1. Have a plan
Authors come to me for help with their marketing all the time. The first thing I do is ask them if I can have a look at their marketing plan, targets and goal tracking.
This is a slightly mean and loaded question because I know the chances of them having all of this to hand is pretty slim. Some do, but the vast majority haven’t properly planned it all out with a budget and a timeframe.
Their marketing approach is often like an ideological political manifesto. Full of big ideas and pie in the sky figures without thought about how much that will all cost or the work involved in achieving them.
2. Be efficient
The best way to make the most of any author marketing budget, no matter how big or small, is efficiency. More ad spend does not mean more book sales. In fact, it can be quite the opposite – clever authors who nail their targeting don’t spend as much as others and get better results. I’m all about making life a little simpler. Those of you that have watched any of my webinars know that my book marketing mantra is all about EFFICIENCY. Spend less time and less money and get better results! Whatever your sales goal is, reaching it will be quicker, easier and cheaper if you can efficiently send the right messages to the right people in the right places at the right time. The more accurately you do this, the less TIME and MONEY it will cost you. Sounds great, right?
3. Know your numbers
At the very WORST your author marketing campaign should BREAK EVEN. That means that the money you spend on marketing your book should AT LEAST equal the amount you receive back in sales.
There are a few key figures that you need to focus on to make that happen…
1. Your cost per lead
Cost per WHAT?? A lead is a potential customer – someone who shows a bit of interest in what you’re selling. Not every lead will end up being a customer, but these are the people who you are interested enough for you to pitch to. Think of them like a browser in a bookstore who has noticed your book because it was on a promotional table at the front of the store. They may just pick it up, they may read the blurb, they may even take it to the check out. The point is, they noticed your book and liked what they saw. Your cost per lead is how much it costs you to get each of those book browsers over to your promotional table – yes, some book stores charge for promotional spots.
2. Your conversion rate
Sorry, you lost me again… This is the percentage of your leads that end up purchasing your book. If your conversion rate is 25% that means you will need 4 leads for every sale. So for every 4 people whose eyes are drawn to your book on that promotional table, only one of them actually takes it to the till.
4. Put it all together
Clear as mud? Don’t worry. The below video explains it in much more detail.
PLUS because I’m so nice to you guys… I’ve made a fancy spreadsheet calculator that I’ve built ALL of the formulas and maths into (if you don’t have a head for numbers – relax, I’ve done the tricky stuff for you).
All you need to do is watch the video to understand how it works, then alter the figures to see where you break even. This ensures you know what the MAXIMUM you can afford to spend per lead is, what the MINIMUM percentage you can afford to convert at and also forecast how long it should take you to achieve your results.
Please don’t throw your author marketing budget into a black hole. Know what numbers you need to hit and what you should expect for your investment.
Writing is a hobby but publishing is an investment. Treat it as one.