Top 10 Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites – Success Guide for Authors & Publishers (WriteZero)

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This is part of the WriteZero Top 10 Book Promotion Sites Guide for Authors & Publishers

This Top 10 List covers the best book promotion sites for promoting Christian Romance books

The Top 10 – The Top 10 Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites

  1. BookBub
    1. Bookbub is the largest book promotion site and has 15 million readers
    2. The largest and most effective Christian Romance book promotion site. It has a dedicated Christian list with millions of readers
    3. Dedicated email list for Christian Romance
    4. Very Strongly Recommended
    5. Bookbub is very selective and only accepts 10% to 20% of submitted books
  2. Books Butterfly
    1. The 2nd largest book promotion site with 4 million readers
    2. The 2nd largest Christian Romance book promotion site with over 1.4 million Christian readers and over 1 million Christian Romance readers
    3. Dedicated Christian Books email list and dedicated App for Christian Books
    4. Dedicated blogs for Christian Romance and Clean Romance
    5. Strongly Recommended
    6. Takes 10% to 70% of submitted books. Your book must be professionally edited and must have a professionally designed book cover
    7. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our Sister Company which has successfully run $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  3. eReader News Today
    1. A very trusted and reliable site that has a very large readership (over half a million readers) and has been helping authors since 2020
    2. Very reasonably priced
    3. Dedicated list for Christian readers
    4. Strongly Recommended
    5. Is reasonably selective. Please read their rules on their website for details on what their acceptance criteria are
  4. Robin Reads
    1. A very good and fast growing site which is the most selective of all the Christian Romance book promotion sites
      1. Robin Reads takes only 10% of submitted books
    2. Dedicated Christian list
    3. Strongly Recommended
    4. Please note that, because Robin Reads is very selective, you might have to apply a few times before getting accepted
      1. Please Note: The top Christian Romance book promotion sites will not take your book if they think it is not polished enough to sell well
      2. Please don’t get discouraged
      3. Usually it just means you have to get the book properly edited, get a professionally designed book cover, get some good reviews, and then you can resubmit
  5. Free Booksy & Bargain Booksy
    1. Free Booksy is a Top 5 Christian Romance book promotion site for promoting free books
    2. Bargain Booksy is a Top 10 Christian Romance book promotion site for promoting deals
    3. They have been helping authors since 2012
    4. Dedicated Christian List
    5. Recommended
  6. Book Sends
    1. A large and trusted book promotion site helping authors since 2012
    2. Run by an author and very trustable
    3. Over 120,000 email subscribers
    4. Has a Dedicated Christian List
    5. Recommended
  7. Fussy Librarian
    1. A good book promotion site which is very reasonably priced
    2. Has a dedicated Christian List
    3. As it is very reasonably priced, it is a very good place to test and see if your book is ready for book marketing and promotion
    4. It is also a good choice to stack on to your book promotion with one of the Top 4 Christian romance book promotion sites listed above
    5. Recommended to test your book and/or as an add-on to one of the above Christian Romance book promotion sites
  8. To Be Added – We’re doing more market research and will add more of the top Christian Romance book promotion sites to this list in due course
  9. To Be Added
  10. To Be Added

These Christian Romance book promotion sites are very good and reliable and we recommend them strongly. You should see

  1. 5 or more of these 7 work well for your Christian Romance book and give you good results
  2. A very polished book should work at most of these book promotion sites

Honorable Mentions – Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites that just missed the Top 10

  1. eReader Cafe
  2. Genre Pulse
  3. Kindle Nation Daily
  4. Book Gorilla
  5. FKBT – Free Kindle Books & Tips
  6. OHFB – One Hundred Free Books

As Christian Romance is still a growing and emerging book genre, the number of book promotion sites focused on Christian Romance is still low. Hopefully, a number of new effective, reliable, and trusted Christian Romance book promotion sites emerge over the coming years. We will then add them to this Top 10 Christian Romance Book Promotion sites list

We do believe very strongly that Christian Romance is going to become a Massive book category that rivals main stream Mystery, Romance, Thriller, and Non Fiction in both size and number of opportunities for Authors & Publishers

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites

To Be Updated

We will, later on, add detailed insights for the Top 10 Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted for a Christian Romance Book Promotion with the Top Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites

Christian Romance is quite a competitive category (although it is under-served) and the top Christian Romance book promotion sites are looking for the same things as the things that will help your book sell well with readers

Why? Because if your book sells well their readers are happy and you are happy

To increase your chances of getting accepted at the top Christian Romance book promotion sites please ensure you have the following

  1. Professionally designed Book Cover
    1. The difference between a self made book cover and a professionally designed book cover is massive
    2. If you are a new author this will not be apparent to you
    3. However, readers in the Christian Romance genre will instantly know you have skimped on the book cover (or you don’t know a high quality cover is required)
      1. It will make them think you have cut corners in the writing and polishing too
      2. The reader doesn’t know how good your book is
      3. The reader takes the quality of the book cover as a proxy for the quality of your book
        1. If you have a sub-standard cover, then the reader will assume your book is sub-standard
        2. They will run away from your book page
        3. Or, what is worse, they will never click on the book cover and never even visit your book page
    4. Readers DO judge a book by its cover
    5. You should take pains to make sure you engage the services of a professional book cover designer who has 10+ years of experience designing book covers for Christian Romance
  2. Book Cover which is a good fit for Christian Romance
    1. Readers not only judge the quality of the book cover, they also check to see if the book cover matches genre conventions
      1. If your book cover does not match the Christian Romance genre, they will not buy it
    2. Again, only a professional book cover designer will know what genre conventions are
      1. You can’t figure it out yourself
      2. Nor can you get your very talented 3rd cousin on your mother’s side to help you out
  3. Professionally edited and Professionally proof read book
    1. Your book must be professionally edited by an editor who has 10+ years of experience editing Christian Romance novels
      1. An editor is also the co-director of your book
      2. They take your book from good to great
    2. Your book must be professionally edited by a proof reader with experience of editing Christian Romance novels
      1. Every mistake pulls your reader out of your story, and out of the story world you have created
      2. Their whole point of reading your book is to escape reality into a magical and romantic story world
      3. If you keep pulling them out of the story world, you greatly diminish their enjoyment of the book
        1. All grammatical mistakes and typographical errors and spelling mistakes must be removed
        2. You need a professional proof reader because it is a skill developed over time
          1. You cannot have your neighbor’s son who reads a lot of comics proof read your book for you
    3. These are absolutely non-negotiable
      1. Professional editing and professional proof reading are must haves if you are serious about selling your book
  4. Good Reviews and a Review Rating over 4 stars out of 5 stars
    1. Along with quality of book cover, the reviews and review rating are the most important acceptance criteria
    2. You should have some reviews and they should be well written (no Broken English, no haphazard reviews that seem to have nothing to do with your book)
      1. A few of the top Christian Romance book promotion sites will take books without reviews
      2. However, in those cases please temper your expectations of how fast sales will come in
    3. The review rating should be 4 stars out of 5 stars or higher
  5. Offer Good Value for Money
    1. The price the author is charging must make sense given the quality and length of the book
      1. Please Note: Most book promotion sites will not take short stories because short stories don’t sell
    2. Generally, the more effort and polish you have put into the book, the higher you can charge
    3. A few book promotion sites only promote discounted ebooks. For them you have to discount your ebook
    4. A few book promotion sites promote paperbacks and hard covers. There also, the price of the paperback/hardcover must match the level of quality and the book length
    5. The sweet spot is usually
      1. Length over 150 pages
      2. EBook discounted to between $0.99 and $4.99
      3. Paperback between $10 and $20
  6. A Well Written Book
    1. It might surprise you that quality of writing is so low down in the list
    2. It’s an important factor. However, it is definitely not as important as book cover and polish and reviews
    3. Yes, most of the top Christian Romance book promotion sites will look at the quality of writing
      1. However, they do know that if the book cover is not quality or if the book doesn’t have good reviews, then readers won’t even buy the book
      2. So it doesn’t make sense to prioritize quality of writing over those factors
  7. Book matches Christian Romance genre conventions
    1. This is very, very important
    2. Authors who break genre conventions, or place their book in the wrong book categories, usually also make other mistakes
      1. They may be completely unaware of Christian Romance reader expectations
      2. They may have cut corners
      3. They almost always have unrealistic expectations
    3. The fastest way to get declined is to have a poor quality book cover or to break Christian Romance genre conventions

Please keep in mind that the top Christian Romance book promotion sites want to take books that will sell well and make their readers happy. If they are not taking your book, it is because one of the above factors is missing

Make the improvements required, and not only will it increase your chances of getting accepted, it will also increase your book sales for the rest of the life of your book

A few other criteria that will help you to get accepted

  1. Book is a good fit for the book promotion site’s readers
    1. If the book happens to be a good fit for the promotion site’s readers, then it will almost certainly be accepted
  2. Being a Bestseller
    1. Only 3 lists count – New York Times Bestselling Author, USA Today Bestselling Author, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
    2. If you are a Bestseller (via one of these three lists) your chances of getting approved go up dramatically
  3. Winning an Award
    1. Only big awards such as RITA, Golden Heart, Holt Medallion, and Golden Quill count
      1. Sorry, smaller awards are not considered
    2. Big Award winners will almost always get approved
  4. Writing exceptionally well
    1. If you write very, very well and also have a very polished book, then your chances of getting approved go to 100%
    2. However, if you refuse to meet genre conventions then even with excellent writing, your book will usually get declined
  5. Having an exceptionally good book cover
    1. A book cover is the most important sales and marketing tool
    2. An exceptional book cover can sell a book all on its own
    3. The book promotion sites are well aware of this, so if you have a very good book cover, you will nearly always get approved
  6. Being a Repeat Customer
    1. If you are a known entity and a repeat customer, then your chances of getting approved go up
    2. This is also why the first book you submit to a top Christian Romance book promotion site should be one of your best
      1. If one book gets approved, then the remaining are quite likely to get approved

Please keep in mind at all times that

  1. The factors that will get you accepted into the best Christian Romance book promotion sites
  2. As the EXACT SAME as
  3. The factors that will increase your book sales and gain you lifelong readers

You should take these acceptance criteria very seriously as they will give you a big boost in your Author Career

