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ESTABLISHING SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS

We’ll now that to be a successful published author you need a social media presence, but many writers have no idea what this entails. It is not enough to have social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You need a strategy, a defined social media strategy.

But before you go into the details of your strategy, you need to define what are your goals. What do you want to achieve through social media? Do you want to create awareness? Do you want people to know about a specific book? Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Or, do you want to send people directly what they combined book?

Establishing a goal will create a clear vision to develop a successful social media strategy. In other words, a goal will help you define exactly what are you looking for from your interaction with potential readers online to then establish how are you going to achieve that goal.

Should you use a book distributor?

The idea of holding your book in your hands has shifted with the rise of ebooks and the closing of many bookstores. Even with all these changes printed books are still a market that we should not ignore. The opportunity to sell our books it’s still there. However, the competition to place your books on the shelves is fierce and is not something that you should take on by yourself.

Just like many traditional publishers, you can also use book distributors that will help you place novel and negotiate contracts with major booksellers. A book distributor already has established business relationships with these major booksellers that they can leverage to place your book in those stores. A distributor we’ll take charge and deal within the logistics of selling to wholesalers, fulfilling orders and making sure that the product is there on time. Distributors act on your behalf, billing customers, shipping orders and finding sale opportunities for your book.

This allows you to have your printed book in stores where readers can easily find out without the hassle of storing your books, negotiating with stores across states and then fulfilling those orders.

UNDERSTANDING CHANNEL MARKETING

Many times, as authors we think about getting our stories in the hands of our readers without taking in consideration the journey of our books starting with its production, distribution and final sale. The right channel marketing strategy for your book can have as much impact as any other part of your book launch.

A channel marketing strategy takes into account the packaging of your book (cover, book bundles, multi-author boxset, ebook or printed book), advertising, inventory and distribution logistics.

For example, for an ebook a channel marketing strategy will take into account:

  • the formats of the book based on the targeted wholesaler (EPUB, MOBI, AZW).
  • production cost, advertising costs and strategies
  • use of intermediaries for production or placement
  • potential revenue
  • method of delivery to the customer (download, KU, etc)

Ignoring these areas can result in unexpected expenses, lack of sales and reduced revenue due to poor planning. Avoid hurdles in your path to a successful book launch with a solid and comprehensive channel marketing strategy.


Social Media Trends and how to connect with your reader

As author, we depend on social media to reach out to our potential readers on a daily basis. Social media is dynamic, accessible but sometimes challenging. Finding and connecting with your reader takes time and taking into account the following trends can help you increase your followers and maintain your current readers.

Trend #1. Build trust

Do not concentrate only in maximizing reach but develop quality content that showcases who you are as a writer. Give your potential readers the opportunity to know who you are as an author and keep in mind the audience that you are writing for.

Trend #2 Show, don’t tell

Sounds familiar? This is one of the mantras as writers and it should continue to be as authors developing our social media presence. Use visuals to share your story. Many social media platforms now have the options of creating Stories that are shareable and time-sensitive creating the urgency to not miss out.

Trend #3 Online advertising

Supplement or boost your content with targeted social media advertising. The competition for the attention of potential readers is hard and complementing your content with ads will give you the advantage over other authors that prefer a more organic promotion.

Trend# 4 Social Shopping

Don’t lose sight of your final goal, book sales. Make sure that readers can find your book. Post your link in your website and when you are promoting your book. Try the links to make sure they work and make the buying experience easy and fast.

USING DATA TO PREDICT YOUR READERS BEHAVIOR

Most of the things you do from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep can be predicted through data. Data that has been collected by the behaviors of individuals similar to you in age, upbringing, economic status and hundreds of other traits that makes you, you. Of course, as you can infer, that applies to everybody around you including your readers.

You can understand their likes and dislikes and even patterns in their behavior through the analysis of data you already own –like sales, reviews, comments on posts and likes on social media—and data you can use from search engines and social media platforms.

