How to market nonfiction books

There are a few ways you can effectively market nonfiction books and about 1000 ways you can ineffectively market them. Instead of banging away on Twitter, where the average tweet has a lifespan of less than an hour or seeing how fast you can lose all your Facebook friends by blasting them with promotional updates, try these tactics instead.

Note that no matter how well you launch your book, it is not going to sell well if the cover looks terrible, if the description is lousy, etc. But, if you have a book that’s ready to launch, here’s your gameplan.

When you launch your book, you should email everyone you ever knew and let them know that you published a book and you’d love for them to buy it. Then, a week or two later, send an email thanking everyone for buying (this is a sneaky way of reminding people). Then stop. If I  had to live off of friends and family supporting my work I would starve. Instead, thousands of strangers bought my books, while most friends asked for free copies and outright refused to buy unless I reimbursed them. What friends they are!

What actually worked was working with book promotion sites with big email lists–like tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of active subscribers. The biggest one, which most authors have heard of, is called Bookbub.

Bookbub is a Boston based startup that promotes discounted books. Besides Amazon promoting your book as a Kindle Daily Deal, which is like hitting the lottery, no one can sell more books in a shorter period of time than Bookbub. They have over 8,000,000 subscribers across all their genres and depending on the category, they average anywhere from roughly 1,000 sales to over 4,000 sales off of one email. Once you sell that many copies of a book, it makes the Amazon algorithm show the book to more people, and if your book is right for them, it will stay ranked highly and continue to sell 100+ copies a day indefinitely. The top 1,000 kindle books on Amazon make 100+ sales and about 300 dollars per day on average, so to get a book there and have it stay means you’ll be making six figures off your work per year as long as you stay. Bookbub is expensive, but not overwhelmingly so. This is their current pricing.

Also, if you want to see how much money authors and publishers are making, feel free to plug their sales rank into the sales rank calculator.

Everyone in publishing also knows about Bookbub, which means they only accept about ten percent of submissions they get. To have any chance at getting one, you need a professionally designed cover, at least 20-25 reviews on Amazon and 20-25 Goodreads ratings. Getting a bookbub isn’t the easiest thing to do. Fortunately, there are other book promotion sites that you can use to get some sales going.

Here’s a link to a group of good promo sites- stick to Tier 1 and 2 sites!

This list is absolutely correct for fiction, but not for nonfiction. They left one out the one site that’s really good for nonfiction, though. Bookbub’s subscribers tend to be women in their 40s and 50s. That is not the audience you would want to promote a stock market book to. The best site for nonfiction is called Buck Books. Their subscribers don’t fit the mold of the romance devouring women that subscribe to Bookbub.

If Bookbub had a bastard child, it would be Buck Books. The site is growing and someday will make its move for the throne. Here is a link to their site

Buck Books doesn’t have millions of subscribers, but the ones they do have are good for nonfiction. Last Buck Books promo I ran moved 39 copies in kindle and 2 in audio, for 29 dollars. Ever since the book has been selling more steadily and racking up KDP select borrows. Also, I noticed a lot of quality books in my also-boughts, rather than the chaff that usually populates it after running promotions.

Book promotion sites are great tools for authors who want to know how to market books. Along with AMS ads, sharp cover design, and getting reviews, promos are a critical factor in launching a book up the Amazon charts, and perhaps to becoming a bestseller.






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