Today’s post is by Jordan Ring, a successful self-publisher who helps other indie authors reach their full potential. Here he offers some excellent, down-to-earth advice on how you can sell more books and achieve your goals. My thanks to Jordan for sharing his thoughts with us.
This Is Your Year: 3 Secrets to Unlocking Your Book in 2018
by Jordan Ring
You have a book inside you. Every single person has a book in them that will impact other people. Most won’t start writing. Many of those who start won’t finish. Even fewer people will publish. You are better than that.
Maybe the book is halfway done? Maybe it’s finished? Oh no, please don’t tell me you finished it two years ago but are still “tweaking” it!
Maybe you feel like you will never get your book out there. Maybe you feel like even if you do, it won’t sell.
Low sales numbers is the main fear of all authors, and I know because I have faced it myself. We are fearful that our book won’t sell or, even worse, it will get bad reviews.
This can stop even the best authors from ever starting, and even better authors from putting their work out there.
Don’t let this happen to you. The world deserves to read your book.
Follow these three tips to push past fear and get your book published.
Secret 1. Set Realistic Sales Goals
Since getting zero sales is your biggest fear, set a target number of sales to reach for. I tell all new authors to shoot for 100 sales of your book right out of the gate. Would you be happy if 100 people read your book? As a new author, that is not an insignificant number.
No, 100 sales is not going to pay for the book (in time or production costs), but it’s a realistic number that you can hit.
Once you hit that number, set a second goal (e.g., 500 sales) and do everything you can to hit that.
It’s of über importance for new authors to set a number to reach for. Without metrics, how can you measure success?
Personally, I am always trying to hit the next level, and often don’t appreciate how far I have come. Having a sales target is a good way to say to yourself, “Okay, well done, I hit my goal! Now what can I do to hit the next goal?”
This will enable you to appreciate the accomplishment, and it will bolster your resolve to publish your book.
Secret 2. Make a Marketing Plan
Marketing plan to finish your book? Yes, it makes sense. Stick with me.
Finding success as an author means figuring out what is blocking you from moving forward. The reason most would-be authors don’t publish their books is that marketing seems like the giant mountain behind the already huge hill of actually writing a book.
That’s why you should start working on a marketing plan from the get-go, when you are writing a book. This not only will give you a clearer picture of what you are actually writing, but will assuage your fear that the book won’t sell.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- Why am I writing this book?
- How am I going to sell it?
First, you must define your target audience. Your book is not for “everyone” and that answer is the fastest way to zero sales. Figure out who exactly would be interested in reading your book, and gameplan a way to get the book in front of those people. The best way to do this is to do research on Amazon and see which other books like yours are selling well and have good reviews.
Second, you must have an intrinsic reason to write the book, in addition to the obvious extrinsic reason of getting book sales. If you don’t have a why, you won’t be able to push through and finish writing.
And last, you need to at least have an idea of how you are going to sell your book. The most obvious and best answer is to use Amazon exclusively, but how else will you get your book in front of potential readers?
The base of any marketing plan is to focus on having a great title, getting a professionally designed book cover, and writing a killer book description. I like to call these the Big 3 because you will not sell any books if these things aren’t of the highest quality.
Your title and book cover bring people in, and your book description sales copy will sell them the book. It doesn’t matter how good the content under the cover is — if people aren’t brought in, they won’t buy. You can have the Big 3 professionally done for you, or you can learn to do them yourself, but regardless, you need to focus on them from the get-go.
If you need more help making a marketing plan, touch base with us at Archangel Ink and we would be happy to help.
Secret 3. Become Fearless and Take Action
Taking action is the number one most difficult thing to do in every endeavor. You are forced to sit down and write, plan, and work all while removing your fear of potential negative outcomes. I know that this can feel almost impossible at times, but taking action will bring you closer to your goals.
You have to become fearless, and to be ready to pound away relentlessly on your laptop keys to get the job done. Don’t worry about what comes out of you, just keep writing and then get it edited later. Keep on writing and let the words flow. Turn off your internal editor.
Set a schedule for yourself to write consistently, but also be sure to make time for planning marketing items. Utilize a website like Trello and make a board to plan and then track your writing, publishing, and marketing process.
Continue taking action and before you know it, your published book will be arriving on your doorstep and on your e-reader.
Good luck as you continue to write, publish, and ultimately sell your book. Follow these simple tips, and you will do well.
P.S. I’d love to read your book when it’s done — send it on over to me.
Jordan Ring is the marketing and launch guru with Archangel Ink Publishing Services. You can follow him on his blog, and for help with your own book launch you can get his free book here: Book Launch Gladiator: The Four Phase Approach to Kindle Book Marketing in 2018.