The key is not only to collect data about your readers but using that data to visualized patterns like, do your readers prefer to visit your blog on a specific day, or do your readers like a specific type of storyline, price points or even book format.

Data is a tool that is often ignored by writers that can give you the extra edge you need to not only understand your potential book buyers but even predict the when, how and why they will buy your books.

WHAT IS THE CORRECT MARKETING BUDGET FOR A BOOK LAUNCH?

Deciding how much to spend marketing your book can be tricky for any author, more so if this is your first book launch. It is easy to get carried away and decide to invest in the latest trend on book promotions, but are those the right ones for you?

It is exhilarating to see the numbers of your sales going up but, are you profiting from those sales? Or are you investing too much in marketing to barely break even?

As an author –and more so as a self-published author—you have the responsibility to understand your return on investment including your branding and marketing efforts. Always take into account the following:

–    How much are you investing per sales?

  • What is your percentage of cost versus revenue?

–    Do you know which strategy is bringing more sales?

  • Is it Facebooks ads or posts in your blog? Is it the blog tours or your guest posts in other blogs? Divide each strategy and determine which triggers more sales and which doesn’t. This will help you decide whether it would make more sense to move your marketing dollars into promotions that are likely to bring you more sales.

–    Are you investing enough?

  • Are your sales low because you are not driving traffic to your sales page? Being too conservative in your marketing investment can also hurt your goals. People need to know about your book and where to find it.

–    Are your sales growing or are they stagnant?

  • If your sales are not growing or have not taken off, you might need to consider if you are using the right strategies for your specific market.

Auditing what works for you and what doesn’t is an excellent way to keep track and maximize your return on investment for all your marketing efforts. This at the end will help you increase your sales and grow your career as a successful published author.

BOOK BUYER’S JOURNEY

Understanding the journey any reader takes before buying their next book will help any author visualize sale strategies and successfully meet their needs. A buyer’s journey is not unique to a certain type of reader or customer. It applies to all of us, no matter what we buy or how we buy it.

THE AWARENESS STAGE

Identifying the need and the research to satisfy that need

A reader acknowledges their need for a story, a book or a novel that will either entertain, educate or even sooth their soul. They know what type of story they want but not the final product or title. So they start researching for the genre, known or favorite authors.

EVALUATION

Your potential reader is now looking at specific titles based on what they found during their research. But before making a decision, they read reviews, blurbs and customers ratings. Here they establish what is their decision criteria. What does this book has to have for them to go into the next stage and buy.

Are they looking for happy endings? For a story to make then laugh? Maybe they are looking for a complex storyline that will keep them on their toes. Whatever falls into their decision criteria moves the titles from possible purchase to rejected titles.

PURCHASE

At this point, the reader already knows exactly what they want and they are certain they have found the book that will give them what they are looking for in that story. They are full of expectations created during their journey and their likelihood of becoming loyal readers or return customers will depend on how that book is able to match that promise of satisfying the need the reader is trying to fulfill.

Knowing the reader’s journey to purchasing their next book, should give you an idea as to where are your possible touchpoints where you can influence their decision. Is it in the awareness stage, or is it during evaluation and purchase?

IS YOUR BRAND TELLING YOUR STORY?

We are storytellers. Writers with a boundless number of stories to tell but when it comes to our story we freeze. We don’t know what to say, where to start. We get writer’s block because we believe that only a person with some marketing experience will be able to teach us how to write our brand story.

But building a story-brand is no different from plotting and writing your novels.

A brand story, like any fiction story you have created, tries to invite the customer (your reader) into a story where he or she is the hero and you the sidekick, the guide, that helps them in their journey. Also, like in your stories, this character has an arc, where it starts with a problem, goes after a possible solution, and at the end hopefully will avoid failures and meet with success.

The only difference is that in this arc, the hero meets you, who will guide them into action towards that goal hopefully guarantying that desired success.

