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12 Step Mini-Marketing Plan to Selling More Books



Last Updated on August 23, 2022 by Ben Oakley

I got asked by a very nice author on Twitter how to improve their book sales so I threw out 12 mini-steps I have used to make that happen.

As a full-time writer, my process of producing a book will be different than someone who may only write part-time. I’ll show you what I use and what works for me, in the hope it may help others.

1. Blogging & SEO

Sometimes I blog a lot, but I might have a few weeks off to focus heavily on producing a book. Which is why you might find three posts a week, or three a month, under various categories.

The main aim is to add new content to my blog as often as possible under my three main categories of true crime, mental health, and publishing.

There is no restriction to what I want to write about – with ‘want’ being the important word there. Which is why you’ll find film reviews and all sorts on here. It keeps the fingers working and adds new content in the process.

Also, SEO those posts to the max!

2. Amazon Ads

Use 10% of all royalties for paid ads on Amazon. I don’t advertise anywhere else as I am enrolled in the KDP program and almost all sales come from there, with some paperback sales from Barnes & Noble and others.

There’s no need to advertise on Google, Amazon already does the hard work there. You want to capture readers where they’re most likely to buy, which is Amazon.

3. KDP Select

After years of testing, enrolment in KDP has produced 50% more revenue than ‘going wide’ – my experience, others may vary.

It was only through testing various books that I came to this conclusion. And again, this works for me and my style of producing books, it may not be the best option for someone else.

However, the numbers speak to me, and they say KDP.

4. Self-Publish

Have complete control over the creative decision of your book from idea to publication, meaning self-publish, or as I like to call it; author owned.

Self-publishing is my preference to retain 100% control of my works. Traditional publishing can be lucrative but self-publishing works best for most.

Taking the time to learn the necessary skills means you are already armed with the knowledge many trad publishers have. Never ever go with a publisher that wants you to pay to publish – big mistake. Learn instead of paying.

5. Write Voluminously

Write a lot of anything, regardless of whether something becomes publishable. The more you write, the better you get, the quicker your voice will materialise.

Incidental writing is a great tool to use anywhere and at any time of the day or night. Don’t let yourself be restricted by time concerns.

6. Metadata to the Max

Utilise all metadata on book listings to the absolute max to give you the edge. There are spaces for keywords, use them, change them, try new ones out. Experimentation can bring interesting results.

Don’t title your book something weird, look at the market and see what sells, and use that research as a basis. Good metadata is all about the research!

7. Twitter

I only use Twitter – as it works for me – utilising TweetDeck to schedule. Have no fear in tweeting and shouting to the high Heavens that you have a book out.

If Facebook or other social media works better, then do the same there. I’d personally rather focus on one social media stream to maximise potential there, but others may disagree.

8. Publish Every 2-3 Months

I’m not talking about blog posts or articles; I’m talking about books! If your work is streamlined and productive, it should be easy to produce a 150–250-page book within 8-12 weeks.

This type of publishing schedule allows you to remain relevant and promoted on and by Amazon. Consistently publishing is one way to success.

9. Skip Reviews

Never worry about reviews. Your book is a product you have thrown out into the world, allow others to have an opinion on it, reviews are not for the author.

Practice removing yourself emotionally from your work – it works!

10. Have Patience

Successfully AND continuously selling comes over time. It takes time to build a readership – and book expectation, which are both important to the continuity of a writing career.

You must allow your books to breathe and find their audience over time, not everything happens with the first book, and sometimes things won’t start moving until you’re in double digits.

11. Write a Series

I know, you’ve heard it all before but writing a series sells more books, but if you can’t wait to start selling and give up on books one or two then jump back up to no. 10.

A series works better to create a brand, as does publishing consistently and regularly. There’s also nothing wrong with being a multi-genre author and writing what you want to write.

12. Curate

Curate older works rather than create more. This is important if you have dozens of books out there. Your first book will be of a different quality to your last one. It’s sometimes worth going back to improve the quality of the first books.

Curation over creation can help improve sales through the quality of the work you’re putting out there for the world to consume.

The key here is to write and produce high-quality books as often as possible – and market accordingly. Some sell well, some don’t, that’s just the crux of it.

Anyway, hope that helps and if it has, hit me up on Twitter and tell me about it.

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Ben Oakley is a bestselling author, researcher, publisher, blogger, and mental health advocate from Camden, England. Usually found on Twitter or in the bars and parks of Camden. Agathokakological is his favourite word!

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