The Real Key to Selling Books

Writing a book is a lot of work.
Getting it published is a lot of work.
Selling a book? Ouch. You'd think you'd be done with the hard part once you write it. Guess what! That's when the REALLY hard work begins.

Yes...we're talking about MARKETING! You know - that thing you thought the publisher would do for you. Wrong!  Even the traditional publishing houses do minimal marketing for the authors. That's why so many books go out of print. No one knew about them, even though they made it to print.

The real key to selling your book is how well you market your book. Fortunately, it has never been easier for average people to use readily available tools to put together an effective marketing program. Here are some basic facts about buyers you need to learn and understand.

Buyer Fact #1: People don't buy what they don't know about.
Buyer Fact #2: Knowing about something isn't the same as being interested in it.
Buyer Fact #3: Most purchases are based on emotion.
Buyer Fact #4: Once emotion and interest are engaged, logic can justify the purchase.

Knowing just these few things about buyers should make some marketing truths pretty clear. If you hope to sell the book you're writing, you need to understand these truths.

Marketing Truth #1: You have to find the people who are interested in your topic.
Marketing Truth #2: You have to know how to reach them.
Marketing Truth #3: You have to present your book in a way that appeals to their emotion.
Marketing Truth #4: You can charge a higher price when people want what you sell.

Now...I'm going to turn Marketing Truth #1 on its ear:  In this age of search engines and social media, it is much more important to position yourself so that THEY find YOU. The ability to use and manage readily available tools such as SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Instagram and other social media can expose you to massive amounts of people. Lots of great tools out there for modern authors!

Any good home-improvement store is filled with tools that will help you build your house. Well, they'll help, assuming you know how to use them properly. The same is true of modern marketing tools. They'll build your marketing platform...if you know how to use them properly.

I'd love to hear what marketing tools interest, confuse, amuse, annoy and/or mystify you. Leave me a comment and let me know about your experiences.

BTW - the next big question is WHEN to start marketing your book. We'll talk about that soon!

-Mary Beth Smith