For example, the reader is looking for something it take him away from his dwelling on a problem at work. He is looking for something to ease his mind, whether is a form of escape or a way to find a solution to the problem he faces at work. Here comes your work, a funny look at the typical office drama with an honest view of the different office personalities and maybe how to deal with them.

The reader is the hero, you are the sidekick that is going to guide him to find what he is looking for.

Create that story. Invite him into the journey and he will understand who you are and what your brand is about.

Use your story telling skills to draw your reader in. Let your story-brand aid you to reach out to the right people. They will then become your fans.

Predicting who is going to buy your book

Knowledge is the best tool and they best defense in any situation including the launch and sale of your newest masterpiece, your new book. Knowing who is your market and how they might react to this new novel can be the key to the successful planning of your sale strategy.

But what information do you need to make an accurate prediction and what exactly can you do with that prediction?

A prediction will take the behavior of your previous readers, consider what moved them to buy and see how likely they are to buy again and how likely are others to do the same.

You can use information like what ads readers seemed to prefer and what messages they responded to the most. Use the insights found in Facebook ads, Google Ads, or Google Analytics to discover links, ads or pages with the most clicks, as well as the age, income and even location of those potential customers.

This will help you define your audience and target those who are likely to buy. Then use that information to refine your campaigns to increase your potential of having a successful book launch and or book sale.

Neuromarketing: connecting to your readers at an unconscious level

Have you ever wondered why you choose one product over the other? Why some new products capture your attention more than others? How you judge products and services is based on the emotions or reactions they trigger even when you are not paying attention. Colors, images, even phrases can trigger innate reactions that don’t require a conscious though from your part. Just like when you go shopping and pick up your favorite products with a simple glance without really looking at the package, colors or even the printed messages in their labels.

You have trained your brain to like that product. You already know how it makes you feel and you don’t have to think about it at the time of purchase.

Well, we do the same thing for many other products including the books we buy.

What are the elements in a book that would make you buy it without going into a deep analysis? Is it the images in the cover? The colors? Or is it the purchase experience?

That’s what is known as neuromarketing and it is time to make it work for you.

How successful is your website?

Having an author’s website can become a tool to, not only help you create awareness, but also increase sales of your books and establish relationships with your readers. But do you know if your website is driving the traffic you need to achieve that?

Measuring the success of your website can help you pinpoint areas of success as well as areas in need of improvement. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or if you are just starting, simple analytics tools can give you the information you need with just a few simple steps.

A web analytics tool, like Google Analytics, can help you track your website traffic while garnering information about your readers’ behavior once they visit your site. Just imagine the possibilities if you were able to know where your website traffic is coming from, how are they finding you, and what are they doing once they do.

Information like that will be your ally as you move forward to becoming a successful author that it is in control of all aspects of his or her career.

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR READER

Creating a relationship with your reader is the key to achieve success as a published author but unless you are a professional marketer this can seem like a dauting challenge. The key here is to create a communication strategy that fosters interactive two-way conversations where your potential readers go to look for information.

The best platform will depend on the demographics of your market and the social platform of their preference. Social media gives an author the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with their readers, giving them the chance to get to know you beyond your books.

Investing in your readers

Satisfied readers can be one of the most loyal customers you will ever have, coming back to buy your books over and over as long as you deliver the promise of a good story and high-quality writing. To engage those readers, you invest your hard-earn money in production, distribution, and marketing of each book you launch. But do you know how much is too much based on the profits those readers bring to you? Do you know how many books will they end up buying for you justify that investment?

The concept of measuring the amount of profit you can expect to generate from a reader over the entire time they keep buying books from you is known as a customer’s Lifetime Value or LTV.

Your reader’s LTV can be calculated based on the typical behavior of a reader for your genre. That means knowing how many books they buy per month, where and how they buy those books and how much they are willing to pay for them. Then take that information and consider your how many books are you publishing or will publish in the following years.

