Welcome Scott Wolf, CEO of BookDaily, a book sampling and promo platform I’ve been hearing good things about. Scott stopped by to share this wise advice:
Since you’re reading Molly’s blog, chances are you have more than a passing interest in book promotion. Whether or not you’re currently marketing your work, you’ve probably noticed there are plenty of folks out there delighted to reach into your pocket and extract every cent you own – and then some.
Compared to most businesses, self-publishing is unique because you aren’t just marketing any old product. You’re marketing a product that you’ve invested your heart and soul into. It’s only natural that most writers, artists, musicians, and other creative types have their egos entwined in their creations.
This can be a problem, though, because it creates the tendency to take your business results too personally. This tendency might help you write, but it will hurt your ability to sell books. You must take off your writer hat, put on your business hat, and make objective, unemotional business decisions.
You might remember the movie The Jerk with Steve Martin. At one point in the movie his character, Navin R. Johnson, has a job guessing people’s weight at the carnival. He’s upset because he’s so bad at it. On the other hand, the carnival’s owner is very happy, because Navin gives away $.25 worth of “crap” for each wrong guess that cost the customer a few bucks. “Ah, it’s a profit deal. That takes the pressure off!” says Navin.
Book publishing is a profit deal
Book publishing is a profit deal, too. If you’re selling your books for money, you are in business. Forget that at your peril! Remember, if someone doesn’t buy your book, they aren’t rejecting you as a person; they just don’t want to spend money on the book. All books are not for all people.
Your ability to remove your emotional investment in the marketing of your book may be the biggest determinant of your book-selling success or failure.
BookDaily: a sampling site that sells book promotion
At our book-sampling site, BookDaily, we are in the business of selling book promotion. We use a freemium model, meaning that we offer a free account on the site, and then sell additional promotion to the authors. There is intrinsic value to the free account. The author gets some exposure, along with SEO (search engine optimization) value for their website or blog from the link from our site. There’s little risk in setting up a free account; it doesn’t cost anything and there is some benefit.
Risk enters the equation when the author pulls out their credit card. They might pay for a promotion and it might not work. That’s the reality of business. Some authors who do very well with their BookDaily Emerging Author promotions and some don’t. We do our best to make it as affordable as possible; we know many authors have day jobs and this is a sideline business, but we have to charge enough to be viable, too.
There are authors from major publishers, smaller independent publishers, and lots of self-published authors running promotional campaigns on BookDaily. There have been outstanding books that have been promoted and didn’t sell that many copies, and there are others that have sold like gangbusters.
The buying behavior of the reader market is difficult to understand. Our industry is in flux. Some books do great some months and not so great other months. Same book; different results. The explanation? Who knows?
What’s the risk?
What’s the point? That the risk in promoting your book is ONLY the cost of the promotion. Period. It should not be your ego, your sense of worth, or your self-image. If readers don’t buy, they don’t buy. Your book is still a good book. The promotion just didn’t work this month, that’s all. It might work next month. Or you might be successful with some other promotional method.
This doesn’t just apply to BookDaily. It applies to everything you do to sell your book. Book signings, PPC ads, blog posts, etc. If they work, great. It they don’t, move on. It’s just another lesson in your marketing education.
It doesn’t mean that anyone is out to get you, or that all promotions won’t work, or that you won’t be a big success. In football, every play is designed to score a touchdown. Most don’t. In business, we all make the best decisions we can. Some work out, some don’t.
Welcome to the business world. Get in the game!
Readers, have you used a BookDaily promotion and if so, what were your results? Leave a comment and share!
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Image by amanda tipton