There are two huge obstacles that authors have always faced. First, having to go through the lottery which is the submission process of traditional publishing, where an author’s chances of being accepted and published are rare, and the chances of that book being successful are even more unlikely. Second, after a book is published (whether through traditional or independently), actually selling the book.
The odds of standing out and making it big in this business are even less than becoming a professional athlete or rock star. Working with authors, I have seen the frustration as they try to market their own products. They work full-time jobs, sometimes several, to support their family and finance their books. Sadly, most of these authors literally cannot even give their book away for free—and believe me, they try!
Whether traditionally or self-published, most marketing and advertising is left to the author. This has created a great need for digital publicists and marketing/advertising specialists in the publishing industry.
Digital marketing specialists, like me, use social media and digital marketing to help authors achieve their publishing goals. Whether they’re looking to build a fan base, sell books, or just let the world know they exist, digital marketing offers affordable and highly customizable options.
I recently built a marketing campaign for Deirdra Eden’s new book The Watchers: Knight of Light. Eden Literary LLC and I collaborated to create a book trailer, which was the focus of most of our advertising. (The book trailer can be viewed here: http://Knightess.com)
We began by using Deirdra’s small social media following to share this trailer with her target audience, targeting her Facebook followers and their friends. This method was also used on other platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Hours after we launched the campaign, her book hit the Amazon Bestseller List, making it into the top 20 for its genre, and being tagged by Amazon as a “Hot New Release.” Besides being able to call her book an Amazon Bestseller, this status is an important advertising resource. Once Amazon takes notice of a book like this, they begin to advertise it for free—recommending it to their customers as they view similar items and including it on promotional sections of their website.
It was surprising to learn that our highest CTR was from a demographic that we originally we weren't planning to target (male Christian readers, ages 13-30.)
Through continued optimization, by the nineteenth day, we were able to reach a 7.317% CTR on Facebook and thus lower the ad cost by 78%. Similarly, on Twitter, I was able to use the same method to increase our CTR and decrease ad costs by 85%.
Reduced ad costs and a highly targeted market audience is important in any campaign, but for authors, this is especially crucial as many authors, like my client, Deirdra Eden, have an extremely limited budget.
The success of The Watchers campaign shows us that even with the small budget of a single author, social media marketing done right can have a huge impact—bringing a book out of obscurity and making it a bestseller.