the book in hand. Such reviews have started to work wonders, listening to a person talking about a book that is already on your mind is quite a development. People have started depending more on YouTube for a book reviewing rather than screeching through textual reviews on Amazon.
These video reviews are generally chargeable but can work wonders for your work. When my pocketbook “Pocket Culture” released, I had my book reviewed by an Indian Booktuber, Manpreet and she did a pretty good job. The video was as long as 3 minutes and had every requisite information about the book along with a detailed review. In my case, the reviewer liked the book and had pretty good things to say but this is not going to be the case with every book, so send your book for a video review only when you are confident about your work.
These YouTubers generally have a subscriber base of 10,000-50,000 people, which means 1,00,000 eyeballs for a price of 3000INR–that’s what I paid for getting my book reviewed. Promote this video for a week or two through Facebook ads and see the sales figure sky-rocketing. Books are perceived differently, people do not look at it for once and buy it instantly, they wait until and unless they spot it twice or thrice or hear about it from someone and these youtube videos can just trigger the requisite word of mouth for your book.
5. Try Influencer Marketing:
If you probably published your book 3 years ago, the only social media marketing tool you had was Facebook ads but in last three years, Indian social media scene has evolved and it has evolved for better. Today, we have a pool of popular apps like Instagram, Musically and Live, which are generally used for entertainment purpose but can also be used for book marketing. Meme pages, websites and these apps can come together to leverage you with an incomparable book marketing campaign. All you need to do is to reach out to these people with your book, pay them and get your book introduced to millions of followers from the remotest corners of the country.
These social media influencers can always come up with unique marketing tactics and help you reach out to more people. Memes around your book or well written article can also do the requisite, all you have to do is try new things and contemplate positive results.
6. Get Incessant with your Blog
Well, starting a blog is something experts ask authors to do before publishing their books but then you know “the best time to start a blog was five years ago and the second best time is NOW”. Do not forget to make the best use of the available opportunity, start a blog today. Take to the social media, find out what everyone is reading or is interested in reading and start writing about it on your blog. Promote a little on social media and see people flocking to your blog like never before. The more they read, the more they share, the more people get to your blog, the more people see that you have Written a book and the more people buy it. So, get to home and BLOG!!!
Things to do after starting a blog:
- Put a widget with an image of your book and an Amazon Link
- Introduce yourself as an Author
- Write a few post about your book and include reviews from Amazon
- Pour your achievements in a blog post and promote it a little via Facebook Ad.
- Guest Post. Share your knowledge on other popular blogs
- Ask fellow authors to write for your blog
7. Try Changing Through the Genre
This is the point where things get tricky and you might want to quite but trust me, this one step and you will see a sharp rise in the number of eyeballs your book gets on a regular basis. Finding the perfect genre for your book can prove to the best thing you can do for your marketing. In some cases, you might end up hitting a jackpot because there might not be a lot of books in that genre, which will make your book appear as BESTSELLER at all times and we all know how people crave for books with BESTSELLER tag.
Here’s how you can do it: Go to your Facebook Page and ask people about the books similar to yours. Once you have received and recorded all the responses, try looking at their Amazon Page, one by one, keep noting down the genre they are all ranked in, also keep a steep eye on their rankings. Once you have skimmed through all the records, it is time for you to find which genre suits your book the most or a genre that is least populated but receives a lot of search on monthly basis.
Categories your book in the genre you have discovered through intricate research and you will see how the search visibility of your book on Amazon will increase.
The good thing is that these changes can be done in no time and response starts to pour within seconds you make the necessary changes.
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