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How To Market A Book: Third Edition (Books for Writers Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Do you want to sell more books and reach more readers?
Do you want to discover how to build an author career for the long-term as well as spike your book sales right now?
If you don’t know much about marketing, don’t worry. We all start with nothing.
I’m Joanna Penn and back in 2008, I had no book sales, no audience, no website, no social media, no podcast, no email list. No nothing.
Now I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers and non-fiction. My books have sold over 600,000 copies in 162 countries, and I’m an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international speaker, making a multi-six-figure income with my writing.
Learning how to market my books and my personal brand changed my life. Yes, you need to write an awesome book, but you also need to know how to get it in front of the right readers.
How to Market a Book is for authors who want to sell more books, but it's also for those writers who want to think like an entrepreneur and build a long-term income. It's for traditionally published authors who want to take control of their future, and for self-published authors who want to jump-start a career.
There are short-term tactics for those who want to boost immediate sales, but the focus of the book is more about instilling values and marketing principles that will help your long-term career as a writer.
It's also about going beyond just the book, because these methods can take you from being an author into making money from other products, professional speaking, and creating opportunities that you can't even imagine yet.
In this completely updated Third Edition, you’ll discover:
˃˃˃ Part 1: Marketing Principles
Book marketing myths, how discoverability works, and the polarities of marketing that will determine what you choose to implement
˃˃˃ Part 2: Your Book Fundamentals
Prerequisites for success, how to optimise your book for online sales, categories and keywords, exclusivity, pricing and use of free, box-sets and bundling, and writing series
˃˃˃ Part 3: No Platform Needed. Short-term Marketing
How to get customer reviews and find book bloggers, paid advertising with email blasts, paid advertising with Facebook, Amazon Ads and ad stacking, algorithm hacking, big data, and production speed
˃˃˃ Part 4: Your Author Platform. Long-term Marketing
Building an author brand, author website, list-building and email marketing, content marketing, blogging, audio and podcasting, video and book trailers, social networking, professional speaking, marketing audiobooks, PR and publicity, TV, radio and traditional media
˃˃˃ Part 5: Launching Your Book
Why launching is different for indie authors, soft launch, launch spikes, post launch, how to relaunch backlist books. Includes an example book marketing strategy and launch plan checklist.
˃˃˃ Other books for authors by Joanna Penn. Available in ebook, print and audiobook.
How to Make a Living with your Writing
Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur
The Successful Author Mindset
Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts
Co-writing a Book: Collaboration and Co-Creation for Writers
Career Change: Stop hating your job, discover what you really want to do with your life, and start doing it!
Joanna’s website for authors, The Creative Penn, has been voted one of the Top 100 websites for writers by Writers Digest several years running, and The Creative Penn podcast is one of the top podcasts for writers and indie authors.
Ryan Holiday, Bestselling author of The Obstacle is the Way and Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts
"Joanna is not just a go-to-expert for writers, she's a go-to-expert for the experts like myself. She's been working continuously as an author and entrepreneur for more than a decade, and has connections and conversations with people across the publishing industry that put her insights and advice into a class of their own."
Jane Friedman, Author, Publishing Consultant, Speaker. JaneFriedman.com
"Joanna Penn has an intuitive understanding of how marketing works and how that pertains to the unique challenge of reaching readers and selling books. Her advice is always practical, actionable, and - most importantly of all - effective."
David Gaughran, author, Let's Get Digital and Let's Get Visible
"There are thousands of books about how to sell books but this is one of the few written by someone who walks the talk. Whether you're an indie, trade published or hybrid author, whether you are just starting out or have already sold widely, whether you love marketing or hate it, you will learn from this book."
Orna Ross, Author and Director, Alliance of Independent Authors
"This revised edition of How to Market a Book is filled with her hallmarks: a thorough approach, comprehensive scope and a delivery that is patient and easy to read in a way that is 100% "Joanna." I commend it to new authors, but also to experienced veterans who would benefit from a review of their marketing to ensure that they are up to date with the most current thinking."
Mark Dawson, bestselling thriller author and creator of the Advertising for Authors course and the Self-Publishing Formula podcast
"The Third Edition of Joanna Penn's How to Marketing a Book does not disappoint! Book marketing changes fast, and with this updated content Joanna solidifies this book's place as one of the must-read books on every author's bookshelf."
Jim Kukral, BusinessAroundABook.com and the Sell More Books Show podcast
About the Author
- ASIN : B071NPVK28
- Publisher : Curl Up Press (July 6, 2017)
- Publication date : July 6, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 647 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 320 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 191210587X
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #210,797 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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1. There was a lot of fluff to get through before I got to the actual point of the book.
2. It constantly used the first person. I'm all about conversational writing, but there was so much "I" in here that I grew disinterested and kinda sludged through various chapters because I had to, not because I was engaged.
3. It was exceptionally repetitive. The fact that MySpace is obsolete now was mentioned multiple times across multiple chapters to highlight essentially the same point. And that was just one example.
Again, I did get some actionable information. But there are other book marketing books I've enjoyed more.
Joanna Penn in her new book, How to Market a Book, advises authors on trends in marketing and sales of self-published books. She sees five non-negotiable activities for all book marketing:
1. Make sure that your book is the best it can be...
2. Identify your comparison books and authors.
3. Optimize your book sales page…
4. …use paid promotions to send readers to your book page.
