Marketing for authors: are you worrying about all the wrong things?
When you take control of your own writing career, there’s a lot to keep track of: the writing itself, book design, publishing, accounting, social media, maintaining a website, book tours, PR campaigns, blogging, and so much more.
With all that responsibility, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important. If you stress about each task equally, you’ll end up doing none of them well.
To help clarify your vision, here’s a little reminder:
Your #1 marketing goal as an indie author should be to build your email list
Why? Because countless studies have shown that a subscriber on your email list is FAR more likely to take a requested action than one of your social media followers. In other words, when you announce a limited-time sale on your newest book, you’re going to get the best results (at least in terms of percentages) from your email newsletter.
This is increasingly the case as social platforms like Facebook make it more difficult to reach your followers without paid advertising or promotion.
See how I did that?
I asked you a question you couldn’t answer without reading more than just the headline! (And I assume it worked to grab your attention if you’re still reading now.)
Many authors are trying to engage their audience by asking questions—and that’s a good thing—but they’re asking the wrong kinds of questions, things like “Do you want to buy my latest book for half-price?” or “Who is your favorite fictional character?”
According to marketing guru Bob Baker, you can “hypnotize” people into reading your email newsletters by doing one simple thing with the email subject lines (and look—it works for blog titles as well): ask a question that can’t be answered without clicking to read more.
So, instead of “Would you like to read my newest love poem?”— try something like: “Which one of these three beautiful women inspired my latest love poem?”
A question like that creates a “mental state of dissonance” which we want to quickly resolve.
Well actually, you should be communicating with your readers in many ways– books, social media, blog posts, etc. But according to a recent study conducted by ExactTarget, when it comes to your marketing messages (“buy my new book,” “sign up for my weekend writing seminar,” etc.), your fans are most receptive to when they receive a good old-fashioned email.