Wow! Beginning a new year is always such a rocket boost for my business ventures. Since I wrote my year-end post it’s felt like a cobweb clear-out. I’ve had such a renewed energy to bring to all things book marketing. Here are a few actionable book marketing initiatives you can run with: Get Reviews, SEO, Leadboxes, Keywords, Google Rankings, and more.
Bookrazor. I’m still riding the wave of my huge bookbub spike—the boxed set is at #38,314. In the interest of full disclosure, this does not amount to a huge number of sales. We’re looking at 1-2 per day. Borrows are high, at roughly 1-3K per day. What I want to do now is to score a bookbub for one of my newer releases: VIVIAN RISING. Problem is, I only have 6 reviews for that title—all are four star. Get more reviews, get more reviews. We’ve all heard it and we know this social proof is absolutely a game changer. Must get it done to up your sales. So, I signed up for Bookrazor’s $59.99 package to get some reviews. I also plan to sign up with Book Review 22 ($60), which I heard about through Bryan Cohen at the Sell More Books Show podcast. When I’ve got more reviews, I’ll go for the bookbub. I may even try to get this title out wide and do a manual price drop for the bookbub (the technical details of this have scared the *!!@!! out of me before, but I’ll face it now; it’s the new year J). I really need to go wide and this is a good way to do it, me thinks…
Leadboxes. I have noticed lately that for the industry side of things, I myself am highly responsive to pop-ups that offer freebies or mailing list signups after I’ve been on a site for a while. I’m already interested, and more times than not, I opt-in. So, I’m creating my first lead boxes, which will be for my blog pages and my books pages (targeted to different audiences, obviously), to pop up only after someone’s been on my site for 2.5 minutes. We will test from there and let you know how we go. If you haven’t yet signed up with leadpages, what are you waiting for? I was confused about how to change a style element and how to start with leadboxes, which is the “pop-up” opt-in pages at leadpages, and do you know what they did? They created a video using my own dashboard and leadpage, to show my step-by-step exactly how to do it. I have never had anything but amazing experience with them—and I am starting with zero technical knowledge here; in fact, I’m always afraid I’ll “break” my webpages by tinkering with them. They’ll make sure you don’t.
SEO. I have always found this a thorny, scary, topic that I know I ought to learn about and improve, but couldn’t make myself go the distance before I ran into a snag that made it all seem too hard. This time around, I’ve begun reading up, and when some optimization technique seems too hard, I’m asking a tech-saavy friend or passing it directly to my web developer. As a start, get into your wordpress backend and have a look at your “focus keyword” and your SEO Titles. Without padding your text ridiculously and throwing in words just to have them in there (Google is onto all these tactics and apparently they won’t work), make sure you use the focus keyword a couple times and use it in your title. Here’s a good article I found to explain this a bit. It’s from yoast, the company that makes the optimizer tools in my wordpress backend. Also invest some time reading this article on how to research keywords. It’s worth having a test of some long tail (multiple word, more specific) and single-word “head terms” to see who’s looking for what and then using those. I have been using “marketing for self-publishers” and it turns out that although I use this all the time, this is not a popular term. So, I can really help my results by using something more popular. There are some tools that help you test keywords and some will let you have a free trial (which is fun, but also depressing when you start testing your own words and your site’s ranking for terms); check out semrush and Serps. I’ve included a snapshot of some of my keyword rankings from semrush. Lots of work to do there! Take a look at your Google Analytics and Google console accounts. I will talk more about this next time when I’ve got a handle on them. There are plenty of tutorials out there about them, including this one from Moz. There’s also this piece I found with some tips I found on getting featured in Google’s featured snippets, worth keeping in mind.
Good luck and let me know what you’re book marketing efforts you’re working on.