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

Authors who came before you have made these mistakes many times over. There is no need for you to waste your time and money by repeating these same mistakes. Learn from the authors who came before you and sacrificed so you don’t have to

  1. Writing a book before researching if there is a Market for It
    1. By far the most dangerous mistake you can make as an author is to write a book before researching and confirming that there is a market of readers that will buy and read the book
    2. Market research takes just a few days to a few months
    3. It is well worth it because the alternative is to spend 2 to 4 years writing a book and then finding out that there are no readers who want to buy and read the book
  2. Finding The Right Market and then writing The Wrong Book for this market
    1. You’ve done your due diligence and found a great market. Great Work!
    2. Now, before jumping into writing a book, please do a little bit more market research and find out EXACTLY what kind of books the readers in this great market are buying
    3. It is very important to not make assumptions. It is even more important to not write ‘your dream book’
      1. Figure out exactly what is selling in this great market
      2. Write exactly that book
  3. Not knowing what book categories your book fits into
    1. After writing a book, you have to figure out what are the best book categories for it
    2. Even a specific genre like Christian Romance has many, many sub categories. These include but are not limited to –
      1. Victorian Historical Christian Romance
      2. American Historical Christian Romance
        1. Usually Mail Order Bride Romance
      3. Contemporary Christian Romance
      4. Small Town Christian Romance
      5. Billionaire Christian Romance
    3. Every book category and every book sub category has its own readers, its own genre conventions, its own rules to do well
    4. It’s absolutely critical to figure out EXACTLY what book categories your book fits into
    5. After that, you have to make sure you place your book in those exact categories
  4. Saving money on things where you can’t compromise (Book Cover, Editing, Proofreading)
    1. There are lots of places you can save money. However, under no circumstances should you cut corners on
      1. The Quality of Your Product
        1. The editing, the proof reading, the tools and software you use to write your book
      2. The Packaging of Your Product
        1. The book cover, the book page, the author profile
    2. There are some areas where you just have to give your best shot i.e. book title, book description, author profile, your social media profiles
    3. There are some areas where you have to get professionals to help you i.e. book cover, editing, proofreading
      1. You cannot and should not try to tackle these areas yourself
    4. There are a few areas such as typesetting and book formatting where in the beginning you can get by doing things yourself. However, as soon as you can afford to, you should hire experts
    5. If you are selling a product, you can never cut corners on product quality and you should never save on your tools (use the best tools for the job)
  5. Marketing your book before it is ready to be sold
    1. Yes, it can be very difficult to wait. You’ve spent 3 years writing your masterpiece. You are dying to get it into readers’ hands
    2. However, you have to wait and polish and make sure your book is ready to be marketed and sold
    3. The money you spend on marketing will be wasted if your book is not polished and ready
      1. You have just finished writing your book. You know it is not polished. You are hopeful it will still somehow sell well
        1. Truth is it will not sell well until and unless you polish it a lot
      2. If you can’t wait, limit your spending to 10% of your marketing budget
      3. That will show you that you need to polish your book more
    4. This is even more applicable to first time authors and to newer authors
      1. If this is your first book, or one of your earlier books, it is not going to be good enough to warrant a big marketing push
      2. It needs a lot more love and polish
      3. First, make sure it is ready
  6. Assuming that readers can read your mind
    1. Authors are so ‘in’ the book, that they forget that the normal reader has absolutely no idea what your book is about, whether it is good or not, whether it is worth their time
    2. You have to convey very clearly to the reader that
      1. You put effort into your book
      2. What its categories are
      3. It is worth reading
      4. It is well polished
      5. It meets genre conventions
    3. It is your job to tell the reader exactly what they need to know
      1. It is not their job to read your mind and figure out what category your book is in, whether or not hard work was put into it, and whether or not it is worth their reading time
  7. Putting your entire marketing budget into one book (especially if it is your first book)
    1. This is such a big mistake
      1. Firstly, your first book is likely to be the ‘least best’ book you ever write
        1. Just the way that the first table a carpenter makes will probably be their least strong effort, your first book will be the least reflective of your writing abilities
        2. It makes no sense to pour all your marketing budget into this first effort
      2. Secondly, you never know which book works best in the market
        1. What do you think is better?
          1. Option 1: Pick one random book and pour 100% of your marketing budget into it
          2. Option 2: Do a tiny bit of marketing for each of your books, see which one responds best t marketing, and then pour 30% to 40% of your marketing budget into that book
        2. The right answer is always Option 2
      3. Thirdly, the money you pour in should come back as earnings from book sales
        1. You will find that even books that sell well sometimes don’t make back money
        2. So, you have to be very diligent about investing your marketing budget in books that will make you money
          1. Not in ones that will lose you money
    2. You cannot put all your eggs into one basket
      1. This is especially true in books and Publishing because there are millions of authors and the chance of one book from one author standing out and becoming a runaway hit is very low
  8. Not Measuring which Marketing Methods work for your Book
    1. Marketing Expert Peter Lynch said -> What Gets Measured Gets Managed
    2. You have to measure what is working and what is not working
    3. At the minimum you should know
      1. What marketing channels make you more money than you spend on them
      2. What marketing channels are break even
      3. What marketing channels lose you money
    4. It is incredibly important to measure what works and what doesn’t
      1. It will be very useful when you market your other books
      2. It will be very useful when you market the same book again
      3. It will give you a very good understanding of what kinds of marketing methods to focus on
    5. In some ways, measuring what works and what doesn’t work is even more important than getting book sales
      1. It is, at the same level of importance as getting good reviews for your book from your marketing and sales efforts
  9. Not Asking for Reviews
    1. This is a very good example of readers not being telepaths
      1. Authors really, really like getting good reviews
      2. Authors almost never ask readers for reviews
      3. Readers have no idea that reviews are very helpful for authors and that reviews make authors very happy
    2. The entire problem is solved if the author were to politely ask the reader to leave a review if they like the book
    3. Unfortunately, most author never ask for reviews
      1. Please avoid the mistake of not asking for reviews and ask for reviews politely and at least twice (thrice is even better)
  10. Not gathering readers on to your Email List and Blogs and Social Media Accounts
    1. You need a way to quickly, cheaply, and easily reach your readers
    2. You can’t be at the mercy of the ebook stores or at the mercy of the book promotion sites
    3. One of the best ways to build direct channels to your readers is by building an email list
    4. Also good, though not as good, is to gather readers on your blog and/or website
    5. Another option is to use social media pages such as Twitter, Facebook, Instragram
      1. Be careful with these platforms
      2. Your tweets and posts only reach 10% to 20% of your ‘followers’/’fans’
  11. Assuming Publishing and Selling Books is Easy
    1. It’s very natural to come in and think that because anyone can publish books now, it must be really easy to sell books too
      1. However, that is not the case
    2. There are tens of millions of authors now
      1. In the past there would only be between 10,000 to 50,000 published authors
      2. The vast majority of authors who wanted to publish did not get publishing deals
      3. However, now with self publishing, there are tens of millions of authors
        1. If any person wants to publish
        2. They can publish
    3. Meanwhile, the number of readers has not increased by much
    4. The same thing that benefits you as an author (easy access to publishing) is also your biggest enemy now (anyone can publish and competition keeps going up)
    5. It’s important to have some modicum of respect for the Books & Publishing business
  12. Promoting your book to the wrong readers, or in the wrong book categories
    1. After you have figured out exactly what book categories and sub categories your Christian Romance novel fits into
    2. It is very important to promote to readers who buy books in those exact categories
    3. From the outside looking in, it might seem like people who read books buy and read all types of books
      1. In reality, people have very specific tastes and a typical reader will only buy books in 2 or 3 very specific categories or sub categories
        1. Reader 1 might buy only Cozy Mystery and Christian Romance
        2. Reader 2 might buy only Christian Mystery and Christian Fiction
      2. The first reader is a great target reader for you
      3. The second reader, despite being a person who buys and reads Christian books, is a wasted target
    4. The success of your marketing, and of your Author Career, will depend almost completely on
      1. Picking the right categories to write for
      2. Writing the right book for those book categories
      3. Marketing and promoting to the exact right readers for those book categories
  13. Not respecting readers’ time
    1. Most readers will only have enough time to read 1 or 2 books a week
    2. Some readers will only have enough time to read 1 or 2 books a month
    3. Have you put in enough time, such that these readers feel their reading time is well used?
    4. Most authors focus on the wrong dimension of price i.e. my book is cheaper than a cup of coffee. Why are readers not buying it?
    5. The real factor is reading time
      1. Readers have a very small amount of precious reading time
      2. The risk of wasting it on a book that does not have love and attention put into it is very high
      3. As an author you have to show readers that you respect their limited and precious reading time
  14. Trying to do things Your Way and/or trying to do everything yourself
    1. Doing things ‘your own way’ doesn’t work
      1. It sounds really good in movies and songs
      2. In reality you need a team of experts to help you
    2. Doing everything yourself is another trap
      1. You should focus on your core skills
        1. Doing market research and figuring out what markets to write for
        2. Figuring out what books to write for these markets
        3. Writing very good books
        4. Polishing these books
        5. Marketing and Sales
      2. Everything else you should let experts help you with
        1. Firstly, you can’t replicate the ‘learnt over decades’ skill level of a professional editor or a professional book cover designer in a few days or weeks
        2. Secondly, the more time you spend on all these extrinsic things, the less time you have for critical things like market research and writing books
        3. Thirdly, in some cases your lack of skill will become a sales killer
          1. One good example is having a self made book cover which makes readers run away
          2. Another good example is doing your proof reading yourself, and then the errors left over scaring readers into not buying your book

Please don’t make these mistakes. These are mistakes that can eat up 3 to 10 years of your Author Career. That’s time none of us can afford. We only have a hundred years to live

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites – Improving the Results of Your Christian Romance Book Promotion with the Top Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites

There’s always room for improvement and you can do one or more of these 17 key things to improve the results of your book promotion with the top Christian Romance book promotion sites

