Marketing can have one of two goals: make sales or create awareness. Although any marketing effort can do both of these, it will only do one of them well.
This post will discuss ways to create awareness – and when done right, top-of-mind awareness. That is, having our author brand be what a reader first thinks of when he or she considers what book to read next. Awareness, which some would call branding, is built slowly over time. Here are three strategies to consider: read more>>
Strategic marketing can improve books sales. However, it can quickly waste a lot of money with little return when done haphazardly. Review each advertising option carefully before committing money to it. Here are five ideas to consider:
- Print Ads: Unless you find the ideal publication, print media is an expensive option and seldom generates enough book sales to make it worthwhile. However the right targeted publication can pay off in a big way. read more>>
As authors, our websites are our home base, the destination all of our online activity points to. We need to make sure our sites are up at all times and working correctly. When there is a problem, we limit our ability to connect with others about our writing.
Here are six things to check:
- That it is running: A down site helps no one. Make sure it is working.
- That all links work: Broken links are a disservice to our audience and cause Google to devalue our site. Regularly search for and fix broken links. read more>>
As part of my publishing business I send email messages to magazine subscribers on behalf of our advertisers. This is one of the services we provide. It’s commonly called e-blasts, but it’s just a different twist on email marketing.
I’ve done this for several years and have tracked vastly different response rates depending on the type and tone of the message. Consider:
1) Offer a Free Resource: An email for a free whitepaper enjoys a 20 percent higher open rate and a 400 percent greater click rate than does a straight ad. The lesson is to give people something of value. Help them; don’t sell them.
2) Invite Them to a Free Webinar: Emails promoting free webinars also enjoy higher open rates and much higher click rates. However, these are usually not as good as emails offering a free resource. If you’ve ever watched a free webinar, you’re conditioned to expect a sales pitch at the end, but you also know you will learn valuable information before they try to sell you something.
3) Avoid Straight Ads: Emails that try to sell something are the worst performing of all, sometimes earning only single digit open rates. If you must send this type of email, spend a great deal of time on your message and even more on your subject line. Though this is critical for every email message, it is even more important when doing straight marketing.
The subject line is key, affecting open rates by as much as 30 percent. In writing your subject line, remember that to meet CAN-SPAM regulations, the subject line must not be deceptive or misleading. I have also heard that the ideal subject line length is six to nine words.
Consider these factors when designing a message for maximum effectiveness. If you’re doing email marketing to communicate with your followers or to promote your books but not getting the reaction you desire, it might be that your message is getting in the way of their response.
What is your experience in doing email marketing? What do you think about attending free webinars? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
There are several blogs I follow; I read them whenever I can. Sometimes I just read, and other times I read and comment. Only a small percent of blog readers take time to comment. The reasons are many: too busy, a lack of confidence, not knowing what to say, fear, and so forth. There are, however, some reasons why we should comment. Here are three:
1) To Interact With Others: The biggest reason to comment is to connect with other likeminded readers. Some do more than just comment on the post, they also comment on other comments. Just remember to keep things positive and civil. Don’t say something online you wouldn’t say in person to your closest friends. read more>>
The goal in advertising is to get our name and book in front of readers. But advertising is expensive; it is a quick way to lose money if we advertise in the wrong place. However, when we find the right place to advertise – one where our audience hangs out and that provides a good return on our investment – we can do even more to maximize our paid coverage by following these eight tips.
In addition to running ads in carefully targeted publications and websites, we can take these additional steps to enhance the value of our advertising dollar: read more>>
As we consider ways to market our books, we need to be aware of the “marketing measurement myth.” This is an alarming trend with marketers, especially those with affection for the Internet. Their perspective is that if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t matter and isn’t worth pursuing.
Consider, for a moment, applying this bias to pursuing a personal relationship: read more>>
Book publishing is more than just writing and producing books; it is also about selling them. Selling books requires a host of skills, including marketing, promotion, and public relations. Yes, public relations – PR for short.
At its most basic level, public relations is managing the flow of information from an entity (a company, organization, or an individual) to the public. As in the case of authors, the goal of this flow of information is to increase awareness of a book, both published and soon to be published. The intent is to produce interest for the ultimate purpose of generating sales. In between awareness and sales, lies intermediary goals such as sparking dialogue, fueling a buzz, encouraging word-of-mouth promotion, and even the hope of the campaign going viral, all of which is publicity. read more>>
If you are a consultant, service provider, or business professional, having a book can become your best form of promotion. A book provides instant credibility, elevating you above the competition who has no book. It becomes a calling card, opening doors and providing opportunities you would otherwise miss.
Your book is the ultimate business card. Learn more from the article “Your Book as Your Business Card: Indie Book Publishing Provides Professionals the Edge.”
Of course, to realize the most from your book as a business card, it must be professional. Business cards run the gambit from homemade cards using your PC printer and perforated stock to four-color glossy works of art with professional graphics and quality printing. The difference is apparent, separating card-carrying market leaders from under-resourced wannabes. Though the homemade version is better than no card, it’s only a marginal improvement.
So, too, published books run the gambit, from homemade cover and self-edited to professionally designed graphics, quality editing, and elegant interior design that ooze competence. While the homegrown book is better than no book, it is only marginally so.
Whether it is a book or a business card, when someone sees it, do you want them to think “Oh no!” or “Oh wow?”
Is your nonfiction book your ultimate business card? Why or why not?
I hate asking new authors, “What’s your book about?”
They panic; they stammer; they ramble. Five minutes later, I’m still not sure. Telltale signs that communication is not occurring are phrases like, “Then in chapter two…” or “Oh, I forgot to mention…” or “I haven’t worked this part out yet.” When my eyes glaze over, they become flustered and utter the killer phrase: “It starts out kind of slow but really picks up around page 65.”
In recent posts, we talked about writing back cover copy and promotional copy for our books. A related topic, which I should have addressed first, is creating an elevator pitch. read more>>