In the digital age, one of the main selling points for a publisher is its ability to help generate a wide audience for a book through marketing. With traditional media, book tours and other forms of book marketing giving way to digital marketing, publishing consultant and Digital Book World Conference chairman Mike Shatzkin shares with us five things he’s learned about marketing in the digital age that are absolutely essential for publishers to know:
1. “It is necessary to do research to create effectively-SEOd copy for each and every book.” Search-engine optimized content means content that is more popular in search with less competition from rival content — and content that will also make a human click when she sees it in search results.
2. “Optimizing an author presence also requires research, and the more famous an author is, the more complicated is the challenge of pointing readers to a particular book.” Big-time authors have wide appeal among large swaths of the population but careful research can uncover the secrets to expanding that audience and finding it where it lives naturally online.
3. “…it is also essential for publishers to be building their database of consumers and and tracking their knowable attributes, preferably with companion “permission” to email them, but even without.” Understanding reader habits — knowing what appeals to them and where they spend their time — is essential for using digital marketing and targeting techniques effectively.
4. “When publishers are proceeding with fully-optimized book metadata, author online presence, and as many proprietary connections as they can muster to deliver free or earned discovery, they will also find opportunities for paid campaigns that can buy them additional attention.” Like its analog sibling, effective online marketing requires coordination and isn’t a problem money alone can solve.
5. “The opportunities that a digital marketing environment creates for increasing sales of backlist have, across the industry, hardly been explored.” Ebooks and digital distribution means that books never go out of print and are easy to get anywhere, creating huge opportunity for publishers that have large, digitized back-lists to increase sales.
Read all of Shatzkin’s post here.