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.
Goals are the foundation of a solid marketing plan. They provide a target at which to aim, the standard against which you can gauge your company’s progress. They divide your vision statement into manageable steps and provide a path to its realization. And written goals provide a means for looking back to see how far you have come.
If all these benefits of setting goals are true, how can goals be of no value? Goal-setting is a tool, and like any other tool it is useless if used incorrectly. Goals are worthless…
What do you need to succeed in book publishing? Your first thought may be money, particularly OPM -- Other People's Money. However, that is not as critical as you may think. Money will come when you do everything else right. The most important attributes that lead to success cannot be purchased. Here are the Top 10 “Must Haves” for success in book publishing: