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6 Keys To Monitoring The Success Of Your Products Or Books

After you’ve done all the work to prepare and publish your book, develop and implement your marketing strategy, and engage your readers, you’ll want to monitor how successful your efforts are. There are a number of metrics available for measuring your marketing success and to help you decide if your current strategy is working well—or if you might need to try a different approach. From your sales reports and book rank to your website analytics, understanding the activity and engagement on each of your marketing platforms is the last piece of your successful marketing plan. Here are some ways to use Amazon and other tools to help you monitor your progress:

Data Tools in Author Central

Author Central provides several interesting pieces of information to offer insight on how you compare to other authors on Amazon, and show you if your efforts are achieving the results you desire. Here are some key pieces of information to periodically check in Author Central:             

Amazon Sales Rank is a sales-rank summary that compares your book(s) to others on Amazon.com. Changes in bestseller rank do not always mean that more copies of your book have sold. Rather, it is a comparison of current and historical sales to all other books available on Amazon. For an accurate account of what you’ve sold, review your sales report.Author Rank is based on sales of all books you currently have available on Amazon and is updated hourly.Customer Reviews. All customer reviews for your book are displayed in Author Central. Reading them can help you track whether your marketing efforts are leading to new reviews, and also if your book is resonating with your target audience.

Using these tools can help you track your progress and may inform you about the success of marketing efforts. 

Other Data

Many social media websites also provide data that can provide insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. While each service is different, some important things to monitor include:

Website Traffic. Google Analytics is a worthwhile option and can tell you how many visitors you’ve received and where they’re coming from.Social Media Sites. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites provide several types of useful information, such as demographics on your followers, your most popular posts, your likes/shares, etc.E-mail Newsletter. If you use an e-mail service, you can see how many people received your newsletter, how many opened it, how many “Unsubscribes” were requested, and how many clicked through to your book detail page(s).

Keeping a pulse on the performance of your marketing activities, especially if you’ve established a marketing budget, is an important step to monitoring your success. It provides you with information that lets you know if you’re tracking to your goals and marketing efforts. Check consistently, and incorporate what you’ve learned into future marketing efforts.

Here is a recap of steps we recommend to help you set goals and monitor your success:

Set goals. Not every author has the same motivations or goals when it comes to publishing, so writing down yours will help you decide which marketing strategies will work best for you—and which ones won’t. After setting goals and initiating your book marketing campaign, you might find that some marketing strategies work better for reaching your goals than others.Outline your marketing plan/tools.Define your marketing plan, which includes an outline of the tools you wish to use. Experiment to see what works and what you feel comfortable with. While we’ve given you an overview of tools available to reach your audience, the list is not exhaustive, and you may find other marketing tools that are also valuable and effective.Explore data-related tools. You may not use all of them right away, but familiarizing yourself with data-related tools early in your marketing efforts will help you make the most of them in the coming weeks, months, and even years.Assess your progress. Being able to measure your progress is an important factor in knowing whether your marketing strategy is effective. Most social media and e-mail marketing tools provide valuable data to help you determine if what you’re doing is working.Change course as necessary. Being open to change is absolutely necessary when managing a successful marketing campaign, so if it becomes apparent that your strategy isn’t working the way you’d hoped it would—change it! Seek advice from marketing resources and other authors, and be deliberate and purposeful when trying a new strategy.Repeat. If you’ve reached a sales, social media outreach, or other type of goal, set a new one! If you’re changing your goals midstream, follow steps two through six again.

Marketing is equal parts art and science. We encourage you to continue learning about it; learn from your successes and mistakes—know that marketing strategies are rarely ever “perfect,” and even seasoned pros make missteps and have to change their strategies. It’s an ever-evolving process, and one that isn’t finite for those interested in continuing to sell a book over a long period of time. Here’s one last piece of advice:

“If a writer isn’t wholly pleased with the sales of their first book, don’t give up! Put a second book/story out there…and maybe a third…and then they’ll start to reap the rewards of accumulation. I know how many times people put a single project out there and then quit when it doesn’t perform the way they’d hoped. The answer is not to quit—the answer (which seems counterintuitive) is to write another story.” —Stephanie Bond, author of The Body Movers series and licensor of The Body MoversKindle World.

Credit: Amazon Books

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