4 Proven Ways to Increase Book Sales

Today Kathleen Gage (@KathleenGage) offers advice about book marketing. No matter how you publish, you need to master this task if you want to sell books.

proven ways to market books

“Writing the book is the easy part. Then begins the work.”

This is a statement very few authors want to hear, yet those who pay heed to it are the ones who will sell books.

Many authors live with the mistaken belief that all they need do is write their book and the rest will take care of itself. They think the book will take on a life of its own and somehow, someway be found by an agent. The agent would then find a big-name publisher. The big-name publisher would get the author on a bunch of major shows. The shows will fuel sales, and the book miraculously becomes an Amazon.com and New York Times bestseller.

This scene unfolds countless times with naive authors. Here’s the truth:

If you’re serious about selling books you have to put more effort into marketing your book than writing it.

What Stops Authors from Marketing Books

Recently, I surveyed a group of several hundred authors. I asked one question: “What’s your greatest challenge with marketing and selling your book?”

The results were as follows:

  • 38% knowledge
  • 33% time
  • 17% money
  • 7% fear
  • 5% other

Sadly, even when many authors are told they must market their book, they fail to get into massive action to raise awareness about their works.

The Most Effective Ways to Market a Book

Three of the most effective marketing strategies are:

  • Endorsements
  • Guest blogging
  • Email marketing
  • Speaking on the platform

Endorsements are simply when others say how good a book is rather than the author blowing his or her own horn. Don’t get me wrong, I believe we need to blow our own horn, but as in the case with my most recent book, Power Up for Profits: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing, I have the likes of Suzanne Evans, Peggy McColl, Dr. Joe Vitale, John Kremer, Eva Gregory, Adam Urbanski, and Steve Olsher giving glowing endorsements.

Within my industry the above-mentioned names carry a lot of weight. If someone is considering whether or not to buy my book, endorsements from industry experts can be a huge part of the final decision the buyer makes.

Guest-blogging opportunities are likely one of the best ways to reach new readers, yet a very underutilized marketing strategy.

Since you like to write anyway (well I’m assuming you do since you’re a writer), it’s simply a matter of reaching out to the right blog owners to offer a featured blog post.

The easiest way to create ample guest-blogging opportunities is to make sure your writing is viewed in locations such as article directories, forums, and your own blog.

When a blog owner can review your writing, they will be more likely to invite you to contribute to their blog rather than taking a huge risk with someone who has nothing published online.

Power up Profits cover x 200Email marketing is an absolute must do. However, you need a list of subscribers. Start now to build your list to reap the benefits for years to come.

The greatest challenge with email marketing is that your messages can get lost in the deep dark hole of your potential reader’s inbox. In years past, there wasn’t anywhere near the amount of junk mail being sent out as there is today. In spite of this, email marketing still ranks high on a viable way to sell books.

Whenever I release a new book or information product I always let my opt-in subscribers know. However, I do this with more than one message. I have a series of messages I send to make sure as many people as possible know I have a new book available.

Get on the platform. Speaking engagements, aka getting on the platform, are one of my personal favorites. I love the platform and when I connect with my audience. When you are in your zone and you connect with an audience, they are eager to buy your books.

Getting on the platform serves many purposes. One, it’s a great way to position your expertise. Two, when you do a great job with your talk people are eager to “take you home with them” and purchasing your books is how they do that. Three, the more you speak, the more you speak. What this simply means is the more people see you on the platform the more likely it is other opportunities will open up.

Plan Ahead

Regardless of what route you take to market your books, you will realize greater success with a solid plan in place. Your plan should include a multi-pronged approach for your books—pre-launch, launch and post-launch.

Pre-launch should start as much as six to twelve months before your book is published. Use pre-launch as an opportunity to build your opt-in list, reach out to joint venture and affiliate partners, contact the media, and secure interview and guest-blogging opportunities.

Launch happens immediately after the book is published. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, plan to have a targeted promotions campaign for a specific period of time for the book. One of the main objectives is to increase the book’s position on Amazon. Include guest blogging, interviews, webinars, teleseminars, and email marketing.

Post launch is what you do shortly after the book is published. You have had a very targeted short-term, highly focused promotion and now the novelty has worn off. Post launch is an ongoing process that includes many of the same elements as the launch, but your activities are more spread out and not as frenzied. By having the long term in mind you definitely enjoy greater success for your books.

About the Author

Kathleen Gage headshotx175Kathleen Gage is the “no-nonsense, common sense” marketing strategist and product creation specialist. She has owned and operated her business consulting firm since 1994.

Kathleen is the author, and co-author of several books including Power Up for Profits; The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing.

Kathleen helps entrepreneurs and “bona-fide experts” package their expertise into money-making products and services designed to make a positive different in the world. Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice.

Kathleen is the author of Power Up for Profits: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing.  Visit her website at www.powerupforprofits.com.


Photo courtesy of denisismagilov|Fotolia.com


  1. I have to agree completely – the stats you show are a surprise though. Although I expected to see knowledge and time there, I expected fear to be much higher a problem.
    Often with Google’s help we can find the knowledge, but still fear its misuse.
    Some great tactics for promotion there too – guest blogging is a hugely beneficial task but some research is required to get the most from it.

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