By Nick Stephenson (Part One of… Well, several).
^^ Watch the video above for an introduction to this lesson, and what else is coming your way.
Let’s get stuck in…
Writing and publishing a book has never been easier – whole industries have sprung up to help support authors following their passions and building their career. But just how difficult is it to get sales – especially as an independent author?
I’ve spent the last 7+ years helping authors grow their audience, sales, and exposure – and I’ve seen a lot of changes. But one thing that stays the same are the principles of marketing.
That is, getting someone’s attention, keeping it, and then having them come back time and time again to buy your latest releases.
^^ Simon got to 100,000+ sales in less than a year following what I’ll show you in this seven-day course.
It’s not “easy” (of course it isn’t) but, like anything, there are principles and frameworks you can follow to make it a whole lot less difficult.
So, in this seven-day course, I want to break down just how to go about building up your book sales to $1,000 per month (or more) – using proven strategies, tactics, and principles to help you get where you want to be.
We’re going to avoid getting distracted with “shiny red balls” and instead focus on a handful of proven strategies that will get you where you need to be (so your job as an “author marketer” gets a lot more simple – no more overwhelm).
If you’d like to dive into the topics we’ll be covering in even more detail, I’ll be sending out an invite to some on-demand video workshops where I’ll cover everything in this series (and a whole lot more) – plus a few “extras” I didn’t have time to include – so make sure you keep an eye open for those.
And if you need any help at any time, or if you have questions about the material and how YOU can apply it to YOUR circumstances, make sure you join me in the comments section – if you have any questions about the material, just let me know (and I’ll reply).
With that being said, let’s jump in!
Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. Of course, you need eyeballs on your work – and this is where most authors start: trying to get traffic. But there’s an issue…
What if all that traffic (that you’ve spent forever trying to get) isn’t performing as expected?
You see, before we can start work on “getting tons of traffic,” there are a few things to work out first. The first is understanding your numbers or, in other words, how much traffic you are actually going to need to hit your financial goals.
If we stick with the $1k per month target (which is entirely do-able), then it breaks down like this:
So, if your books are priced at $4.99 (adjust accordingly) – and you’re getting a royalty of $3.50 on that – you need to sell 9.5 copies per day to hit your target. Doesn’t sound all that insurmountable, does it? And it gets better…
That figure is if you only have one book. If you have multiple books, and readers buy more than one book from you, then you don’t need to find 9 or 10 NEW readers each day.
The actual figure might be a lot less. Let’s take a look at an example from an author with, say, 6 books.
^^ a pretty typical read-through rate for a series (your numbers might be different, but this is a good rule of thumb).
In this case, the author sees readers progress through his or her catalogue to the extent that each new reader doesn’t just spend $3.50 – they spend close to $7.50. More than double. Why is this so important? It all comes down to clicks and conversions.
The author with 1 book needs to bring in 9.5 new readers every day to hit $1k per month. The author with 6 books only needs to bring in 4.4 new readers each day.
In terms of clicks, if we assume 10% of people who click through to your book page will buy (that’s about right) then it looks like this:
The good news here is that even if you only have 1 book, getting 95 clicks per day isn’t impossible (or even that difficult).
And if you are working on expanding your catalogue – or already have several books – it’s even easier.
[NOTE: I’ve included a pre-made worksheet at the bottom of the page which will calculate your numbers for you – just fill it in with your own data, or leave the numbers as-is to get a good ballpark to aim for]
(And ninja tip – if you have a few books out there but aren’t sure what your “read through rate” is, just count up your reviews on each book and see how they compare to each other – that should give you a good idea).
Here’s a video I put together explaining this concept in more detail (I’ve skipped to the correct part, but feel free to watch from the beginning if you prefer).
^^ How many clicks do you really need? Let’s find out…
With that in mind, if you take a look at your numbers (check your KDP sales graph) you should get a pretty good idea of how much a new reader is worth to you.
It might be $3 or $5. It might be $10 or more. It could be anything.
But understanding how much a reader is WORTH means you know how much you can SPEND – both in terms of time and money – to acquire one, and still make a profit (especially important if you’re running ads).
And if you’ve ever run ads in the past, or run email promotions, you should also have a pretty good idea of how many clicks it takes to make a sale.
Meaning, you now know how much each click is worth to you and how many clicks per day you need to hit your revenue goals.
SIMPLE EXAMPLE WITH ONE BOOK: if you have a 10% conversion rate, you need 10 clicks to make a sale, which earns you $3.50. You need 10 sales per day to earn $1k per month, which works out at 100 clicks.
^^ In this example, each click earns you $0.35.
ANOTHER SIMPLE EXAMPLE (WITH SIX BOOKS): if you have a 10% conversion rate, you need 10 clicks to make a sale, which earns you a total of $7 (because of read-through). You now need 5 per day to break $1k per month, which works out at 50 clicks.
^^ In this example, each click earns you $0.70 (twice as much).
These are just example numbers – you can figure out your own by using the handy worksheet I’ve included at the bottom of the page (it’ll calculate it for you).
Chances are, you’ll fall somewhere between these two examples. The key point to remember is once you break it down into “how many clicks do I need” then your job gets a lot easier. This is especially important when you start advertising (if you know how much a click earns, you know how much you can spend and still make a profit).
This is an incredibly important step – and something a lot of authors skip over (and it’s not scary – you don’t need 100% exact figures – just get the best you can from the data you have access to).
I’ve put together a pre-filled spreadsheet to help you figure out your own numbers – meaning you can get a good idea of how many clicks you’ll need each day to hit your revenue goals. Check out the video above for a walkthrough of how to use it, then download the spreadsheet file here:
^^ NB this is an Excel Spreadsheet file so you’ll need some software to open it and use it (it’s pre-installed on most devices). If you have any issues, try using a computer rather than a mobile device.
And if you’re just starting out – don’t worry. You can collect all this data later, when you have the numbers (and just use the baseline figures I’ve given you in this lesson to get started with).
So – we can work out a rough idea of how many clicks we need (and you can adjust up or down depending on your revenue goals) – but how do we get those clicks? And how do we make sure those clicks are actually doing something useful?
That’s what we’re going to start covering in the next lesson. In the meantime, let’s recap:
Growing your business to hit a specific revenue goal means understanding exactly how many clicks you’ll need each day to get there. This means getting your head around how many clicks it takes to make a sale – and how much that sale will earn you in total.
If you don’t have access to that data right now, don’t worry – it will come. And even understanding the principle of this puts you ahead of the pack (because you think of marketing as “getting clicks” instead of an overwhelm-inducing barrage of different “tactics” that don’t move the needle).
Don’t have access to this data yet? Just getting started? Don’t worry! It will come in time – and you can play with the numbers I’ve put in the worksheet to give you a good idea of where to aim.
In the meantime, leave a comment below if you have questions!