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SPQ 056: Sales Events: The #1 Strategy for Increasing Lagging Book Sales

Written by Steve Scott on March 13, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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Introduction

Steve has a special offer for listeners of the Self-Publishing Questions podcast. He is having a St. Patrick’s Day sale featuring seven of his titles, five of which are especially helpful for listeners of SPQ:

Each book is on sale for $0.99 in the U.S. or 99 pence in the UK. The sale runs from March 11 to March 18. You can find out more on the SPQ website.

Biggest Takeaway

Simple Book Marketing: Increasing Lagging Sales

Book sales are an important part of Steve’s overall strategy, especially between launches. If you release a book in February and won’t have another one ready until April, it’s good to have a book sale sometime in March. This can help you generate a lot of sales between new releases.

Steve participates in Kindle Countdown Deals, which is part of KDP Select. You can either give your book away for free for five days, or you can hold a Kindle Countdown Deal for up to seven days. He used to use Kindle Countdown Deals to promote individual books, but it was tough to attract attention to one book at a time.

Last fall, Steve grouped like titles together and promoted them at the same time. He also had a Cyber Monday sale. The two promotions resulted in sales of 2,273 units. You can see how he promoted the fall sale or look at information from the Cyber Monday sale to get ideas for your own promotions. Information about the St. Patrick’s Day sale is available on the Develop Good Habits blog.

Holding regular sales events is a great way to increase your overall sales. Steve follows an eight-step process.

  1. Make sure you have at least three books in your catalog. If you have fewer than three books, focus on completing the next one before you have a sales event.
  1. Pick a target date range. Select a time period that will optimize your sales as much as possible.
  1. Decide on the length of the promotion. Steve prefers to hold a week-long sales event because it fits in with Kindle Countdown Deals and gives him time to test several promotional methods.
  2. Choose a theme for your event. Any holiday is probably a good theme for a book sale.
  1. Apply for promo sites in advance of your event date.
  1. Select the books you will include in your sale. Set up the price reductions so they go live in time for the event.
  1. Write a blog post, record a video, or do a podcast episode to let people know about your book sale.
  1. Hire a freelancer to create graphics for your promotional efforts. Steve recommends using native social media ads. If you use Facebook, your ads should not consist of more than 20 percent text.

How to Market a Book Event

Treat your sales event like any other book launch. Send an email to your list to let subscribers know about the sale. Increase your reach by approaching people in your niche and asking if they will promote your book event.

Take time to buy paid advertisements, set up Facebook ads, and write a blog post about the sale. Jon Loomer has a podcast that really dives into the ins and outs of Facebook ads.

Keep testing new ideas to see what works for your particular niche.

If you don’t have a big author platform, you can team up with other authors. Steve has participated in several themed book sales with other authors.

BuckBooks.net has a lot of group events, and Bryan Cohen does a great job with the “March to a Bestseller” event. Bryan is actually putting together a new event right now.

The Takeaway

Book sales are great for boosting your sales between launches. Offering discounted books is also a good way to reward subscribers and reinforce the idea that subscribing to your email list is worth it.

Resources and Links

St. Patrick’s Day Book Sale: Check out the books available in Steve’s current book sale

Steve’s Fall Book Sale: Look at Steve’s fall book sale for ideas on how to promote your own books

Steve’s Cyber Monday Sale: Review the details of Steve’s Cyber Monday sale to see how you can apply his strategy to your own book-based business

Jon Loomer: Check out Jon’s podcast to learn about using Facebook ads to your advantage

Bryan Cohen: Learn more about Bryan Cohen’s upcoming book event

  • Thanks Steve for this brilliant idea! I’ve just implemented it for one of my author’s books: amazon.com/author/muralisundaram

  • Excellent to see you taking action on the sales events. When you group the books together, you find it’s a great way to get visibility for your overall brand. Also make sure there is some sort of email offer where they can join your list…

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