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If you’re familiar with Reedsy, you won’t be surprised to know that I think How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market by Reedsy co-founder Ricardo Fayet is an excellent book.
It’s not thorough – it doesn’t address many book marketing tactics that are effective – but it doesn’t need to cover all options to offer value.
Fayet’s book focuses primarily on how to understand how Amazon works, then use that knowledge to sell on that platform using email, pricing promotions, and advertising.
It also goes in-depth into how to leverage Apple Books, Google Play, and Kobo. Since most books are purchased on Amazon, though, he spends more time explaining what you need to succeed there.
Who will find this book helpful?
There’s no question that this is a valuable resource for any author who wants to sell books.
While it repeats some of what you might have read on this site already – the importance of writing a great book with a genre-specific cover and knowing as much as possible about your target audience, for example – it also goes into great detail about Amazon algorithms and lists.
We all need to understand as much as possible about how Amazon works.
Still, as I moved through the book, I realized that the ideal reader for this particular book is what I might call a “career author.” Fayet is writing for someone who has the potential to support themselves through book sales.
It doesn’t matter if that doesn’t describe you, though. How to Market a Book is still important to your work as an author, especially with regards to understanding Amazon better.
Note, too, that it skews toward series fiction writers since that’s the best way to become a full-time author. He notes that nonfiction authors can also write series, but his examples tend to be from fiction.
My favorite gems
As Fayet notes in Chapter 1, book marketing is all about getting discovered. It’s not about chasing down readers, it’s about how readers find your book. Everything in Section I, “Mindset and Marketing Fundamentals,” is a must-read for all authors, but I especially appreciated his thinking on “the silent majority” in Chapter 4. These are the people who don’t leave reviews, but could recommend your book to friends.
I discovered a new-to-me concept – book “universes” – in Chapter 7. Fayet describes this as “series of series” – creating a new series that’s related to another series you’ve finished writing. Think TV series spin-offs – for example, NCIS followed by NCIS L.A. and NCIS New Orleans, or all of the Law & Order programs.
Chapter 8 explains read-through rate for series books and explains how to calculate it. Again, if you don’t write series, this isn’t useful. But if you do, you need to understand this.
I especially appreciated Section IV, Amazon Marketing, where Fayet went into great detail on Amazon’s lists and algorithms. How much do you know about Popularity Lists and how they work? You’ll learn even more in Chapter 17.
You’ll get good basics on e-mail marketing in the section on mailing lists. If that’s something you want to get better at, though, read my review of the excellent Newsletter Ninja: How to Become an Author Mailing List Expert. (Then buy that book.)
There’s an incredible amount of information on advertising in Section VIII because this book focuses on paid marketing tactics.
Finally, one of my favorite gems in Chapter 50 on audiobook marketing details how to get an audio clip from your book to share on your website. If you’ve got books available in audio format, you’ll appreciate this chapter.
As is often the case, there was a chapter or two that could have had more substance, including the one on editorial reviews. Still, How to Market a Book includes enough links to tools that will improve your marketing to make up for that.
Read this book, which you can download on Amazon for free. It will get you on the right track, especially on Amazon.
And let’s face it: No matter how you feel about Amazon, you can’t avoid it if you want to sell books.
I highly recommend reading it, whether yours is a stand-alone book you want discovered or you’re a series writer who plans to make a living from royalties.
Have you read this book? What did you think about it? Tell us in a comment.
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