What's the best way to market my books outside of social media?
This question came to me on my TikTok account...and I think it makes for a great discussion.
Of course, there's no "right" or "best" answer to this question. So my thoughts are based on my experience. My experience is that of a small biz, on a budget, with mouths to feed, a mortgage to pay, and limited time.
So if your vibe fits mine, you may relate to this perspective.
Amazon marketing is just...easier
There's two sides to Amazon marketing: organic and paid marketing.
A lot of us think of ads or paid marketing when we think of marketing on Amazon. But I always like to point out the importance of organic marketing as well. Simple things like a clear keyword description or having your books in the right categories. This upfront work goes so far in pushing your book to the top of the search results. That's all organic and costs you nothing.
And that's exactly the thing.
Just having a book LISTED on Amazon is like posting on social media several times a day.
An Amazon listing vs. an IG/TikTok/FB post
If someone goes to Amazon and searches for a topic that is related to your book, your book may pop up. And all you had to do was set up your product page.
On IG, TikTok, Facebook, or other social accounts, your content may also be discovered. But really, you need to post regularly in order to show up on someone's feed. Of course, you can go viral or develop a huge following, but that's really hard (lowkey impossible) to control.
Of course, it's very important (although not required) to show more than your books. People also buy into you as a person. My IG is a mix of life, books, relatable stuff....definitely not completely sales-focused, but I like to show this side of my work and my personality.
On Amazon, it's the product only - with a short bio with my author description. No updates are really needed so it's much less work to manage, but I definitely don't underestimate the importance of showing things like behind-the-scenes, tidbits about me, and updates.
There's also paid marketing on social media
And of course, similar to Amazon there's organic and paid marketing on social media, so you can run paid ads instead of having to post organically all the time.
I know a lot of authors that have had success going this route, so it's absolutely an option. Just recognize that YOU are the engine in this scenario, and not Amazon.
Running paid ads to your website where you keep most of the profit = smart.
Running paid ads to Amazon and then also sharing a big chunk of your money with Amazon = hmmmm 🤔 Just make sure you double check that the math is mathin.
And in general, with any paid marketing you want to take the extra step to make sure you're profitable.
Amazon margins can be slim, so ads to people that are already on the platform are going to serve you best when selling on Amazon on your goal.
And on the flip side, social media marketing to be the best bet when traffic is going to your own website. You have larger margins there and can afford more expensive ads.
It all takes time
But the real MVP: Time.
Book marketing is all trial and error, and tweaking, and trying again.
So, you'll want to be smart about it.
Once you figure out something that works, do your best to double down on it. You can't be in all the places, so don't even try. I personally have found some success on Amazon as well as on my website.
But I haven't, for example, found as much success with getting into schools or selling bulk orders to non-profits. So, to this day, I don't spend as much time there. There's a marketing strategy there that I can't begin to comprehend, and I don't really have the time or resources to figure it out. So I pour more of that energy into becoming sharper and smarter about my Amazon ads and other marketing platforms that work for me.
There's a path for all of us. The hard thing is figuring out what it is. The even harder thing is sticking with it. Just take it one step at a time.
Also, if you're interested in the TikTok video on this topic, check it out here.
@iselfpublishedthat I did this video almost a year ago…at a point where I was killing it on social media. And that has absolutely died down…and I still feel the same ☺️ #amazonkdp #amazonmarketing #authorsoftiktok #smallbusinessmarketing #sellbooksonamazon #selfpublish #authortok #bookmarketing ♬ original sound - Markita