5 Ways to Maximize Your Profitability as a First-Time Author

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Getting published as an author is a major milestone. Yet despite how difficult it is to get published, it is estimated that over 4 million new books were published in 2022 by traditional and self-published authors.

That’s a lot of books, and if you’re trying to turn authorship into a profitable business, this can make it difficult to stand out. Luckily, you can still maximize your profitability as a first-time author by making the most of some proven marketing tactics.

Related: 6 Steps to Successfully Writing and Publishing Your First Book as an Entrepreneur

1. Use Kindle and NOOK advertising

While many authors from business backgrounds understand the importance of SEO and social media ads, they may overlook another valuable resource: Kindle and NOOK advertising. 24% of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 own an e-reader, and many of these devices feature advertising of some kind.

By investing in advertising on Kindle and NOOK, you don’t just reach people who match your general target audience. You’re specifically reaching people who love to read, which means that with proper targeting, your ads are much more likely to generate actual purchases of your book.

To maximize your chances of success with Kindle ads, start with low bids to ensure you don’t overspend, which can easily happen if you take Amazon’s suggested ad bid. According to self-publishing expert Lori Culwell, you should aim for 10 ad clicks to make a sale on this platform.

2. Use local media

Local media can be a surprisingly powerful way to get additional press on your book release. After all, as a novice author, you’re unlikely to get a profile The New York Times unless you already have a sizable following in your industry.

However, local newspapers, magazines and websites tend to be more willing to cover the story of a local author publishing his or her first book. Even though these media outlets don’t have as large an audience, doing an interview about your background and your book helps build your online presence, making you easier to discover for new readers.

3. Use your book to build your business

Always consider how you can use your book as a way to grow your business. For example, according to an Authors Unite case study, after Jolie Dawn was able to launch her book at #1 in Amazon’s Spirituality category, she used that attention to build a coaching business in six figures. In her case, the book wasn’t the ultimate solution, but it served as the foundation for growing a thriving business. By pairing the book launch with a business, Dawn increased its profitability far beyond just direct book sales.

When planning your book launch, consider how it can tie into your marketing strategy for your business as a whole. While the book itself shouldn’t be overtly promotional, you should highlight your business and industry experience in your bio and as part of your promotional materials. You could also include links to your website or newsletter within your book. This helps your book become a powerful way to increase brand awareness.

Related: Here’s how writing a book can give your brand a much-needed boost

4. Get appearances on podcasts and blogs

You can go beyond local media by trying to get appearances on relevant podcasts and blogs. In a Write Nonfiction Now case study, Kathleen Gage explains that she appeared on dozens of podcasts to promote her book launch, which led to book sales, increased downloads for free offers on her website, and increased participation at its conference events, leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue from a single book.

For these types of results, you should target your blog and podcast appearances to programs and websites relevant to your niche and your book’s core message. Be sure to clearly demonstrate why you are an expert: why you are the right person to have written this book and how you can bring value to the podcaster or blogger’s audience. Most often, a successful initial appearance will make it easier to get more appearances in the future.

5. Maximize email lists with newsletter exchanges

Email lists are a popular tool for authors, as they are a way to keep your readers updated and engaged with your content. But to maximize profits you shouldn’t just limit yourself to your newsletter. Instead, interact with other authors to do a newsletter exchange (or exchange).

The way this works is to connect with authors who write in the same or similar genre as you. A newsletter exchange sees both authors agree to promote each other’s book or website in their next newsletter. Then, you will promote another author’s work in your newsletter in exchange for them promoting your work.

This can be a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience through a source that relevant readers already know and trust. It can lead to direct sales and grow your audience. Similar tactics can also prove useful on social media as you try to grow your following there.

Related: How to Make Over $100,000 a Month Writing a Book

These tactics that will maximize your profitability as a first-time author aren’t exactly a secret — and that’s okay. By using these techniques to increase your visibility and get in front of relevant readers, you will greatly increase your likelihood of racking up sales and building a dedicated following.

With a profitable first book, you can ensure that your next book will be even more successful.

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