I’ve worked in the world of books for over a decade, mostly in marketing, from major houses like Wiley and FSG to Amazon to my current role at the start-up Inkshares, where I’m VP of Marketing & Operations.
I’ve worked with hundreds of authors and have even been a part of getting a few books to hit the bestseller lists. For all this experience, I have yet to discover some secret formula to marketing a book. In fact, a lot of what I read online about marketing a book makes me cringe.
As soon as you start researching book marketing, you enter a world filled with hollow buzzwords, misleading get-rich-quick strategies, and heaping doses of snake oil. I know I’m talking with an author who has encountered these when I hear things like, “I heard I should ditch Twitter and start building up an email newsletter,” or “I found a PR person who promises they can make my book an Amazon bestseller,” or “I was told I should reserve a budget of $x for Facebook ads.”
My response to these comments is usually, “Maybe, but…” These might be good suggestions. Or they might be a complete waste of time and money—It all depends on the book, the author and the readership. I’ve found that there’s no shortage of advice on tactics (some good, some bad), but very little on strategy and planning.
Book marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all. What you can do to market a book is pretty much infinite, and without a clear strategy and plan you can easily waste a ton of time and go broke drowning in details.
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5 Strategies to Improve Your Ebook Sales (DBW)
Ebook sales have been under pressure for various reasons over the past year or so, in particular the digital footprint of the Big Five publishers. However, this is still an industry that is finding its feet now that it has moved beyond the heady days of “the peak of inflated expectations.” Publishers flexible enough to respond to the new positioning of the ebook market can still find plenty of opportunity to improve ebook sales revenue by a process of continuous learning using data insights.
Company Snapshots: Digimarc (DBW)
In “Company Snapshots,” we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services and let them speak for themselves about what their company does, how they benefit publishers, and what they believe the biggest trends in the industry are. In today’s entry, we have Digimarc.
Waterstones Cuts Ebook Deal with Kobo (Bookseller)
Waterstones is to stop selling ebooks from its website and instead divert customers to Kobo’s reading platform for digital sales. The chain bookstore will begin informing customers of the change from June 14th and explain how those who already have Waterstones digital libraries can transfer them to Kobo’s platform.
Legacy Content Can Be Mined Gold (Pub Perspectives)
“A vast pool of quality legacy content amounts to a huge, permanent brand advantage,” says Rights and Content conference speaker Matt Dellinger. But how can it be deployed?
Is Curation a Cure or Culprit? (Pub Perspectives)
“For publishers,” says author and publisher Michael Baskhar, curation is “about the value of what we do in a world where there is, frankly, far too much to read.”
Author Sues Wrong Publisher over Ebooks (Pub Lunch)
Publishers’ early insistence on treating consumer ebook transactions as sales for royalty purposes, even though the files are provided to paying individuals under limited license rather than sold, is being challenged in an author lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court on May 19, seeking class action status. But the author and his attorneys appear to have brought suit against the wrong company, so the current filing will likely be rejected for lack of standing.
What to Expect When Hiring a Ghostwriter (Jane Friedman)
When I see a new book by a celebrity or politician, my first thought is always the same: I wonder what professional writer behind the scenes helped make it happen. That’s because I am one of those writers. I’ve written hundreds of articles and several books—almost all for other people. Sometimes I’m credited on a piece and sometimes I’m not; clients choose what works best for them.
Amazon Kindle Oasis: E-reader for the One Percent (ZDNet)
But man, if they see you with an Oasis? You must be somebody important. You are a dude with means. With gravitas. People are going to ask you about it, and who you are. And they do. And I think that is the true purpose of the Kindle Oasis. It’s an e-reader to be seen using just as much as it is to be the ultimate e-reader to use.
Overdrive Introduces Summer Reading Program for Schools (DBW)
Overdrive announced yesterday that it has partnered with more than 1,700 schools throughout the US and Canada for a summer reading program in June. Through the program, students will be able to borrow from a collection of popular ebooks 24/7 on “virtually any device.”
Publishing, Politics and Reason (Scholarly Kitchen)
It is admittedly quite boring to read yet another piece that lays out the value that publishers bring to the world. Over the last few years, the world of academic publishing has turned into a political campaign, mirroring the lack of rational thought, hubris, entrenched positions, and political rhetoric that is supposedly the hallmark of politics, not academia. Amidst the bluster, we have all missed perhaps the most important piece of all.