• Colleen Sheehan

Do You Want To Make Sales Or Build A Publishing Career?

Bookbub is not your strategy.

Bookbub + Amazon algorithm is not the way to make your publishing career grow.

I know. That's not how it sounds when you hear a success story. The success story sounds like magic! 🧙 Yet, there's no magic in a huge, active email list. Just a bunch of sudden force.

Hey, we don't have any problem with sudden force here at Ampersand. Exposure is one of the best ways to make sales. Boobub is the gold standard of book promotional sites. (Shing! 👑) But you can't just go tossing that book in front of a bunch of eyes and expect to make a whole career.

You have to put it in front of the right eyes, at the right time, with the right presentation. You have to use strategy, dammit.

What's the difference?

♟ Marketing strategy is your overall goal and direction. It starts with branding. It's knowing why you do what you do. Who you serve. How you'll serve them.

🖋 Marketing tools are the things you use to achieve different parts of your strategy.

🗺 Marketing tactics are the pieces of your strategy. The steps. The plans. The bridge between strategy and tools that ties them all together.

Too many authors and publishers are using tools and tactics and calling them strategy. I did that for years myself. I can't fault anybody!

The problem is it doesn't sustain a publishing career long term. It's piecemeal. It's too basic. It's like combining some ingredients to bake a cake but not others and ending up with hot chocolate soup at the end. (Delicious, but not cake!)

How do they work together, then?

Let's look at a simple example from before:

A promotional site is a tool.

Amazon's algorithms are a tool.

A promo site triggering Amazon's algorithms to promote a book is a tactic.

A promo site triggering Amazon's algorithms to promote a book results in more eyes reading the backmatter, where there's a link to get readers to buy the next book, resulting in more sales. Those are two tactics that make up a very basic strategy.

That strategy isn't a great one for long-term success (you can't always get a spot on a mega, curated list of dedicated readers, for example, so it's not consistently reliable), but it is still an example of a strategy.

If you want to see an example of someone developing a strategy, check out my LinkedIn page, where I'm going to be developing my strategy for all eyes to see as Ampersand Bookery.


We're all about our publishers getting all booked up. If you want to start building your career, click Contact above and we'll set up a time to start talking about your career.

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