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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 3 August 2021. In this issue:

You need an Amazon SEO strategy – excellent article from Ingram

Thank you to Fiona Green over at Bloomsbury Publishing for drawing this to my attention.

You wouldn’t expect an article called How to Grow your Online Book Sales through Improved Amazon SEO and Keyword Advertising to be a 5 minute read, and it isn’t. But it is worth it, especially to appreciate that Google’s SEO is different from Amazon’s, and to understand the Amazon perspective.

It’s subtitled ‘A Quick Unpacking of the SEO Landscape’, if you need persuading!

Although product copy has always been, and will always be, primarily about resonating with readers, any style guide and guidance your company has should include how to ensure your books are found online in the first place. An appreciation of how SEO works is critical not just for you, but for anyone involved in product copy – including our authors.

Read Ingram’s blog post for yourself

Read more about our Copywriting Workshop


Two marketing myths, busted

Myth #1: don’t market to specialists (including academics, librarians and schools) during the summer as they’re all on holiday

Busted: Actually this can be a fantastic time. You’re competing with less marketing because most people believe the myth, and those potential customers who are at their desks may be quieter and able to spend time catching up before the onslaught of busy autumns.

Of course it isn’t quite that simple, but do test more summer marketing and you may be pleasantly surprised. I’m currently analysing social media posts for an education publisher and during school holidays posts have always been reduced right down, for all the obvious reasons. Yet the handful of posts last August scored some of the highest engagement levels of the year.

Myth #2: you always need something new to say

Busted: Well, yes and no. You always need a hook, and that is quite likely to be new – but it may also be topical, or even ‘evergreen’. It has always been true that if you direct repeat marketing that’s been successful, it will succeed again. If the messaging is sound, more people will be flushed out to respond the second time round, simply because only a % will ever notice your marketing at a given time.

That same social media analysis has shown this still to be true. Some of the highest performing tweets were repeats, chosen either because they were especially topical all over again, or just because they were evergreen.

Both of these tactics are quick wins – they’re easy to put into practice – which is something our Impressive Marketing Plans Workshop always brings to the fore. If you’d like to join us the next time we run this, get in touch!


The five email elements you should be testing, useful guide from Pure360

This may not be true for you, but most marketers I talk to admit that they do very little testing. It’s usually limited to subject lines, which should absolutely be top of the list. Time is always against us.

However, testing is ALWAYS revealing, often fascinating, and is quick and simple to do.

Pure360’s blog post can be scanned in 5 minutes and focuses on the five elements we should be routinely testing. If you’re doing them all already you have won the right to feel smug. If you’re not, just adding one of these into your own regular testing could make a big difference to the quality of your marketing emails.

Read Pure360’s 5 Elements blog post

Our Email Marketing Workshop works especially well as an in-company course, as we can look at your existing metrics to see exactly what works and doesn’t, and the little details that make a big difference. It can be a great eye-opener and confidence booster for everyone involved in email marketing. 


On The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook

  • One year ago Waterstone’s booksellers were turning fancy front cover designs to the wall. Find out why.
  • Read something that hit the spot in this eBulletin? Click through and like the item or add a comment on Facebook
  • Watch the wall for postings of new jobs, or feel free to add to them.

Catch up on The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook


Tip of the week: Life sucks, get a helmet

In a Bookseller article back in 2013, Chris McVeigh of consultancy FourFiftyOne urged publishers to customise online content to improve visibility. “Some people leave this to temps – that’s insane”, he said, pointing out that a book may need a different cover or blurb online. “People say to me: ‘That sounds like a lot of work’. Well it is. Life sucks, get a helmet.”

This remains one of my all-time favourite tips.






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