Marketing & Discovery

The latest news and ideas in digital marketing, direct-to-consumer strategies and discovery solutions for book publishers.

social media, authors, sales, books, facebook, twitter

10 Things Authors Need to Stop Doing on Social Media Immediately

Almost every author has been told at some point, “You gotta get online and promote.” But only a small percentage of authors have actually been coached on social media best practices, resulting in hundreds of authors using social media completely wrong and turning readers off rather than attracting them. If you are guilty of...

authors, facebook, marketing, books, sales

3 Facebook Changes You Need to Know About

The competition to be king of the social media hill is hotter than ever, and Facebook cannot coast just because it’s on top. Snapchat and Twitter are making changes regularly to try to woo users to their platforms. In order to stay on top, therefore, Facebook needs to constantly innovate. You can always expect...

marketing, authors, books, sales, social media

11 Ways to Overcome Marketing Dread

I was with a group of authors the other day when the conversation took a turn toward marketing. The group was unanimous in the declaration that they loved to write but loathed to market their work. Whether they were self-published or worked with a more traditional publishing house, whether they sold most of their...

bookstores, indie bookstores, curation, discovery, apps, recommendation

Curation, Bookstores and Open-mindedness

Every day, it seems, there are more and more ways to find that next great book to read. As book publishing has firmly planted itself in the digital realm, we now have websites and apps galore that feature recommendation engines, and even allow us to track what other people are reading and follow suit based...

marketing, books, book marketing, publicity, authors

What Is Book Marketing Anyway?

Having run publishing businesses for 11 years, you would assume that I would know the answer to that seemingly basic question. But, speaking honestly, I’m not sure that I do. And I’m not sure that many other publishers do, either. This isn’t a criticism of publishers’ marketing campaigns—there are clearly some very successful ones—but...

author, marketing, facebook, twitter, webinar, website

5 Online Marketing Trends Authors Should Consider

Recently I had two different companies come to the house for some home interior improvements. Both of these men pulled out their iPads and showed me samples of different designs to choose from. All I could think was: What did people do before iPads? And, how did we even get by growing up without...

How Authors Should Advertise on Facebook

Why You Should Consider Advertising to Your Own Fans on Facebook

The chatter about Facebook ads in book marketing circles these days is all about building massive email lists and selling books. And although I am in that corner, I also believe that there are many entry-level advertising opportunities for authors with smaller platforms and budgets to grow their fanbases and email lists without breaking...

3 Facebook Marketing Tools Publishers and Authors Must Use

3 Facebook Marketing Tools Publishers and Authors Must Use

With 1.44 billion monthly active users, according to a Pew report and Sprout Social, Facebook is the market leader for social networking sites. That statistic alone makes a compelling case for why publishers and authors should use Facebook to connect with their readership community and promote their books. Yet While Facebook ads are a...

The Author's Three-Step Test for Sellability

The Author’s Three-Step Test for Sellability

When it comes to choosing a social media channel for marketing, how often do we consider the channel’s selling potential? If our marketing goal is to build loyal fans and sell more books, a social media channel’s ability to actually sell books should be at the top of the list. And when it comes...

How to Choose the Best Social Media Channels to Sell Books

How to Choose the Best Social Media Channels to Sell Books

Confused by all the differing opinions about social media? You’re not alone. There is a whimsical idea gaining ground in the author community that social media is an a la carte menu and that you should just choose a channel you like and stick with it. The truth is, social media is a marketing...

These Are Authors’ Biggest Social Media Mistakes

4 Mindsets That Could Doom Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

When it comes to the potential for selling a book, not all social media channels are created equal. Some are definitely wired for selling, while others are not. Some contain a variety of commerce tools that naturally lead people toward a sale, and some do not. Add your audience demographics and the culture of...

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

What Are the Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan?

Today’s readers and book buyers are savvy. Ads are not enough to get a potential customer’s attention, and being bombarded daily with emails, texts, posts, tweets, shares, images and videos makes it incredibly easy, and more likely, for people to ignore ads. In fact, people are going out of their way to avoid ads,...

5 Tools That Can Double Your Ebook Sales

5 Tools That Can Double Your Ebook Sales

Thousands of writers use our sales tool, Selz, to sell their ebooks, so we analyzed the sales of those in the top 10th percentile to find out how they are so successful. Here are the five most common tools used by our top sellers to drive sales. Tool #1: Abandoned Cart Ebook buyers put...

Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences

Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences

For decades, the gatekeepers to reach large audiences of book consumers have been retailers, publishers, libraries and national media outlets. These organizations hold the keys to reaching millions of readers. But access to their audiences is limited unless one purchases paid advertising, hires a publicity firm or undertakes an expensive, time-consuming tour of the country....

Social Media Marketing Is Backwards: Strategy Vs. Tactics

Social Media Marketing Is Backwards: Strategy Vs. Tactics

There are more than 200 social media networks, and more hit the Internet daily. No wonder authors are confused about how to approach this behemoth. The social media information highway is crowded and noisy. There are more than 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook every month, and according to Twitter, there are...

Taste-Test Your Books: The Secret Sauce to Boost Sales

Taste-Test Your Books: The Secret Sauce to Boost Sales

The publishing business is one of the few industries with the audacity to create a lot of new products without testing them on consumers first. Imagine running a restaurant and never taste-testing new recipes before serving them to customers. Or imagine automobile companies trying to sell cars without test-driving the vehicle first. What if Hollywood...