  1.  Get the absolute best Book Cover you can afford
    1. Before the reader has visited your book page – Your Book Cover is the single most important marketing and sales tool
      1. If they don’t like your book cover they are not even going to click and visit your book page
    2. After the reader is on your book page – Your Book Cover is the joint most important ‘seal the deal’ sales factor (joint with Reviews)
      1. Readers look at the quality and polish and attention to detail of your book cover
      2. They assume that reflects the quality and polish of your writing
      3. If you’ve spent a lot of hard work and 3 years of your life writing a beautiful book, please make sure to get a book cover that reflects that hard work and quality
  2. Get Professional book editing and listen to your editor
    1. You absolutely must get a professional book editor with experience of editing Christian Romance novels
      1. An editor is like a Director (a co Director if Director makes you uncomfortable). Someone who takes your book and makes it a cohesive whole
      2. You have to get someone who is very good and very experienced at it
    2. You must listen to what your editor is telling you
      1. It’s not just an item on a list you have to check off
      2. You have to find someone very, very good
      3. Then you have to listen to them as they will help you make your book better
    3. Editing is not just ‘correcting mistakes’
      1. Editing is a mix of
        1. Developmental editing – where the editor makes your entire book better. Gives you feedback on how to make the story more powerful, the book flow better, and such aspects
        2. Line Editing – where the editor goes through line by line and corrects everything
        3. You can do this editing once, or multiple times
          1. You have to listen to the suggestions and make improvements each round of editing
          2. You can’t just say – my work is too good and I won’t touch it
      2. After all that is done, you have to incorporate all the suggestions and fixes
        1. After that is all done
        2. You go on to proofreading, which looks for every single error, typographical error, grammatical mistake, and gives you a list of items you can correct
  3. Get Professional proof reading and listen to the proof reader
    1. Again, you need to get the help of someone who has experience in Christian Romance
    2. You need to hire the best proof reader you can afford
    3. And you must listen to their suggestions and make the fixes they recommend
  4. Place your book in the Exact Right book categories and sub categories in the ebook stores and book stores
    1. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of choosing the right genres and sub genres (categories and sub categories)
      1. Readers only read books in the specific categories and sub categories they like
        1. They don’t just ‘accidentally’ buy a book just because you put it into the wrong category
      2. Each Christian Romance category is unique
        1. Even among Christian Romance sub categories you have to put your book in the right categories
      3. Showing the book to readers who don’t read books in your book category is pointless
        1. That money and effort is much better spent promoting to readers only in your exact book categories
    2. Authors, for some reason we don’t understand, seem to always mess up their book categories
      1. Reasons for putting their book in the wrong categories range from
        1. Trying to become a bestseller by putting the book in a small category
          1. You can always find a small category that also matches your book
          2. With the benefit that you would have a much higher chance of becoming a bestseller there, as those readers actually buy and read books like yours
        2.  Not knowing they can set the book category
          1. Yes you can set the book categories
          2. In Kindle Store you can even email kdp.amazon.com Help and set 10 book categories
        3. Thinking they can ‘expand’ the audience by putting a WWII Historical Romance in ‘History of World War II’ Non Fiction
          1. No, those readers are searching for History about World War II, not for Romance set during World War II
          2. All you are doing is missing out on the benefits of having your book in the right book categories
      2. In the long term you are hurting yourself and other authors by mis-categorizing books
        1. This only works when a small number of authors are doing it. They are gaming the system and getting an advantage at the cost of authors who don’t do such things
          1. However, the minute more than 5% of authors start doing it, the benefits disappear
          2. Then it just starts scaring readers who start thinking – If it is a self published author then I can’t trust them when they say what their book category is
            1. Because they are always mis-representing
            2. Then readers stop buying books from self published authors
        2. Now that many authors are doing it (between 30% to 50%), putting books in the wrong category is just hurting every single author
          1. It is not even benefitting the people who think they are outsmarting the system
          2. However, it is hurting all authors
    3. It is far simpler to just find the Perfect book categories for your book and put your book in there
      1. You are not marketing to idiots. You are marketing to readers. The very act of reading books makes them smart
      2. You are mistaken if you think that some reader in Anthropology Non Fiction is going to see your Christian Historical Romance and think
        1. Oh, how perfect. A treatise on the dating and mating habits of mail order brides in the 18th century
        2. This is exactly what I have been waiting all my life for
        3. They will just get upset that instead of seeing Anthropology books they are seeing Romance Novels from a Romance author who is abusing the store categories
      3. Please just put the book in the right categories. It makes everyone’s life easier
  5. Please don’t expect readers to be able to read your mind. Make it Super Clear to them exactly what your book is, exactly who it is for, and exactly what you want them to do
    1. What is your book?
      1. Can the reader jump into your head and figure out that it is a Mail Order Historical Christian Romance set in Montana?
        1. No, the reader cannot
        2. Yet, 50% of authors set a book cover, book title, and book description that assumes readers have telepathic powers
      2. Can the reader tell how long your book is, and what authors you are similar to, and what books your book is similar to?
        1. No, they haven’t read the book
        2. They can’t read your mind
        3. It is YOUR JOB to specify all this to them, in very clear and simple language
          1. If you try to make it their job, they will simply not buy the book
    2. Who is it written for?
      1. It is 100% your job to specify exactly who the book is written for and what book categories it fits into
    3. What do you want them to do?
      1. Let readers know what you want them to do. They are on the book page because they are interested
        1. Make the value proposition of the book clear
        2. Make it clear what you would like them to do
      2. Call to Action
        1. If you like X then buy my book
        2. If you want a great reading experience, then purchase this book
        3. If you want to jump into a great historical romance, then get the book now
      3. Asking for Reviews
        1. Ask them to leave a review if they like the book
  6.  Gather data on what is working and what is not working
    1. Get data on what works and what doesn’t work
      1. This is very, very important because every book promotion site works differently for every author. Sometimes it works differently for every book
      2. You need to find out what works for your books
    2. Improve your marketing based on this data
      1. You should allocate 90% to 100% of your marketing budget to the marketing channels that are generating book sales
    3. Improve your book based on this data
      1. You will also get some data on what kind of readers are buying your book and what kind of readers are not buying your book
      2. In some cases you will find that improving the quality of your book and improving the book cover will lead to significantly higher sales
      3. It will turn some marketing channels that you think of as ‘break even’ into ‘profitable’
  7.  Get reviews BEFORE you start promoting (to the extent possible)
    1. It’s a chicken and egg problem
      1. You will have to do some amount of marketing to get some initial sales and some initial reviews
      2. You can reach out to your most loyal readers and ask them for reviews
      3. You can use ARC copies and ask for reviews
    2. However, it is very important to have at least a few well written reviews before you do your main marketing push
    3. Good Reviews can lead to 2 to 5 times more sales (as opposed to having no reviews)
    4. Bad reviews and/or a review rating below 4 stars out of 5 stars can totally kill sales
      1. One more reason to polish your book and use a professional editor and a professional proof reader
    5. Reviews are the joint most important sales and marketing tool (along with book cover)
      1. So, doing a big marketing push without reviews is not a good idea
  8.  Listen to what the Market is Telling You and then Make the Changes the Market is Asking For
    1. What will take you from Good to Great is listening to the market’s advice and following it
    2. The market (readers) are constantly telling you (via their actions) what they want you to do, and what they don’t want you to do
    3. If one type of book is selling, then write more books like that
    4. If one type of book is not selling, then stop writing books like that
    5. If readers complain in reviews that book has editing issues, then make sure you get a better editor and a better proof reader for all your other books
    6. If readers complain the book is too short, then write a longer book
    7. Readers are telling you EXACTLY what you need to do, to sell more books
      1. Listen to them and implement those changes
      2. You will start selling more books
  9. Eliminate Friction for Readers
    1. You want the Decision Process of buying your book and the Reading Process of reading your book to be very, very smooth
    2. How can you eliminate friction for Readers when they are deciding whether or not to buy your book?
      1. Have a really good quality cover so they feel you have put love and effort into your book
      2. Clearly specify what book categories your book is in, what authors you are similar to, what books your book is similar to
        1. So they can be reassured they are buying the right book
      3. Have a good, clear author profile which shows you are a real human being
      4. Have a good price that matches the level of effort and work put into the book
      5. Make sure the different elements are coherent
        1. The book cover, book title, book description, author profile, and choice of book categories must
          1. Match each other
          2. Show Quality and attention to detail
          3. Be the right book categories for the book
    3. How can you eliminate friction for Readers when they are reading your book?
      1. Have a well edited book so the story reads well and flows smoothly
      2. Have rewritten then book 3 to 5 times so that it is a better and smoother story
      3. Have a well proof read book so there are no errors to spoil the reading experience
      4. Have typesetting, chapter length, book formatting, and language that matches the genre expectations and makes life easy for the reader
      5. Use the appropriate type of language given the world/era/location the book is set in
  10. Please don’t get complacent
    1. Authors tend to attribute good results to their book being amazing and bad results to someone else
    2. It should be the exact opposite – always look to how you can improve as an author
    3. If a marketing method works very well for you, consider the possibility that results would have been even better if your book were more polished
    4. If you start seeing sales, work harder
      1. Don’t stop working the minute the book starts selling well
    5. The market is rewarding you with book sales because they like what you are offering them. Offer them more of the same. Offer them the same in higher quality
      1. Don’t rest on the first set of sales you get
  11.  Learn as much about your books as possible
    1. In some ways, we are constantly learning about our products
    2. How to make them better
    3. What category they fall into
    4. What the right readers for the book are
    5. What the wrong readers for the book are
    6. You have to keep learning because the better and better you fit your book to the right readers, the better and better it will do
  12. Don’t be afraid to switch from a less viable Christian Romance category to a more promising one
    1. Christian Romance has a massive amount of sub categories
      1. Romance in general has a lot of categories
      2. What Christian Romance authors are finding out is that many Romance categories have an equivalent Christian Romance category
      3. Many, many very viable Christian Romance categories have not been explored or tapped into
        1. Perhaps you will be the author to find a mountain of gold hiding in plain sight
    2. You have to test and try out different Christian Romance sub categories
      1. Until you find one that really, really works for you
    3. As an author, you will find that you get the best results when you experiment a little bit with what type of books you write, until you hit upon the perfect fit
      1. This applies to the perfect fit in terms of the best book for the best market
      2. This applies to the perfect fit in terms of what you can best write and are happiest writing
      3. Don’t be shy about trying out different Christian Romance sub categories. Most of them are under served and the readers will be appreciative of well written books
  13.  Promote your book only after you think it is worth readers’ hard earned money and worth their precious and irreplaceable time
    1. Is your book worth readers’ hard earned money?
      1. Give an honest appraisal
    2. Is your book worth readers’ precious reading time?
      1. This is even more critical and you really have to question whether your book is good enough and polished enough to be ‘the one book they read this month’
        1. Once you can confidently say yes – then you are ready for all out marketing and promotion
    3. Does the book’s packaging and polish make it absolutely clear that it is worth readers’ money and time?
      1. Not only does the book have to be good enough, the book cover and title and description and book page should clearly show that it is good enough
    4. If you cannot answer a firm Yes to all three of these questions, then your book is not ready to be promoted
  14. Keep adding Reviews and Keep asking for Reviews
    1. Reviews are votes from Readers which tell other readers your book is worth reading
    2. They are absolutely critical
    3. You should keep asking readers for reviews
    4. You should keep finding legitimate ways to get more reviews
    5. To the extent possible, you should try and ask for reviews from readers who are more likely to give a good review
  15. Keep polishing and improving books that sell well
    1. It’s quite difficult to write a winning book
      1. When you do, make sure you keep improving it
    2. A book that is selling well, will keep selling well provided you keep feeding it improvements and marketing (steady flow of readers)
    3. Over time you will realize that 80% of your book sales come from 20% of your books
      1. It’s called the Pareto Principle after an Italian researcher in the 18th century who discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the families
      2. Your main job is to find which books are generating 80% of your sales
        1. Then improve those books
        2. Also, write more books like those ones
  16. Use your marketing budget very carefully
    1. You are allocating your very hard earned money to marketing and promoting your books
    2. You must make sure that you make every penny count
    3. In the beginning, spend only 10% or 20% of your marketing budget
    4. As your books get better and your marketing skills improve, you can then gradually spend the rest
  17. Have a Very Clear and Precise Target for all of your Book Marketing & Promotion
    1. Depending on what your aims are, and how much of a marketing budget you have, you can set any of the following goals
      1. Building a reader base
      2. Making money
      3. Becoming a bestselling author
      4. Winning a book award
      5. Getting a book publishing deal
      6. Creating a successful book series
      7. Getting a TV or Movie deal (very unlikely, so careful with this one)
      8. Getting your book read
      9. Getting 100+ reviews
      10. Getting 1,000+ book sales
      11. Becoming self sufficient
      12. Selling enough books to make a living as an author
      13. Generating a net profit from book sales
    2. Whatever goals you set, make sure that
      1. You start by prioritizing ONE Goal and making that your main goal
      2. The goals don’t clash with each other
    3. It is usually best to set one main goal and focus 100% on that one goal
See also  How to Cope with Grief 

