Book marketing services can be vital to the success of your book. The big one, BookBub, get a lot of attention, but there are others out there that are more than capable of helping you reach new readers. In this interview I talk to Jeffrey, who runs The Fussy Librarian, an up and coming book recommendation newsletter. We look at what you can do to maximise sales when you get an advertising slot with one of these book marketing services.
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BookBub – A less personalised service doing something similar.
BookSends – Another similar service.
Jeffrey started the service believing that really dialling down into what the reader wants is important. Someone might love cozy mysteries, but not like regular mysteries. This creates smaller and more specialised lists which hopefully means that the person is more likely to buy the book. As the lists are smaller it also keeps the costs lower as you are not paying a lot to reach a lot of people who might not be interested in your book.
The service is something between a huge blast out to a general audience, and the very interested people on your own mailing list. Currently they have an impressive open rate of 40%.
The Fussy Librarian is more niched down in terms of book recommendations, and this is one way that Jeffrey differentiates his service. He also realised that while BookBub is a major player and has a huge list, there is an even bigger market, and an abundance of people who do not subscribe to any sort of book notification mailing list.
Jeffrey also doesn’t require book to be discounted to be included in a newsletter. He says this is because it is so hard to break even on a 99cent priced book. He wants authors to be able to make money at this and not forcing them to discount sure makes that easier. The cost of the service doesn’t change based on what the price of your book is and you’ll pay about $1 to reach 1000 readers on a list.
Using Permafree to Build a List
Jeffrey says that putting a book free and using a service such as his can be a great way to build your own mailing list, which should be a real priority for any author. Services like The Fussy Librarian can get you in front of readers, but there is no better person to advertise to than a previous customer.
Jeffrey points out that marketing yourself and your books can sound “dirty” to some people, but he says the reality is that there are a lot of books out there and if you aren’t willing to do some promotion, you are unlikely to get your book in front of readers. He says “You can see it as dirty, but you must do it!”
Jeffrey has noticed that sometimes a book being advertised will convert highly into a sale (a lot of people buy it after clicking), but other times it won’t. While it’s hard to know what causes this, he says there something that could be limiting that sale:
- The also boughts – People land on your books page but are more captivated by one of the also boughts and so purchase that instead.
- The book description – This should be excellent, and it doesn’t need to match what goes out in the email blast. You have two opportunities to sell to a potential customer when you are in an email blast, use them both.
- The leading review – It must be positive.
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