How much money do you spend on advertising? How about promotions? Do you experience a bump in sales only to have them drop off again? Do you ask yourself “What’s the point?” More than once a day? I’ve been there too. I worked my way out of the habit of spending money to barely make it back (if I did make it back). It was hard. The temptation to get that high from seeing sales in your dashboard is incredibly powerful. But if you want to build a business that will last you need to find those core fans. Organic traffic is the word of the day here. How do you get organic traffic to your site? That’s where strategy comes in. Long term goals and things that will grow your readership over time. Ads, promos, and even keyword optimization are all examples of tactics. They have their place in the grand scheme that is book marketing but you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Is what you’re doing helping in the long term? If you get someone to buy your book do you have permission to contact them about your new release?
I’d love to tell you I came up with this amazing strategy all by myself. But the truth is, it’s Tim Grahl’s connection system.
I’ve been studying publishing and book marketing for over seven years now and one thing I’ve seen and heard over and over again is to not sacrifice the marketing strategy for a tactic. I wrote a bit about strategy and tactics at the beginning of the year and this is something that has been on my mind as I read new tips and tricks since I first heard it on Write. Publish. Repeat. But I will never forget the feeling I got when I was sitting in that room in Nashville listening to Tim speak. Someone had asked him about promotions and ads and he asked them what part of the system that solved. Permission, outreach, or content. The answer was none. An ad might move someone from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist but even if they buy the book you don’t have permission to stay in contact with them.
What we were learning, what Tim has been trying to teach, is the strategy. Not just another tactic you can spend a ton of money on and hope there’s a positive ROI. Not something that will give you a little bump in sales and then leave you hanging. This is it. The system that sells books organically. All it costs is the prince of a website, email service, and a bit of your time.
The following are the base pieces to a good platform as outlined by Tim Grahl’s connection system:
I’d like to mention that tactics are not bad, but you shouldn’t be spending time and money on them unless you’re already seeing organic growth. Here are a list of tactics:
As an author you need an experimental mindset, but you also need to make sure your experiments are the ones that give you the most bang for your buck until you start seeing daily sales and the problems you’re trying to solve are bigger than just selling books.
Are you looking for help with your platform and book marketing? Marissa is now scheduling free publishing consultations! Click here to learn more.