Marketing and Branding Books Quiz: Why Isn’t My Title Selling?

by | Oct 18, 2022 | Bestseller Essentials

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Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s working and what isn’t, you’re trying to follow all the tips for marketing and branding books properly – but you feel like you’re pushing mud uphill.

Or maybe you’re feeling stuck and wondering where the gaps are in your book promotion?

If you’re ready to start generating more book sales, you’re going to appreciate this quiz!

And please know the goal of this quiz isn’t to shame you, but instead, show you what’s missing in your toolbox for marketing and branding books and your overall platform.

For each question pick a number between 1 and 5 that best describes your situation.

Choosing number 1 means you haven’t done it, don’t know how, hadn’t thought of it.

If you choose number 5 on any of these, you are really hitting it out of the park and you know for a fact it’s doing something positive for you.

Most of us fall somewhere in between.

And while the majority of these questions should apply to every author, from someone releasing their debut self-help title to someone releasing the 8th title in their 3rd romantic suspense series, if a question really doesn’t apply to you, select number 3.

But be honest with yourself – just because you don’t have a website yet doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to you!

Pick the number that most resonates with you and your situation.

For example, if you get to the book cover question and you feel your book cover is good, but you catch yourself being wowed by other covers in your genre, you might pick a 3 for that answer.

Successfully marketing and branding books in ways that lead to sales does require the management of a lot of moving parts, but it doesn’t have to be stressful, and you shouldn’t be spinning your wheels.

And for any of the questions that spark interest – maybe it’s something you haven’t done yet or started but never finished – I’ll link to some helpful podcast episodes we’ve done on these topics so you can do some additional learning!

Understanding Your Results

Mostly 1s

You have a lot of work to do, but the good news is you’re self-aware enough to know that you need help.

My recommendation is to start by polishing your Amazon page.

Why? Because it’s one of the most overlooked marketing tools.

And you have a website, right? If you don’t, that’s a must-have for sure.

Remember this: we often launch a book expecting a seat at the table when in fact, we have to earn our seat at the table.

Authors are so often perplexed by this, and it’s not always your fault.

The industry gives a false sense of “success” once you hit “publish” on that book. And finishing and publishing a book is a fantastic achievement, but you can’t skip steps, I don’t care how awesome your book is.

You’ve got to put in the time, and learning about marketing and branding books the right way, is part of that time.

Finally, if you’re too focused on book sales, you’ll stay at this level – I can promise you that.

Mostly 2s

You aren’t new to the game, but you know there’s a lot you still need to master when it comes to marketing and branding books strategically, without spinning your wheels.

Why not start here: check out your Amazon book page, and your website. Are they doing all they can for you? Are you sure?

It’s possible that you’re at this level because you launched your book and then didn’t do much with it, or the whole idea of marketing was just confusing to you. Ring a bell?

We just did a podcast on this in fact – what happens if you miss your launch window (because it happens).

But what if this isn’t you – what if you launched a book and feel like you did all the right things but still nothing happened?

Well, maybe you thought you did all the right things but maybe you didn’t. Because there’s a lot that you *can* do for book marketing, but that doesn’t mean all those strategies are appropriate for your genre, audience and platform.

How are your reviews looking? Not great? Or are they good but you have fewer than 20? Then this is something I’d absolutely push.

And if your book is still fairly new, start pitching more bloggers for reviews and features to gain a wider audience.

Mostly 3s

Do you feel like you’re kind of reaching for that next level but aren’t quite there yet when it comes to marketing and branding books in a way that ALWAYS gives you some sort of return on your investment?

Most of you taking this quiz probably landed on this number and for a reason: it’s pretty normal to feel like you’re treading water and doing all the things, but nothing seems to be happening.

That’s why it’s time to level up.

You probably have more than one book out, but you haven’t spent a lot of time focused on your backlist at all, am I right?

That’s a good place to start. Always keep one book in some kind of promotional rotation – even if that means you’re just doing a limited time discount for your eBook.

And since you’re all about the next level, now is a great time to take a fresh look at your Amazon book descriptions and add some new reviews you’ve gotten.

If you haven’t written to your newsletter list in a while, now is a great time to kick that into high gear to ensure they stay engaged and are primed to buy your next release – this isn’t the field of dreams, you have to keep them interested.

Mostly 4s

Congrats! You’re doing almost all the things, but there’s still more to do if you feel like you’ve peaked a bit.

For you next-level book marketing ninjas I would suggest it’s time to level up your fan base and turn some of your readers into Superfans and build a Street Team that can help you promote your work.

Confused about how to do this? I’ll link to a podcast episode below!

Mostly 5s

You’re an absolute rock star and I bet you could teach me a thing or two about marketing and branding books in your genre!

You’re doing all the things, that’s for sure.

But have you explored audio books yet? If not, that might be your next go-to. Audio is tremendously popular right now and though it’s an investment to create an audio book, it can absolutely be worth your time.

If you aren’t running Amazon ads (or at least not successfully) now is a good time to start or check in with someone who really understands the Amazon ads beast – send us a email!

And I bet you’ve gotten a BookBub daily deal before, right? Now is a good time to submit again. Daily Deals are hard to get, but they can really boost your exposure.

Resources and Free Downloads

Listen to our minisode on using your Amazon bio as a sales tool.

Listen to our episode where we cover 10 myths about success in publishing!

Listen to our episode about book covers that sell.

Listen to our episode about the critical first 30 days on Amazon.

Listen to our episode on how to recover after a failed book launch.

Listen to our episode on Superfans and Street Teams.

Check out all of our podcast episodes.

Check out our Amazon category on the blog for more sales conversion tips!


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