Book marketing strategies should begin before you start the writing and publishing processes! Most authors I work with do not know this and come to me for assistance after they are comfortable the book is ready to publish, and unfortunately that is 6-9 months too late! The author’s publicity and PR that are available all take time to pull together, and unless you already have a large list to which you can market, it will more difficult to get the “buzz” you need to have profitable sales. The following are four questions I put to my clients in the process of creating their personalized book marketing strategies. Grab a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy the read.
I Who is your ideal reader?
Until you are able to describe in detail who you think will most likely read your book, you won’t have a clue about how to create compelling marketing materials and messages. There is a definite excitement in thinking the “world” will just love your message; as a strategy of self-publishing, however, that is pure folly. There really is an identifiable group to whom you will want/need to market once you are able to identify the collective problem you seek to resolve, have a clear idea of what groups they join, what publications they read, and other common factors that help you narrow the scope and focus of your marketing message so your intended readers know when you are speaking directly to them.
II Why would this “ideal” group want to read your book?
Knowing what motivates another person to take a particular action is half the battle of marketing! Once you know what that reader expects from you – what you write, how you write it, and how you market it all provide powerful clarity that provides the direction to give the most to your audience. Work to understand the emotional psychology of your most probable reader and see how differently that impacts not only the way you write your book, but most certainly, how you market it.
III What is the most emotional statement you can make to compel your audience to purchase your book?
The more you can focus on this question, the more success you will have with your publicity and PR efforts. Does your title do a good job of describing the contents and compelling the reader? Does it clearly invite the person/group you want to have read it? Your primary marketing statement will ultimately be placed on the back of your book – and will be the make it or break it point of decision for a potential sale. It is the singular most powerful description that people will read and must guide and appeal to them.
Along with the text that has to have market appeal is your cover – your cover must carry an equally compelling message in design and color. In fact, the cover of your book is so vital to the level of your sales that if you have limited resources in your budget – this is one area where you should not skimp. You will find other articles that speak clearly and directly to this point – it is that important! People do, indeed, judge a book by its cover!
Taking the time to get advanced reviews for your book can definitely separate you from those authors who are successful and those who are not! The reviews are based on unpublished manuscripts, and should be written by someone whom you feel your ideal audience would respect. For example, a recent project for a highly successful psychologist who is shifting her practice to a broader coaching level sought a review from a well-known coach – adding credibility to her message.
IV How do you plan to reach your ideal audience?
Book marketing strategies are never complete until this question is clarified. I think one of the most memorable examples I had in my marketing classes was the idea that you would never think of marketing a hiking book on Saturday morning television – who in your ideal audience would be around to watch it – but you would not believe the statistics we were shown that proved how many people thought it would be a great idea! How then do you make such an important decision? Start by making a list of everything you could possibly want to know about your readers. What is the biggest problem you seek to resolve? What is the greatest excitement you hope to create? What is the most compelling question you hope to answer? What magazines do they read? What websites would they visit? What stores would they be most inclined to purchase from? Finding the “common” factors of all potential readers will help you work magic in your marketing efforts.
Armed with the answers to these four questions… the book marketing strategies you create around those answers prepare you to implement all writing, publishing, publicity and PR actions necessary to get your book into the hands of those who want/need to be reading it!
If this has done nothing more than to shake up your thinking then I have done my job! If reading this has created another question you really must have answered, please take a minute to email me and ask it! Just make sure to put “Burning question” in the subject line.
MUCH happiness in your day.
Anna Weber… always the author’s advocate | the literary strategist