How to Simplify Marketing Your Book to Save Time and Make More Sales
Welcome to our weekly guest column by Ezra Barany, the Book Mentor and author of the award-winning and bestselling novel The Torah Codes. He offers indie novelists important tips, entirely under our control, to help our books be discovered by readers all over the world. This week he focuses on how to save time in our book marketing and sell more books. (What we all want, right?!)
*Special cool course offered below. Not kidding.
A lot of authors find marketing their book involves hours, days, years of their lives when all they really want to do is be writing. Here’s a simple task that will shave off hours of marketing your book to make marketing easy and result in more book sales.
Have you ever been asked to write your bio and you said to yourself, “Darn it! I already did that before. Now where was that bio?” You shuffle papers, find a missing sock, open file folders, discover that lost address to that guy you met at the place with the thing.
Imagine having all your information, called metadata, in one place so that every time you’re asked to fill in the details about your book, it’s just a simple cut and paste job. Five minutes and you’re done. You’ve got another host blog, radio show, or newspaper ready to share your novel with their world.
My bride and book coach, Beth Barany, author of the self-help book for authors, The Writers Adventure Guide, created this great “Metadata Book Marketing Prep List” which is one of my hottest files since I use it so often. You can create your in a Word document or Google doc.
Here’s what to include in yours:
General Data – Author (that’s you!), title of your book, publisher or imprint (i.e., I self-published under the imprint of “Dafkah Books”), page count, ISBN (both your 10 and 13-digit numbers), release date, formats (i.e., hardback, paperback, epub, mobi, audio book), and your website URL if you have one.
Buy links – List the websites where each format of your book is available. Be sure to include the different country websites, too! If Amazon is selling your book in the UK as well as the US, add that URL here.
Book Blurb – This is the catchy storyline of your book, often on the back of your book. Read how to create a catchy book blurb here.
Book Description – Here’s where you combine your book blurb with great reviews of your book and the book’s high concept pitch to get your readers more excited to buy. The best order is a) Awards, if any, b) bestselling status, if any, c) high concept pitch, d) great reviews, if any, e) book blurb. See examples of a high concept pitch and book blurb here.
Your Cover and Mug – Keep links to a high-resolution and low-resolution versions of your book’s cover and your headshot in your metadata file. They’ll come in use often.
Keywords and Categories – Keywords are great to pass along to host bloggers when you’re a guest blogger. They’re also great when choosing a title for your book. Read this post I wrote on how to title your book. Step one of the process shows how to come up with great keywords for your book. For the most part, though, the keywords and the categories you’ve listed your book under are for your own reference, or for cataloging your book for the retailers.
Reviews – I always cut and paste my reviews to 2 to 3 sentences long when I contact people for radio shows and guest speaking opportunities. I even divide the reviews in categories that are specific to the person I’m addressing.
For example, Ien Nivens’ 5-star review in the Berkshire Fine Arts said, “Let me put this quite baldly: the question before us is not a fictional one. If The Torah Codes describes a real phenomenon, then we are talking about statistical evidence that the scriptures are indeed supernatural, that is to say, holy, inspired by a force with, at the very least, a god’s-eye-view of history.”
So I categorized that under “Reviews for Jewish Organizations.”
Other reviews, like the one I received from an Amazon customer that said, “the pages seem to turn themselves,” I categorized under “Reviews for Thriller Readers.”
Also be sure to include the reviewer’s name and the URL of the review in your metadata file.
Biography – You’ll be asked many times for your bio, but each source – blog, newspaper, magazine, radio, or TV – will prefer a different length from the others. So it’s good to have a 20-word, 30-word, 50-word, and 100-word bio.
When writing your biography, always start with your appropriate credentials. “Award-winning bestselling author Ezra Barany…” sounds much better than “Ezra Barany…”
Not a bestseller, yet?
On the back of my first book, I wrote “Award-winning author Ezra Barany” because I won Honorable Mention in fifth grade for my Haiku and Honorable Mention in high school for creative writing. My book hadn’t won anything until three months after it was released. So seek your accolades and use those.
The last sentence of your bio should be something that endears us to you. Have two sons? Have two cats? Have two pianos you play at all hours of the night? Share something that will make us laugh or go “Aww.”
Request for Review/Interview template letters – It’s always good to have a template for your Request for Review letter and Request for Interview letter. You’ll be using these letters for online media, print media, radio, and TV. Once you write and edit that puppy until it’s pristine, there’s no reason to go through all that again. Have it at the ready so that all you need to change is their name and where you know them from (in the first paragraph).
Social Media Links – Lastly, have a list of all your social media links. This includes Facebook Profile, Facebook Fan Page(s), Twitter, Linked In, and any others you use.
An optional addition to your metadata is to include an excerpt of your book, but I like to keep different lengths of excerpts from my novel in a separate file.
So create your metadata file and marketing your book will be much simpler, less time consuming, and will give you more time to do what you love best: eat chocolate ice cream!
Oh, and write.
“Beth’s Metadata Book Marketing Prep List is a huge help. I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I know exactly what it is.” – Catrina Taylor, author of Birth of an Empire 1, http://Xarrok.com/
**Yep, here’s the info on Ezra’s upcoming course, “How to Make Your Novel a Bestseller 10-week Teleseminar Series”, where he’ll explain, go into great detail how to get your book selling.
Book Marketing Mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra today to begin the conversation on how he can help you now via Facebook, Twitter, or contact him through this blog, or email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM.