How Do I Get People to Buy My Book?

The Boy Behind the Gate: How His Dream of Sailing Around the World Became a Six-Year Odyssey of Adventure, Fear, Discovery and Love by Larry JacobsonWelcome back to the new Friday series on the business side of being a creative entrepreneur.

This post is #2 in a series Artist Entrepreneur Success on what it takes to succeed in business as an artist-entrepreneur.

You can have the greatest book in the world, but if no one knows about it, how will you sell it? How will anyone be able to benefit from it, including you?

I find a lot of authors get stuck at this point, the point where the product is created and they come to me asking, “Now, how do I get people to buy my book?”

Firstly, there’s no getting anybody to do anything. We can only influence them.

Secondly, it may seem obvious… but the “Build it and they will come…” thing doesn’t happen anymore.

Why? There is just too much information out there in the world.

In this post I’ll outline 3 highly effective strategies on how to tell people about your book. Yeah! Marketing baby! I’ll go in depth on them in later posts.

  • Tagging or proper keyword use (also know as search engine optimization)
  • Word-of-mouth campaigns (also known as joint ventures)
  • “I’ve heard of you somewhere…” syndrome (Be where your readers are online and offline)

Tagging or proper keyword use (also know as search engine optimization)
Everything on the ‘net these days functions because of the keywords associated with it. When you’re searching for a topic you type in the words into the search, like: “book marketing, how to.”

But what about the people searching for the kind of book you write?

Nobody yet knows about your book, so they won’t be searching for your name or title in a search engine. But they might be searching by subject. For example, my husband’s book, The Torah Codes, isn’t out yet. In preparation, we’re making a list of all the keywords we think his potential readers would use. Terms like: “bible codes, torah, shekinah, puzzles, codes, Da vinci code, suspense novel, Jewish fiction, Dan Brown, Jewish novels, equidistant lettering sequences, codes and ciphers, Jewish authors, the torah codes [as a subject; that’s why he chose the title!].”

So my husband’s job (Ezra Barany) will be to use the terms in his blog posts, whether they go on his site or whether they’re posted on other people’s blog. (More on that below!)

Word-of-mouth campaigns (also known as joint ventures)
In business, joint ventures are used often. This is when a little-known business person gets someone who is much better known to talk her up with her big list.

A formalized example of this would be a book review site reviewing your book, or RT Book Reviews reviewing your novel. A more personalized example would be if an author like New York Times Bestselling Allison Brennan mentioned new romantic suspense author, Virna De Paul in her newsletter (Allison’s newsletter).

Another example is Larry Jacobson getting all of his Facebook friends to get excited about his newly released memoir,
The Boy Behind the Gate: How His Dream of Sailing Around the World Became a Six-Year Odyssey of Adventure, Fear, Discovery and Love. And now it’s a bestseller! (And I’m talking about him here!)

Word-of-mouth campaigns take planning and preparation, and enthusiasm, and friends!

“I’ve heard of you somewhere…” syndrome (Be where your readers are online and offline)
I’ve borrowed this from Jill Lublin, publicist extraordinare, and great teacher.

What I found is that the more you’re online — on Twitter, Facebook, blogging, guest blogging(!), virtual book tours, LinkedIn, etc. — the more your presence online grows. And if you present yourself strategically — by that I mean with clear intent to communicate your message to your audience — then you will get back comments like, “Beth, [or insert your name here], I see you you everywhere online.” And people will remember you when it comes time to recommend your book.

A few things to remember when you’re in promotions mode, both in person, in print, and online:

  • Firstly, serve, give or otherwise be of service to your community: your readers, the people you’d like to influence.
  • Secondly, be yourself.
  • Thirdly, show up regularly and often.

Future posts will cover these three strategies in details. Future courses will too!

How do you influence your potential readers to buy your book?

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2 Responses

  1. January 28, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brooks J. Young, BethBarany. BethBarany said: Thx for the RT! @YoungJBrooks on my article: How Do I Get People to Buy My Book? http://bit.ly/eVTICl #bookmarketing […]

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