There is an old management maxim that says: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. In terms of self-publishing, measuring how your marketing efforts are impacting your book sales is essential. These measurements will enable you to pinpoint what is working for you and tell you where to focus your energies. Here are three things you can do to start measuring the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
1. Become an affiliate
Both Amazon and the Apple iBookstore have affiliate programs where you can generate special hyperlinks for your books (or any product on the store). If a buyer uses that unique link to visit the site, you’ll get a small cut of the sales price. This alone is a great reason to become an affiliate, but an even better reason is that you can track how many purchases are made using each link – which means that you can set up multiple links to the same product and use a unique link for each of your marketing channels.
So, for example, you can generate a unique link for your Facebook author page, and another for your Twitter account. You’ll then be able to see how many book sales originated from Facebook compared to Twitter. This will give you a good idea of how each channel is performing, and the best ones in which to invest your time and money.
2. Set up multiple landing pages
A landing page is dedicated to a specific purpose, like selling one of your books. We highly recommend setting up dedicated landing pages for each marketing channel (eg: Facebook, Twitter etc), then linking to the various stores from there. A tool like Google analytics will allow you to analyze how many hits each landing page is receiving. Affiliate links to the various stores will then track how many of those visitors are actually clicking through and buying your book. This conversion rate will tell you how effective the page is at motivating would-be readers to actually buy your book. We talk more about landing pages in our megapost dedicated to setting up an author website.
3. Analyze your sales data
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but a good way of finding out if a particular marketing effort is working is to see if it has prompted a spike in sales. This is especially useful if you buy external advertising which links directly to your book, like a Bookbub advert.
How do you keep track of your book sales? Let us know in the comments.