How to Build an Audience to Sell Books

shutterstock_202384183In her third post in a five-part series for DBW on social media marketing, Chris Syme discusses why knowing your audience is so important as an author.

Social media marketing functions best, Syme writes, “when audience dictates channel and message.”

To that end, many think that a channel such as Facebook will automatically deliver an audience. But a channel, Syme cautions, “merely delivers a message to an audience we have already built. Your audience is a critical asset, and social media can help you build an invested proprietary audience—people who give you permission to market to them.”

SpotlightMuch more.

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Ebook Sales Weaken Amid Higher Prices (WSJ)
When the big five publishers struck ebook distribution deals with Amazon, they seemingly got what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often gives. But that strategy doesn’t appear to be paying off just yet. According to industry researcher Codex Group LLC, a recent snapshot of ebook prices “found that titles in the Kindle bookstore from the five biggest publishers cost, on average, $10.81, while all other 2015 e-books on the site had an average price of $4.95.” And in some cases, ebooks on Amazon cost almost as much as the hardcover, as in the case of Jonathan Franzen’s new novel Purity.

SpotlightHow to Price Books (Book Business)
“Pricing your book properly may be the most important marketing decision you will make as a publisher,” writes Brian Jud for Book Business. “There is a big difference,” Jud continues, “between pricing for sales through retail stores (including bookstores) and to non-retail buyers. You can improve your business significantly if you price your book correctly for retail or business-to-business (B2B) sales.”

Barnes & Noble Unveils Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Nook (DBW)
Barnes & Noble and Samsung announced the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Nook, an eight-inch tablet that is the thinnest and lightest device so far from the two companies. It is available in stores now and sells for $399.99.

A Manifesto on Working with Authors (Futurebook)
One author who’s written or co-written 270 books with traditional houses writes, “I’ve chosen to dip my toe in self-publishing because of increasing dissatisfaction with payments, contracts and working practices in traditional publishing.” He goes on to give recommendations for publishers to work better with their authors.

Four Risk Factors Facing Comics (PW)
The comics industry faces four major challenges, one of which is the digital monopoly that Amazon and Comixology hold over the marketplace, controlling more than 80 percent of it. According to the article, “for publishers, the danger is the usual one when you become a captive audience to a distributor: Amazon has the leverage to squeeze if they want to, and the book world is all too aware Amazon is not shy at the negotiating table.”

What’s Going on in Japanese Publishing (Publishing Perspectives)
Kay Ohara, a translation rights agent in Japan, discusses the market in that country, including the role of ebooks. “Ebooks are steadily gaining acceptance thanks to Kindle, iBooks and Kobo, despite some resistance by the establishment media and printed book wholesalers,” Ohara writes. “Manga, bound with lesser quality paper and sheer bulk of the format, seems especially suited for digital reading.”

SpotlightSearching, Buying and Facebook (Social Times)
According to this article on Adweek’s Social Times, “three years ago many retailers were skeptical Facebook could be a viable marketing channel because they said ‘people don’t have purchase intent like they do on Google.’ It turns out that this is exactly why Facebook is so valuable – it is that very lack of intent that creates an opportunity to win over new customers.”
Related: Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books (DBW)
Related: How to Best Use Facebook as an Author (DBW)

How Engaged Are BookBub Readers in Your Genre? (BookBub)
Given that sales differ across BookBub categories, the question is, how much is that variation due to simple differences in subscriber counts vs. discrepancies in reader engagement? BookBub analyzes its data to answer that question.

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