 

There are lots of directions you can go in, to improve book sales and to become a better author. Please read through the above 17 options carefully and implement whichever ones you feel very strongly about (whether you agree strongly or disagree strongly). The amplitude of reaction (whether positive or negative) is a good indicator of which ones you need the most

The Critical Importance of Getting Your Book Genres Right when Promoting a Christian Romance Book

Here are 5 very big advantages of putting your book in the PERFECT book categories (categories which are an Exact Match for your book) –

  1. The readers who are RIGHT for it will find it
    1. They are the most likely to buy it
    2. They are the most likely to write a good review
    3. They are the most likely to become life long customers
  2. Once it starts selling, it will show up in the Bestsellers List and New Releases list for these Perfect book categories
    1. The new readers who see it on the lists will be ones who love this category, and hence the right readers for your book
    2. Getting visibility will have lots of value, because you are getting visibility to the right readers
  3. All book promotion and marketing you do, which sends readers to your book page, will bring readers who will see these Book Categories
    1.  As you have placed your book in the right book categories, these readers will be reassured that the book is a good fit for them
      1. Please Note: One of the biggest pain points of readers is that authors mis-categorize their books and it ends up wasting readers’ time and money
    2. They will be more likely to buy it
    3. This is the only way to properly use your marketing budget (placing book in the Perfect Book Categories for it)
  4. All the feedback you will get will be valuable, and will be from the right readers
    1. Instead of getting useless feedback like ‘book was placed in the wrong categories’
    2. You will get valuable feedback such as
      1. Book was too wordy, should be more concise
      2. Book was a great romance read
      3. The romance happened too fast and should have been slower
  5. You will build a brand and reader base among the right readers
    1. Let’s say you have a Christian Historical Romance and you put it into Contemporary General Romance (which is for non Christian readers)
      1. You might get some sales
      2. However, those will not be sales to Christian Historical Romance readers
      3. You are not building a strong brand, and what is worse is that you are building a brand name with the wrong readers
    2. On the other hand, if you place it in Christian Historical Romance
      1. You will build a brand with the right readers
      2. You will build a reader base of the right readers

As if that wasn’t enough incentive to put your book ONLY in the PERFECT RIGHT Book Categories for it, here are 5 very big disadvantages of putting your book in the Wrong Categories –

  1. Readers who realize your book is in the wrong category will not buy it
    1. Let’s say you put your book into the wrong book category
    2. Some of the readers that naturally go to that book category will realize your book is not in the right category and will not buy it
    3. That’s a wasted opportunity. If it had been readers in the right book category (which matches your book perfectly) you would have had sales
  2. Readers who buy it by mistake will sometimes leave bad reviews and sink your book
    1. Some of the readers in this ‘wrong’ book category, will buy your book ‘by accident’
    2. Are they going to be happy after spending 2 hours reading half of it to find that it is not the category they thought it was?
      1. No
      2. In fact, a few will leave bad reviews
      3. This will sink your book unless you have a lot of good reviews (which very few authors have at the start)
    3. There is a very real danger that in this ‘let me put it in the wrong book category because I might get a few extra readers’ gamble, you end up sinking your book entirely
  3. When the right readers reach the book page, they are scared and confused by seeing the wrong book categories listed
    1. All your marketing, even if it is to the right readers, is less effective
    2. Why? Because the right readers arriving at the page see the wrong book categories
      1. Then they are confused, and some don’t buy
    3.  Authors, especially self published authors, have gamed the system so much, that readers need constant reassurance that the book is right for them
      1. Putting it in the wrong book category marks you out as ‘an author who games the system’, even if you did it in carelessness, or by mistake
  4. When the book starts selling, it will show up in the wrong bestseller lists
    1. You put your book in the wrong book category
    2. You invest a lot into marketing and start getting sales
    3. The book shows up in the Bestseller List
      1. BUT, it is in the wrong category’s bestseller list
      2. Those readers who see it have no interest in it
    4. Being in the bestseller lists is one of the best sources of organic sales
    5. By putting your book in the wrong book category, you have lost this important source of book sales
  5. You will not be able to measure your marketing and book promotion efforts accurately
    1. Did readers not buy because the marketing didn’t work, or because the book categories were wrong?
    2. Were there low organic sales because the market is small, or because your book is in the wrong book categories and showed up in the wrong category bestseller lists
    3. One of the biggest benefits of doing a marketing push is that you get valuable data on whether the book has a big market or not, what marketing methods work for the book, and what number of sales you can get per $X dollars spent
      1. By placing your book in the wrong book categories you have lost all this valuable data
      2. Because ‘the wrong book categories’ lower book sales and make it hard to measure what is really going on

Most Christian Romance book categories are under served and Christian Romance readers are in abundance. Place the book in the PERFECT categories for it and that’s the best and only way to reach Christian Romance readers

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites Insights – Christian Romance is BOTH Under Served and Competitive

It seems so puzzling

  1. On one hand, we’re telling you that Christian Romance is under served and there are not enough good books
  2. On the other hand, we’re telling you that Christian Romance is competitive and has a high quality bar

How could both be true?

  1. Well, there are some Christian Romance authors writing very good books and producing very well packaged books
    1. This raises the overall quality bar for all of Christian Romance
  2. At the same time, the amount of demand is not met by the amount of supply i.e. there are not enough Christian Romance authors
  3. Basically, you have a classic high investment, high reward scenario
    1. If you can do the market research to identify which Christian Romance categories are ‘hot’ and growing
    2. If you can put in the hard work to write a very good book
    3. If you can package it very well with a high quality book cover and a good author profile
    4. Then you can sell a lot of books
    5. Because there are not that many Christian Romance authors creating very high quality books

Equally interesting, is the presence of Clean Romance (also referred to as Clean & Wholesome Romance in some ebook stores). This is another category that is very under served and which does have some authors producing very high quality books

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites Insights – Christian Romance has MASSIVE opportunities to build a brand

Whenever a new market emerges, or an existing market starts growing rapidly, there are big opportunities for a company or an entity to form a big brand

The way Uber and Lyft became the big brands for ride sharing, Tesla became the big brand for Electric Cars, and WeWork became the big brand for incredible disaster companies

Christian Fiction in general, and Christian Romance in particular, is experiencing rapid growth and it is a very big opportunity for Authors & Publishers to create very strong brands

Here are the things you can do to create a Big brand –

  1. Choose an under-served Christian Romance category
    1. Instead of going into a very big category like Contemporary Romance, look for fast growing and less competitive genre like Scottish Historical Romance or American Historical Romance
  2. Create very high quality books
    1. The better your books, the stronger the reader’s association with you and your brand
  3. Brand Yourself
    1. Have a brandable author name
    2. Create a brand around either 1 or 2 specific Christian Romance genres, or around quality
    3. Brand all your book pages, your website, your social media, your email list
    4. Create a Logo or Icon and have it be coherent with your brand
  4. Gather all your readers on your own channels
    1. Have your email list and grow it
    2. Have your blog or website and get your readers visiting regularly
    3. Build social media presence and make sure your readers follow you
  5. Think like a Business
    1. Build your brand and your business side by side
    2. You must work as if you were a Business
    3. Everything from Profits & Loss calculations to Marketing should be done as if you were an entrepreneur and a company
      1. Because you are

Choosing the right book category to build your brand in, is by far the most important thing

The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Book Categories & Book Sub Categories

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites Insights – If you are writing Christian Romance you should seriously consider writing Clean & Wholesome Romance

It’s just a massive, massive, massive opportunity

As the world gets more and more complicated and conflicted, people want simplicity

Even readers who are not Christian want to read romance that is Pure and Wholesome. That’s where Clean Romance comes in

  1. It appeals to non Christian romance readers because everyone wants some wholesome cookies
  2. It appeals to Christian romance readers because there are not enough high quality Christian Romance Novels and because Clean Romance is a good fit

