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And Old Book, a New Bestseller
It’s often said that it’s impossible…but anything is possible if you have an aggressive sales mindset. Remember that every book is medicine. Whether it’s a new release, an old book, a 50-page novel, an 800-page epic, fiction, or fantasy…they all have something in common when it comes to Amazon. As far as Amazon’s search engines are concerned, all these books are just other products and their ID is – from their point of view – just a unique ASIN. Age, gender, or background does not matter. What matters is how the ASIN can sell.
Many authors have published their works in the hope that their books on Amazon will sell themselves in some way, and perhaps appear on the top Amazon chart – oh, to have such confidence must be an amazing thing! With some books having a lot of marketing money behind them, and others being represented by marketing professionals, many self-published books unfortunately have to get lost in the background, and fail. The quality of the book is always important, but no one can deny that quality alone does not sell books. A professional sales force and big marketing dollars make a huge difference in digital marketing strategies… but a self-published author can’t compete with companies that have been selling books for years; after all, their ability and skill in making a book to sell well is the second biggest thing they have. The first is – obviously – their money. Money buys audience: it’s a simple rule of thumb, and one we can’t escape.
No doubt you have read some success stories before. Yes, I know, some self-published authors did – and it’s impressive that they did. However, the other side of the money – the sad truth of the matter – is that thousands of other authors have failed to make a good profit, while the lucky few have been able to make it big with seemingly little effort on their part. One would think that Amazon is not only the largest bookstore in the world, but also the biggest graveyard of books and the wishes of writers! These several million books (and it’s not extra, surprisingly) are just sitting there, resting awkwardly, without a single visit for weeks or months – completely forgotten, recognized as a failure, left to disappear. Many would-be bestsellers have failed because publishing is not an easy task, although it may seem like one when you consider the publishing process on platforms like Kindle. With just a few clicks, your book is published! Wow… So what?
However, your book can have a chance, as long as you have the mindset of a seller and acquire the necessary marketing skills – something that I consider to be the most important thing in digital marketing. Let’s drop the technical terms and jump into the middle of things. There are several steps you need to take before publishing on Amazon.
The sales process is built on information, not on our best guesses. Here’s what you need to remember throughout the process. It’s not romantic, it’s not pretty… but it’s real.
In fact, it doesn’t just come down to data. I see three important factors in any sales process:
If you’re ranking your book against millions of other books, you may have a better way of getting data. When writing a book, writers become better at making money by reading and editing. Editing is essential for any writer, I wouldn’t argue that for a minute. However, how many writers immediately jump at the chance to find a marketing expert/partner? Very few, although these people and their skills are worth having. You need data, and you need experts with the right data.
What kind of data do we use? Obviously, our main focus is on our competition. Our data should show how well our brand books are doing. What is their overall Sales Rank? How many comments do they have? What words do they use to create their persuasive copy? This has nothing to do with writing, I know, and it’s not the ‘fun’ part of creating a bestseller. However, this is something that NEEDS TO BE PRINTED. If not, you’re just another fish in the sea…and one that’s being quickly surrounded by sharks!
A smart salesperson is someone who knows technology. They should be well-versed in all marketing tools, and be up-to-date on the latest trends. To know better, the writer must know more. How do you set up a blog? What is SEO? How do you use social media to sell more books? What is the story of Twitter? Are the advertising sites good? Why does a book need a good video?
Lots of questions, we know. It’s a good idea to learn their answers yourself if you’re interested in self-publishing, however, the answers to these questions will help you see a big difference in your statistics and sales. Another option, involves you hiring a marketing expert, just like you hired your editor. Publishing is not the only way to get your book on Amazon’s shelf. It is a Business, and one that requires a business-like approach.
Another point: what about inbound marketing? Can you really focus on your buyer’s needs and goals? How do you sell the way your prospects buy? Again, more questions than any great Amazon seller must consider, if they want their products to get anywhere!
Yes I know, I’m being harsh here…but the seller will understand, trust me. Sales are not things that just happen like a bolt from the blue. It’s something you need to make happen using data, technology and inbound marketing strategies, with a professional guide guiding you.
So, back to our original question. Can classic books be bestsellers? Well yes, they can, without a doubt. Imagine, for a moment, that your book had a system that used all available resources and technology to establish unique customers. Imagine your book representing, even without an advertising budget, guided by a marketing plan… it’s impossible, not by any stretch.
I’m really into old books. After all, some books just fail to connect with readers, but most books don’t. I always say: it’s not a losing game, as long as you believe in your book. If you want to bring your book back into the game, have faith, because there is no doubt that it can be done!
Why? By following these steps:
Purchase a license for technical tools, such as KDRocket, to research your competition, ideas, keywords, and categories.
Join a learning/training program on Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Blogging and other marketing techniques that have proven to be successful in selling books.
(I may have one for you – SEO Crash Course For Publishers)
Learn about your customers; read reviews, join groups, apply.
Build your audience, build your self-promotion. Start with a few followers, and don’t let yourself get discouraged.
There’s also a secret sauce you can add to your efforts: consistency. Remember, this is a marathon, not a run.
Don’t throw away your books. Give them the love, care, attention and expertise they need, and help them bring their message to readers who are out there, already searching for what you have to share!
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