So let's talk book promotion and persistence and finding the "right" promotional channel. I recently had this discussion about best-selling books. We've had many books go No. #1 on Amazon over the years; but there is no formula for what promotional strategy works. Some publicists might say there is a cookie-cutter formula to going no. #1, and I'm here to tell you that is a load of "boo-rap" (new word for "crap" in publishing LOL). Boo-rap comes from shady publishers trying to sell inexperienced authors on high-priced publishing packages with false promises of going no. #1 based on their supposed concept. Want to hear how those publishers can make those false promises? They usually jerry rig Amazon by doing some promotion with their system by doing an in-house promotion that boosts sales just enough to make a book fly up the rankings. Is that a real best seller? Will the sales be sustainable? Because one-day rankings don't help anything in the big picture, and it's a false best seller anyway.
So let's break down the whole promotional process that in my experience produced best sellers. I emphasize that it's nearly impossible to predict what will work for any particular book.
Book reviews do and don't work. Sometimes the right title can get one great book review, and then boom! The no. #1 ranking hits home. Other times, certain titles can get 20 great book reviews and fizzle. I've watched some books simply not sell no matter what was tried. One review or 20 won't make the difference. It's depressing and frustrating, and no one likes to see all the effort to place all these great reviews to listen to crickets. Believe me, it makes me (the hardworking publicist) frustrated, too.
A big splash, a two-page spread, a winning article, does that work? Sometimes. Don't you just hate me here? One time a book got this incredible two-page spread in one publication. I felt thrilled to see it. I look in our systems - zilch, nada, zip. No sales. How can this be? No answer. Another book (and some books no matter what happens can do no wrong) gets the same treatment and even a cover story - and bam! My in-box is overloaded in sales. Two great media exposures; two different books and two different results, and the only answer is no answer. Like I said, some books are going to fly no matter the media exposure meanwhile other books are going to flounder no matter what I do.
Sometimes books just fall in the middle. Another book gets consistent media exposure - radio and podcast air time galore. Do the sales escalate and produce no. #1? No, the book gets "some" sales. National exposure and yet the book remains in the category of what I call "lukewarm" sales. It never goes no. #1 regardless of exposure after exposure.
The only promise I can guarantee: do nothing and get nothing. You may ask, "Why should I promote the book at all if the results aren't guaranteed and I'm going to have to invest more money?" The answer is bold above. I can promise with certainty that if you don't invest, your results will be no sales. People won't organically see your book on Amazon without any media exposure. I know, some authors think it's enough to post it on Amazon. Isn't Amazon going to automatically market my book for me? No! Not unless you pay for one of their marketing gimmicks.
I offer a promotional package I called The PR Starter Kit. I highly recommend it as an affordable way to get your book promotion underway at a great price of $2500. For that cost, you receive:
- Strategic planning and identification of key media outlets
- Media Kit (includes basic marketing materials and press release and FAQ)
- 25 hours of media relations time to devoted to key markets
- Custom pitches to key media
The PR Starter Kit is the best investment in promotion. I have found through experience that if your book isn't getting traction after 25 hours of media pitching and exposure, it's not likely to change. I wouldn't encourage investing in more hours unless your book is experiencing traction in the marketplace.
For more information, send an email to info@3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012.