How to increase your authority and income with savvy and smart book marketing.
Three Ways to Triple Your Earnings Through Book Marketing
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Written by guest writer Pagan Malcolm of PaperbackKingdom
As someone who has been writing my entire life, here is one thing I know to be undeniably true—books are an attraction magnet.
I’ve read books that have completely changed my mindset. I’ve read books that have entertained me, books that have given me guidance in my business, and books that allow me to connect with the author on a really close and personal level.
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These are all things that attract me to the author, that make me want to know more about them, what they do, and how they could help me again.
Not only that, but books are a great source of affiliate income, and can be converted in many different mediums (eBooks, print, and even audiobooks too).
This makes for a lot of variety and a huge increase in potential audience reach.
But you might be wondering—are books profitable?
Maybe you think it’s only possible if you write a bestseller. Maybe you think it’s only possible if you’re talented with words. Maybe you feel that it’s too much work for too little reward…
But It Doesn’t Have To Be That Difficult
You can turn any life experience or story idea into a content vault of entertainment, wealth and expertise.
It’s worth it because you begin to attract new, potential clients to your business in a way that otherwise may never have reached them.
It could then become an introductory offer, or low-income offer that leads people to the good stuff—aka, whatever the heck else you’re selling.
Here’s the secret—most people stop there.
Book Marketing Extends Revenue Beyond The Individual Book Sale
Most people don’t think about how to monetize book sales further than your typical income avenues, and as such they don’t make a lot of profit. Perhaps $30 – 50k at most in the book’s entire lifetime, and that’s if it sells well.
So what’s the point? And how can you earn back an ROI that will make it worth your while?
Today, I’m going to share three ways you can triple your earnings through book marketing — and the best part is, this stuff works for both fiction and non-fiction authors.
1. Sell Your Brand, Not The Book
The book is the transformation, yes—but the brand is so much bigger than that. The brand is the foundation, and without a clear message, your book won’t sell to begin with.
So ask yourself: what is my brand message, and how can I leverage that?
Hint: for non-fiction authors, ask yourself what problem you’re solving. For fiction authors, ask yourself who you’re writing for and what feelings you’re evoking in the reader.
The thing to keep in mind here is that books will always sell at a low-income price point, and they can only be bought and consumed once.
Your customer won’t buy the same book twice unless they feel changed enough that they buy copies for their friends.
Book Marketing: The Numbers
So the first thought that comes to mind is that you need to make profit by selling a certain quantity of books.
But again, even if you sell 10k copies, you won’t earn more than 50k in royalties, and it’s unlikely that you will make that much with your first book.
So instead, you want to focus on the experience—how are people aligning with your brand message?
Why do they want to support it and share it?
Sharing is the key—so get visible. Start doing public appearances, or selling niched workshops and courses on your brand message—or do both.
You can speak at relevant events and even at schools while charging for your time there, go on a book tour and sell a ton of signed copies, and so much more.
In fact, you can even livestream your event and sell those seats at a cheaper price offering, if hosting a workshop, retreat or course.
Now here’s the catch—you have to think ahead for the investment costs:
- How much is my venue?
- How much is catering?
- How much will it cost me to travel, and for how long?
- How much is tech hire?
- How many books do I need to order, and then sell, to make profit?
It’s a good idea to outline all of these things prior to booking events, and then doing the appropriate kind of marketing to make sure enough people turn up.
Book Marketing Tip:
Your books sell out on top of selling the event tickets themselves.
Maybe you’re wondering how exactly you can go about doing all of this for the first time, and I actually have a great, free guide to help you.
Grab my Three Step Guide To Getting Book Publicity here and learn how I secured a front page newspaper feature that promoted my debut novel, two writing workshops, and two book signings—plus how I got my self-published book into a bookstore, and how you can do it too!
And the bottom line? Get your brand message out there, the book will sell itself—plus, you’ll make money in the process of getting your book visible.
Affiliate Programs For Writers
- Mixbook 15% per sale plus a$20 affiliate bonus
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- Blurb 15% per sale, plus affiliate bonus on free product
- Grammarly $20 per sale, .20 per lead, $25 affiliate post bonus
- CreativeLive 30% recurring
2. Create Packages And Upsells For Your Book
Once you nail your brand message, focus on offering truck tons of value as well.
