Effective Ideas on How to Market a Book is the topic from this week’s guest expert, Joanna Penn.
Joanna has an intuitive understanding of how to market a book. She appreciates the unique challenge authors have reaching readers and selling books. She is well-known for her practical, actionable, and most importantly, effective advice.
She is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author of numerous thrillers under the J.F. Penn pen name, and numerous non-fiction books specifically for authors. She’s a professional speaker and award winning entrepreneur. Her site, thecreativepenn.com is regularly voted one of the top sites where writers can find plenty of resources to help them write, publish and market their book.
“The first job of an author is to write great books, but these days, their second job is to market them.”
Excerpt from this week’s podcast “Effective Ideas on How to Market a Book:”
Q: Joanna, how would you recommend authors go about finding the right categories and for their book?
A: The first thing you have to remember is that Amazon is a search engine, so need to input a search for books that are like yours. Every author should understand where their book fits in the market. Think about five books that are like yours, or five authors who are similar to your books. For example, my London psychic series is a dark crime thriller trilogy, and some readers of Stephen King enjoy that, so I could look at Stephen King “Doctor Sleep,” for example. If you search for a book like that, and look on the left hand side, you’ll actually see the categories that the books are in. Obviously, somebody like Stephen King is famous, so he can be in a category like fiction and actually sell books, whereas we can’t.
Then you have to look at one of the subcategories that he might be in, and then dive down even further. Obviously, it’s a good idea to use authors that are perhaps smaller names, but often, you might not know who they are. It’s really spending a good amount of time on Amazon diving down into the niches and getting to know who the top sellers are, and looking at what they’re doing.
The second thing with subcategories, you can actually use subcategories to get into keywords into other subcategories. I have an arcane action-adventure series that ranks in conspiracy thriller. You cannot select conspiracy thriller when you self publish. You actually can choose that as a keyword and then appear in that category. Understanding how keywords work is so important. Essentially if you go to Amazon.com, start typing anything in the search bar, you’ll get a drop-down. That’s where you can basically choose keywords. They’re often keyword phrases these days. For example, “how to market a book” is a keyword phrase.
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Download the transcript from this week’s podcast interview “Effective Ideas on How to Market a Book”