For example, consider the romance genre.

Romance readers consume books at an amazing speed with an average consumption of one or two books a month with 92% still buying print books, 64% also buying e-books and 35% acquiring audiobooks.*

Making the assumption that a single romance reader might follow a good author for at least five years, you can calculate that a loyal reader will buy the two books you plan to launch each year. That means that if you sell each book for $7.99 your reader’s LTV is $7.99 by 10 (since it is two per year) for a total of $79.90, then multiply that by the amount of books you expect to sell.

Knowing this you will be able to consider if it makes sense to invest in marketing to that reader based on their profit potential.

Are you willing to invest more in marketing for your first “hook” books knowing that that satisfied reader will come back for more? Or is it too risky for you because the profit is not enough?

Whatever the case, knowing the LTV of your reader will enable you successfully manage your budget, Tweak your marketing plan based on potential and avoid pitfalls that can hinder your growth as a successful profitable author.

*Source: The Romance Book Buyer 2017: A Study by NPD Book for Romance Writers of America

DOES YOUR BRAND HAVE THE INGREDIENTS TO BE SUCCESSFUL? CHECK THIS BRAND CHECKLIST AND FIND OUT

We have already talked about the importance of having a brand that represents who you are, what you stand for and the quality and type of stories you offer. A successful brand will help you create awareness, create lasting impressions, encourage loyalty and enhance name recollection. But does your brand have the right ingredients to do all that? To find out ask yourself the following questions:

  Is your brand memorable? Is your brand easy to recognized? Would it be easy to be recalled if your reader saw it again in another if your books, a poster or even a social media ad?

Is your brand meaningful? Can your reader know what type of author you are or what type of stories he/she can expect from you based on your branding? Take into account you’re your brand can be descriptive, giving general information about your writing, or persuasive, giving attention particular attributes of your books.

Is it likeable? Brand should be fun and interesting, rich with visual and/or verbal imagery, and aesthetically pleasing. Remember that sometimes simple is better.

Is it transferable? Can you continue to use your brand as you grow? Or, is it too specific and bound books or storylines? Your brand should always be an asset to throughout your journey.

Is it adaptable? Can your brand evolve as you evolve as an author? Is to intricate to be enhanced or change to adapt to new genres or new projects?

  Can you protect it? Is your brand original and protectable by law nationally and internationally as you sell your books to other markets?

Were you able to answer all of those questions? Does you brand meet all of those parameters? If it does, then congratulations! You are on your way to create a unique brand that will help you grow as a successful published author.

Understanding your reader

Market research is not a concept only for business and executives when they talk about products and services. It is a tool than can be used by anybody who wants to learn more about their clients and in our case, our readers.

Through the use of a simple survey, we can get to readers, their wants and needs as well as what are their expectations when they buy a book.

A survey can be just a selection of a few questions posted using several well-known tools like SurveyMonkey among others and they can be posted in your website or social media sites like Facebook.

Don’t be afraid to learn more about your reader. With more information you will be more likely to meet their expectation and their loyalty.

BRAND STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR NEW AND SEASONED AUTHORS

In your journey to become a bestselling author is very likely that you have encountered more than one individual talking about how you should be conscious about your brand and how your brand can assist you in achieving your sales goals. But unless you are currently working in marketing, advertising or public relations, the concept of branding and its importance can be extremely confusing.

Putting in simple words, your brand can be a combination of your name, signs, symbols, designs or even a term that identifies you and your books to your readers and helps differentiate you from other authors.

A brand has the capacity to ignite feelings, and help you start to cultivate relationshsips with your fans, projecting your personality as an author and the quality of your stories. The way readers perceive your brand will affect what they think, feel and do depending how your brand resonates with them.

Don’t know where to start to create your brand? Here are four steps to guide you through the process:

Step 1 – Determine who are you. Who are you as a writer? What moves you to write to create your stories? How do you stand out from other writers? This will be your brand identity.

