5 Success Secrets Marketers Can Learn from Indie Authors


Know Your Business

Authors are passionate about their books. In the modern world authors, must market their books even if they are independently published. Independent authors do it all without advances or PR support from the publisher.


But independent authors can make a good living writing and publishing and marketing. They learn and practice a business mindset and market with a vengeance.  


Independent authors steward time to balance marketing with production.


5 Actions Indie Authors Take To Get The Most Out Of Marketing

Indie authors would rather be writing. They pay close attention to marketing activities and results. Successful indies know the five important areas of focus to get the most out of their time and budget.

     1. Know Your Audience

For authors, readers are the key to growing an audience… and making more sales. Authors are laser-focused on their readers. A romance author doesn’t target science fiction readers. A fantasy novelist doesn’t target mystery readers.  Indie authors don’t market to everyone. They know their reader base and target a specific reader audience.


In business, the more clearly you identify your target market persona, the easier it is to address that person in their language and their concerns. Authors know what their readers expect from their books and keep producing with their readers in mind.

     2. Brand Yourself

Successful indie authors know that a consistent brand across the web builds their author brand. From an author page with a digital publisher like Amazon or iBooks, to a website and Facebook author page, to email, videos, and social media the images and language are consistent. Their readers (target market) recognize them instantly. Their book covers have consistent design elements.  


Entrepreneurs and business leaders can develop a consistent identity (brand) with a visually simple logo (book cover), a consistent message across all platforms, and a language that speaks to their customers build their brand recognition. Create a simple and clear message about your business, products, and service.

     3. Watch the Numbers - Be a Data Monitor Machine

With a limited budget, indie authors want the most from every dollar spent. They not only monitor sales but monitor sales in relation to promotion and advertising. They practice A/B testing and notice the difference in results. They keep spreadsheets of data and monitor results for all marketing efforts. They know open rates on email messages. They segment lists.


Knowing the data behind every marketing effort helps tailor your business efforts to target the right audiences.

     4. Tweak for Better Results

Nothing is written in stone for book marketing. Indie authors monitor data so they can make adjustments. Perhaps a cover design is holding back book sales, or the book description isn’t on target. Authors keep making changes to get the best results. They monitor sales from marketing campaigns. If sales don’t improve, they adjust keywords, try a different image, rewrite marketing and advertising text. If sales go up, they know a campaign is successful. And, because they keep track of the numbers, they know the tweaks that work.


In business making small changes to a marketing campaign as a result of watching numbers can reap the same benefits.

     5. Watch the Bottom Line - ROI  

An author without data is not able to correlate marketing activities with book sales. Every marketing activity must produce results. If it isn’t working, even with tweaks, the author scraps that activity and replaces it with a new campaign. Successful authors experiment to produce the best return on investment (ROI). They understand that emotional investment in a campaign can keep them from making changes that impact the bottom line.


Business marketers who readily give up a campaign that doesn’t improve the bottom line and switch tactics for impact know the value of results-driven marketing.


The Numbers Game

Independent authors balance their time between writing and marketing. They track numbers like sales, sales rank, number of followers, audience (reader) engagement, advertising statistics such as click-through rate (CTR), cost per click, daily budget spend, and resulting sales. Monitoring data gives the feedback to point toward marketing adjustments and best places to spend for return on investment. Like editing, keeping track of data is an area where indie authors can apply rationale and adjust for better results.


Business marketers who regularly monitor data can achieve similar ever-increasing results by monitoring all data and making changes on a regular basis.

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