Authors, Do you feel LOST when it comes to getting your book FOUND Online? Don’t know ‘where to start’? Are you feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got some good news and some bad news:
If you’re an author and ever thought or said: “If I could just get my book in the bookstore I know it would sell right?”
The Shocking Fact is: Probably not! In fact, the brick and mortar bookstore can be the WORSE place to sell your book and here’s why – Your buyer has moved!
The year 2011 was the year the Internet KILLED the publishing industry. That is the year that Amazon announced to the world that, for the first time, e-books had outsold traditional print books.
Now before you get all worked up thinking it’s the end of the world and start preparing for the Apocalypse, let me share some good news with you.
The same Internet that KILLED the publishing industry in 2011 is creating a rebirth or a renaissance for new authors in 2014 and beyond. It was also 2011 that Amazon announced that out of it’s top 100 e-books that year that 27 of their top sellers were self-published and not traditionally published by an ‘old school’ publisher. The lesson here is: We are on the verge of a massive shift in publishing and you, the author, can benefit and prosper greatly from this new distribution model IF you know how to position yourself correctly and take advantage of this historic global shift.
Why it is Harder to Become a Best-Selling author in the Internet Age
Over 1 million new books were issued ISBN numbers in America in 2012. That represents at least 500,000 new authors. Of those, 60% are self-published authors, with 85% of Americans saying they want to publish a book in their lifetime, according to Bowker book research.
With so many new authors writing new books every year the amount of noise in the publishing world has made it harder for a new author to get noticed.
But, in the midst of the noise, authors who correctly utilize social media can and are becoming best-sellers, landing movie deals, getting media coverage and selling more books.
I stuttered as a child. From the ages of 5-11 I had trouble communicating my thoughts and many times was laughed at and made fun of by my peers and adults. I eventually grew out of my speech impediment and stuttering and one way I coped was to pretend I had a TV show and interviewed interesting guests from all over the world. As long as I was ‘on the set’ of my show (which was on our small family farm) I could talk without stuttering. I believe this, along with several other things, helped me overcome my stuttering. During this time I read a lot of books and did a ton of writing myself. In fact, I remember reading a book written by an 11 year old boy and said to myself: ‘I want to be a writer too.” I share that story to illustrate the evolution that is taking place in my lifetime from brick and mortar stores to Online shopping and how the Internet has changed everything – especially the publishing industry.
Authors who learn how to leverage Social Media and the Internet with an Online Community will sell more books and gain more notoriety.
Most authors do not know HOW to correctly use Social Media and instead of helping their brand they actually hurt their brand by doing it wrong.
Fiction authors, non fiction authors and self help and religious authors will find the benefits of branding their name by owning their URL can take them far in their writing career. If yourname.com is not available you may want to add a middle initial like I did MichaelDButler.com
By owning your URL yourname.com you can continue with a lifetime of blogging and update your fans and readers as each new book becomes available.
You will also want to brand your name on all social media channels ie: Facebook.com/yourname Linkedin.com/yourname, etc… This will make it easier for fans to find you and follow you and will give you tremendous search engine boost over time.
Having a close up, current photograph/profile picture will serve you well in the long run. You may love your dog, your grand kids or your automobile but people want to connect with you the author and this is why a photo of your face is preferable to one of your pet. People buy from us when they know us, like us and trust us and nothing helps that happen faster than a current profile picture that is consistent across all social media channels. With the majority of social media being done from smart phones it is so important to make it easy for people to recognize you by using a consistent, easy to see and easy to share photo of your face. Use the same photo on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Pinterest, your blog/Website, Linked-in, YouTube and all other social media channels.
We all want our stories to go viral. For them to go viral they must be compelling, authentic and relatable. “He or she who tells the best story wins.” We all know that being a better writer does not necessarily help you sell more books. But telling a better story WILL help you be remembered and will help you leverage your way to ‘best-seller’ faster. Facts tell but stories sell and to make the biggest impact an author must learn how to tell the best stories.
As a public speaker who’s delivered nearly two thousand keynotes and workshops, 90% of the time I tell the story of me stuttering as a kid. I tell this to connect myself with my audience in a way that hopefully fosters authenticity, trust and connection. Many times I tell my story about being a single dad of 4 sons, of being a marathoner or of my son overcoming cancer and having a bone marrow transplant and how his courage and faith inspired thousands.
Stories endear us to our audience, make us more human and create an emotional bond that makes our customers trust us and want to buy from us. Decide what stories fit in your overall social media ‘story’ and weave them in with testimonials, FAQ’s, valuable content and educating your customers. For example if you’re a financial advisor and you write about how to save, choose investments and minimize risk, tell us stories about clients you’ve helped but also tell us WHY you got into the business of helping people save for retirement.
Many times when an audience or individual hears your ‘WHY’ it’s just the thing they need to cement that relationship for life! So, tell your story, tell it early, often and with passion. It will create a lifetime of raving fans ready for book #2 book #3 and book #4 from you!
The Internet gives us the opportunity to connect with potential joint venture partners by leveraging keywords Online.For example, if I’m a self-help author it is very beneficial for me to connect with other self-help authors on social media. This will not hurt my book sales. This will allow others who are following them to find me and it adds value to us both.