Social Media Marketing Must Be Relevant

Social Media Marketing Must Be Relevant

We often confuse relevance with creativity. Relevance is not about being cutting edge or participating in the latest fad. When it comes to social media, relevance is about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel. Sometimes it’s actually easier to understand relevance by looking at...

This Is How You Use Facebook to Sell Books

This Is How You Use Facebook to Sell Books

I read the recent DBW piece “Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books” with surprise, and I respectfully disagree with its contentions. I’m pretty much the definition of a midlist author: I write full-time, I’ve hit a few Amazon best-seller lists over the last couple years, and readers seem to enjoy my books. I...

How Publishers Need to Rethink Marketing

How Publishers Need to Rethink Marketing

There have been two enduring realities about the marketing publishers have always done for their books. Marketing copy, starting with the descriptions of books publishers created for all purposes, was done by somebody with real knowledge of what was inside the book. The conviction has always been that intimate knowledge of what is in...

Social Media Marketing Must Be Audience-Specific

Social Media Marketing Must Be Audience-Specific

Social media marketing functions best when audience dictates channel and message. Today, though, much of our marketing efforts are backwards. We think a channel such as Facebook will deliver an audience, but a channel merely delivers a message to an audience we have already built. Your audience is a critical asset, and social media...

Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books

Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books

As an author, book marketer and social media specialist, I cannot think of a single more wasteful thing an author can do for book sales than to market on Facebook. Put simply, there is no evidence that Facebook can sell books, unless you’re a celebrity with a mass following. There is, however, plenty of...

How to Understand Your Book’s Audience

What We Need to Make a Good Author Marketing Platform

As a founder of Reedsy, I am constantly thinking about how publishing and the publishing community are evolving and innovating. A recurring theme (or buzz word, depending on whom you ask) is “discoverability”—a metric of how easily and efficiently an author’s work is found by new readers. Discoverability is a space Reedsy hasn’t entered...

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Social Media Marketing Must Be Manageable

Social media marketing can be a big time suck for many authors. Making it manageable, though, is about learning how to take inventory of your time, resources and skill and then planning accordingly. None of us can control how much time is in a day, but we can certainly control how we use it....

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Why Smart Publishers Build Bad Websites

When you compare the online traffic of a news website against that of a publisher’s website, who do you think gets the most visitors? Think the New York Times or Fox News versus HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster. To almost no one’s surprise, it’s not even close: the news sites get much more traffic....

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Social Media Marketing Must Be Sustainable

In How to Market a Book, Joanna Penn writes, “The first job of an author is, of course, to write great books, but these days, their second job is to market them.” Penn goes on to address the misunderstanding many authors have about marketing: I know the very word can be off-putting, but marketing...

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Stop Grading an Author’s Social Media Presence

When I was in college, my initial major was landscape design and architecture. For some strange reason, I had visions of designing golf courses with fancy clubhouses around the world. But my dream was crushed as a sophomore when I was graded on our biggest project of the year. I was given the task...

Tightrope-Walker

The Benefits of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing for Publishers

Imagine the pressure of trying to walk on a tightrope. It’s scary enough just attempting to keep your balance. But, what if maintaining your balance isn’t your biggest worry? What if you’re afraid that the tightrope itself might break? This anxiety represents how many of my publisher clients can feel in today’s economy. Not...

Goodreads Otis Chandler ebook readers book discovery authors digital marketing

How to Work with Influencers to Drive Book Discovery

Ask authors and publishers about the biggest challenge they face, and chances are the top answer you’ll get is book discovery. Yes, it’s been the No. 1 issue in the industry for years, but it’s getting increasingly difficult. Millions of books are now published every year. Mass media, already the preserve of the rarified...

customersfeature

Customer as King: How to Get an Audience

I often stress in my posts here that the consumer runs the publishing business. It’s always sad when you hear those in the industry patronizing or criticizing the customer, even if it’s just a defensive response to readers failing to show enough interest in publishers’ own output. That the customer holds all of the power is clearer...

ebook marketing book publishers SEO websites direct-to-consumer

Twelve Publishers’ Websites Go Under the SEO Microscope

For publishers, a fully search engine–optimized website is the first step in improving discoverability and in building out a direct-to-consumer program. It’s usually the piece of the puzzle that’s fairly straightforward to implement and brings a pretty good return on investment. And since it’s the part of SEO that publishers themselves control, I recently...

book marketing strategies readers Peter McCarthy

Audience Research Needn’t Be Costly or Time Consuming

The line between “conventional wisdom” and “misconception” is often thin, blurry and easy to stumble over. As the book marketing world sharpens its digital chops, misconceptions tend to result from insufficient experience with, and incomplete understanding of, a particular tactic. In my experience, it’s that holistic sort of nuance that makes all the difference. This...

reins

Publishers Finally Taking the Reins on Web Marketing

By the end of the London Book Fair last week, I had spoken to over 100 publishers, most of them mid-sized, (by going booth to booth—and yes, my feet are tired) as well as a handful of distributors, and I’ve noticed that for the first time there is nearly universal agreement on the following...