One of the most common questions we receive at Booktango is “How can I earn more?” It is a legitimate question. For many of our authors their book was not just something done on a whim. You invested a great deal of time, effort, editing, re-editing, critiquing, designing and promoting your book. Like any good investor, you want to see a return on your investment! As we near the payout window for our Fourth Quarter royalties and many of you are anxiously checking your sales reports, I thought it would be timely to provide three tips to maximize your earnings.
1.) Market your book. Tell everyone you know about it! Ask them to tell everyone they know. Use social media to promote your book and keep the conversation going. Give teasers or ask questions to engage your audience. Don’t give up too early in your efforts. Sometimes building a fan base or following takes some effort and time. While Booktango offers several marketing services that can help promote your book, we realize this is not for everyone and you have the choice to do it all yourself. Take a look at our Best Practices: Marketing and Selling guide to get some tips on writing the marketing text for your book to help promote it!
2.) Do your research. Before you click the “Make it so” button and submit your manuscript to us, check out other books similar to yours. Search our bookstore or your favorite online retailer with some of the keywords or genre you have selected for your book. Does your cover design stack up? Is your book description as compelling as others? Is your price competitive? Put yourself in the book buyers’ shoes and ask “If I saw these books next to mine, would I buy mine?”
If not, adjust your thinking. Spend a little more time on the cover, tweak your keywords and marketing text, make sure you have selected the right genre. All of these elements may seem simple compared to the effort you have put into writing your book, but remember this is the only thing a buyer will see when deciding whether they should buy your book or not. Make it the best you can!
3.) Send people to the right place. This is my most important point. Do you know where you earn the most money? Of course everyone knows Booktango pays the highest royalties out there at 100 percent. Every penny from book sales goes to our authors. Unfortunately, the online retailers such as Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble still take their share. But, if Amazon pays us $100 in royalties for your book, we keep nothing and pass the full $100 on to you. There is no question there are benefits to having your book on all these retailers. You want to be discovered and searchable as much as possible.
However, if you are telling your friends, family and fan base about your book and using social media to tweet and post links to your book, why not use the link that will generate the most cash for you? Using the link to your book on the Booktango bookstore will earn you the most money. This is something easily missed by many authors.
Let me give you a real example from one of our authors I talk to often. One day I complimented him that he was doing a great job promoting his book on Twitter, and I hoped he was seeing results from his efforts. However, he was tweeting the link to his book on Amazon. When I asked why he chose Amazon he said “I don’t know. That’s just what everyone knows.” Amazon is great; it is the book wonderland for online shopping. I go there, everyone goes there!
However, consider this for just a moment: If you are providing a direct link to buy your book, do you really want your buyers looking at the millions of other books on Amazon and perhaps making an alternate buying decision? Now consider this (the real meat of my long-winded story): Amazon can discount your book, and they will still take their cut (30 percent if your book is priced above $2.99). Not only did you just help promote other books, but you also paid at least 30 percent to do so. Using the direct link to your book on Booktango puts more money in your pocket and still gives your buyer the option to purchase the eBook in any format they want.
Let me break it down the same way I did for my friend. Let’s say your book is priced at $4.99, and you are going to sell 100 copies. Take a look at the math:
Booktango Bookstore: $4.99 x 100 copies x 100 percent royalties = $499 paid to you
Retailer Example: $4.99 x 100 copies = $499 – 30 percent retailer fee = $349.30 paid to you
It adds up quickly!
When I share this story with many authors they say “Oh, Tony, you just want to drive more traffic to Booktango.” Well, sure I do! However, I do so not to improve our traffic but to show off our authors and make sure they get the return on their investment we intended them to get when we decided to be the best of the best.
So ask yourself, are you doing all you can to make the most money off your investment?