We recently interviewed SPARK Publications author, Stacey Simms, on her multiplatform success with her book The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom. Full interview below.
What was the first thing you did when your book came out?
I went right to a conference! The timing was perfect. I was speaking at a diabetes conference in early October 2019, and the book deadline for launch was the end of October. We got it done early, and I was able to bring copies with me to sell. It was so exciting! Of course, I also texted my mom, my sister, all my friends, and might have run around my house high fiving myself a few times!
How would you measure your success with your book?
My book is for a very small and directed audience: parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Success probably looks very different for a project like that! I set a sales goal for the first year to sell 1,000 copies. I was stunned to fly past that goal less than six months in, especially because I wasn’t able to go on my book tour.
Truly, this project was more about sharing the information and advice. It’s been more than a year since its publication, and I’m still getting private messages and emails from parents telling me how much the book has helped them. Amazon reviews continue to come in as well.
What is your sales method or model for selling your book?
I kept it very simple. Probably 80 percent of my sales come via Amazon and Audible (I voiced my own audiobook). Another 15 percent comes from my own website where I can offer promo codes and sign books. That remaining 5 percent comes from in-person sales (because, of course, all that ended in early 2020)! I did have a big book tour planned, and I hope I’ll be able to still do it one day.
What sales/marketing strategies have proven most effective for you?
I talk about the book here or there on my podcast, but I’m careful about overpromoting. That audience isn’t just parents of people with type 1. And I think after more than a year, listeners would be tired of it.
I started doing some Amazon advertising late last year—mostly focusing on keywords in my niche—and I think that’s helped a lot. I also ask everyone who sends me a message about the book to consider posting about it on their own social media. Closed Facebook group posts by my satisfied readers are amazing. Word of mouth within the diabetes community has been invaluable.
Do you have any advice for authorpreneurs when it comes to sales?
Try to set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t be afraid to try new things weeks or even months after your book is published. Deputize your readers! You can’t be shy about asking for help, especially from people who reach out to tell you they’ve enjoyed your book. They love to help.