Posted on 11/29/2021 at 03:26 PM by Guest Author

When it comes to promoting a client’s work, you can’t afford to overlook the numbers. Discover why publishers collect data and how to start doing the same.

Table of Contents

What Challenges Small Publishers Face 

If you’re a small publisher that works closely with a handful of authors, you probably handle quite a bit for your clients, including the marketing side of things.

On top of distributing their work to the public, you’re responsible for getting it seen by the right readers.

Unfortunately, you don’t have the same resources available to you as big publishers do. And because of that, you face several challenges.

For example...

  • You may have trouble pinpointing the appropriate audience for a client’s book. 

  • You don’t have the means to connect with readers directly on your own. 

  • You must be careful with how you manage each client’s marketing budget. 

  • You are limited in terms of what promotional services you can use.

  • You may be forced to guess which retailers to sell a client’s book through. 

The good news is you can overcome these challenges. It’s just a matter of gaining insight into what works and what doesn’t for each author.

That leads us to why publishers collect data and why you should too. 

Why Publishers Collect Data 

There’s a lot you can learn from other publishers, particularly the major ones, regarding how they use data. The most successful publishers out there compile, analyze, and apply data regularly to get the best results possible for their clients.

Although having good instincts for reader preferences and experience in the field can go a long way, the ability to leverage data is crucial.

Ultimately, the reason why publishers collect data is to improve decision-making.

After all, every publisher has the same goal: to see their clients’ books do well. That means making smart choices that will eventually lead to sales. 

Despite having larger marketing budgets, even the big publishers don’t want to waste time and money on efforts that don’t yield results.

Like you, they want to make sure they get it right the first time. And they take full advantage of data to do so.

Over the years, those in the book industry have been on a quest for data intelligence. By implementing various tools and tactics, many publishers have made great strides in this area.

These days, publishing professionals who have the capabilities can track...

  • Customer purchasing and browsing history

  • Email clicks and open rates

  • Industry pricing trends

  • Social conversations 

...which they can then use to position their clients’ books for success. 

There’s a lot to gain from analyzing data, and as a publisher, you need to keep this in mind. 

How to Take the Same Approach 

Once you understand why publishers collect data, you can see how doing the same can serve your clients and your business in the long run.

However, you may be thinking, “I’m not like the big publishers. I don’t have a large reader database or wide selection of tools to use. Can I really take the same approach?”

Rest assured, you can — and should. Of course, the type of information you have access to and the way you get it may differ.

That said, you can still use data to the benefit of the authors you work with. 

Here’s how...   

Start by gathering and paying attention to outside research.

The best information to compile is first-party data.

Still, it can take a while before a client has enough website traffic, social media followers, newsletter subscribers, and book downloads/sales to glean any insight.

That’s why it’s worth looking at third-party data and outside research.

Although the information you get from other sources may not be specific to a client’s work, it can shed some light on trends to be aware of

Consider how the findings may affect your clients.

As you read through studies, surveys, and general industry news from outside resources, always keep in mind how the findings could affect your clients.

If you come across research on book reader demographics, for example, determine if it aligns with who you’re targeting and how.

You may discover that you’re not promoting a client’s book to the appropriate audience, speaking to readers the right way, or even offering the book in the best possible format. 

Apply what you learn to your clients’ marketing efforts.

Finally, you need to apply what you learn from all the information that’s available to you.

After all, the data you pull won’t do you or your clients any good if you don’t put it to use. That’s why publishers collect data in the first place.

So, make sure to act on the findings. Use your newfound knowledge to...

  • Help build a presence on the proper social media channels

  • Select the best promotional services

  • Target those fitting the profile of the ideal reader in paid ads

  • Craft messaging that speaks to the audience 

  • Choose the right retailers to sell through

  • Determine if a book should be available in other formats

...and more. 

Where to Find Unique Data 

Collecting data that’s specific to your clients is critical. But as mentioned previously, you may not have the resources to do a lot in-house — not at this time, at least.

Fortunately, there are ways to analyze sales, determine promotion performance, and more from larger sites you work with.

Here are two great examples...

Google Play Sales Data 

In 2020, Google Play added an Analytics page to the Partner Center account, allowing those with books listed on the platform to get sales data.

If one or more of your clients have books available through Google Play, you should be taking advantage of this page.

In addition to offering a broad view of sales by units sold and earnings, it gives you the option to filter by the following:

  • Title

  • Format

  • Country

  • Date

Based on this information, you can discover opportunities to promote and sell your clients’ books better.    

The Fussy Librarian Promo Results

It’s not always easy to tell whether a tactic is effective or not, as some promotional sites don’t provide data. Fortunately, that’s not the case with The Fussy Librarian.

Those who run a promo in our free ebook newsletter can request click data directly. This lets authors and publishers get a better sense of how well a promo performed.

With this data, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your client’s allocated marketing dollars. 


There’s a reason why publishers collect data: It allows them to make better decisions for their clients based on facts, not guesswork.

Armed with valuable insight into an author’s reader base and the industry as a whole, publishers can put each client’s work in a position for greater success.

So, if you’re not using data already, now is the time to start! 

Want to make the most of a client’s marketing budget? Schedule a free ebook promotion with The Fussy Librarian today!

Categories: Behind the scenes

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