The Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg and only 705 of its 2200 passengers and crew survived. With too few lifeboats onboard, many lives were lost unnecessarily. With a little creativity more people might have been saved. For example, what if the crew saw the iceberg as a sanctuary instead of a cause of death? They might have ferried people there. Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
There is an important lesson from that tragedy that can help us solve more problems. The lesson? When you look at something do not think of it only in traditional terms. The crew of the Titanic saw the iceberg as a menace to be avoided. They overlooked possible solutions hidden in plain sight, much like publishers overlook the opportunity for lucrative sales to buyers in non-bookstore markets.
One of the basic axioms of book marketing is that it takes multiple impressions on target buyers to induce them to make a purchase. The more varied these touchpoints the greater the impression and motivation to favorable action.
Successful book publishers market their books using an assorted mix of promotional media. The four parts to an assorted communication mix are publicity, advertising, sales promotion and personal selling. The weight of any one element depends upon the content, nature of your product lines, the author’s involvement in marketing, and the target buyers. As a general statement, publishers focus on publicity and avoid advertising -- print advertising in particular. They feel that if they do any advertising it will be in digital format thinking print communication “is a thing of the past.”
I know that giving something away for free may not seem like a smart business move, but let me explain. Free giveaways can be a very effective business tool when you think of those freebies as a marketing expense (the cost of exposure) rather than lost sales. Free promotions are a great way to get you exposure in front of your target audience, expand your following, and drive sales in the long run. The key is to know how to take advantage of free.
The circumstances surrounding every selling situation are different, but there are two parts essential to them all: substance and process. Substance is made up of objective elements such as price, terms and shipping costs. Process is the path you take from your initial meeting to the close.
One of the costliest mistakes in negotiating a large book sale is focusing primarily on the substance of the deal and not enough on the process and the players. You can be more successful if you understand each distinct process since it is more likely to differ than the substance of any selling event.
In the first part of this series, I outlined simple ways to establish a presence online to promote yourself. Below, I offer tips to build upon the presence you’ve established online to begin networking with your followers and thought leaders in your industry.
Join the conversation
One of the most important things you can do online is to remain visible; you’ve put a lot of time and effort into establishing your presence online, so make sure to remain actively engaged with your followers and other members in your industry. There are several different ways you can stay active online – I’ve listed a few below:
As an author, you work hard to create a book that is flawless – you write a first manuscript, make revisions, make some more revisions, and toil for a long time to finally get your book “just right” and ready for sale. Now you have your book up on Amazon, but it’s not selling the way you want it to. When that happens, it’s discouraging after all that time and effort you put into creating the best book you could. So why the low sales? And what can you do about it?
To answer these questions, let’s take a moment for a quick marketing lesson. When building a marketing plan, it’s important to keep in mind the 4 P’s of marketing: product, place, promotion, and price. Briefly, I’ve defined them below: