I can’t buy it if I don’t know about it

I recently purchased a Nook Color because I wanted to compare it with my Kindle Fire.  As I started exploring the Nook store, I discovered that it is incredibly difficult to find my books.  Browsing for books in a narrow genre (such as Christian Fiction) is really difficult.

After an hour of trying to find my books by just browsing through genres I gave up.  I doubt a reader would have tried for much more than two minutes.

So, how does a relatively unknown author get their work in front of readers? Certainly the my-book-is-now-published-let-the-sales-roll-in marketing plan isn’t going to work.

Targeted marketing is the answer.  I have to reach readers where they are.  I have to limit the number obstacles that stand in the way of them purchasing my books.  I need to give them the most direct access possible to my books.

So, how do I do this?

1. Fight false assumptions about reader behavior.  I was challenged by this.  I thought that if I pushed out messages to readers about my books with links to the Kindle version, if a Nook reader came across the link they would look me up. I’m finding the opposite is really true.  Whenever I tweet targeting Nook readers specifically, I see more Nook sales that day.

2. Provide links with direct access to purchase books from different distributors.  This might mean including both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links in the message (Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter, etc.).  Or perhaps the entire message is targeted to a specific distributor.  I have tweets that I send out just for Nook users.  I also have some specifically for Amazon UK, etc.

3.  Post messages and interact with all kinds of fans.  I look for Facebook groups and blogs that are specifically for Nook or Kindle users.  Being sure to follow the group / blog’s policies, I’ll post messages specifically for those users.

4.  Make sure links for all distributors are available on your website.  Sometimes it’s not realistic to list every link for every distributor in a message or blog post, but you can make sure that your website has the most information possible. I like to include direct links to books for each distributor in multiple locations on my website.  It’s a good idea to use affiliate links.  (If you’re not familiar with distributor affiliate programs, see my guest post on the subject at Joshua Bedford’s site.)

Regardless of what steps you take in marketing your books, try to keep it fresh.  Remember it takes a reader an average of 5 times of seeing your book before they’ll make the purchase.  The more you can get it in front of them the better.

What are some false assumptions you have about reader behavior?  Have you been thinking one way only to realize that something else might be true?  How do you target your marketing?  Please share your thoughts below.

Self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing.  She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years.  She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels.  For more information about Karen’s books, visit her Amazon Page or Barnes & Noble.

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