We’ve seen it happen again and again in every genre of books, authors who are not threatened by ‘competition’ end up winning in the long run. We’ve even seen two of our authors land movie deals as a result of leveraging their keywords on social media platforms and getting others to talk about them. This ‘third party’ credibility caused a production company to take notice and take action!
There are a number of free and fee based tools to help authors find potential joint venture partners Online and sell more books. Hootsuite.com and ManageFlitter.com are two of my favorites. A Google search or a search on Mashable.com will show the latest and most reputable tools for managing your brand Online.
Experienced authors who are getting royalty checks should consider outsourcing part of all of their social media to a qualified agency. It is more affordable than many authors realize and it can free up more time for the author to do what their good at and what produces the most income – write more books. Outsourcing one’s social media does not make it less personable. Any qualified agency will take the necessary time to get to know the core message of the author and insure that the message, content and personality of the writer comes through in all Online interactions.
Third party validation is so powerful when it comes to Online buying. This is why creating a relationship with potential joint venture partners is huge. An author who only talks about themselves will lose followers, but those who brag on others will find that others naturally want to brag on them too. ‘Go-Givers Gain’ when it comes to broadcasting Online. By using what we recommend as our 25% Rule of Engagement ™ where only 25% of the time you talk about yourself and the other 75% you talk about: Industry News and Facts, Humor and FAQ’s and quote experts in your niche you will find those same experts, soon, esteem you as a colleague and begin sharing your stuff freely. One sure fired way to insure others won’t keep talking about you is by ignoring or not replying to FAQ’s and Online sharing. Utilize free monitoring software to track when others are talking about you and your book Online so you can thank them and return the favor.
The fastest way for your content to go ‘viral’ is is to have it on video. Since Google owns YouTube and 75% of search results are based on video content you will be miles ahead of others in your field if you focus on video marketing for the next 5 years. Finally, make your content shareable. If you want people to share your content – Make it shareable. Use social media buttons like http://wordpress.org/plugins/addthis/ If you’re following our 25% Rule of Engagement ™ formula we mentioned above you can feel confident in asking people to Re-Tweet and share your content across all their social media channels. Finally, this brings me to my important final point,
There is nothing lazy about re-purposing content it is smart! Content is king on the Internet and to get found you must have new and fresh content on a weekly basis written for humans and search engines to get found, indexed and shared. ‘A tweet grows up to become a New York Time’s Best-Seller’ is always our goal and it starts today with you!
Growing up on the farm I loved eating Mom’s cooking. She always made something delicious, nutritious and enjoyable but only used the same 4 food groups over and over and many times mixed a new dish with leftovers from the day before. For example, everyone of these numbered points in this book (yes this post will be a chapter in a best-seller in Barnes and Noble in May 2014) chapter were a YouTube video, a blog post, a series of Tweets, Facebook posts and Google + posts. The easiest way, in my opinion, to create content is to shoot a weekly video from some of our FAQ’s we get from our clients. I then type up the manuscript (text) from the video. And post this text along with the video on my YouTube channel and my blog. Now I have a Search Engine Optimized piece of valuable content that will drive traffic to me based on what we do for authors and I make it shareable using http://wordpress.org/plugins/addthis/ and Tweet it, Facebook it, post it on Google+ Pinterest, and the social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Stumble Upon, Digg and Delicious.
About Michael D. Butler
Michael has been helping Authors, Speakers and Entrepreneurs sell more books Online so they can charge more for speaking and consulting. He and his clients have been seen on Fox News, CNN, Dr. Phil, Fox Business, Inc 500, Garnered 2 Movie Deals, Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle and many more.
He’s delivered thousands of keynotes and speaks about Social Media Strategy, Funding Non-Profits, Social Commerce Emergence and Author Marketing Best-Seller Strategies. He blogs and at MichaelDButler.com and can be reached at CEO@MichaelDButler.com
Michael Butler has recently been acknowledged by America’s PremierExperts® as one of the leading experts in his field. America’s PremierExperts® recognizes leading experts, across a wide array of industries, who are willing to provide information and education to consumers as a public service.
He’s conducted interviews with or shared the stage with Brian Tracy, Governor Mary Fallin, Senator Orrin Hatch, Nick Nanton, Jill Lublin, Fox Business – Judy Hoberman, Berny Dohrmann, Billy Joe Daughtery, Eric Lofholm, Cindy W. Morrison, Dr. Jeff Magee, Coleen Paine, Lisa DeMayo, Olympian Jake Dalton, Mia Davies, Devin D. Thorpe and many more.
STAY TUNED — SPECIAL Holiday Author Marketing Package right here!
"....M3 went the extra mile for our organization, and did all the work with excellence and exemplary professionalism. "
"...from TV interviews to speaking engagements, You guys have been awesome!"
"You guys have done a remarkable job with our Website and our Social Media Campaign and you have been a delight to work with!"
"The team at M3 has been a blast to work with on several National PR campaigns to end Human Trafficking in San Diego and global networking for the cause-we can highly recommend M3 when you need to create some buzz! "