And the number of authors writing Clean Romance is surprisingly low

Becoming a Bestseller – Leveraging the Top Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites to Become a Bestseller

Christian Romance is a pretty big category and becoming a bestseller in Christian Romance can be a complicated and expensive proposition

Perhaps the best path for most Christian Romance authors is to first become a category bestseller in a small Christian Romance category or sub category, and gradually build up from there

Roughly speaking, the levels of ‘Bestseller Status’ are

  1. Top 10 Bestseller in a Very Small Christian Romance category of sub category. This is very easy
  2. #1 Bestseller in a Very Small Christian Romance category or sub category. This can be straightforward
  3. Top 10 Bestseller in a Small or Medium Christian Romance category or sub category. This requires a polished book and a decent marketing budget
  4. Top 10 Bestseller in a Large Christian Romance category. This requires a very good book and a good amount of money
  5. Top 100 Bestseller in the Amazon Kindle Store. This is quite difficult
  6. New York Times or USA Today Bestseller. This is very, very tough

To the extent possible you should go through the levels one by one. The first 3 you can do with a small marketing budget and are absolutely necessary to confirm – your book sells, you can get a decent amount of sales for every X dollars spent, which Christian book promotion sites work for your book and which don’t

5 Key Things if you want to Become a Bestselling Author with Your Christian Romance Book

This is the last thing authors want to hear. Yet, it is something they all need to hear

The best way to Become a Bestselling Author is to write a book that is good enough to be a bestselling book

There are five key things to consider

  1. The better the Product Market Fit of your book (it is The Right Book for The Right Market) the higher the chance that your book will become a bestseller
    1. It’s so logical – the more you’ve written a book that people want to buy, the higher the chance it will sell well and become a bestseller
    2. This first thing is the basis of getting sales and becoming a bestseller
    3. You must have written something that a lot of people want to buy and read
  2.  The higher the quality of the book, the more the sales
    1. Authors tend to think that sales are directly proportional to marketing budget
    2. That is not the case at all
    3. Sales are directly proportional to marketing budget ONLY IF the book is a very polished book
    4. No amount of marketing budget can help you if your book is not polished and well written
    5. Before doing a big marketing push, please make sure your book is really, really good and has excellent fit and finish
  3. The lower the price, the higher the chances of becoming a bestseller
    1. Books at lower prices sell faster and more than books are higher prices
    2. You will have to keep your ‘I want to sell books at $10 to $20 each’ wish on the backburner
      1. When going for bestseller status go with $0.99 for the ebook
      2. That is the only proven way for new authors and self published authors to become bestsellers
    3. The difference between $1 and $10 is not 2 or 3 times the sales, it is 10 times the sales at $1
      1. When going for bestseller status every single sale counts, so you have to go with a lower price like $0.99 or $1
  4.  The longer the book, the higher the chance of it becoming a bestseller
    1. Short stories and Novellas have close to zero chance
    2. Books between 100 to 150 pages also have a low chance
    3. Over 150 pages is the minimum length for Fiction
    4. Ideal is between 200 and 300 pages
  5. Good Reviews and a high review rating are absolutely necessary BEFORE you can make a successful bestseller push
    1. Trying to do a bestseller push without reviews, or with a review rating below 4 stars out of 5 stars, is like setting money on fire
    2. If your book doesn’t have good reviews and a good review rating, go back to the drawing board and write a better book, polish it better, get better reviews
    3. Only after you have a very, very good book that gets good reviews should you attempt to become a bestseller

These are not things you can bypass. A well polished book with good reviews will sell 5 to 10 times more than a book that is half polished and/or missing reviews

To be a bestseller, the book has to be good enough to be a bestseller. There is no way to skirt around that

Becoming a Category Bestseller

When going for Category Bestseller, it is incredibly important to choose

  1. The RIGHT Book Categories and Sub Categories
    1. These should be a PERFECT Fit for your Christian Romance novel
    2. Readers only buy in the genres they read in. You have to make sure you place your book where it will meet the right readers. For that you have to make sure you put it in the RIGHT categories
    3. You don’t want to be stuck in 2010 or 2011 when you could put your book in any category and it would sell
      1. That was 10 years ago
      2. Since 2015 that scattershot strategy does not work
      3. In the 2020s you will have to be a sniper and be very precise in what book categories you select
        1. Only the categories that are a PERFECT FIT for your book
  2.  A MIX of Book Categories of different sizes
    1. You have to have a mix so that you are prepared for the Best Case and Worst Case Scenario
      1. Best Case Scenario: Book does very well and you become a bestseller in one of the large Christian Romance categories
      2. Worst Case Scenario: Book sells slowly. However, as you have also picked some small Christian Romance categories you become a bestseller in at least those small Christian Romance categories

In Amazon Kindle Store you can email KDP support and add 10 book categories. Most other book stores will allow between 3 to 7 book categories. You must use them all

Let’s look at what the ideal mix is

  1. 3 Large Christian Romance categories
    1. Go for the largest categories that are a very good fit for your book
    2. It’s important to have a few large categories because even if you don’t become a bestseller here, you still show up in the Top 100 and get a lot of visibility
    3. It’s good to get an idea of where you can reach, and helps you set targets for the future
  2. 4 Medium Christian Romance categories
    1. Go for the Perfect Fit Christian Romance categories and sub categories
    2. Ones that match your book PERFECTLY
    3. These are very important for a few reasons
      1. Firstly, becoming a bestseller in a book category that is a PERFECT match for your book will often sell more books than becoming a bestseller in a large category that isn’t necessarily perrect
        1. Scottish Historical Romance readers don’t really care how well your book did in Romance
          1. They do care very deeply if you were #2 in Scottish Historical Romance
      2. Secondly, almost any one can become a bestseller in a small category and almost no one can become a bestseller in a very large category
        1. How well you do in a medium sized Christian romance category will show you
          1. Whether or not your book is ready
          2. How large of a budget you will need
          3. Which of your book marketing methods are working
          4. What areas you need to improve on for your next big marketing push
      3. Thirdly, most of your organic book sales (which can be the difference between a decent marketing campaign and a great marketing campaign) will come from showing up on these Medium Christian Romance category bestseller lists
  3. 3 Small or Very Small Christian Romance categories
    1. Pick book categories that are both
      1. Perfect for your book
      2. Very easy to become a bestseller in
    2. These are very important because
      1. You will at least become a bestseller here
      2. As soon as you start showing up on these smaller category bestseller lists, more readers will see your book, and this will lead to organic sales

Choosing the right Christian Romance categories to put your book in, and choosing a mix of Christian Romance categories of different sizes for your book, are two very important determinants of whether or not you will become a bestseller. Perhaps the two most important after writing the right book for the right market

Number of Sales Required to Become a Category Bestseller

As there are some very small categories and some very large categories, this range is very wide. Christian Romance, more than any other book genre/category, requires you to pick your sub categories very, very carefully

It is better to pick a smaller Christian Romance category and become #1 or #2 or #10 bestseller in that category, than to try for a very big category and miss

To become a Top 10 Bestseller in a Christian Romance category you will require the following number of sales

  1.  A very small Christian Romance sub category – 10 to 30 sales over a week
  2.  A small Christian Romance sub category – 30 to 70 sales over a week
  3.  A medium sized Christian Romance Sub category – 70 to 150 sales over a week
  4. A somewhat large Christian Romance sub category – 150 to 300 sales over a week
  5. A large Christian Romance sub category – 300 to 1,000 sales over a week
  6. A very large Christian Romance sub category – 500 to 1,500 sales over a week

Please note that Christian Romance is a bit tougher than other genres to get book sales in, and there are not as many good Christian Romance book promotion sites

So you would have to put in a very high amount of effort to get sales

Hope for the best, and prepare for the toughest scenario of sales being slow

Becoming an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

To become an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller with a Christian Romance book you would need 1,000 to 2,000 sales in a day, or 1,500 to 3,000 sales over the course of a week

It is better to gradually build up sales over a few days, and then have one or two days with a large spike in sales

The proven strategy to become an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller is

  1. Build around the top Christian Romance book promotion sites
    1. You absolutely need Bookbub, as that will be generating the main part of the book sales
    2. You need as many as you can get from the next tier of Christian book promotion sites – Books Butterfly, eReader News Today, Robin Reads
    3. You need as many as you can get from the remaining Top 10 Christian Romance book promotion sites i.e. Book Sends, Bargain Booksy, Fussy Librarian, etc
  2. Get Support from Facebook Ads or from Amazon Marketing Services Ads
    1. Facebook Ads is much more preferable
    2. Have it running throughout and generating a few sales each day
    3. While the sales might seem low in comparison to the top Christian Romance book promotion sites, the steady flow of sales has a solid impact on the store algorithms
  3. Have a set 7 day structure
    1. Facebook Ads starting Day 1 and running through out
    2. Day 1 and 2 – smaller Christian Romance book promotion sites to slowly start growing sales and improving sales rank
    3. Day 3 – Start Books Buttefly, as it has 5 to 7 day promotions
    4. Day 4 – 1 or 2 of the Top 10 Christian Romance book promotion sites
    5. Day 5 – Bookbub, and also one or both of Robin Reads and eReader News Today
      1. This is your big push day and you should make sure you have everything set up correctly for this day
    6. Day 6 and 7 – continue with Facebook Ads, and also add in the remaining Top 10 Christian Romance book promotion sites
    7. This 7 Day structure will reliably get you to the Top 100 Bestseller List provided
      1. Your book is well polished
      2. Your book has good reviews and a good review rating
      3. You get Bookbub
      4. You get at least a few of the remaining Top 10 book promotion sites
      5. You use Facebook Ads to get at least a few sales each day on top of the sales spikes and bursts which the Christian Romance book promotion sites get you

Becoming an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller does not yet have the sort of recognition with readers that New York Times Bestseller List and USA Today Bestseller List does. Not even close. However, it is a very good test for you to see whether or not your book is ready for a really big marketing push

