Episode 8: Book Sales in a Time of Crisis

Episode 8: Book Sales in a Time of Crisis
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Welcome to The Book Marketing Action Podcast! In today’s episode, your host is Christy Kirk, Vice President of Client Services here at Weaving Influence.

The challenge that emerged this week was an announcement from Amazon that it’s delaying book deliveries by 2-4 weeks, which seems like an extraordinarily long time because we are accustomed to getting deliveries in 2 days. This is happening because Amazon is prioritizing orders for food, household items, medical, and personal basics during the Covid-19 crisis. This, of course, makes sense—however, it is going to have an impact on book sales because we live in an on-demand culture.

To keep your book in the conversation during this time of uncertainty, here are 5 things you can start doing today.

1. Direct sales to your ebook. If you have an ebook or Kindle version of your book, direct people there and see ebook sales for your title increase. In fact, sellers report that ebook sales are rising during this crisis. This tells us that people who are quarantined to their homes are reading more books. Your book is probably one that they want, you just have to make sure they know about it. A way to do that is to consider advertising during this time. 

2. Amazon ads can be an incredibly powerful tool. You can run an Amazon ad campaign for only your ebook title to bring it higher up in search; to get in front of eager, interested readers’ and to make it something they see first when searching for subject matter they are interested in. An Amazon ad campaign right now can be an incredibly powerful tool if you have a brand new book, a book that’s been out a year, or even a book that’s been out for 5 years. 

3. Amazon is not the only option! Start sharing a link to other booksellers in your social media posts and newsletters. Publishers can often do a quick turnaround on sales, so you might direct your audience to buy directly from your publisher. But this is also a great opportunity to support and promote your local booksellers with your book marketing efforts. If you don’t know or have a local bookstore, you can link your audience to IndieBound.org. Indie Bound will let your social followers and email list subscribers find their local book stores and order directly from them. You can also check out locally.com, to find local book stores and other local businesses. It’s important to support local businesses as much as we can during this time. And Barnes & Noble is shipping per normal and is another great option to link your audience to.

4. Consider an ebook price reduction. These promotions can be coordinated with your publisher on Amazon. There are also services like BookBub that alert their extensive list about your title. You have to apply for BookBub promotions and there is a fee, but it usually is offset by the volume of sales it generates. So, think about an ebook promotion right now—because it could make the difference for your title.

5. Create an online book club. We also suggest creating an online book club to discuss your title, because people are hungry for connection during this time. Creating a forum where people can come together to discuss ideas, thoughts, and feelings they have in common is powerful. It could be as simple as a Facebook Group or a discussion on Instagram.

We’d also like to remind you that this is absolutely not the time to go out with a strong sales message. We are in the middle of a crisis: it feels very uncomfortable to actively sell or actively be sold to. This is the time to work cooperatively and creatively with your local community and digital community to build support for your work and the work of others. It’s really about coming together for the benefit of all.

I hope these ideas get your creativity going and helps you come up with an amazing way to work with others so everyone can grow, sell products, and feel better during this tough time. Let us know what creative way your community is coming together by emailing Becky Robinson or Christy Kirk.

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Filed As:  crisis, authors

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