“This book is going to be a best seller.”
This is a phrase I have heard a number of times over the years by new authors. Most new authors get excited about their books. This is a good thing. However, the odds of a book becoming a best-selling title are slim. After all, less than 5% of books published each year in the United States sell more than 5,000 copies. And, a book needs to sell a bit more than 5,000 copies to become a best seller.
Due to the testimonials that are presented by many book marketing services looking to sell authors products and services, many new authors naively believe that all they need for their book to become a best seller is to get the right exposure. However, this is rarely true. Every book has a target audience—and only a small percentage of that target audience will actually purchase the book.
Sadly, many authors believe hype stories that are only true for a very small percentage of authors and books. I have heard beliefs like:
- “If I could just get a Christian personality like Franklin Graham to endorse my book, I would have it made.”
- “If I could just get a best-selling Christian author like Mac Lucado or Karen Kingsbury to endorse my book, it will sell well.”
- “If I could just get an Interview on the 700 Club or Oprah show, my book would become a best seller.”
The truth is that selling books is hard work. No one exactly knows what the formula is to have a book become a best seller. If you are only focused on going after the macro-influencers, you are missing out on a wealth of people that could help your book sell better. As an independently published author or small publisher, you are better served to forget about attempting to get personalities like Dr. James Dobson, Joyce Meyer, Joel Olsteen, Denzel Washington, or Beth Moore, to help you promote your book. Instead, focus on micro-influencers.
To effectively use micro-influencers to enlarge your audience and reach, you must first know who the target audience is for your book. Then look at people who have an influence over a small group of this target audience. These include:
Blog tours and blog reviews became popular due to this idea that they are micro-influencers. Every blogger has an audience. This is one reason Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) offers our members BookCrash, a books for bloggers review program. Getting bloggers to write a review of your book or interview you as an author puts you and your book in front of more potential book buyers in your target audience.
2. Local pastors or church leaders
Local church leaders and pastors have influence over the members in their congregation. They frequently provide recommendations on books that will help their members with an issue or concern. Getting a local pastor or church leader to endorse, or just read and appreciate your book enlarges your target audience reach.
3. Other independently publisher authors or newer authors in your genre
Getting other authors in your genre to endorse your book is a great way to cross-promote. Authors endorse other books in their genres because it widens the exposure for their books (the author and book title are listed on the book they are endorsing along with their endorsement). Many authors also recommend books to their readers as they work to maintain an ongoing relationship with their fans.
A micro-influencer is anyone who has influence over a small audience. Be creative in thinking about micro-influencers. They are everywhere. For example, teachers have influence. Get a teacher excited about your book and your book will gain exposure to 25 or more new people in your target audience.
Remember, small numbers add up. So, go seek out some micro-influencers to get more people to discover your book.
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