Becoming a New York Times or USA Today Bestselling Author

Part 1: This is very, very tough and you should be fully prepared

  1. You need a very well written book
    1. There is no dodging this, unless you have a massive marketing budget
  2. You need a very polished and well packaged book
    1. A beautiful book cover designed by a professional book cover designer with lots of experience in Christian Romance
    2. Very well edited book which was edited by a professional editor
    3. Very well proof read book which was proof read by a professional proof reader
    4. Everything on the book page has to be PERFECT
    5. Your author profile has to be very good
    6. Book must be in the right categories
    7. Book Title, Book Cover, Book Description must match the book’s categories
  3. You need a LOT of money
    1. A marketing budget of between $10,000 to $50,000
  4. You need good reviews
    1. Reviews are absolutely critical
    2. They must be legitimate and well written reviews
    3. The review rating should be over 4 stars out of 5 stars
      1. Please don’t be the person who argues that some author, 3 years ago, sold 10 million books with a 3 star rated book. That it somehow proves review rating doesn’t matter
      2. Review rating matters MASSIVELY
      3. If your book’s review rating is below 4 stars then don’t burn your money trying to make it a bestseller
        1. First, fix the review rating to be over 4 stars by improving the book and getting more reviews
  5. You need a LOT of sales
    1. You need 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a one week stretch
    2. At least 500 of those sales must be from outside Amazon (Amazon.com paperbacks and Amazon Kindle ebook sales)
      1. That means either physical bookstores or Apple iBooks and B&N Nook must generate 500+ sales during the week
    3. Please note that every incremental sale is more and more expensive
      1. So having a very well polished book that sells well is paramount
  6. You need to have everything set up 2 to 3 months in advance, and you need everything to function smoothly during the promotion
  7. You need to have 100% of your attention on the book marketing during the week you make your push
    1. Take time off from work
    2. Shut off everything else
    3. Focus exclusively on your book marketing push

Part 2: Things you can do to increase your chances

  1. Promote at $0.99 instead of $2.99 or a higher price
    1. $0.99 sells 3 times more than $2.99 and 10 times more than $9.99
    2. Put aside your ego and your beliefs about what your book is worth, and price it at $0.99
  2. Promote a Box Set at $0.99 instead of a standalone book
    1. A Box Set a $0.99 sells 3 times more than a standalone book at $0.99
    2. After you become a bestseller you can cry and moan about the infinite pain of readers getting to read three of your priceless books for just $0.99
    3. To become a bestseller go with what gives you the best chance
  3. Collaborate with other authors and make a Multi author box set
    1.  5 authors collaborating means 5 times the marketing budget
    2. It also means you can tap into the reader bases of each of the 5 authors
    3. Please Note: There are lots of headaches with organizing Box Sets, so be prepared for endless drama and have the legal aspects hammered out BEFORE starting the collaboration (who pays what, who gets what, etc)
  4. Spend 3 to 6 months greatly improving the readability and flow of your book
    1. If you will only get one or two shots at spending $10,000 to $50,000 on your Bestseller Push, then it is imperative that you make your book as good as it could be
  5. Spend on a world class book cover designer
    1. A world class book cover can increase book sales by 2 to 3 times
    2. The main problem is how to find a world class book cover designer and how to ensure the work they do for you is some of their best work
    3. If you don’t have experience, then research carefully and make sure you aren’t paying a mediocre cover designer a lot of money for mediocre work
  6. Spend on a world class editor
    1. This is so difficult to explain/measure that we can’t even begin to attempt to explain it
    2. Safest is to find some editor who has PROOF (as in editing credits) that they worked with really big and really successful authors
    3. Work with them
    4. Please Note: It should be as the MAIN EDITOR and they should be credited as such
  7. Get lots of very good reviews
    1. Roughly speaking
      1. A review rating below 4 stars will not work
      2. A review rating of 4 to 4.5 stars will work
      3. A review rating of over 4.5 stars will backfire if there are no 1 and 2 star reviews
    2. You want to make sure you gets lots of good reviews, and also some 3 star and 4 star reviews
    3. All reviews should be actual readers and not a single fake review
      1. People who sell fake reviews don’t just cheat readers, they tend to also cheat you
      2. Those fake reviews are so fake that they instantly scare readers away
      3. A single bad fake review can kill 80% of your book sales
        1. Please keep that in mind if you are tempted to game the system
See also  Free GPT-3 Sheets for Marketers

Part 3: How to actually structure everything

This is very complicated and the best option here is to talk to bestselling authors who successfully made it to one or more of these big lists – New York Times Bestseller List, USA Today Bestseller List, Wall Street Journal Bestseller List

Read what they have written and shared. Follow that to a T

Gather up all the marketing methods that work for you

Everything has to be set up to deliver in that same one week period

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after promoting your Christian Romance Book

Reviews are very, very important. They are the joint most important sales and marketing tool (along with your Book Cover) because

  1. Readers trust other readers more than they trust anyone else
  2. A review from a Reader is that reader vouching for the quality of your book
  3. Good Reviews (and a good review rating) reassures potential buyers that your book will be worth their precious time and hard earned money
  4. Readers can see the positives and negatives listed in the reviews and make a smarter decision
  5. Every review is an additional vote, and therefore every new review gives your book more credibility and trust

Getting Reviews is an Art and a Science –

  1. The Art aspect – writing very well and polishing very well so the reader is compelled to leave a review
    1. You must keep improving your book quality
  2. The Science aspect – when to ask for reviews, how to ask for reviews, who to ask for reviews
    1. You must keep improving how you ask for reviews and when you ask for reviews
    2. Eventually you will get to the skill level where you can also learn WHO to ask for reviews

Let’s look at the three most important things you should do to get more reviews

  1. Ask for Reviews
    1. Readers are quite happy to leave a review PROVIDED
      1. You make them aware that you would appreciate a review
      2. You ask them very nicely
      3. You have a well written book
      4. You don’t waste their time and money by doing one or more of the following
        1. Not editing the book
        2. Placing book in the wrong categories
        3. Not writing a full book (book being too short or incomplete)
    2. Normally, the review rate would be
      1. 0 to 5 reviews per 1,000 book sales for a half baked book
      2. 1 to 10 reviews per 1,000 book sales for a decently well written, and well polished book
      3. 5 to 15 reviews per 1,000 book sales for a very well written and very well polished book
    3. By asking politely and properly for a review, you can double the rate
      1.  Asking for reviews is an easy and straightforward way to double the number of reviews you are getting
    4.  Important Note: If your book has spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, then asking for reviews will lead to negative reviews
      1. Please ask only AFTER ensuring the book is very well polished
    5. Asking the wrong way can lead to fewer reviews and/or bad reviews
      1. You can’t bribe readers
        1. Please don’t offer bribes for reviews. It lowers people’s natural desire to leave a review for a good book if they feel the author is not being forthright
      2. You can’t harass readers. Ask 1 or 2 or 3 times. Not more
  2. Sell More Books
    1. If you are getting X reviews for every 1,000 books sold
      1. The simplest path to getting more reviews (2 times X) is to sell two times more books
    2. This is an overlooked method to get reviews
      1. Yes, there is a bit of a chicken and egg problem
        1. You can’t get reviews until you sell
        2. It’s hard to sell without reviews
      2. However, some readers will buy a book without reviews provided the book cover is well done and there are no spelling mistakes and the book is polished
        1. Make sure your book is well polished and satisfies readers
        2. Start marketing and promoting it in a smaller way, even before you have reviews
        3. The reviews will start adding up
    3. Unfortunately, this method is the foundation to increase the number of reviews you get
      1. You can ask for reviews, you can do other tweaks
      2. In the end, the number of reviews you get will increase based on how many books you sell
  3. Place your Book in the EXACT Right Book Categories and Sub Categories
    1. Who are the readers who are most likely the leave a review?
      1. The readers who really enjoy reading it
      2. Who are the readers most likely to enjoy reading it?
        1. The readers who read books in the EXACT SAME book categories are your book fits into
        2. What is the best way to reach these readers?
          1. By placing your book in the EXACT Book Categories and Sub Categories it fits into
    2. There are lots of reasons why you should place your book only in the PERFECT book categories for it
      1. This is one of them
      2. If you place it in the perfect right book categories, it will reach the readers who are most likely to love it and review it

Now, let’s look at one of the inconvenient truths of writing and selling books

  1. Book Sales, Book Reviews, Follow On Sales are determined to a very large extent by How Good Your Book Is
  2. One of the most important things, perhaps the single most important thing, you must do is keep improving the quality of your book and keep polishing it
  3. There is a gap between ‘good enough’ and ‘very good’
    1. Until you bridge that gap in book quality, you will get reviews at a slow rate

To get better reviews and to get a higher review rating you must do as many of the following as you can

  1. Get a very high quality book cover
    1. First impressions last
    2. If the book cover gives an impression of quality, and the book backs that up by being very good, the reader is more likely to leave a good review
  2. Improve the Quality of your writing
    1. As you improve your writing, the reviews will increase
  3. Rewrite your book to improve and flow and the readability
    1. How easy is your book to read?
    2. How coherent is the storyline?
    3. Rewriting is necessary to maximize the enjoyment of the reader
  4. Have a polished author profile and book page
    1. If your author profile shows you in a good light, then when you politely ask for a review, readers are more likely to respond
    2. You have to show you are human, that you have things in common with the reader (liking books, where you live, having a family or pets, etc)
  5. Improve the Fit and Finish of the Book
    1. Did you use a very good professional editor?
      1. If not, get one
    2. Did you use a very good professional proof reader?
      1. If not, get one
    3. What else did you do to polish your book?
  6. Gather your most loyal readers
    1. Ask them for reviews first
    2. This is a completely legitimate way to ‘seed reviews’
      1. Firstly, readers will see there are other reviews and when you ask for a review they will be more comfortable leaving a review
      2. Secondly, readers will see reviews are good and will themselves be more likely to leave a good review
    3. If you can get your loyal readers on to your email list and ask them for reviews every time you launch a new book, you have won half the battle of getting book sales
  7. Ask Readers for Reviews at the right time and in the right way
    1. The Right Way
      1. Politely
      2. Clearly
      3. Make it clear you would appreciate a review
        1. Don’t force them and don’t have a sense of entitlement
    2. The Right Time
      1. When they are HAPPIEST after reading your book, or during your book

Getting Reviews gets easier (it does) as you gain more experience as an author. It is most definitely a skillset you have to learn

Perhaps the biggest factor is that your book should be good enough to merit a good review. Everything else is built around that basic premise that the book brought the reader happiness and reading satisfaction

