Boosting Global Sales

Book selling is becoming an increasingly global market. The Internet and ebooks have driven this trend. Globalization is great for authors and publishers as it means a wider audience and more book sales.

Global Sales

Any author with an ebook on Amazon or Kobo knows that International sales of your book are not only possible, they have probably already happened. According to Code Mantra, the six largest book markets by country are (in order):

1. United States
2. China
3. Germany
4. Japan
5. France
6. United Kingdom

All these countries have English readers who purchase books.

If you collect email addresses from visitors to your website or blog, you may already be aware that not all the visitors to your site are from the country you reside in. Even on social media, all your followers are not from your country of residence. After all, I am fully aware that that not everyone reading this blog post lives in the United States.

Global reach can present a problem when promoting a book. If you send out an email to your list of customers containing a link to buy your book or if you put up a social media post with a link to buy your book, often this link is to your own website where you sell the book or to Amazon’s website in your country of residence. However, if a consumer in another country clicks on that link, they are not going to buy from Amazon in the United States if they live in China.

If you have a rather large global following, this issue can be of concern to you. Fortunately, there is a free solution to this problem.

A service called SmartURL can help you point your potential customers to an online store in their country of origin through the use of one single URL. SmartURL was originally designed for music sellers. It allows music sellers to create a single URL that directs people to the correct online store (Apple or Google Play) to purchase music depending on the device they are using to access the URL.

SmartURL will also allow you to direct someone who clicks on your purchase link to a specific online store depending on what country the person is accessing the Internet from. In essence, with SmartURL, you create a unique URL that sends everyone to a destination URL that you specify to purchase your book. With this same URL, you can direct people from various countries to the appropriate online store in their country to purchase your book.

If you are concerned that you may be losing sales due to globalization of readers, I encourage you to check out SmartURL and try it out for your next book sale marketing push. With this free tool, you can direct your potential customers to an online sales site selling your book in their currency.

Related Posts:
Develop a Global Strategy
The Global eBook Market
The World is Ready for eBooks

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We Want Your Vote!

If you read or sell Christian books, you are invited to VOTE for the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

pencil voteYou can vote online right now at www.BookoftheYear.net. Voting on the Book of the Year Award is open through March 31, 2016.

Although small publishers are often less well known than larger publishing houses, they produce fresh and innovative books to inspire readers or fill niche needs. The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award honors books produced by small publishers for outstanding contribution to Christian life.

The 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award features 123 books in 14 categories.

The winners of this award are determined solely by the votes of Christian book lovers and retailers alike. The winners of the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award will be announced by May 1, 2016.

The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

What are you waiting for? Go Vote! And, invite your friends to vote also!

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Publishing Industry Trends for 2016

At the beginning of January, I blogged about some marketing and publishing predictions for 2016 that I thought you should be aware of. These were great predictions, but not all were directly related to publishing and promoting a book. Today, I am going to talk about some tactics book publishers plan to engage in this year.

Trends

Book Business, a magazine for book production and manufacturing, recently conducted its annual Trendspotting Survey that asks leaders in the book industry to share what technology they plan to invest in and which products and platforms they anticipate will drive revenue growth for their publishing organizations for the coming year. A few of the insights Book Business gleaned from this year’s survey include:

1. Digital printing will grow in 2016.
More publishers indicated that they plan to spend dollars on print-on-demand for this year than previously. Since many answering this survey were larger publishers, this means that these publishers are transitioning more from traditional printing to print-on-demand.

2. Interest in email marketing is growing.
Last year email marketing was near the bottom of publisher’s technology priorities. This year over one-fourth of publishers reported that they plan to invest in email marketing.

3. eBooks and print books are expected to drive the most revenue growth in 2016.
Even though audiobooks make up one of the fastest growing segments of the book industry, most publishers believe ebooks and print books will lead revenue growth this year.

4. Social media will play a significant role in book marketing in 2016.
Book Business asked survey respondents what marketing platforms they think offer the greatest opportunity to grow profits. Two-thirds of respondents reported that social media offered the most opportunity for the coming year.

What do these trends mean for you, the small publisher or independently published author? I think there are two important things to note from these trends.

First, publishers are planning to invest more in email marketing this coming year. While social media is growing as a way to connect with consumers, email still remains one of the strongest marketing tools. Expert marketers consistently rank email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention with customers. Some statistics say that the average return is $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing. If you are not using email as part of your book promotion strategy, I encourage you to begin to do so this year.

Second, social media is here to stay. It is growing in as a tool for people to not only stay connected with others, but also as a news source. Studies show that 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media. Taking your message to where your audience hangs out is an important strategy in promoting a book. As such, social media is increasingly becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns as more people are hanging out on that medium.

So, as you plan your book promotion strategies moving forward, I encourage you to invest in both email marketing as well as social media to get the word out about your book.

Related Posts:
Predictions for 2016 That You Should Know
How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book
Email Marketing is Still Important

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How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book

You know you need to do more on social media to promote your books. However, the whole idea overwhelms you. Maybe you are afraid of getting sucked into a black hole that you can’t escape. Maybe you just aren’t sure how to go about using social media to promote your books.

This social media infographic by Pardot.com showcases how in just 30 minutes a day, you can make the most of social media. The infographic includes six major social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. If you don’t want to use all six, that is fine. Learn how to rock social media in less than 30 minutes a day and more effectively promote your book.

Related Posts:
A Successful Social Media Strategy
Social Media Success
Discovering Books Via Social Media

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Spending Precious Marketing Dollars

Budget. Many people cringe at that word. It conjures up images of over-spending, not being allowed to purchase something they want, or just plain control. Money is always a loaded topic.

money

Most independently published authors and small publishers have precious few dollars to spend on marketing. A budget is a must for them to follow. Because of limited funds these authors and publishers don’t want to take risks on spending their money. They want to know upfront what the expected rate of return on their investment will be—a smart question indeed.

However, I would caution you to be wise in evaluating the answer as well. No one platform works for all books. The answer you may be given might be the return on the book that did the best. Or, it might be an average return rate. You still have no assurance that your book will fare as well.

Just because one author’s book sold like gangbusters from a Facebook ad, does not mean your will do equally well. Just because one author received 20 media interviews from a press release blast does not mean you will.

There are too many variables to determine how well your book will do on in any one venue. Your best course of action to plan how you will spend your precious marketing dollars is as follows:

1. Ask other authors in your specific genre with the same target audience what has worked for them.
Knowing what has worked for other authors writing to the same target audience is a good place to start. These authors are reaching the same group of people, so they can show you where the most success is likely.

2. Test and retest.
Don’t just try a venue once and give up. Test the platform and evaluate your results. Then make adjustments to your advertising campaign and test it again. If nothing changes, test a different venue. Testing is necessary to develop a successful marketing strategy.

Marketing is tricky. No true formula exists. Trial and error and making smart choices are your best bets. Don’t fall for services that charge high dollar amounts and predict huge results. Rarely do these pan out.

Your marketing dollars are precious, so be wise. Learn from those who have gone before, keeping in mind that each book is unique. Make informed decisions on spending your marketing dollars, evaluate each venue, and make adjustments as results come in. Of course, prayer helps too. The Spirit can lead you into all wisdom.

Related Posts:
A Good Marketing Guideline
Marketing that Glorifies God
What Google’s Super Bowl Ad Says about Marketing

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