Indie authors seem to be divided into two camps, those who are making good money from their books and those who are struggling to bring in a steady trickle of sales.
When the magic isn’t happening, it feels daunting but read this before you give up all hope.
I’m well into my 4th year of being a published author and in April 2018 I released the box set of my epic fantasy series. It did 1,000 sales in 6 days. Take a look here.
The biggest question people are asking is: How did you do it?
1. Make a book marketing budget.
Since this is my 6th book launch it’s key for me to make a positive return on investment. If I’m not making money as an author, I just have a very expensive hobby. So, I made a budget and track where the money is going. While I’m comfortable being in the red in the beginning, long term my books need to pay for themselves. I came up with a number I’m comfortable spending every day and use reports to ensure I’m on target. If my output is higher than my input, it’s time to tweak something and optimize for ROI.
If you need help tracking your book marketing, use these tools:
2. Grow your email list and/or bot.
Did I mention this is my 6th book release? It’s important to grow a list of fans who will be ready to purchase your book. I spent a year digging in and focusing on list building. On average I spent between $20-60 a month growing my email list and my messenger bot on Facebook. Between the two I have over 12,000 subscribers. Now, all these subscribers aren’t active but the ones that are were ready to purchase when I told them about my new release.
3. Make friends with authors in your genre.
In one of my weekly emails, I wrote about newsletter swaps and how powerful they are. The reason I could line up so many swaps is because I developed relationships with authors in my genre. Now, you don’t have to make friends to get newsletter swaps but it’s a massive help when you have others cheering you on. Whether it’s a mastermind or small author group, it’s important to find people you can rely on. Book marketing is a huge task and if you can chat strategy with others, it will help you become more successful!
4. Focus on your personal development.
The more I learn and grow the more I realize I know nothing. The industry is constantly changing and the best way to stay ahead of the curve is to learn and be open to new opportunities.
One thing I knew would make a difference is running Facebook Ads, so I enrolled in Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors course and spent the last 6 months testing out ads and audiences.
Derek Murphy has a course called Guerrilla Publishing. It is about focusing on sales, not all the things that can distract and keep us from making a profit. Following Derek’s advice helped me grow my email list and understand how to position myself on Amazon.
Finally, I just enrolled in a writing course. I am a good writer but there’s a thing or two I could learn from taking an in depth course. I do not talk much about the writing process but if you need help in that area I recommend the Idea to Manuscript Planner by Stephanie BwaBwa
to help you finally complete your novel.
5. Be willing to take a risk.
Big things happen when you step outside your comfort zone and do things that make your feel uncomfortable. Doing what you’ve always done or having resistance to change will not work out in the long-run. I had to overcome some of my own barriers to success and be willing to take a risk. It’s important to remember there’s no such thing as failure. When we fail, we learn from our mistakes and it helps us improve in the long run. Failure means you’re moving forward!
6. Ask for help.
When it comes down to it, I don’t know what I don’t know. I’ve always been the kind of person who can do it all myself and I hate asking for help. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, and in fact, you can get ahead faster when you reach out and ask others to assist you in your journey. That’s one of my barriers to success I’m still working on overcoming.
There you have it, lessons learned from selling 1,000 books in 6 days.