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads and Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites go very well together, and you will almost certainly need BOTH of them as part of your book marketing and promotion arsenal

Facebook Ads are perhaps the single most important marketing tool for authors. They become even more important for Christian Romance authors because the number of book promotion sites focused on Christian Romance are not that many

Facebook Ads have the following super powers

  1. They allow very precise targeting which lets you show your book ads to Christian readers, and specifically to Christian Romance readers
    1. You can also choose location, gender, age, and other criteria
    2. This is an unrivaled level of ad targeting
  2. Facebook has 2 billion+ people
    1. Not only can you target ads very precisely, you can target it to 30% of the people on the planet
  3. Facebook Ads are superb for creating a slow, steady stream of sales and visitors
    1. This is invaluable because it creates a steady platform on which you can throw on additional marketing methods
  4. Facebook for some authors (not all, perhaps for 30% or so of authors) will provide good Return on Investment and be profitable
    1. Even if you can reach break even, Facebook Ads are very useful for creating a steady stream of sales
  5. Facebook Ads are very flexible
    1. You can choose how much to spend each day
    2. You can choose when to turn them off
    3. You can choose when to increase your spending

At the same time, Facebook Ads also have some weaknesses

  1. Unpredictability – Facebook Ads are an auction style bidding system and results vary not just on how much you spend
    1. Results will vary based on how other people are spending, and this is all kinds of companies and people (not just authors and Publishers)
    2. Everyone is advertising to people on Facebook so your day to day results can vary considerably
  2. Learning Curve – Facebook Ads is a skill that takes time and practice (which means money). It is not very straightforward either
    1. You will have to learn a new skill of using Facebook Ads
  3. Steady Trickle of Sales only – It is very difficult to create large sales spikes with Facebook Ads
    1.  Without a very large budget (thousands of dollars spent in a day) you cannot create a very large sales spike
    2. Many of the top Christian Romance book promotion sites will give you such a sales spike for between $100 to $300
    3. Please Note: Facebook Ads, on the other hand, are very good for $5 to $20 per say spending to get 3 to 10 sales a day
  4. Increasing Competition – Facebook Ads keep getting more and more competitive as more and more authors and companies find out about the benefits
    1. Even with 2 billion people, the number of readers (roughly 200 million readers) is a static number
    2. Meanwhile the number of authors and Publishing companies advertising is growing from just a few hundred in 2009/2020 to a few thousand by 2010/2011 to tens of thousands by 2020. Perhaps even 100,000+
    3. There is a danger that at some point of time Facebook Ads become unaffordable for authors (as Google Ads have become)
  5. Facebook Ads just won’t work for some authors
    1. While 30% or so of authors will be able to get positive Return on Investment, and another 20% to 30% will be able to break even (or close)
    2. The remaining 40% to 50% of authors will not be able to make Facebook Ads work

You will notice that many of the disadvantages of Facebook Ads can be compensated by using the top Christian Romance book promotion sites

  1. Christian Romance book promotion sites are super simple to use. You don’t have to learn a new skill
  2. Christian Romance sites can help you create sales spikes of 20 to 100 sales in a day
    1. Bookbub can even help you get 500 to 1,500 sales in a day
  3. Christian Romance book promotion sites are very predictable. You get a book promotion package and it will run on the specified dates and you don’t have to worry about someone ‘outbidding you’
  4. Christian Romance book promotion sites have already gathered readers who read Christian Romance
    1. You don’t have to test and tweak your Facebook Ads to find the right readers

Because these two marketing methods complement each other so well, and because they are the two most powerful book marketing methods for the majority of self published authors, we recommend

  1. Using both Facebook Ads and the top Christian Romance book promotion sites together
  2. Learning and testing both and making both part of your book promotion and marketing arsenal
  3. Letting them cover each other’s weaknesses, and support each other’s strengths, to create a winning combination

It’s a dual marketing channel that can help you build a strong Author Career as a Christian Romance book author

Christian Romance Book Promotion Sites –  Facebook Ads vs Amazon Marketing Services Ads

Amazon Marketing Services Ads are a smaller, less effective version of Facebook Ads

However, if they work for you they can be a valuable 3rd or 4th marketing option (after Facebook Ads and the top Christian Romance book promotion sites

A few things to keep in mind

  1. Amazon Marketing Services Ads do not reach 2 billion people like Facebook Ads do
    1. In fact, they reach only Amazon book pages, which are roughly 10 to 50 million people
    2. This is still a very big number
  2. Amazon Marketing Services will work for 25% of authors and work very well for 15% of authors
    1. This is roughly half of the 50% of authors who should be able to get decent results from Facebook Ads and the 25% to 30% who should be able to get good results from Facebook Ads
  3. Amazon Marketing Services are hard to learn, and in fact are much harder to learn than Facebook Ads
    1. If you have the time to learn them, and they work for you, they can be a good 3rd option
    2. If you don’t have time, then just focus on the top Christian Romance book promotion sites and on Facebook Ads
  4. Amazon Marketing Services are very wonky
    1. What to do to make it work for you, changes every 12 to 18 months
    2. This is a deal breaker because learning a new skill and then it becoming useless in 1 to 1.5 years is intractable for most authors
  5. Amazon Marketing Services do offer you the type of reach no one else can
    1. You can promote on the book pages of specific books
    2. You can promote on the book pages of specific authors
    3. This is a type of ‘Similarity’ marketing that no one else can offer (except perhaps Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks, but they don’t yet)

Overall, the triple combination of

  1. Reaching Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle Store readers right on book pages
  2. 15% to 25% of authors will be able to get decent to good Return on Investment
  3. Value of getting another book marketing channel that works for you

means that if you have the time it is well worth it to take a shot at Amazon Marketing Services Ads

However, we would strongly recommend first investing in Facebook Ads and in the top Christian Romance book promotion sites as those marketing methods are more powerful and have a much higher chance of working for you

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 most important skills you have to become very good at, to do well as an Author, are

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. This is the skill of doing proper marketing research and figuring out
      1. A fast growing and promising market to write for
        1. Ideally, it should have low competition or no competition
      2. What book to write for this market
        1. A book that is proven to sell in this market
      3. This combination (The Right Product for The Right Market) is called Product Market Fit
    2. This is the most important skill
    3. This skill is more important than every other skill COMBINED
      1. If you can find the right market, and write the right book for it, all other factors become less important
      2. If you ever wonder how Mega Hits like 50 Shades of Grey happen, the answer to that is Perfect Product Market Fit
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. This is the skill of writing a very good book and then polishing it very well
    2. By writing skill we do not mean fancy language or complex words
      1. We mean a very well written book that conveys its story clearly and beautifully to readers
        1. Writing Skill is how well you can draw readers into the story world and take them out of their day to day life and immerse them fully into this magical reality you have created for them
    3. By polishing it very well, we mean very good editing and very good proof reading
      1. Good editing makes the story stronger and the flow smoother. This increase the amount of pleasure the reader experiences
      2. Good proof reading removes mistakes and means that the reader can stay inside the story world
        1. Otherwise mistakes pull the reader out
        2. Imagine if you were watching a movie and every 5 minutes someone pressed a button and the screen went dark and lights came on. Then after a 15 second break, the movie resumed
          1. That is almost exactly what it feels like to be reading a book and then see a careless mistake or a typographical error which brings you out of your reading world
  3. Marketing & Selling Very Well
    1. This is the skill of excellent marketing and excellent sales
      1. Marketing – getting your book in front of the right readers and showing them it is exactly what they should buy
      2. Sales – getting those readers to buy the book
    2. This skill actually comes before your writing ability
      1. If you can’t get the book in front of the reader and if you can’t get the reader to buy the book
        1. They are never going to read it and know how good your writing is
    3. Marketing & Sales is perhaps the toughest skill for authors to learn
      1. Most creative people are naturally averse to selling
      2. However, it is a critical skill and to do well as an author you must learn it

These 3 Skills are all very necessary and you must prioritize these skills over everything else. They are even more important then the actual writing of your book

Please also read this post on Levels of Mastery of The 3 Core Skills to better understand the 3 Core Skills for Authors

How the 3 Core Skills apply to Christian Romance Book Promotion

The 3 Core Skills are absolutely critical for every book category. They are, by far, the most important skills an Author must learn. Their importance is immense for Christian Romance authors

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Doing marketing research and figuring out Product Market Fit (The Right Product for The Right Market) is extremely important for Christian Romance because
      1. Some Christian Romance categories and sub categories are growing very fast and are under-served
      2. Some Christian Romance categories and sub categories are large and yet have very little competition
      3. Some Christian Romance categories are saturated and are not growing
    2. If you pick one of the first two (growing fast and under-served; large and very little competition) you will do very well with a good quality book that matches what the market wants to buy and read
    3. On the other hand, if you pick the third (saturated and not growing) then no amount of hard work can get you high levels of success
    4. Another reason Knowing What to Write is very important for Christian Romance authors is that there are closely related book categories such as Clean Romance which are booming and have low to medium levels of competition
      1. Doing market research will make you realize that such categories exist and are basically very similar to Christian Romance (you can comfortably write for them) (you can easily deliver what these readers are looking for)
    5. Finally, you have limited time and energy and money. If you had to open a knitting store
      1. Would you choose a small town with 3 knitting stores and not very many customers
      2. OR Would you choose a large town with only 1 knitting store that can’t meet the demand from customers
      3. There is absolutely no Christian Romance author who would open a knitting store in a small town downing in competition
        1. Yet 90% of Christian Romance authors do no market research and write for over-saturated small towns/markets
        2. What is worse, they are ignoring large towns/markets with massive demand and no supply
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. The bar for Christian Romance is not as high as the bar for other large book categories
    2. This is a big opportunity
      1. Writing very well gives you a very big competitive advantage
        1. Readers become life long customers
        2. They actively seek you out
        3. You can build your brand and a large reader base
      2. With good writing you can be a superstar author
      3. With good writing you can build your brand
    3. The other big opportunity is that the amount of polish is not as high as in other large book categories
      1. If you get a good book editor and a good proof reader, you make your book really shine and sparkle
      2. Add on a very well made book cover from a professional book cover designer, and you reach the top 1% of Christian Romance authors in marketability and sellability
      3. Readers will naturally gravitate to your books
  3. Marketing & Selling Very Well
    1. Firstly, if you do a very good job with market research you will find book categories in Christian Romance where the books almost sell themselves
      1. Yes, imagine that. Automatic marketing and sales because there are such few good books in some categories
    2. Secondly, don’t rest on that advantage
      1. By learning and utilizing good book marketing and good sales strategies, you can do very well
    3. Thirdly, learning marketing and sales is something that will help you in every single aspect of your life
      1. It will even help you in your Author Career in areas such as getting a book deal, getting a good literary agent
    4. In some cases, the best book category for you will be one of the large and competitive Christian Romance categories
      1. In that case, you really have to work on Marketing and Sales skills because that becomes perhaps the only way to stand out
    5. You have to develop a very healthy respect for marketing and sales because this is the skill that most authors stumble on
      1. Not only does learning marketing and sales set you up for success
      2. It also gives you a MASSIVE advantage because 90% to 95% of authors are never going to learn marketing and sales

