At Tule, our main goal is to publish fantastic stories by the best writers. We want to delight our readers and satisfy our authors’ desire for creativity, freedom, and commercial success.
By working collaboratively with our authors on marketing campaigns, we’ve been able to successfully drive buzz and increase sales for their books. Here are a few ways authors and independent publishers can work together, along with example book marketing campaigns that we’ve run in collaboration with our authors.
1. Promote a new release
When promoting a new release, authors and publishers should work in harmony. This allows everyone to benefit from the tools each has at their disposal, and also to reach both the author’s and publisher’s audiences. For example, our author Michelle Beattie had previously been traditionally published and was relatively new to independent publishing. When promoting her new release A Sheriff’s Passion, the last book in Michelle’s Frontier Montana series, Michelle and Tule collaborated on the marketing campaign to ensure that we reached as many readers as possible.
Campaign goals: When releasing A Sheriff’s Passion, we had a specific sales quota. Launching a new release in the digital landscape is always difficult, but with the help of the author and BookBub, we can increase visibility.
Tule’s marketing activities: To promote a new release, we usually run a BookBub Featured Deal for one of the author’s backlist books in the lead up to the release and put retailer links for the new book in the back matter of the book being featured. In Michelle’s case, we ran a Featured Deal for A Cowboy’s Temptation, the previous book in the series.
Additionally, the month before launch, we start promoting the new book on social media. This included releasing the cover art and having a countdown to release day. On release day we heavily promoted news of the book’s launch on social media.
Author’s marketing activities: We encouraged Michelle to take advantage of the New Release Alerts offered by BookBub. She claimed her BookBub Author Profile and added A Sheriff’s Passion to her “My Books” page before its release so that her readers would get a notification that her new book was live. She also launched her own social media campaign, which included a book trailer, to help build buzz amongst her existing fans.
Results: The campaign for A Sheriff’s Passion was successful, as sales increased by 873% from the preorder period to release day.
2. Drive revenue for a backlist book
It’s crucial to constantly promote your backlist because those titles are an important revenue source. We always want old titles to find new audiences, keeping both the story and author fresh in the minds of readers. For example, we worked with C.J. Carmichael, an established author, to promote her backlist book Good Together.
Campaign goals: Good Together is the second book of a six-book series. We saw an opportunity to drive readers through the entire series. We also wanted to introduce our established author, C.J. Carmichael, to a new audience of readers.
Tule’s marketing activities: On social media, we regularly promote content for our backlist titles. Recently, we created a quiz that determined a reader’s book boyfriend to promote engagement and to increase interest in our backlist titles. We also incorporated evergreen content, such as #mancrushmondays for our favorite leading men and #womancrushwednesdays for our heroines. For Good Together, we specifically posted about the book’s publication anniversary, as well as the book’s special deal.
In our newsletter, we have Flashback Friday and Special Deals sections that promote backlist titles. The special deal books always have the highest click-through rates, and when we discounted the second book in the series, Good Together, we included it in the promotional sections of our newsletter. We hoped our subscribers would purchase the discounted book, make their way through the series, and become a fan of the author.
To increase the longevity of the promotion, we also ran a BookBub Featured Deal for Good Together and engaged in alternative digital advertising. We directly contacted retailers informing them about the BookBub deal in hopes for extra exposure of the title on their website.
Author’s marketing activities: Whenever we run a BookBub Featured Deal for one of C.J.’s books, we coordinate with her to make sure she has the opportunity to plan her own promotions around the discount. We used this method again when running the Featured Deal for Good Together. C.J. sent a newsletter to her subscribers to let them know about the BookBub deal so that they could take advantage of the discount. Additionally, she created graphics to share on Facebook and Twitter and to use for alternative advertisements. These ads guarantee a longer tail to the increased sales from her BookBub deal.
Results: The results showed an increase in sales as high as 524% for the other full-price books in the series. From running the BookBub Featured Deal, C.J. gained a new following of readers that were introduced to her at a discounted price, and many continued reading the entire series.
3. Build buzz for an upcoming release
Campaign goals: Prior to the launch of Hot Mess, we wanted to create buzz and drive preorder sales.
Tule’s marketing activities: First, we set up a BookBub Preorder Alert to get the word out to Amy’s readers. This alert was sent to all of Amy’s followers, and we saw a big jump in preorder sales that day.
Because Hot Mess kicked off our multi-author Hot Aussie Knights series, which is about firefighting royalty in Australia, we wanted really branded covers for these books that were strong and clear in message. We coordinated a cover reveal with the participating authors on our social media platforms.
To generate reviews, we worked with NetGalley and LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program, and with our own street team. Lastly, to drum up interest with Amy’s fans, we hosted a giveaway of her book in the Hot Aussie Heroes series on our social media platforms and Amy shared the post with her fans.
Author’s marketing activities: In addition to participating in our Tule marketing plan (such as promoting her book’s giveaway), Amy ran her own social media campaign and featured Hot Mess on her website to promote the book.
Results: It was a successful campaign, and we saw a 174% increase in preorders due to the BookBub Preorder Alert.
As an independent publisher, we want to work closely with the author to ensure that our marketing efforts are in line with their vision for the story. It is a true relationship, where both parties give and take. For independent publishers, the author and publisher rely heavily on each other to supply what each needs. While we often provide paid advertising campaigns and run publicity and social media campaigns, the author has the closest connection to their existing fans. Collaborating helps us reach as many readers as possible, and hopefully readers appreciate both independent authors and independent publishers who are wholeheartedly devoted to the art of storytelling.
The views and opinions expressed in this guest post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of BookBub.
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