Episode 19 – Profits, Subscriptions and Readers Unite

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Bryan and Jim reunited in this week’s Sell More Books Show. After discussing last week’s episode (which featured author Hugh Howey), the dynamic duo talked reading, Ted Saves the World’s recent launch, critique groups, email lists and the storytelling app Episode. While Amazon’s Readers Unite campaign was the top story, we also talked same-day book delivery services, Big 5 e-profits, subscription services and selling direct. This week’s Question of the Week: What’s the #1 thing you’ve done to market your books in the last 30 days?

What You’ll Learn: 
  • How much successful authors read on a monthly basis
  • Some of the stats from Bryan’s Ted Saves the World launch
  • One way to keep the freeloaders separate from true fans
  • The importance of a critique group
  • How to use an app to make an animated, interactive mobile story
  • What Amazon and Barnes & Noble are doing to sell paperbacks
  • Why Big 5 publishers like to keep ebook profits on the down low
  • Which book subscription service is the best
  • How and why to incorporate selling direct
  • What Jim thinks about Amazon’s recent Readers Unite email
  • Why Bryan thinks the fundamentals are so important
Question of the Week:
What’s the #1 thing you’ve done to market your books in the last 30 days?

get show updates

  • The best thing I’ve done to market my books is participate in live events. I try to do a convention every month, and every time I do my mailing list grows by 60-90 subscribers, plus I sell a bunch of books. I also take this opportunity to take pictures of the people who buy my books and I share them on my website and social networks. It works well at really high value social proof, sharing picture of fans holding a copy of Discovering Aberration. Recently I’ve even installed a plugin on my website that displays these pictures on the sidebar, rolling from one fan photo to the next every few seconds.

    • Neat idea. Can you post a link so we can see how that plugin works? And what’s the plugin name?

      • Sure. This link points to a blog post I wrote on my general marketing strategy with more in depth input on Cons at the bottom. On this page you’ll also see the widget on the top left where it features rotating reader praise, and the bottom left where it features my fan photos. http://awayandaway.com/my-book-marketing-strategy-in-one-easy-to-follow-guide/ The plugin is called Testimonials by Aihrus.

        • Bryan

          Thanks for sharing, S.C.!

  • Ember Casey

    The best thing I’ve done to market my books these past few months is to truly embrace the “diversify, diversify, diversify!” strategy, haha. I’ve never been exclusive to Amazon in the fourteen months or so I’ve been self-publishing, but for a long time I focused all of my marketing efforts there. For the past six months or so, though, my focus has been on the other vendors. I’ve jumped on new vendors (like Google Play), booked ads that linked to multiple vendors (BookBub, ENT, etc.) and *finally* uploaded my books directly to iTunes, rather than going through an aggregator (I had to borrow a family member’s Mac to do it, but it was worth it — I’ve made as much money on iTunes since May as I have in the past 14 months on Amazon). It was definitely a slow build, but I did the math recently, and just over 50% of my sales this year are from the “other guys,” so it’s been a successful experiment so far! I’m now focusing on getting my books out in other formats (*finally* got my most recent books in paperback, and I’ve started the audiobook process).

    AND… that was a very broad answer to your question. Multiple responses in one. 🙂

    (Also — I know we’re not talking about Amazon v. Hachette, but I found the bigger-picture perspective offered here very interesting: https://medium.com/@jakedfw/making-sense-of-amazon-hachette-6ef55a961cbe )

    • Bryan

      Great responses! Congrats on your success with “the other guys” :). And thanks for the link to the medium post. I’ll check it out.

  • I had some great success with email marketing using The Fussy Librarian for a novella. I signed up the same novella with eBookSoda for early September. Fingers crossed for another success. I’m hoping for a lot of KU burrows. Great show.

    • Bryan

      Good luck, Jeff! Thanks for the kind words :).