Please take the 3 Core Skills very seriously. They are absolutely critical for your Author Career. You can spend 10 to 20 years trying different methods. You can talk to people with 30 to 50 years experience in the market and ask their advice. In the end, every path will lead you to the realization that these 3 Core Skills are what you need to learn and must learn to do well as an Author

The 12 Golden Rules of Christian Romance Book Promotion

Follow these to the maximum extent possible. These are not rules that you should break until and unless you become a very, very big author and earn the right to do whatever you please

  1. Product Market Fit is more important than everything else combined
    1. If you ask authors what is the most important ingredient of success you will get some very interesting answers
      1.  Great Writing Ability
      2. Good Marketing
      3. Large amount of money for marketing
      4. Luck
      5. Getting a Book Deal
    2. Very few authors will give you the right answer – Writing The Right Book for The Right Market
    3. Product Market Fit is exactly that – You have the right Product (the right book) for the right market (the right book category) and there is a very good fit between them
    4. Product Market Fit is not just the single most important ingredient, it is more important than every other ingredient combined
      1. You might feel this is a crazy statement to make
      2. As you write and market your books and see which books do well and which don’t, you will realize the truth
    5. Above all else, you must make sure you strive for Product Market Fit
      1. It requires just working hard and researching the market
      2. It is 100% within your control
  2. Marketing and Sales comes BEFORE Product Quality and you MUST learn Marketing & Sales
    1. No reader is ever going to know how good your book is, until and unless you get it into the hands of the right readers
    2. This is very painful for 90% of authors – the cold, harsh reality that you have to learn marketing and sales
      1. That it comes BEFORE writing quality because if you can’t market and sell your book and get it into the right hands, no one will ever know how good your book is
    3. You have to develop a basic level of skill in Marketing and Sales
      1. If you like it, then we strongly recommend taking a shot at mastering the Skill of Marketing and Sales
  3. Product Quality is supremely important once you get your book into readers’ hands
    1. Product Market Fit – having the right book for the right market
    2. Marketing & Sales – getting the book to the right readers and getting them to buy it
    3. Product Quality (how good your writing is, how well polished your book is) comes into play only after these two phases/skills
      1. However, at this point (once readers have your book in their hands), the quality of your book becomes paramount
      2. The better the book, the higher the chance you will get good reviews, which will lead to more sales
      3. The better the book, the more likely the reader is to tell other readers about it, which leads to word of mouth sales
      4. The better the book, the higher the chance that the reader becomes a lifelong customer and buys your other books
  4. You must write a Christian Romance novel if you want to sell in Christian Romance
    1. Firstly, it must be a Christian Romance novel
    2. Secondly, the book cover and book description and book categories and author profile and book title must clearly indicate it is a Christian Romance novel
      1. Please Note: This is why many authors will put ‘Christian Historical Romance’ or ‘Mail Order Bride Romance’ in the book title itself
      2. Remove all doubt from the readers’ minds about the book category and they are more likely to buy your book
    3. Thirdly, your book must follow all Christian Romance genre conventions
      1. This is very, very important because readers expect a certain reading experience in Christian Romance and you have to deliver that
  5. The Market Always Wins – Listen to the Market and You Will Win Too
    1. The Market Always Wins
      1. Authors write the book. At that point they no longer have control over what happens. They can take the horse to the water, but they cannot make it drink
      2. Readers buy the book
      3. It follows that what readers want to buy will take precedence over what authors hope readers will buy
        1. The Market (the reader) makes the Purchase Decision
    2. Authors who Listen to the Market also Win
      1. If you are an author that pays close attention to what is selling and what is not selling
      2. If you are an author that writes EXACTLY what the market is buying, what it is telling you to write
      3. Then you Win along with the Market
        1. Giving readers exactly what they are willing to buy is the best and perhaps only way to do well as an author
  6. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Categories & Sub Categories you Write In
    1. Firstly, doing proper market research BEFORE you starting writing your book will determine how well you will do
    2. Secondly, after writing your book you have to check carefully and make sure you know exactly what categories and sub categories it falls into
    3. Thirdly, when putting your book into the ebook stores and book stores, you have to make sure you put it in the Exact Right book categories and sub categories
      1. The ones where the right readers for your book check for new books
    4. Fourthly, when marketing and promoting your book, you have to make sure you are marketing and promoting it to the exact right book readers – only readers in the exact book categories your book is in
    5. Fifthly, your book cover and book title and book page and author profile and book categories must match the book’s book categories
    6. It is very important that you get the Categories & Sub Categories right at each stage
    7. The Extent of Success you will experience will depend on how precisely and correctly you select book categories to write in, to place your book in, and book categories to market to readers in
  7. 2 Weeks of Market Research can save you 3 Years of Writing the Wrong Book
    1. Corollary: Lack of proper market research can waste 3 years of your life writing the wrong book, and another 3 years of your life trying to get it to sell
    2. The vast majority of authors spend a few minutes to a few hours deciding what to write
      1. Then 95% to 99% of them find they have spent 3 years writing a book for which the market does not exist or the market is too competitive or too small
      2. Because of Sunken Costs Fallacy (or think of it as -> throwing good money after bad money) they then spend 3 years or more marketing this book which does not have a good market
      3. Please don’t be in this set of authors
      4. It will take you just a few weeks to a few months to do market research and figure out
        1. What are good markets to write for
        2. What one market you should focus on (what best fits your skills and abilities and passions)
        3. What is the right book to write for this market
    3. If you do decent market research you are taking yourself from 1% chance of doing well to a much higher chance of doing well
  8. The Market does not care about what you want, only what The Market wants
    1. Readers (The Market) do not know what you want and they do not care
    2. Consider the average person buying an iPhone
      1. Do they know or care what an engineer at Apple wants?
      2. Do they know or care what the people assembling iPhones in China or India or Vietnam want?
      3. Do they know or care what the CEO (Tim Cook) wants?
      4. No. No. No. They just want a beautiful phone that is easy to use and works well
      5. Apple does very well because it focuses on What Its Customers Want
        1. A good example of making something you want and not customers want is the Kindle Fire Phone. It was basically a shopping device instead of a phone
        2. Amazon’s lifetime sales of Kindle Fire Phone were allegedly only 85,000 phones
        3. That’s less phones (lifetime) than Apple sells in one day
    3. This exact thing applies to you
      1. You have to decide whether you will be the author who writes EXACTLY what readers want to buy, and sell a lot of books
      2. OR You will write what you want to write, without any consideration for readers’ wishes and desires
      3. If you choose the latter, then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t sell
  9. The more irrationally you love your book, the less likely it is to sell well
    1. This is so painful for artists and musicians and authors and all other creators
      1. Your baby is special only in your eyes
      2. If you spoil it and are not strict with it, it will always remain special only in your eyes
      3. Everyone else does not see it as a beautiful baby that was born perfect. They just want a well polished, well written book
    2. If you are harsh with ‘your baby’ and keep improving it, it will lead to good sales
    3. If, on the other hand, you mollycoddle it and treat it as if were perfect in the first draft, then it will not sell much at all
  10. Write only in a Christian Romance category you know well and are passionate about
    1. It is very important to write in a category you know well because then you will understand the genre conventions and the reader expectations
      1. You will also know what makes a book in that category good, and what makes a book in that category great
    2. It is important to try and pick a category you are passionate about
      1. The more passionate you are the harder you will work
      2. The more it will be ‘fun’ and not a burden
      3. The more you will be able to put in that extra work that takes a book from good to great
  11. Your Book is a Product and you must keep improving it and Package and Sell it just the way Apple sells iPhones and iPads
    1. Authors tend to think of their books as their kids
      1. They develop a lot of interesting beliefs, including – my kids are perfect, even in worn out and torn clothes my kid looks handsome, my kid doesn’t need to improve in any way, a pox on anyone who doesn’t like my kid
      2.  Imagine the most spoilt brat you could imagine. That is what some authors treat their books like
        1. Then they wonder why no one else likes this spoilt brat
      3. Books that are treated like precious offspring don’t sell well in the market
    2. Your Books are not your kids. They are your products
    3. Look at Apple
      1. Why are they putting so much effort into a beautiful store?
      2. Why are they taking pains to make the packaging beautiful?
      3. Why do they spend the equivalent of a small country’s GDP on refining the feel and finish of the phone itself?
    4. You have to polish and improve your products (your books)
    5. You have to package them very well
  12. Shortcuts lower your chances of doing well, and burn your precious time and resources
    1. It’s very hard to turn down a ‘secret shortcut’ or a ‘2 weeks to success course’ or other magic methods which promise to help you become successful as an author quickly and without much effort
    2. In reality, it’s pretty tough to do well as an author
      1. Even after working very hard and doing all the right things, you might not make it
    3. Shortcuts and Secrets and Tricks have incredible appeal because a ‘3 week shortcut to success’ is so much more attractive than the 3 to 10 year reliable path to slow and steady success
      1. There is a big cost to chasing ‘easy buttons’ and ‘secret shortcuts to success’
      2. All that money and time and effort into things that definitely don’t work, are time taken away from things that actually work
      3. Please consider very carefully whether you will do things the right way, or you will keep chasing promises of easy success
        1. Please also keep in mind that people who find a mountain of gold mine it. They do not sell instructions for how to find the mountain of gold to others

Please follow these Golden Rules as they will save you a lot of time and money, and they will significantly increase your chances of doing well as a Christian Romance author

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