Why Book Marketing Fails

I have some friends who make over 100K a year marketing other people’s businesses.

A lot of it is just basic SEO – making sure the website beats out competitor’s in search results.

But on-page sales copy is also important.

Even little things like the color of the “Buy Now” buttons make a difference.

But in the field of publishing, book marketing services are a mess.

And a lot of them are bullshit.

The main problem is product design.

Other companies start with a fantastic product or service. They build something people want or need, and they sell it to the people who want to buy it.

That’s business.

In the publishing world, tens of thousands of authors write books without considering who will want to buy it (or just assuming that everybody will want to).

And then they often screw up the design.

Which results in a shoddy, unprofessional product that nobody wants.

And because nobody wants it, or because they’re scared off by the ugly book cover, the author can’t make any sales. So they start looking for “Book Marketing Services.”

And that’s where things get sketchy.

Traditional marketers may take a look at your branding and positioning.

They may redo your website or think of clever promotion or publicity stunts.

But they are still just promoting a product or service people want to the people who want it.

As someone who works in publishing, every year hundreds of people ask me to help them market their books. They are eager to give me money to help them become a bestseller.

But I could never help them, because they wanted results based on post-publication efforts.

They wanted press releases or Twitter blasts.

What they needed was a brand new cover and a better website.

But even that might not have helped.

What they really needed was a book in a more popular category.

They need a better idea.

They needed better writing.

There are a lot of factors that come into play.

Why Book Marketing Fails

Most book marketing categorically fails because it promotes the book you have, rather than the book you need to have. People will take your money to put your book on their website; to promote it to their huge Twitter lists; to share it on social media or “blast it” out to their email newsletters.

None of that is going to work, because people who sell book marketing services build up a big following of authors who need book marketing services.

Unless you’re writing a book about book marketing, that’s probably not the right audience for your book. Which means, most “book marketing and promotion” services are targeting the wrong readers.

Worse – they aren’t targeting anybody at all. They get a little bit of traffic because so many people are looking for book marketing, and then they make money by offering the thing that authors need and desperately want.

But they aren’t solving any of the real problems.

They don’t look at why your book isn’t selling.

I get angry every time I discover a new book marketing website with a bunch of “featured books” and all of them have really terrible book covers. Book marketing sites often charge $50 to $100 for a Twitter blast or to make you the “featured book” for a week (or even just a day!).

And authors often sign up with four or five them, with no results.

But a new cover can cost under $100 and be better than what they’ve got.

Also, since many authors aren’t web savvy, they can’t tell the difference between putting their book up on one site that gets thousands of new visitors a day, versus another that gets less than 50.

It’s easy to make money by helping authors promote their books: you just add a “Buy Now” button and lists your package options. It’s much, MUCH harder to actually help authors build their platforms, improve their products, and sell more books.

What we do

That’s why I’ve avoided offering book marketing services until now. But I keep refusing to help authors and then watch them throw money away on things that don’t work, so I’ve built a team and started this site.

There are things that work – consistently and reliably – to sell more books.

There is a “Standard Operating Procedure” I use to launch all my books into the bestseller categories. Some markets are much harder to penetrate than others, but we focus on the stuff that really matters, make sure you position yourself well with excellent design and branding, and take a look at the big picture.

We find the things that are going to kill sales and remove them.

We give your book it’s best possible shot at success before we share it with anyone, and then we put it in front of the right kind of readers (not just other authors who also want to promote their books).

And that’s why we’re able to make some pretty bold claims and guarantees.

We may not succeed all the time, but aiming high keeps us accountable and responsible.

We don’t get paid just to promote your books, we get paid to help you sell  more books.

And that’s a big difference.

It’s hard work, and it takes a lot of creativity, time and effort.

But we’re willing to do it for you, because somebody’s got to.

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