Monday, October 24, 2011

Reach More Readers

Mark Cocker, Founder of Smashwords teaches serious writers how to reach more readers in his coming ebook, The Seven Secrets To Ebook Publishing Success.

Secret #1-- Write a great book.
Ninety percent of your book’s success is determined by its quality . The other ten percent is marketing and luck. If your book is poorly edited or poorly conceived, readers will reject it. If you write a great book that satisfies readers, they will reward you with their word-of-mouth. Don’t rush your book before it’s ready to be read. A good cover image adds to the reader’s enjoyment of the book.

Secret #2-- Write another great book. each new book gives the author an opportunity to reach new readers and earn their trust. At the end of each book, add a section titled, “other books by this author”. Think of each book as a fish hook in the ocean. Each book is an advertisement for the others.

Series writers are among the most successful. Once a reader becomes emotionally invested in a series, they’ll want to read the complete series. Don’t cut corners. Don’t divide a single full-length book into multiple shorter ebooks. Readers hate this and they will review your book poorly.

Secret #3-- Maximize distribution. If your book is not broadly distributed, it’s not discoverable and purchasable. With ebooks, never choose one retailer over another. Choose them all.

Secret #4-- Give some of your books for free. Free books receive 20-30 times more hits than paid books. If you have a series, offer the first title of the series for free. Hook the reader.

Secret #5-- Patience is a virtue. Ebooks never go out of print. Sometimes a book starts poorly for months, and then suddenly takes off. Give your book time to develop a solid base of reviews.

Give readers the option to shop where they like, and offer direct link to each retailer.

Secret # 6-- Trust your partners and readers. Writers often worry about things that don’t exist. Control the urge. Don’t be afraid of piracy. Let you readers share your ebooks with their friends. Trust your readers. Some bestselling authors consider piracy as a form of marketing.

Secret #7-- Marketing starts yesterday. If you wait until your book launch to start marketing your book, you’re too late. The moment you start writing a book, you should start marketing yourself, the author.

Cultivate your social network. The idea is not to attract thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook so you can spam them with with solicitations for your book. Instead, contribute to the success of fellow authors. They are your partners, not your competitors. Enlist them as members of your volunteer work force.

Books are a word of mouth business, and always will be.

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Jill James said...

Mona, a very wise man. He knows his field and marketing.

Mona Risk said...

And he's so nice!

Carly Carson said...

Thanks for the tips, Mona. I hope the conference was productive for you.

liana laverentz said...

Well, I'm about 50/50 on the secrets. I made the mistake of selecting only one ebook provider, but now I have links to all of them on my website. And I didn't start promoting Thin Ice until well after it came out. Ooops!

Jan Romes said...

Very good blog post, Mona! I think one of the best points he makes is that you need to start promoting ASAP. :)

Mona Risk said...

Thursday was opened to non-members. It's theo nly day I could attend, but well-worth it. Four sets of panels with la creme de la creme, and a bunch of VPs publishers and other professionals.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Liana, Thin Ice is doing great because it fits Cocker's Secret #1write a great book. The rest you can add now.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Jan, yes market as soon as possible. I'm saying this to myself.

Molly Daniels said...

Very sound advice:) And yes, Lianna's Thin Ice is AWESOME!

Beth Trissel said...

Excellent post and great advice, Mona.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Molly, I think we all read Liana Laverentz' Thin Ice, not once, but several times.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Beth, the advice is not mine, but coming from an expert.