Several posts have been written about book marketing and yet, there is more to learn everyday. In today’s ‘I want it yesterday’ mindset, having to wait for some distribution reports to post 60 days after the fact is excruciating! Fans tell you, “I bought and love the book” yet, the author cannot see where. It takes stamina not to shout, “Where? Where did you buy it? Amazon, B and N? Alternative book sellers? Smashwords? Where dang it?”
Recently, a very savvy book marketer, Jason Rutherford, otherwise known as the Publishing Guru gave some valuable insight to book marketing by the numbers. For a fresh novel, six months is your target range. By that time, if you are headed in the best seller category, your goal should be 1000 copies distributed. About 1000 to 1500 is your critical mass, whereby enough people that have read the book will begin telling other people, “Read this book.” Remember the message is “Read this book,” not buy this book.
A good word of mouth response with direct sales results follows this pattern. For every 1000 people you contact, through blog reviews, personal appearances, book signings, book festivals, public speaking and social media you should hope for a 1% return. In other words, out of that 1000 people you tweeted, told, begged, borrowed and bribed to buy your book, you generated 10 sales. For those of you into immediate, rapid rise to stardom, those numbers must be daunting.
A decent twitter following is greater that 100 real contacts. Not generated contacts that mean nothing. Industry contacts in the book world, writers, publishers, editors, and fab peeps including friends that will tell everyone about your book. Twitter gold is 500 followers. Twitter platimum 1000 followers who are looking to retweet your posts and links. Again the goal? Trafficing them back to your website or blog to give you credibility and a following.
Facebook stardom is 500 friends. If you have more than that, you are well on your way. Remember, however, that just because you post something in facebook, not all 500 of your friends are going to see it. Therefore, the key is linking. Make twitter, talk to facebook. talk to your blog. And make your blog, blog worthy! Don’t post just to post.
To check on how your book is doing, a handy site is: www.Bookfinder4U.com There, you can see exactly what alternative channels and how many are selling your book. Not actual sales, but distributors that have ordered from Ingram. One of the reasons to like www.createspace.com is that even though you must patiently wait for sales totals, at least you get some kind of report. Because some information is better than none.
So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, continue to write everyday. Plan out your marketing strategy and put it into action. With fortitude, practice and a little bit of savvy, you too can have the next NY Times best seller.