This article is a continuation of the series that started with Basics of Book Marketing for the Beginning Self-Publisher, Part 1 and Part 2. This series is derived from an article written for CreateSpace‘s new resource, Marketing Central.
In this third and final part of the series, we look at measuring results and the nuances of long-term book marketing.
In each of the goals I’ve listed above (in Part 2), there’s a way to track your results. For instance:
- For sales, use the reports you get from retailers or distributors and keep a spreadsheet of results.
- For readership, you can send readers to a website or blog for additional information or interaction and use the analytics provided by the site to measure traffic.
- For authority, look at whether other people start to quote you and mention your ideas, how often your blog or Twitter posts are forwarded by others, and whether you start to get inquiries from people who want to partner with you to use your new authority for mutual advantage.
- For revenue goals, keep track of the profit from your book. You may have acquired expenses in getting your book to market, and by tracking this you’ll know exactly when your book becomes profitable.
- For persuasive goals, you can track membership numbers or levels of engagement with your ideas as expressed by blog comments, Twitter re-tweets, and the number of subscribers who sign up to receive more information from you.
Nuances of Book Marketing
As you progress with your marketing, you can start to explore even more ways to make your marketing effective. Here are some ideas to get started:
- PR as a marketing tool: Strategically using press releases and other media communications can supercharge your other marketing efforts and can be surprisingly affordable, or even free.
- Audience segmentation: Understanding the dynamics of the audience you’re trying to reach can help create offers or marketing communications aimed at one segment or another of the total audience for your book.
- Tie-ins as marketing leverage: Many nonfiction books have potential tie-ins to companies or products. With the flexibility of CreateSpace’s print-on-demand manufacturing, you are ideally placed to customize your product for a corporate customer who may buy dozens, hundreds, or thousands of copies of your book for their own promotions.
Being a successful independent author means taking a long-term view. Many marketing efforts take months or years to come to fruition, and as you mature as an independent author, you will start to think of other books you can write and publish to further engage your current audience.
Here are some of the strategies you can put in place that could pay off down the road:
- Build a media list: It’s never too soon to start building a list of media, editors, influencers, networkers, and mavens in your field.
- Create relationships: Interact with other experts in your field, identifying bloggers, book reviewers, and others interested in the same topics you’re writing about.
- Build your brand: Your brand is how other people view and relate to you. Building your expertise, authority, and influence in your niche is a classic long-term strategy.
- Gather an audience: As you continue to publish and market your books, your audience will continue to grow over time, providing a larger and larger platform for all of your books to come.
Do these things, and as the release of your book approaches, you’ll be miles ahead in starting to market that book. Communicating, listening to the responses you get, improving your products, and networking within your area of specialty will soon be part and parcel of your independent publishing efforts. And you will reap the success that comes with intelligent book marketing.