A book might only sell for $10.00 – $15.00 per copy, but get clear on your goals and start thinking further along.
What if you wrote a sequel, or a trilogy, and packaged them into a bundle?
What if you sold worksheets or courses, or even merch and apparel aligned with your brand message as an upsell?
There’s always something you can do to increase value of your book—like anything, it’s just another product that has a service.
Related: How To Create A Media Kit
Maybe you can include bonus content for a higher price offering? Maybe you can include tickets to your next life-changing, niched workshop event?
Maybe you can direct link from the eBook back to relevant trainings, webinars, and workshops which are the obvious next step forward for the reader on what you just covered.
Book Marketing Is Limitless
There are tons of ideas out there—the only limit is your imagination, and of course, figuring out what your ideal customer wants most:
- Fiction readers might love literary candles, bookmarks and mugs inspired off of your characters.
- Inspirational devotionals might sell better with inspiring shirts and hats.
- Business books and memoirs might benefit from a short mini course, a worksheet bundle, or a singular, high value video training.
Plus, you can take it one step further by starting an affiliate program for the additional bonus content you create and sell. This again, brings in more traffic, gives you more exposure, and sells even more books.
3. Leverage An Online Presence To Promote Your Book
We live in a tech-savvy, online world—and thinking outside the box will help you get leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.
So don’t disregard the idea of leveraging a social media platform or building an audience just to further sell your book—think of it as another service or offer to promote.
For example, let’s say you love getting in front of the camera and doing YouTube videos. Whether it’s focused on your niche (and brand message), or books in general (like a BookTube channel).
Start a YouTube channel that focuses solely on your brand message, and getting people invested in what you have to say and stand for.
Start sharing valuable video content and growing that audience, then make additional income off of YouTube ad revenue or sponsored videos.
As a bonus, you can also promote your book, upcoming events, and your upsell offers in your videos by doing flash sales, or releasing new books frequently, and so much more.
Alternatively, you can start a blog and do the same thing—monetize it via affiliates and ads, then promote your book, upsell offers and events through your blog content.
The hardest part will be getting traffic and building an audience. But after that, it’s just a matter of increasing your monthly, passive income and staying relevant with your content.
If you want to take the social media route, you can partner with sponsors who are aligned with your brand message by sprinkling sponsored posts into your Instagram feed, or even partnering with a relevant subscription box to cross-promote your book and their service.
They can send out your book, and you can do an unboxing for them.
In fact, this would work really well with a YouTube channel in particular, but you can double the reach by leveraging Instagram too as the bookish community thrives there.
Now all of this might seem super overwhelming, but let me leave you with a final tip which brings all of this full circle and makes it worthwhile.
Book Marketing And Blogging
Many authors will package their blog posts into an eBook, with additional fresh content included.
In that regard, you can consider the content you’re creating that’s bringing in traffic and passive income as preparation or progress towards a second, third, or fourth book.
This, in turn, will increase your actual book royalties, packaging potential, and create a brand-new series of workshop and course content to sell all over again.
Related: How To Start A Blog That MAKES Money
Book Marketing Made Simple
So really, book marketing is just a matter of looking at your book as an additional offer or product and creating an effective marketing strategy that will, in turn, triple your earnings:
- Step 1: Create a profitable publicity campaign that promotes your book and brand in the process.
- Step 2: Create valuable upsells to increase value of your offer and earning potential.
- Step 3: Sell your events and upsells via profitable, monetized online platforms which create new content within your niche to sell again and again.
And there you have it! Three ways to triple your earnings through book marketing.
And remember, if you’re ready to take the first step and get started, grab my Three Step Guide To Getting Book Publicity here and learn how to secure a front page newspaper feature plus how to get your self-published book into a bookstore.
Pagan Malcolm is a published YA fiction author & the former marketing assistant intern at Pen Name Publishing. She now works as a writing coach + business strategist for aspiring authors through her business, Paperback Kingdom. Connect with Pagan: @p.s.malcolm
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