So, here’s the deal. I bought BookPromotion.com about five years ago and had high hopes for building it into the kind of resource I wish I’d had when I self-published my novel in 2007. I have spent the past five years working with authors to try to teach them about building their websites/ social media platforms and marketing their books in general. It has not been easy, to say the least. Along the way I have discovered that authors are, for the most part, resistant to this kind of outreach. Some are downright resentful that they have to do it, some have argued with and yelled at me, and some have just blatantly stated that they just do not want to put in the effort. They feel like they wrote their book, that is all they should have to do, and I guess I have become a symbol of the fact that you DO have to put in work, so now they just resent me.
I have continued to put develop content and put effort into this because I (and my fellow contributors, like the amazing Rachel Thompson) have experienced success with marketing first-hand, so we know it works. I made an extensive course on how to make a website. When authors told me that was too long, I made a 6 minute video. Still, authors continue to argue that they like their Blogger websites, they don’t want to do social media, and that they wrote a whole book, so now they don’t have the time or energy.
So, now it’s 2016, and I have to just admit that I can’t convince people they need marketing. I get it.
From now on, I am going to be sending out recommendations for book marketing books and reviewing those, just to give you a variety of choices/ sources for you to learn from when the time is right for you. I will try to highlight books that are on free giveaway, to give you the best chance of learning about different marketing techniques until you find one you can live with.
You have undoubtedly heard me say that you need to be collecting email addresses on your website and blog. Those email addresses would be your “list,” and you should be emailing them regularly so that when you publish another book, you can let them know right away and encourage them to buy it. The reason for this is simple: if you have a list of people who like your work and you let them know when your book comes out, they will hopefully buy it. When they buy it, Amazon’s system will put the book on one or more bestseller lists, which will bring it to more people’s attention.
With that in mind, here is my first recommendation: Email List Building for Beginners: An Effective System to Get Started With List Building and Start Building Your Audience. No, I did not write this book. Yes, I know the title is a mouthful.
Here’s what I like about “Email List Building for Beginners”: it goes over terms that might confuse you, like “autoresponder” and “email list” in general. It talks about setup and covers what you might talk to your list about. It basically covers what we touch on briefly in “How to Market a Book,” but goes into a little more detail. It is geared more towards internet marketers than authors, but the fundamentals are there.
Here’s what I don’t like: some of the writing is clunky, and he definitely emphasizes Aweber as his preferred service, probably because he is getting an affiliate commission when you sign up for the free trial. I usually recommend that authors go with MailChimp when they are first setting up, mostly because it is free and really easy to use, and you need a really low hurdle when you are trying to learn email marketing for the first time.
So, take a look at the book (it’s free, at least for today), familiarize yourself with the concept of email marketing, maybe sign up for MailChimp and put the code into your website. Or, take a look at the book and decide that email marketing isn’t your bag, you’re never going to do it, etc. and delete it from your Kindle.
Like I said, at least I tried.
Hope you’re having a good 2016,