Marketing a bestselling book
As I celebrate a year since I launched How to Style Your Brand this week I'm sharing my insights into what I've learned from publishing my own bestselling book. Today I want to look at marketing. I've already published a couple of posts with some of the resources I used to put together my marketing plan, you'll find them here and here.
I guess much of this post is going to be about the good intentions I haven't followed up on rather than a comprehensive blueprint for marketing a bestseller. And what I hope is that in reading it you'll take heart in the knowledge that even if you don't have a whacking great marketing budget or an army of assistants to execute all of your marketing plans, you can still make things work on your terms.
One of the things I'm most proud of is that the book sales have grown organically. Without the big PR or marketing budgets of the traditional publishers I haven't garnered much high profile publicity so spreading the word has really been about being featured on blogs, podcasts and social shares. For that I am so, so grateful for your support and enthusiasm.
On Tuesday I talked about numbers. I don't know whether you think selling almost 10,000 books in a year is ridiculously small or ridiculously large. I'm not sure I really knew until last year but what I do know is that I'm delighted. I've sold more books than I needed to to make the project work and I'd love to spread the word more and see how much further this book can take me.
To give you a little perspective, Tim Grahl cites 10,000 books as being the magic number for a book gaining a life of it's own. Most books don't sell beyond 100 copies. And then of course there are the publishing sensations who sell millions and millions of copies. I guess I'm pretty happy with where I am on that spectrum for just a one girl band.
The power of sharing
Barely a day goes by when I haven't been tagged in a photo or received an email from one of you telling me how helpful you've found the book. It means the world to me. To know that the book has helped you find clarity, unleash your creativity and move your business forward is everything I set out to achieve.
More than book sales, which have been undeniably better than I could have hoped; what inspires me most is to know I've created a book that's useful. A book that's been recommended and continues to be recommended is what makes me happy and inspires me to write the next book.
It's this sort of marketing that I hope will bring me sustainable and long term sales. I'd always intended that the book should have longevity. The branding process I've created is timeless. And as design fashions come and go, being able to identify how to communicate your brand values in a distinctive and emotive way is something that'll never go out of fashion.
Beautifully illustrated, this has become desk-bound and my absolute go-to reference guide. From understanding colour palettes to step-by-step launching of a brand, this is perfect for anyone trying to nail down what they want their brand to say.
The second it arrived, I read it from cover to cover because I couldn't put it down! I am using this to piece together a branding approach for a small business and it's perfect for that - but I've already used it for another small rebranding project.
Expert advice, excellent writing. An easy 5 stars.
Caz via Amazon.co.uk
Oh, and on that note, your honest Amazon reviews have meant so much. Any book marketing expert will tell you to ask for reviews, run review campaigns and swap downloads, freebies and goodies for reviews. I know I should do that too but I've just found it a little distasteful so I haven't asked. Yet... But if you could spare a moment to leave your thoughts I would be so grateful. It really does make a huge difference.
I really can't say I've worked hard at promoting or selling the book. I just haven't had the time and I'm intrigued by the potential of that. I'm just about to order another 10,000 copies, which will sharpen my mind a little and that's probably not a bad thing. Next year my plan is to work harder to market the book and explore sales in more international territories.
As you read this I'll be in Tallin, Estonia for a week of book signings and workshops. About six months ago, Veronika emailed me about bulk prices for selling my book to her clients. Since then she has imported several hundred copies for her clients as well as all the universities and libraries in the country.
It's been a great opportunity for us both and it's something I'd love to explore with more of you. If you live in a territory where the book is tricky to get hold of, would you be interested in distributing some? Email me and we can discuss!
I've made a few tentative inroads into getting my book stocked in some bona fide bookshops. I still dream of Anthro and Oliver Bonas but for now you'll find my book in some gorgeously select establishments including Mr B's in Bath; Southwood Stores and Nest Home. You can also order via Waterstones and I'm pretty sure WH Smith too (although I've never tried...).
Similarly, if you've an online or offline shop and would like to sell How to Style Your Brand then please do get in touch. The book is available via Bertrams wholesalers or if you'd prefer to order via me (10 copies min), I'd be delighted to discuss.
I've loved you sharing your photos of the book and also your progress as you style your brand. Here are a few of my favourites and you'll find more on the Instagram hashtag #howtostyleyourbrand or #thebrandstylistbook.
So all in all, this seems to be a book that has succeeded because of you guys. Because you've given it the support, enthusiasm and cheerleading that has spread the word and made my dreams happen. Thank you so much!
To say thank you...
As a thank you, I'd like to do two things. First of all, I'll be holding a one hour Q&A on Instagram on Monday 23rd May at 2pm British Summer Time. Find me @thebrand_stylist and either tag me with your brand styling questions or join in the discussion on the post I'll put up...
Secondly, lots of you have been asking for more resources on colour. And I'm working on them. As soon as I possibly can I'll send you something out. I promise! I think you'll like what I have planned...