Are you interested in promoting your book online and to boost your book sales? This week, I attended the one-day seminar Forest For The Trees organised by the NSW Writers' Centre as part of the Sydney Writers' Festival 2017. It was a gathering of publishers, writers and industry representatives, who discussed the trends in the Australian writing and publishing industry.

Book marketing made easy

In one of the panel sessions, Julie Winters, Associate Director, Nielsen Book Asia Pacific, shared some insights about which books readers are buying and which books are likely going to sell in the future. She also pointed out how publishers and writers can leverage the Nielsen tools for book marketing, promotion and tracking of sales in multiple territories.

In summary, she recommended three steps to boost your book sales:

  1. Register your book with the Nielsen Title Editor
  2. Use the online marketing tool Book2Look
  3. Track your sales data with Nielsen BookScan

1. Register your book with the Nielsen Title Editor

The Nielsen Title Editor is a free service where you can upload your book's metadata for free. If you are new, you have to register first by filling out a form with your name and address details, as well as the ISBN of your title. In case you have more than one title published, you need to provide one sample ISBN for them to identify your organisation. Then, you need to indicate the number of your publications that are currently available (print and eBooks). Once you submit the form, you get a notification that they will reply within five to ten business days to confirm your registration.

2. Use the online marketing tool Book2Look

Book2Look allows readers and blogger to share excerpts of their favourite books. For publishers and authors, it is a versatile online marketing tool with in-built sales buttons. All titles are displayed in the form of so-called "biblets", little widgets that are easy to share on social media, blogs, newsletters or a website. The cost for one widget is $115; if you need between 2 and 20 widgets you pay $55 per widget.

To get an idea of how it works, have a look at this presentation.

The online marketing platform Book2Look.

3. Track your sales data with Nielsen BookScan

The Nielsen BookScan is an extensive database that provides sales statistics for the consumer book market in nine countries. In Australia alone, the database tracks more than 90 per cent of general retail sales, an equivalent of over 90,000 titles worth over $15 million, on a weekly basis. The service includes all big discount and department stores, chains, and independent booksellers.

Apart from publishers and libraries, authors have the opportunity to use the Nielsen BookScan sales data to easily monitor the sales of their books, collect information of how successful a promotional event was or use the data as a reference to check royalty payments and when negotiating contracts with publishers.

This service is available to any author no matter if self-published or with a publishing house. It comes, however, with a cost. You can buy bespoke reports or sign up for an annual subscription. Ad hoc reports start from $90 for lifetime sales of one title; a subscription (starting at $1,500 per year) allows for open access to the entire database.

Read the Nielsen BookScan brochure for more details or email info.bookscan@nielsen.com.

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