I work with authors for a living. I help them turn their ideas to words, their words to manuscripts, and their manuscripts to books. I ask them what they want to write. I ask them what they think people want to read. Then I try to find that sweet spot where the two overlap.
If someone asks me if doing X, Y, or Z will sell more copies of their book, I tell them that they’re asking the wrong question. It’s a shortcut attitude that treats marketing like a game of Candyland, and I am supposed to tell them how to get through the Gumdrop Mountains.
Just like there are no shortcuts in writing; there are no shortcuts in marketing. Words add up to sentences and then those add up to paragraphs. Eventually, you have chapters and then a whole book. The same accumulation of effort applies to book marketing.
I like to answer their question with another question: Why do you want to publish a book? It’s on your bucket list. You’ve always loved to tell stories. You want to share something you’ve learned with the world. You’re an expert, and you want to help others. You like to connect with people.
It has to be something besides selling more copies of your book.