With the media’s attention becoming more and more difficult to capture, it’s more important now than ever to create the perfect pitch. And it’s a bit of an art form. Why, because especially with national media, but also with regional media, and even bloggers, it’s important that each aspect of your pitch be on point. Today, I’m writing to help you learn the art of the perfect pitch, and teach you some great practices to consider.
You could sell more of your books if you can answer two questions honestly. First, how often do people think about your book? Second, how often do people think about their own problems? You will probably agree that people think more about how they can solve their problems, learn something, improve themselves or be entertained than they do about your book. However, if you can show them how they can help themselves in some way by reading your book you are likely to increase your sales and revenue.
Defining your target reader.
When asked who their target reader is, many authors reply, “I do not know,” or “everybody who likes (their topic).” Either answer will reduce your sales and profits. If your book is for everybody, how much would it cost you to reach them frequently enough to make an impact – if you could find a way to do so?
If you’re an author marketing your book, it goes without saying that you want to get in front of the right people, or in other words “key influencers.” And, where you find them is just as important as how you reach them. Social media offers an incredible opportunity to connect with these influencers in a meaningful way. And while it’s really common to use LinkedIn and Facebook, the art of connecting with influencers on Twitter can also make a huge difference to your end goals, especially when they retweet your Tweets.
Additionally, Twitter offers a direct, instantaneous link that allows you to take a more focused, more tailored approach. Anytime you like or reshare a Tweet, the person will know, and it opens the door to a great connection. Not only are you exposed to their followers, but as your relationship grows, you will likely see your follower numbers growing as well.
Deciding upon the price of your book may have more impact on your sales and profits than any other marketing decision. Yet some authors and publishers determine the price by matching competitive prices, multiplying the unit printing costs by eight, or pricing their book at what “feels right.” Any of those choices may negatively impact your operating income (OI). Instead, base your book’s price on marketing strategy.
Let’s look at the choice of multiplying the unit printing costs by eight. Suppose your unit printing cost is $1.87 (of course, that depends on the quantity printed). Eight times this amount would yield a list price of $14.95. This covers your distributor’s percentage (70%), and even with a promotional budget of $1 per book and could yield $1.61 per sale. At that rate you would need to sell 621 books to generate $1,000 of OI.
It is easy to create or buy a list of prospective buyers for your titles. But any list is comprised only of suspects, names of people who might fit the description of those in your target audience. You will waste time and money if you initially treat each as having the same need and desire to purchase your books. But by using a simple technique, you can remove those with no interest in buying your products and devote your marketing attention to contacting those with a higher likelihood of buying.
In this process, you rank potential buyers according to various criteria that you define. They begin as suspects, simply names on a list. Then as you qualify them according to their fit with your criteria, they are either removed from your list, or become prospects. Once they buy, they become customers.
Did you ever watch golfers look through the assortment of the clubs in their bags before choosing just the right one for a particular shot? Think of the benefits of your content as individual clubs, each to be brandished as circumstances warrant. When your prospects tell you what they want to buy, pull out the appropriate “club” and describe what your content can do for them. Do not use a driver when a sand wedge or putter is the better choice.
Every publisher wants to increase book sales through bookstores. However, sales through other retail outlets can also increase the volume and velocity of your revenue. These include discount stores, airport stores, supermarkets, gift shops, specialty stores, pharmacies and many others. Each of these segments has a pre-ordained distribution network, and you must work within that structure to get your book on the stores’ shelves.
Finding the proper distributor is not difficult, although you will have to work with different companies in various segments. But once you have distribution in place, will you be just another one of their clients, or will you make your titles stand out and be sold? Getting its representatives to actively sell your books instead of others requires special effort. Perform properly in four areas and you can increase the number and speed of your books moving through the pipeline.