For the average author, practicing the craft known as “writing” is a very intense activity.As a professional, your typical day likely involves settling into a quiet workspace with a steaming cup of your favorite brew while pondering where go next with your thought process or story development.Occasionally, you may come out of silent contemplation to type away furiously as you try to transfer your thoughts to paper as quickly as they form in your mind.If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It takes a lot of time and effort to create something you can be proud of and that people actually want to read.However the journey doesn’t end there. As grueling as producing each manuscript is, for many wordsmiths, it’s the act of selling their books that is even more exhausting an experience. Doing on and offline book tours, making titles available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook or setting up print-on-demand services like CreateSpace and Lulu can become overwhelming.Depending on your skill-set and current visibility, you can put in hours, days and weeks of focused effort that lead to little or no sales results.But, what if I told you that you could actually do less marketing work and potentially earn more money from your book sales?It’s hard to believe, but many self-published authors are doing exactly that every day. Sometimes all it takes in order to achieve incredible success is to get out of your own way.Email automation, also known as email marketing, can dramatically enhance and transform the way you sell your books and look at marketing forever.Why is Selling Books So Difficult?You’re in the business of writing and selling books so that you can earn substantially, or at the very least create a small reliable stream of income.The sad truth however, is that most self-published authors struggle to make more than a paltry sum from their efforts each year.Why is that?There are several good reasons:
Most authors aren’t marketers. Unless you’ve been to business school or taken a focused course on the subject, you probably don’t have the slightest clue about the most effective ways to attract members of your target audience who want to purchase what you have to offer.
Book promotion can be time consuming. Actively promoting your books on a daily basis can be a huge time-sucking endeavor. Keeping up with Twitter, Facebook and other platforms as well as blogging and doing book tours can end up monopolizing time better spent creating new books for your readers.
Results require consistency. When it comes to boosting your book sales it’s not enough to simply launch and then hope momentum carries your book on a wave to increasing sales. It usually doesn’t work out that way. In order to see a steady and consistent flow of sales, it helps to have a steady and consistent marketing plan.
Your reach is limited. There’s only so much you can do as one person. It’s hard to wear all of the hats necessary to create the ultimate marketing machine that takes your book from obscurity to best seller. Email marketing creates a more leveled playing field and allows you to send messages to 1 or 1,000,000 people while you sleep, enjoy a vacation or work on your next title.
You have no relationship with your audience. The fact is that the way people receive marketing messages has changed forever. It used to be that marketers would drive traffic to a specific offer and either the prospect bought or they didn’t.
Invasive and disruptive advertising is shunned more each day and people would rather receive helpful information than a sales pitch. The bottom line is that in order to sell any products today, including books, building relationships and deep connections with your target audience through attraction marketing is a must.Does all of this mean that you’re doomed to never have your book crack three or four figure earnings?Of course not!If you have ever completed a book and then put it up for sale on Amazon’s Kindle, or given it away to a group of people for reviews, you’re already on the right track. However, adding email automation to your marketing and sales plan will supercharge your efforts in a way you can’t even begin to imagine.Having a well-designed sales funnel that is built around a quality automated email marketing platform is like having your own team working tirelessly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days each year to sell your books and bring in new customers every day.The key to selling more books involves making sure that those most likely to be interested are able to notice and find out more about each title.Throwing a few books up on Amazon, while a good place to start, doesn’t cut it as far as influencing prospective buyers, building relationships and boosting sales.How to Use Email Marketing to Sell More BooksNow that you know why email marketing works so well for selling more of your book, here’s a look at five simple ways you can use automation to boost your bottom line.
Build relationships with your audience. Email marketing gives you an easy way to have regular contact with people who want to hear from you. By signing up for your list, your prospect gives you permission to contact them from time to time with relevant information they may find interesting. And that’s the keyword here – relevant. Bombarding your audience with sales pitch after sales pitch is the fastest way to have them unsubscribe and forget that you and your books ever existed. Instead, focus on enriching your prospects life by leaving them more informed, entertained or better yet, both.
Figure out what readers respond to. One very cool aspect of automated marketing is that it’s much more than a simple email sending program. Most provide you with analytic tools that let you find out important things about your audience, like which of your emails and headlines they respond to the most as well as the topics that get them riled up in contrast to the ones they could care less about. Used correctly, these tools allow you to gain incredible insight into the mind of your audience, which makes connecting with them on a deep level even easier.
Offer free samples. Few things appeal to a prospective buyer as much as a free sample, and that goes for book readers as well. Use email marketing to offer free snippets of your book to list members so they can get a taste of what the main course is like. More often than not, the free sample will get them to buy the whole book.
Request feedback and reviews. Getting reviews for a new book can be challenging. However, when you have a list filled with members of your target audience, the task becomes much less daunting. Simply offer a few copies of your book to your readers and then request that the recipients leave their honest feedback. Nothing boosts sales like lots of social proof.
Promote your books directly. Instead of waiting for readers who enjoyed one of your books to come across your subsequent titles, you can alert your list whenever you have a new book coming out. Many authors have major success with launching their books on their own websites before eventually moving on to other distribution channels like Kindle, Nook, etc.
Email automation offers the perfect tool for building an audience, deepening relationships and finding out exactly what makes you ideal customer tick. By utilizing this high ROI (return on investment) tool you position your self-publishing endeavor for tremendous success.Give it a try and watch as you transition from struggling to get a handful of sales to earning a substantial income from your book writing efforts.