I can’t remember how many times I had to change my book marketing plan whenever I discovered new ways to market my book.
I also had to do the same when I discovered the new tools or services that can make things easier for me.
And let’s not forget that I had to forgo all the things I used to do because of the algorithm change on Amazon.
Well, what can I say? We live in a world where the algorithm dictates what we see and discover.
With the change in Amazon algorithm that literally forcing you to use paid ads to drive sales for your book, it makes me think hard about having Amazon or any other retailers for that matter to sell my books.
Thus, the idea of selling my books directly to my readers.
When I say selling my books directly to my readers, I mean I’m driving traffic to my website instead of sending the traffic to the retailers.
Will it be a lot easier? All I can say is it’s going to be a tough battle ahead, especially when your website is green.
Will it ever work? I don’t know. So, I’m going to find out for myself, starting off with my simple book marketing plan.
My simplest book marketing plan to date
I don’t think I ever told anyone before, but my first foray into the online business was retail business.
And that was where I learned how big retailers did their marketing. It’s not that I was working with them. I was only observing what they did from afar.
The good news is you don’t need a million-dollar budget to get the word out for your books. In fact, some of the strategies that the big retailers implement can also be implemented by small businesses as well.
And now, here’s the million-dollar question: what kind of marketing strategy that the big retailers and small businesses do to drive sales?
Well, the answer can be pretty obvious to many of us especially if you’re like me who is always on the lookout for bargains.
And the answer is holiday sales and the coupon code.
Yes, the simplest thing you can do for your book marketing strategy is to plan your book promo around the holiday season.
And don’t forget to toss around the coupon code too. People are always digging for the coupon code to save more.
Keep in mind that your book promo doesn’t have to be around the big holiday season such as Christmas. You can also create a book marketing plan around a special day related to the genre or industry you’re targeting.
That’s what I did recently when I promoted my books from the Trigger Locked series. Since my book also falls into the science fiction genre, I decided to promote my books during Science Fiction Day.
I even created a dedicated landing page just for Science Fiction Day promotion too.
Of course, the promotion already ended by the time this post goes live. But you get the idea of what I’m trying to say here.
Mark these dates on your calendar
If you can’t figure out what other dayes you should add, then take a look at this blog post on Printful. It highlights all the major holiday sales around the world. Use this calendar to plan your book promotion.
In case you’re wondering, that’s where I learn about Science Fiction Day.
Offering discounts on your book
Now, here comes the tricky parts when it comes to offering discounts to your books.
How much discount can you offer to entice people to buy your book? Should you create a coupon link or a coupon code? And how to do that?
For the first question, that will depend on you. If you’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to start with offering 10% off on your books.
That’s what I did for my Science Fiction Day promotion. I started off by offering 10% off for the non-subscribers and 15% off for the email subscribers.
Yes, you need to create a different offer for your email subscribers. That will give them more reason to join your mailing list.
Creating a coupon code or a coupon link is straightforward if you’re using Gumroad or anything similar to sell books on your website.
If you have to choose between asking your readers to enter a coupon code or link the page with the coupon code enabled, I will say go for the second option.
Make it easy for your readers to buy your book. There’s a high chance that your readers may not want to buy your books only because they can’t find the email with the coupon code that you sent to them.
Do you even need a website to do this?
You don’t need a website if you want to sell your books directly to your readers. Websites like Gumroad allows you to sell your books anywhere you want.
But then again, it doesn’t hurt for you to have your own author website because it will serve as a home base that you have full control of.
If you’re not sure how to create an author website, this guide can help you to get started.
While I use Gumroad to sell my books directly to my readers, you can also use other apps to do something similar too. Take a look at this list of apps that you can use to sell books directly to your readers.
Another way to do that is to use the Smashwords coupon manager to manage coupon codes that you can use to promote your books.
Of course, your books must be on Smashwords if you want to use the coupon manager.
This is my focus for this year
Apart from blogging consistently on The Efficient You blog, I also want to put my full focus on generating direct book sales through my website.
I did mention my intention to go direct many moons ago. It was only until recently that I made a conscious decision to sell my books directly to the readers.
In case you’re wondering, all the things that I mentioned so far are only for selling ebooks directly to your website.
You can do the same for print books. But that may require you to do the order fulfillment yourself.
I have yet to find the best option for selling print books directly to my readers. But I’ll let you know when I manage to find one, as always.