5. …set up a professional looking website and an email list sign up. (281-282)
In my experience, each of these activities can keep you busy. During the past year, for example, I spent more than six months working with different webmasters to upgrade my three websites (T2Pneuma.net, T2Pneuma.com, and StephenWHiemstra.net), which is Penn’s item 5. Meanwhile, I spent an equal amount of time moving my titles from exclusively with one printer to be jointly with another printer, Penn item 1. These two activities ostensibly prepared me to be more effective in my promotions, Penn item 4.
Who is Joanna Penn?
Penn is an interesting writer for self-publishers to pay attention to because she is one of the few authors who has succeeded in quitting her day job and living off the proceeds of her writing. Less than five percent (one in twenty) of independent authors sell a thousand books (I have sold about six hundred) which implies that even fewer authors have broken even on their book sales. Most independent authors are supported by a day job or by a spouse. By her own accounts, Penn started seriously writing in 2006 and quit her job in 2011, five years later (7-9). This track record makes Penn a credible source of recommendations for how to succeed in self-publishing.
A Healthy Mindset
Part of Penn’s success arises because of a heathy mindset. She writes: “marketing is sharing what you love with people who will appreciate hearing about it.” (13) This mindset is a form of “attraction marketing” which means that you find out what people want and offer it to them.
Why is this important? Two reasons stand out.
First, when I studied marketing in the 1970s and early 1980s, I was taught “push marketing”. Push marketing means that the firm bought advertising and pushed it out to the reading, listening, and viewing public. Attraction marketing is new and many people have not yet caught on to it. Penn has done her homework which is an important reason for her success.
The Mindset Advantage
Second, Penn mindset comes as a relief for those of us who doubt our own credibility as authors. It is one thing to write a book; it is another to believe that anyone other than your mother would want to read it. This fear of being an unworthy author is pervasive and it prevents many authors from succeeding in their marketing. Penn mindset shows that she believes in herself and does not get in a muddle in reaching out to others who will appreciate her writing.
The Book Launch Thing
Another gem arises when Penn writes that “marketing is more than a book launch” (20). While I have learned to sell books in person and online, my failure to have a great book launch has always bothered me. Penn offers an important piece of background information on this point.
Traditional Publishers Focus on the Launch
Traditional publishers, who work with retailers to stock and toss books all the time, focus on the book launch because they have limited time and resources to devote to each book. The launch is coordinated with a media campaign and a month later they are on to another book.
For small publishers who have no retail connections, no publicity team, and no media budget cannot easily host a successful launch following this model and probably should not try. Book marketing is more of a marathon than a sprint for the small publisher because resources are tight, relationships need to be built, and learning is an ongoing necessity.
Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book is a useful, readable, and timely book for authors who publish. I found her comments on podcasting and publishing audio books particularly insightful. Perhaps you will too.
Each part of this book goes through different ways to find the people you want to share with and ways to attract their attention. As the author started with essentially no budget and had to do all the work herself, the ways given are practical for those with a big or a small marketing budget. The author also stresses that no author needs to do everything, only those ways the author is comfortable doing and has the time to do. More ways can be tackled in the future.
The book almost seems too abbreviated, too much of an outline at times. Yet each topic is adequately explained and the order is logical, easy to follow.
Book marketing has been very daunting for me. Every article keeps saying I should do all these things I don't know how to do, don't have time to do, don't understand the directions for. I found this book very refreshing as it takes so much pressure off. It gives easy to do first steps to build confidence and get the process moving. It doesn't talk down to the reader. I am finding it a valuable resource.
Google Book marketing and book launch and you will find more practical advice than what is written here.
Top reviews from other countries
My only reservation on giving the full five stars for this book are the financial implications involved, which are somewhat glossed over. Getting a professional cover designed, then having a full-length novel adequately edited, and formatted for publication can set you back a minimum of a thousand dollars. There are free, and cheap promotion sites out there, as the writer points out, but they rarely deliver significant returns.
Once you add in the extra costs of adverts on social media, whether Amazon, Twitter, or Facebook, then the financial commitment is significant. In a ‘How To’ book such as this it’s necessary to cover a vast array of ‘opportunities’, and as Ms Penn points out, you don’t have to do ALL of these things at once. Who can afford to anyway?
A newcomer needs to be aware just how much you might have to commit, if you are hell-bent on making a career out of writing. The statistics are readily available. Only a very small percentage of self-published writers are successful. Over ninety-percent will sell around fifty copies of their first book to family and friends, regardless of how many of the essential items they tick off the list provided by writers like Joanna Penn.
You can only achieve so much by investing time too, instead of money, as she suggests, and who wants to spend virtually every waking hour searching for the right genre, the perfect set of keywords, and the promotion sites that give you a half-decent chance of a return on your investment?
The only people guaranteed to come out in front financially from a court case are the lawyers. In the writing game, the cover designers, editors, book promoters, and advice experts can make a good living out of those who sweat blood trying to write the best books they possibly can. It’s a long, hard road, and although books like this appear to provide the answer, I would advise caution. There is no magic bullet; and as in many other walks of life money talks the loudest. By all means, use this valuable resource as much as you can, but keep a running total of the rough cost of all the things you must do. Keep a close eye on your purse-strings, it can be expensive.
In the past I have made the mistake of going from no marketing at all to trying everything at once. I liked the fact that the author suggests many different techniques but emphasises that writers should concentrate on those which suit the amount of time they have to spare and also their personality (introvert or extrovert). She also stresses that building a social media presence is a long game, urging readers not to get discouraged when their efforts don’t meet with immediate results.
Most of all I appreciated the way the author concentrates on the idea of marketing through writing authentically on social media platforms, building up trust and offering readers genuine value (rather than just bombarding them with sales patter). Thoroughly recommended for anyone who feels that marketing is just not for them.