By Heather Redding
The internet has proven itself to be a thriving environment for creative indie authors around the globe.
However, indie authors need more than raw talent; they need a winning sales strategy.
That’s why in this post, we’ll be giving our top tips indies should follow to create a winning sales strategy.
Time Your Promotion
Every battle-tested marketer knows the importance of timing for great sales.
Even in book marketing, timing is everything. When you plan to publish your book will profoundly affect how many sales it achieves.
Before you rush to pick a release date, you should first consider what would benefit your promotion most.
We know you may be tired of waiting for the release, but since you’ve already put immense effort into your book, there’s no point in shooting yourself in the foot with poor timing and lack of planning when you’re so close to the finish line.
A well-timed promotion strategy allows you to get creative with your marketing.
And if there’s one crowd that rewards creativity with sales, it’s book readers.
Depending on the date you pick for your book release, you can do special marketing events that will supercharge your sales, so don’t miss out on that opportunity.
However, make sure that the timing of your promotion makes sense for the type of book you wrote.
Here’s an example to show you what we mean.
Since the New Year is a particular time of the year when people decide to change their lives as part of their New Year’s decisions, it’s when you see new diet and self-improvement books hit the shelves.
January is when the target audience of those books is actively looking to buy them.
So, start thinking about the best month to time your promotion if you want your indie attempt to become a sales hit.
Set Up a Strategy for Local Promotions and Special Events
An indie author should never underestimate the value of local and online retailer events for locking down book sales.
Local bookstores and vendors have special events that you can use to really boost your sales.
Imagine all the opportunities for your book if retailers had a spotlight for indie authors.
Failing to research those in-store events and find retailers that might have them would be a massive mistake that would cost you lost sales.
Therefore, search for organizations and places that host events where your book would fit like a glove and use them to lock down sales.
Extend this practice beyond your local community, too.
Online retailers and webshops have ongoing events that your book could benefit from, so limiting your scope to physical stores would be a poor business decision.
A top move would be to research what online retailers do special events that can feature your book and transform this opportunity into sales.
Remember that being an indie author means using every resource available.
In case this is your first sales strategy, or you need ideas on where to start, we’re here to help.
Try these platforms:
- Literary podcasts
- Indie author fairs
- Online events and webinars dedicated to indie writers
- Stores specializing in independent publishing
Before you can start selling your book, you need to cover these points first, so you get the most out of your release.
Now let’s talk about the best online outlets for self-publishing.
Find All the Best Internet Outlets for Self-Publishing
As an up-and-coming author, finding the best internet outlets for self-publishing is the pillar of your sales strategy.
Every successful indie author in the biz knows that internet outlets offer you a viable platform to sell your book.
However, as you’re aware, setting up a platform that you can sell your book from requires effort, knowledge, and skill.
If you have none to spare at the moment, picking an existing internet outlet designed explicitly for self-publishers is a good idea.
A complete winning sales strategy should include them as well.
The main benefit of using internet outlets isn’t just that you have a spot to sell your book.
Internet outlets give you much welcome help in promoting your book. A spotlight on a reputable platform’s home page can do wonders for your book.
Since some internet outlets for self-publishers have massive audiences of their own, having your book tap into that market is a great move.
Thanks to various online platforms like Amazon or iBooks, self-publishing has never been a more viable business model than today.
It may shock you to discover that according to Bowker’s data, self-publishing on Amazon’s market share of self-published books has jumped from 6% in 2007 to a jaw-dropping 92% in 2018.
More indie authors choose to release their new book through an online platform and break into the market without a traditional book publishing deal.
There’s no point in denying that self-publishing has become a massive industry, which your new book can be part of if you have a sales strategy ready.
Build Your Author Website
Building your author’s website is another important way of achieving revenue that a winning sales strategy must include.
First off, selling your book through your website lets you keep most of the profits you make.
As you’re well aware, having intermediaries is expensive. Since the cost of their services is a percentage of sales, using them, however beneficial, costs you money.
When you achieve most of your sales through your website, you don’t have to pay significant cuts to anyone else.
The more you sell from your platform, the more revenue you get to keep. In addition, having your website gives you the possibility to reap the benefits of digital marketing.
An author website allows you to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy to drive visitors to your website and encourage them to buy your book.
Like any product, books need promotion, and if you use effective marketing strategies, you can sell countless copies of your book.
Setting up a successful website is hard work, but it’s well worth it. Just look at the statistics.
A study by the Alliance of Independent Authors found that indie authors who sell directly to readers from their websites take up to 96% of the book value.
By using your website, you get to keep the most money from your book sales.
With all the possibilities for creating websites nowadays, there’s no point in not having one!
Create a Sales Plan for Achieving Sales-Related Goals for Your Book
To sell countless copies of your book, you need to know who you’re selling to. This is where your sales plan comes to save the day.
A sales plan helps you zero in on the target audience for your release with laser precision, so you waste zero resources chasing the wrong crowd.
Instead, you can focus all your sales attempts on the readers who care enough to buy your book. Doing so saves you a lot of money, time, and mental energy.
Worst of all, it’s hard to imagine you’ll achieve any of your goals without a sales plan.
Without a sales plan, you’ll have no metrics to re-evaluate your success after six months, and you won’t be able to identify what you need to fix in order to improve sales.
A well-written sales plan sets up long-term and short-term goals for your book release and helps you track your progress.
Knowing where you are, determines where you go next.
As with anything else, success won’t come overnight; publishing is a process that requires a step-by-step approach.
However, every successful sales plan follows a powerful template that makes goal tracking a walk in the park.
A sales plan is the crown jewel of your sales strategy because it has everything to do with achieving the goals you’ve set for your book.
Back to You
We’ve given our best to enable you to think of ways to create a sales strategy that will help your book reach as many readers—and bank as many sales as possible.
As we’ve said before, indie authors have to be inventive and resourceful to make things work in their favor.
Follow these tips, and we’re sure we’ll see your book in the spotlight of a successful indie author list soon.
Heather Redding is a content manager for rent, hailing from Aurora. She loves to geek out writing about wearables, IoT and other hot tech trends. When she finds the time to detach from her keyboard, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.