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July 15, 2016
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July 23, 2016

Guest Blog Post Author: Lincoln Cole, 4WillsPublishing Blog Tour Author

Unless someone is writing a book without intending to sell a lot of copies, they will need to learn how to market. It’s a crazy and difficult process and I’ve made countless errors along the way, but I’d like to shed some light on a few things I’ve learned that can hopefully help someone else down the road.

BookBub

BookBub is as close to a silver bullet as you will find as a self-published author, but it’s nearly impossible to get accepted for an advertisement without already having a solid foundation underneath you as an author. What’s worse, there are a lot of authors who don’t make back the money they spent on the ad, and it costs a fortune. It’s worth submitting for consideration, especially if you have a series, but don’t get discouraged when (not if) they turn you down.

The Cliffs

During your first month after launching a book, Amazon will help promote your book on new releases lists and give it extra exposure depending on how many copies it is selling and the feedback from readers. After that first month, it falls off the first cliff.

But you’re still getting help from Amazon, just not as many new release lists. By now, your book is hopefully starting to stand on its own and has generated significant also-bought listings. You reach sixty days and it falls off the second cliff.

After three months the book falls off of the third and final cliff, and for many novels they land in a deep abyss where Amazon no longer puts the book in front of readers. This is where your book needs to fully stand on its own, and many books reach this point and can’t.

The trick is to get as much exposure as possible during those first months to build traction for your novel. And, the trick to doing this is to generate a lot of increasing sales over a sustained period

What I mean by this is if you can do something like:

  • Day 1 – 5 books
  • Day 2 – 10 books
  • Day 3 – 15 books
  • Day 4 – 20 books

And so on and so forth. If your sales show a trend of increasing daily then Amazon will show favoritism for your book (assuming it is increasing in popularity). This is the best possible way to trigger Amazon’s algorithms to take notice of your book. Every book has a sweet spot of sales, and the goal is to make that sweet spot as high as possible. If your book is consistently selling five books a month, then Amazon will help you sell five books a month. If, on the other hand, it is selling five books a day, then Amazon will help it stay at the ranking that sells five books a day.

By the time you fall off of your cliffs and your book has to stand on its own, you want to be in a good sweet spot because new release promotions won’t exist anymore.

Social Media

Get involved. Make posts about your life and the experiences of writing a book long before it is supposed to be released. Make an email list and include lead generation links in all of your books and website. Give stuff away for free and build a community. People will want to support your book and your career if you let them.

The thing about marketing is you have to try new things, see what works, and keep records of it. Your book can’t sell itself if people don’t know it exists, and the odds of some random person you’ve never met championing your book to thousands of readers isn’t very high without you performing a lot of outreach as well. Get people involved, don’t be afraid to experiment, and just keep on writing. Do it because you love it, but you have to market so other people can love it too.

About Lincoln

Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife.

His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of George R.R. Martin, Isaac Asimov, and Stephen King. He is currently working on several titles. He enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

Growing up, he worked in the horse racing industry with his grandparents for many years and won an award writing a short story for Hoof Beats magazine while in High School. He had since won the Visionary/Inspirational YA award from Literary Classics in 2015.

Where to Find Lincoln

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This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com

10 Comments

  1. What if you are essentially broke, scraped it all to produce a book, in my case 2 and am about to publish a third in a series which has already “fallen off a cliff”? I’m not selling, not getting read, not getting talked about, but have done conferences, created a nearly zero traffic website & blog, worked social media at the expense of my writing time, networked with authors and done everything but shell out even more money on the empty promise that someone could sell my books for me to the tune of hundreds of dollars I don’t have?
    I never learned the first thing of marketing except that I tried things based on recommendations of authors AFTER I failed — which were too late by that time.
    When people read my work it’s consistently gotten 5 stars reviewed or a 3 & 4 rating without review.
    They just are not reading it.

    • Hey Mary:

      Have you tried going to blogs that talk about similar subjects to what you are writing about or you are interested in? Sometimes you are able to comment on the posts and provide a link back to your website/book as part of the form you have to fill out. Your comment should be relevant to post and not contain any reference to your website / blog or books. That would be considered spamming.

      The technique is a different form of networking and building a community around your passion..

      • That is a new suggestion. How do you go on people’s blogs? Don’t they have to invite you? I have been interviewed a few times but I get the impression this is different.

        • No invitation necessary. Watch Facebook for any interesting articles, most of those come from blogs. Also do a search on Google with the keyword Blog and whatever subject you want. That should bring up the sites. Feedly (http://feedly.com/) allows you to search and find articles in all different subjects. Again, a lot of those are blog posts.

          Of course, I can’t stress enough to make your comment relevant to what’s posted. You want to come off as well-informed and not someone who is just venting or seeking their five-minutes of fame on someone else’s web page.

      • jinlobify says:

        Thank you Lincoln for the marketing ideas that you have shared. I know I have been asking you for it for sometime. It will surely help. 🙂 Thank you Ani for hosting him.

        • I haven’t looked at blogs very much, even though I follow them. I usually scan them quickly. If they have been about marketing I generally found them light years ahead of my understanding. I have difficulty with the most basic of social media skills and the terms that go with them.

      • jinlobify says:

        Don’t forget LinkedIn. There you can jump into any relevant discussion, and talk about your experience.

  2. Lincoln Cole says:

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Gwen Plano says:

    Great marketing ideas, Lincoln. Thank you…. And, thank you, Ani, for hosting…

  4. beemweeks says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Lincoln.

    Thanks for hosting, Ani.

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