Doctors ask questions to get information before making a diagnosis. Litigators ask questions of witnesses to build their cases. Journalists ask questions to generate information for their articles. Similarly, when selling to a corporate buyer, authors and publishers should ask questions to acquire information, exchange ideas, build their case, establish rapport and trust, and uncover unforeseen pitfalls to mitigate risk. Do you want to sell more books? Then stop talking about your book, and ask more questions.
Dale Carnegie advised us to be a good listener in his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. He told us to, “Ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.” Yet most people fail to use this advice when selling their books to corporate buyers.
(This is the second of a two-part series)
You can generate more publicity, sell more books and become more profitable if you follow several simple techniques for writing promotional material sent to business buyers. These are people in corporations, associations, schools and other non-retail organizations.
Part One in this two-part series described writing attention-grabbing headlines. Part Two tells how to write body copy that keeps the reader through your communication. Once you hook the readers with your headline, you must deliver on their expectations or they will stop reading immediately. Use the body of your press release to continue the momentum started with the headline and get the readers to take the action you recommend.
(This is the first part of a two-part series)
You can generate more publicity, sell more books and become more profitable if you follow several simple techniques for writing press releases. This is particularly true when communicating with buyers in niche segments such as corporations, associations, schools and the military. Part One in this two-part series describes writing the headlines, and Part Two tells how to write body copy that leads the reader through your release.
Publicity is the least expensive and perhaps most productive of the promotional strategies publishers use to generate exposure for their books. And a press release is the tool most commonly used to stimulate publicity. However, too many publishers' press releases go unheeded because the publicity copywriters make one major mistake – they write their press releases about their books.
One of the most misused words in the publishing business is marketing. Some people think selling is marketing, but it is not. Others think publishing is marketing, but it is not. Marketing is a distinct business philosophy that, if understood and applied properly, can help your business become more profitable.
There are four competing concepts under which publishing companies can conduct their marketing activities. These are the Publishing Concept, the Product Concept, the Selling Concept and the Marketing Concept.
The Publishing Concept holds that consumers will favor those titles that are widely available and low in cost. These mass-market publishers concentrate on achieving high production efficiency and wide distribution.
As indie authors, we all want to sell more books. And so, I want to share with you several ways that you can make the most of your book promotion efforts. As I’m sure you’ve learned a successful book marketing plan is made up of a range of actions that build on one another, and it’s wise to vary your efforts to get the most bang for your investment – whether its time or money, or a combination thereof. So with this in mind, here are some of the top ways that you can sell more books this year.
1. Be consistent: Whatever you do, do it consistently. So often indie authors try to do more than their time and bandwidth allow. Fix this by picking the things you know you can do consistently and forgetting the rest. Trust me, you will make greater strides if you remain consistent in your efforts.
It’s a fact of life. As you read this sentence, I have already begun to lose you and your attention. Maybe you’re thinking about dinner. Or your dog. Or what your kids are doing way too quietly in the other room. Now, let me try and get you back. On average, we have an 8-second attention span. And since goldfish have an average attention span of 9 seconds, they’ve surpassed us.
Do I have your attention now?
Attention is now the hottest commodity that you need to be after. If you can’t get and keep someone’s attention, you’ve lost the opportunity to close the sale. So what does that have to do with you? Well, if you look at most people’s pitches these days, you’ll see something repeatedly. They follow a stale format. By leading with a long, overly detailed backstory, they meander along for a paragraph or two, before coming to a point.
The world of book marketing is moving and shaking, and as with all things, change is inevitable. Part of my job is to embrace change and ensure that we are on the front edge of book marketing trends so that we can be the most effective marketing team for our clients. And although changes don’t mean the “old ideas” no longer work, it does mean that there are some exciting new ways to do things. So with that said, I’d like to share these 7 changes you can expect to see this year.
Many independent publishers use the Christopher Columbus method of planning. They do not know where they are going. When they arrive, they do not know where they are. And when they return, they do not know where they have been. This is not a good way to run a business.
Avoid this situation by writing a strategic, functional plan to market your books. Your plan should identify the most promising business opportunities. It should clarify your goals and the activities you will employ to move toward your objectives efficiently. For a view of a new planning formula, look through these "ize."
Recognize. A basic premise for successful marketing is to find a need and fill it. You do this by researching three major areas. First, discover what product opportunities exist. Second, learn the demographics and psychographics of your prospective customers. Finally, calculate your potential market's size, growth and competitive status.