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There is a famous story about Darren Rowse from ProBlogger, who released a product for bloggers and tracked the sources of his sales. Darren found that only 3% of his sales came from social media, 7% came from his blog, and a staggering 87% came from email. This demonstrates the effectiveness of email marketing, even for a top blogger like Darren.
As authors, we face three main challenges:
But don't worry, these problems have solutions! We just need to focus on marketing strategically to solve them.
The first step is to attract people to us, so that they know we exist. Then, we need to engage them and make them care about us and what we have to offer. Finally, we need to persuade them to buy our book or whatever else we're selling.
It's important to remember that these steps need to happen in order. If we skip one, we won't have a successful marketing plan. The goal of strategic marketing is to figure out how to attract, engage, and convert potential customers.
Email is an important tool for selling books because it allows you to directly reach out to potential readers and promote your book to them. One effective way to use email to sell books is by reaching out to influencers and asking them to promote your book to their audience. This can be done by offering a discount on your book, such as offering a $0.99 discount for downloading the book.
This is a very common strategy actually. Companies like BookBub built their business on revenue from paid e-book promotions in their email newsletter and website. It was founded in 2012 and has become a very popular and effective platform for promoting e-books, particularly in the fiction genre. In 2021, the company had so much success they raised $3.8 million in venture capital funding to expand more. Authors and publishers would pay to have their e-books featured in BookBub's newsletters and on the website, which can drive sales and downloads for their books. They still can too, but the value is likely better with other less established brands. Like us :)
Our similar email service, for example, involves offering subscribers your e-book for $0.99 for e-books. It can be an effective way to attract readers. By providing value upfront, you can create a positive impression and establish trust with potential customers. This can be especially useful for authors and other content creators who are looking to promote their work and build a following. By giving away some of your content for $0.99, you can introduce people to your style and content, and hopefully, this will encourage them to check out your paid offerings as well.
However, it's important to keep in mind that $0.99 downloads alone may not be sufficient to sustain a business or generate income. The real crazy money comes from becoming a best seller, which only happens with a lot of downloads. While $0.99 offers can be a valuable tool for attracting readers and building an audience, it's important to have a well-rounded marketing and monetization strategy in place. This could include a mix of $0.99 offers, as well as sponsorships, SEO, Social Posting, Collabs, and paid ads. More on Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok ads in these links.
Another way to use email to sell books is by building an email list of your own. This can be done by offering a free sample of your book or by offering a newsletter or other incentives to encourage people to sign up. Once you have an email list, you can use it to send regular updates about your book and other promotions, as well as to announce new releases and special offers.
These free offers in exchange for subscribing are called lead magnets and here are a few examples of lead magnets that you can develop and remember to keep it simple. Nothing long-form:
As your list grows you must send only amazing content. Send updates when you have new content available, such as a new book release or short story. This helps to keep your fans informed about your latest work and encourages them to check it out. Additionally, you can send emails when you have special deals or discounts on your existing books, such as a sale on Amazon. This can be an effective way to draw attention to your work and encourage fans to purchase your books.
Another way to market your work through your email list is to send high-value content on a regular basis, especially if you write nonfiction. This content can serve as a free sample of the products you sell on your website, giving your fans a taste of what they can expect from your paid products. By offering valuable content for free, you can build trust and credibility with your audience and encourage them to consider purchasing your paid products.
It's important to remember that when it comes to email marketing, it's better to send fewer, high-quality emails rather than overwhelming your subscribers with frequent, low-value promo emails. Only send emails when you have something important or valuable to share, and strive to maintain the same level of quality in both your free and paid content. By following these principles, you can effectively market your work and build a loyal following among your email subscribers.
To include a call to action in a book to encourage readers to purchase the next book in a series, follow these steps:
More on this in our article about Using Your Book To Sell Your Services.
Bottom line is that at the end of a book, it is important to focus on three goals: making the next sale, getting readers to write a review, and getting their email addresses.
To make the next sale, you should provide a link to the sales page of the next book on the appropriate retailer's website. However, this can be challenging if the book was read on an iPhone or iPad, as these devices do not allow direct linking.
In this case, you can use a Bitly link to redirect readers to the appropriate retailer's page. Asking readers to write a review is also important, as customer reviews on Amazon can greatly impact a book's success. To do this, provide a link to the review page for the book they just finished reading and ask them to write a short review about how the book made them feel.
Lastly, provide a short bio of yourself and offer a signup box on your website for readers to join your email list. Be sure to place this signup box in the upper right corner of the page and ensure it is properly connected to your email provider.
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