A book sales funnel follows the same principle as all other commercial sales funnels.
When a potential reader comes across your book, you have succeeded in attracting attention.
But very few will jump immediately to the action of buying your book.
For new authors, especially, you need to fill this gap with elements of interest and desire.
What are book funnels?
When you start promoting your new book, you will use many of the standard tools.
Social media is always a good starting point. But you might also use book promotion services or buy ads on Facebook or perhaps Twitter.
Most authors now have a website or blog. You can attract more interest on social media by writing and sharing a new blog post about your book.
For a book launch, you might use a free book giveaway to attract potential readers.
All of these book promotion elements can help, but they are disjointed.
A book sales funnel can help you use each part of your book promotion campaign in the right order.
To successfully sell any product, service, or book, you need to lead your potential customers through a logical buying path.
You don’t need to use a sophisticated enterprise-level sales funnel.
But by thinking about how a basic type of funnel works, you can improve your book promotion and resulting book sales.
Getting attention is easy
When you promote your book using all the tools and services at your disposal, you will get attention.
People will notice your book or book cover on social media and perhaps a piece of content you wrote and shared.
If you use a book promotion service like Whizbuzz Books, you can increase the number of potential readers who see your book.
But this is only the starting point. You could easily get 2,000 views of your book in a week or less. But how many sales will you get?
Creating interest is a critical factor in selling books.
Imagine if a reader stumbles upon your book on Facebook or Twitter and clicks your post.
Where do you send them? To Amazon? Your book might be science fiction or romance.
But what if the reader only likes detective novels or medieval fantasy?
Sending your prospective book buyers directly to Amazon is okay in moderation.
But if all of your book promotion tools lead to Amazon or a universal book buy link, you will never create any interest or desire.
To create more interest in you, the author, and your books, it is much better to “funnel” your readers to something more interesting than a book buy button.
How to build a simple book funnel
You don’t need to create a complicated, and expensive sales funnel that a large company would use.
These usually entail aggressive email marketing techniques.
They often use a lead magnet and automated email systems to start an email sequence to increase sales conversions.
It is not worth the time for new self-publishing authors, nor the investment in such complex systems.
But you can use many free tools, your writing ability, and your imagination to build elements of a sales funnel to help you sell more books in the long term.
1. Create landing pages
It’s very easy to design and publish landing pages on your blog or website.
You can create them on almost any blogging platform.
If you have a handful of them, you can link to them to help create more interest.
You could have pages about you as the author, or different pages giving more details about your book or characters.
2. Build an email list
When you start building a subscriber list of email addresses, you have a direct route to your potential readers.
But yes, some email services can turn out to be quite expensive.
One of the best solutions is to use Mailchimp. You can use it for free for up to 2,000 subscribers. This is usually plenty for a new author.
You can integrate email subscribe buttons and forms on your site and check your email campaigns’ opening rate.
Once you have started building a mailing list, don’t bombard your subscribers.
You will end up in their junk mail very quickly.
A little goes a long way in email marketing.
You could send a monthly update on your writing and publishing.
4. Free ebooks
If you have published a few titles, you can promote a giveaway on your site.
It is a great marketing tool that is often used for the first in a series.
You can offer your book as a free ebook download.
But if you can, it is always better to get readers to enter their email addresses to get their free copy to help build your mailing list.
5. Offer a special gift only for your subscribers
Another idea is to write a short story and offer it as a special free ebook to your subscribers.
You don’t need to publish it. Just use Calibre to create an ebook from Word into mobi and epub.
It is a great technique because it costs you nothing.
But you are creating a lot of interest in your writing, which will lead to better book sales.
6. Think outside the dots
Whenever you promote your book, think carefully about the link you attach to it.
Ask yourself where you want to send a potential reader. Can you find a more interesting link than your Amazon book sales page?
What led you to the last book you bought? How can you recreate that process?
Have you thought about selling your ebooks directly to your blog readers and mail subscribers?
You don’t need a complex funnel. But by thinking about all the options you have, you can help improve your book sales and ranking.
Writing a book is easy. Selling a book is not.
But you can make it a little easier by understanding the process a potential book buyer goes through before deciding to buy.
Your chances of success will increase considerably when you fill the gap between attention and sales with elements of interest and desire.
Keep writing. But also keep thinking.