Step 2 – Determine your brand meaning. Identify and communicate what your brand stands for. Are your books and writing style meeting your reader’s expectations? Can they identify with you or your work? Are they getting what they are looking for on your novels?

Step 3 – Determine what is your readers response to your brand. What do they feel and think about you? Think about how they response to the quality of your writing or your stories?

Step 4 – What is the relationship this brand creates between you, and your reader. What is the type of relationship you would like to have with your reader? This step is about loyalty, engagement, the sense of community and attachment to your work.

Going through these four steps will help you determine all the facets of your brand and your own expectations regarding your career as an author and how you want to be perceived and recognized. with this information you are now armed with the necessary tools to start developing your brand.

A book’s profit margin, a key to understanding your revenue potential

Becoming full-time writers is the dream of many authors that juggle between a full-time job and their time dedicated to writing. To achieve that dream not only requires the publishing of more than just a few books but the understanding of the sales process of those.

Every book that you launch will incur in costs for editing, cover creation, paging, advertising, fees to distributors, or bookstores as well as the cost for the time invested in its development. Those costs can be divided into fixed costs (ex. editing, cover creation) or variable costs (ex. money invested in advertising) and your profit will depend on the amount of these costs minus the total of the sales. Your profit margin in this case will be your net profit divided into your gross revenue.

For example, lets say that you uploaded your newest self-published ebook into Amazon. To create your book you spent $500 in editing and the cover you liked. To make sure that potential reader new about the book you invested $600 in advertising and other types of promotion. After a month, you are surprised to see that you sold $2k in books.

Gross revenue:                        $2,000

Fixed + Variable costs:            $1,100

Net profit                                  $   900

Profit margin = 900/2,000 = 45%

In other words, out of each dollar in gross revenue you made 45 cents as your net profit.

Now let’s say that you want to earn $3k, how many books would you need to sale to have $3k net profit if your selling your book at $2.99?

Using the same numbers as above, take your target profit, add your costs and divide by your price:

(Target profit + Costs)/ Price = Sales goal

($3,000 + $1,100)/ $2.99 = 1,371.24 or 1,372 sales goal

Information like this will help you understand the success of failure of your book launch as well as help you establish goals for future book launches. Each book launch will provide you with data to forecast sales, revenue and will help you plan how much you are willing to invest in variable costs that will help you increase your gross revenue.

Defining your market as an author

Even though we would like to think that anybody would be ecstatic to read our books, the reality is that it is impossible for any writer to write a novel that would appeal to all audiences. It is highly likely that your story will appeal to few very specific segments among the thousands of readers around the world, and for your book to become a bestseller it is vital for you to know and understand those segments.

A market segment for an author is distinct group of readers with similar traits, behavior, needs, and expectations that identifies them as potential readers.

For you, as an author, to effectively identify your segments, you will have to first know where your novel is placed within the publishing market. That means that you should be aware of your genre, category as well as specific topics discussed in your book that sets your book apart.

Now take that information and start defining your market based on the readers for your specific genre and category.

For example:

  • Who buys those books?
    • Age, sex, income.
  • Where are they most likely located?
    • Country, state, city or region
  • How do they behave?
    • Are they avid readers?
    • How many books do they buy per month?
    • Do they go to book conferences or Comic-Con?
    • Do they spend a lot of time on social media?
  • What do they believe in?
    • Values, opinions, attitude, lifestyle.

Based on this information you will be able to define your segments taking into account that you can have more than one segment and that each segment should only consist of readers with similar traits.

Once your segments are define and you have a good sense of your potential reader your next step will be to identify the right media to reach them and convert them to readers and fans.

How Professional eBook Writing Services Are Turning Aspiring Authors into Stars? – Foreign policy

Wesley Jones always wanted to self-publish a book about his experience growing up as an orphan in southern California. However, a busy schedule and a lack of writing skill had him second-guessing himself. While most authors are expected to have some writing experience, in general, a growing number of eBook writing services means that that experience is no longer required.

