It can be overwhelming being an author and trying to market yourself to a publishing company. There are many different factors that they look at when determining if an author is a good fit for their company. Read the article below for more tips that may help an authors marketability.
Convincing someone to buy a book will always be a subjective process. Yet, publishers have access to objective marketing data about what works and what doesn’t. Informed publishers should focus greater attention on numbers that reveal more confidence about an author’s actual marketing ability. I recommend these four metrics:
1. Email list size and performance
The size of an author’s email list is a better number to objectively grade an author’s marketing skills. It’s one thing to get someone to “like” something on Facebook; it’s a bigger challenge to get people to voluntarily register for an email list and consistently open the emails they receive. And, as I just mentioned above, email has been shown to be 12 – 40 times more effective than social media at acquiring customers.
2. Monthly website visitors
Social media numbers can be faked, but an author’s website traffic is difficult to falsify. Google Analytics is free and easy for authors and publishers to run reports and gather this data. At the very least, publishers should request information from authors on the amount of monthly unique sessions, total users, and page views to their site. In addition, they should ask for reports that show traffic dating back 18 months. Don’t just look at the present numbers; look at how the author is trending.
3. Speaking schedule and webinar participants
Authors who get face-to-face with their readers tend to be better marketers than those who hide behind their computers. Publishers should ask authors to provide a history and upcoming itinerary of speaking engagements and book signing events. Online webinars and livestream webcasts can also provide indications of an author’s presentation prowess and audience size. It’s a good idea to ask for figures of yearly webinar frequency and average number of participants.
4. Previous book sales history
Some authors know how to generate a lot of activity, but it doesn’t translate into a lot of book sales. Most publishers wisely check an author’s past sales history using BookScan (authors can check their own BookScan numbers using Amazon’s Author Central account). An author’s sales history can be the most objective number available and should be given important weight.
When acquisition editors assess an author’s ability to market a book, let’s not forget what’s at stake. They are offering someone a legal contract and taking a big financial risk. Appropriate due diligence might take a bit longer, but it helps bring more clarity and confidence to the decision.
Instead of assigning subjective grades to authors based on their dubious social media popularity, publishers can make better decisions by reviewing the four types of objective data described above. This information provides a better picture of an author’s marketing skills and gives a clearer sense of an author’s true capabilities.
Armed with better data, publishers can peer into the future with more certainty and envision an author’s performance when the book launch day arrives. That’s a day you want every author to get a passing grade.