The workshop presenter was A. David Singh, a soft-spoken man with a hard but realistic message about getting more views on your web pages and increasing sales of your books.
- A well-written and edited book with a professional cover and no formatting errors is the cost of entry into the market.
- How do I increase my book sales? Write more books. Find more readers to find the books you write. BOTH ARE UNDER YOUR CONTROL.
- How do I find more readers? Generate reader traffic – Convert readers into subscribers [BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH READERS + MAKE THEM RAVING FANS] – sell them books
- You need an Online strategy & Offline strategy
- Online [global traffic] – influencers (build a relationship, be helpful). Blogs – similar topic, industry leaders (e.g., associations, professional social media sites), similar authors, professionals who might benefit, Amazon/Kobo/iBooks/Wattpad, online groups and forums
- Offline [gives you local presence]– bookstores, readings, clubs, libraries
Convert readers into subscribers:
Social media – are you building your home on a rented lot?
You don’t own FB or Twitter – someone else does and they make the rules about how you connect or contact readers – they limit your reach (FB did this years ago for fan pages- make us buy ads to reach our target audience). What will happen if social media dies out, e.g., MySpace?
OWN YOUR READER AUDIENCE – if you don’t you can lose connection with them
- Open rates: Email vs. Social media
- Facebook author pages – reach less than 4% of followers
- Twitter feeds are too fast – 2% of posts get seen
- Encourage people to contact you through email – even Pinterest sends info re ‘popular in your network’. Why? Social media sites require you to use an email address – they build their own lists for contacts – don’t use their own platforms.
- 88% of email marketers say that email marketing is bringing them positive ROI. 68% of consumers report email is their preferred method of contact for information.
- Comparison of most effective online marketing tactics for 2015.
Advantages of email lists (powerful tools):
- Author owns their own list – can download as Excel/Numbers files
- Direct communication
- Email is personal – use the right language, use their name in each message
- Control the message and build a relationship
Functions of an email list:
- Launch new books
- Sell backlists
- recruit new readers
Which email service should I use?
- ESP – email service provider – MailChimp – free for up to 2000 subscribers, 12,000 emails a month
- Aweber – USD $19 a month
- Contant Contact
- Active Campaign
- Convert Kit
Functions of ESP
- personalize emails – address readers by name
- Track open and click rates
- Send emails to a certain segment, e.g., send emails according to their interests (fiction, non-fiction, different genres), those who did not open last email
- Automation sequences – powerful features
Reader magnets (ethical bribes) – you want click-throughs
- Gifts for your readers in exchange for their emails –
- Non-fiction – workbooks, cheat sheets, resource guides, checklists, video course
- Fiction – novellas, short stories, advance access
- PDDFs, images (maps for historical fiction), audio books, charts, apps – they have to be related to your work and proved value to readers
- Convert readers – sign up forms….Have to clearly state – what’s in it for me? Why should I give a stranger my email address to sell me stuff?
- Use humour and personality that make a statement.
How do I start to grow my email list – my platform
- Blog, etc., Public appearances, author events, author signings, other authors, reading groups
- Industry standard – Average email open rate is 20%, click rate is 2%. They tend to be more faithful in sign ups and purchases than simple email.
- Write more books + more engaged subscribers = circle of joy
WHAT SYNERGIES CAN I ESTABLISH WITH OTHER WRITERS? WHO???
- Form networks of like-minded authors
- Cross-post, cross-promote, share experiences
- work together on projects
Build relationships with readers:
Mental triggers: trust, likability, reciprocity, authority, social proof, scarcity (Influence, the psychology of persuasion – Robert Cialdini
- Introduce yourself and your author brand – before they’ll commit, they want to know what to expect, what you commit to do
- Take them on a journey – what value do you bring
- Connect at a deeper level – not faceless
- Start a conversation – engage in one-on-one
- Get them to invest in your writer journey
- Build TRUST – if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy your book
AUTOMATION SEQUENCE – MailChimp $usd10
- Send emails with links – your blog post, research, useful information, lessons learned
- Ask them to review the paid book you sent them for free (value) and ask them to submit a review to Amazon – LIKABILITY
- Make sure your READER MAGNET relates to what you are trying to sell – don’t mix fiction and non-fiction offerings
LAUNCH TEAMS OF READERS – Incentivize those who join your email subscribers list – get them to be familiar with your brand through multiple emails – offer to give them an advance copy if they will leave a review on Amazon.
Types of Email subscribers:
- Readers who are already fans – nurture them
- Readers who will never buy
- Fence sitters – like your reader magnet but are unsure if they ant to buy (they can be converted to raving fans)
- Indifferent – don’t feel compelled to buy, what value it has- price is not a consideration because they don’t care to look – how to make them care? With non-fiction – show the tangible benefits, affect their lives (transformation), what does your book solve for them (WIIFM). IN fiction – we are writing to entertain Them. Promise to entertain them on their terms – send them sample chapters through sales emails at book launch – only available to those on your email list – they become part of the in-crowd
- Sceptic – is the book worth reading, is the author a scam artist, does not trust you or the quality of your book. Give him Trust Markers (Establish your credibility – reviews (social proof), editorials, accolades (build authority), awards, bestsellers, packaging – cover, formatting, description that align with the book)
- Worrier – more concerned about themselves (internal factors). Will I benefit? Will I try and fail, e.g., a diet book), will I feel stupid when I buy this book. Show them case studies and testimonials (non-fiction); use a reader magnet – ask them if they enjoyed the free download, if there were any problems.
- Procrastinator – there is no incentive for them to buy now – most common type of reader, most dangerous, I’ll get it latr’ – they are not compelled to buy now
Make the procrastinator ACT NOW – scarcity – give something of value but limit the time period for availability – scarcity sells. Drop the price of the book during launch and inform the readers for a limited time; promotion through BookBub. Give them a freebie if they buy within the limited time – prequel, price drop, backlist book, sample chapters of book 2.
David graciously shared a copy of his slide presentation with the When Worlds Collide Facebook Group. Click below for the PDF file. 4 readers_A. David Singh