Fall is a huge time for publishers. Books you’ve had in the pipeline for a year or more are finally going out into the world to (hopefully) find huge audiences. All that work discovering the writer, negotiating the contract, editing the manuscript, putting together a killer marketing plan--it’s all coming together. You have high hopes. Your superiors have high expectations and everyone wants a hit or two. Or at the very least, to sell more eBooks this fall than you did last fall.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 3 things you need to do now to make sure you sell more eBooks this fall.
If you’re like most publishers, your fall catalog consists of 20 to 30 books, maybe more (depending on your size). That’s a lot of books. Understanding with certainty which retailers and territories to focus on is challenging at best, a nightmare at worst
The way to accurately sort all this and get concrete answers is to take a good look at your sales data. The best scenario here is to have daily sales reports. You’ll see what your returns are for each day, which in turn gives you a clear picture of which books are doing well and in which territories. If you don’t have access to daily sales reports, no worries. Weekly and even monthly reporting can help you see what’s going.
Sure, fall is all about new books, but don’t forget all those great books on your backlist. Just because a title isn’t new this year, doesn’t mean it’s dead! To decide which titles to promote, think like Amazon. If an author of a new fall title has published with you in the past, be sure to promote the previous book with new one. Give a free sample of the first chapter or two of the previous book at the end of the new book, or offer your own recommendations for similar titles from other authors in your backlist.
You should also think about books on your list that aren’t traditionally sold as eBooks--cookbooks, children’s picture books, puzzle and quiz books. Technology has improved immensely, which means it’s easier and cheaper than ever to convert traditionally glossy books into high quality eBooks.
This is perhaps the trickiest piece to figure out, but well worth the effort. After all, if you know what’s working, you can do more of it. If you know what isn’t, you can stop throwing away your marketing dollars. Again, this is where sales data is key. Knowing which retailers and territories are yielding the highest sales helps you figure out where to put marketing dollars.
Justin Marks is a Content Marketing Manager at Vearsa. When he’s not helping publishers run and grow their eBooks businesses, he’s busy running his own small publishing company. Oh, and he loves cookies.
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