Wesley is one of many people who has had their books published on platforms like Amazon, but without having written a word of it. Services like Copywriting Services Pro and their ebook writing service has made it increasingly affordable for people to hire a pro writer to handle the job for them. Within just days of ordering his eBook Wesley had submitted the book for review on Amazon and soon after received an approval. Today he has three books that have sold over 700 copies and counting.

While Wesley Jones had a personal story to tell, digital marketing agencies, professional service providers and many other people are hiring professional eBook writing services. As it turns out an ebook writing service is so effective at helping digital marketers grow their list of leads when offered as a free download, that nothing works better.

Leslie Sanders is one of the leading digital marketers based on Washington, DC. She says that the best way to show people that you’re an expert is to offer an eBook as a free download. “It converts traffic like crazy.” The more professionally written an eBook is the more attention it gets and the better it does at helping businesses brand their offering.

You don’t need to look any further than Amazon, a company that built its fortune on selling eBooks. The same goes for Barns & Nobel in addition to many smaller online publishers. However, professionals are finding that eBooks work better than just a brief description of their experience. A dentist in Ohio (who asked to keep his name out of this article) uses his eBook written by Copywriting Services Pro to collect leads via his website. The eBook offers tips on keeping teeth healthy. Well written and coupled with graphics the dentist has seen visitors more than double in just six months with clients lined up on a now extended waiting list.

Unlike in the past ghostwriting services like the ones provided by Copywriting Services Pro are now more affordable than they ever were. Getting an eBook professionally written costs less than a fraction with the same quality as compared to hiring a ghostwriter locally.

Online ghostwriting services like the one mentioned above can offer highly competitive pricing owing to their minimalist business model. With little to no overhead apart from marketing and advertising, they can provide superior writing services at a price that most individuals and small businesses will agree is highly affordable. Which is why according to industry experts like Neil Patel now is perhaps the best time to get an eBook written for your business, service or product.

Wesley Jones always wanted to self-publish a book about his experience growing up as an orphan in southern California. However, a busy schedule and a lack of writing skill had himVia foreignpolicyi.orgHow Professional eBook Writing Services Are Turning Aspiring Authors into Stars? – Foreign poli

PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING

Everything we do is related to how we perceive and react to the world around us. It affects the decisions we make, how we interact with our environment and how we communicate with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers.

Since perception is related to the infinite decisions we make daily, it is reasonable to say that how people perceive your books and your brand will affect your sales performance.

People take about two seconds to make a decision to stay or move on into the next best thing. Are you capitalizing those seconds?

Are your website and social media profiles reflecting who you are as an author? Is the design of your website captivating to your reader? Can your reader understand who you are and what your books are about with a glance?

Images and design create the first impression for your brand and books, the same way your appearance and/or conduct will when meeting a new person.

But, how can you guarantee that the reader has the correct perception of you?

Put yourself in their place and analyze the image you are presenting to the world, then compare it to the image you want to present.

Is your website design representative of the author you want to be? Think in terms of colors, images, fonts, and layout.

What about your books? Can I grasp what type of story it is by the cover design? Again, think in terms of colors, images, fonts, and layout.

If you are not sure what those should be, explore the authors you would like to emulate and pay attention to their design. Take into account that if they are bestselling authors, it is likely that they have a high volume of visitors to their pages which might have help on the sale of their books.

Back into your website, make a list of the things you think work and those you think can be improved and plan your changes.

For your books, consider the elements used in bestselling books in your genre as well as your own bestselling books. What seems to be the common denominator in their design? Is it the layout? The colors? Font? Then take notes for your next book cover design.

The goal is to improve the chances of creating the first impression that will encourage new readers to want to know more and current readers to come back. Because in the end, perception is everything but it can also be your best tool to attract your readers and put your best foot forward.

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