Selling Your Book In Today\'s Market


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Guide to marketing your book in today\'s book market

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Selling Your Book In Today\'s Market

  1. 1. Copyright © 2011 by Philip Davis. All rights reserved.Published by AlphaGraphics, Salt Lake City, UTFirst EditionISBN 978-0-9832811-1-5No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form orby any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permittedunder Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior writtenpermission of the Publisher. Requests to the publisher for permission should be addressed to the LegalDepartment, AlphaGraphics, Inc. 268 South State Street, Ste 300, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 (800) 955-6246.Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best effortsin preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracyor completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties ofmerchantability or fitness of a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by salesrepresentatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitablefor your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher norauthor shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited tospecial, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
  2. 2. Table of ContentsIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Promote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 a. Multi-channel marketing b. Cross media marketingConnect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 a. Who are the people most likely to buy your book? b. Where can you find your customers?Engage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 a. Igniting the conversation b. Growing your opt-in mailing list c. Creating call-to-action eventsDelivering quality products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 a. Producing quality products b. Repurposing to create multiple income streamsConclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
  3. 3. Selling Books in Today’s Market Published by AlphaGraphics, Inc.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com
  4. 4. To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  5. 5. Introduction Nearly universal literacy is a defining characteristic of today’s modern civilization; nearly universal authorship will shape tomorrow’s. Denis G. Pelli and Charles Bigelow, In 1440 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press which allowed authors and publishers the ability to distribute books to the masses. Prior to 1440, books were copied by hand, and as so few copies existed only the elite were literate. Like the Gutenberg press, the Internet is creating enormous changes to the way we do business and communicate with each other. In the publishing world, the Internet is enabling new marketing and distribution models. While self-publishing has been around since the early days of printing, ebook and print-on-demand self-publishing are two relatively new publishing models. In fact, these two Internet-driven publishing models are really new distribution models.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 1
  6. 6. The Print-on-Demand (POD) model began in the late 1990s when Amazon introduced its online bookstore. POD companies realized that mainstream publishers could only accommodate a small percentage of authors so they built a publishing and distribution model to serve the millions of authors not able to break into the mainstream. In the past few years, ebook sales have begun to take off due largely to the introduction of several popular ebook readers. Amazon led the charge with its Kindle reader, and later Apple introduced its iPad and Barnes and Noble released its Nook reader. In addition to these popular ebook readers, people can use their smart phones today to read ebooks. Among the nearly 2 million authors who self-publish each year is a segment of authors called “entrepreneur authors.” These authors may use POD and book distribution models, but they also require books printed in bulk, say 250 to several thousand, so they can distribute these books directly through their own website, at coaching events, at keynote speeches, in seminars and other direct selling venues. Entrepreneur authors use a printing and fulfillment company like AlphaGraphics to enable their direct selling efforts. While authors today have many publishing and distribution options available to them, they often find that getting their books published is the easy part. Building awareness for their books, connecting with their target audiences2 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  7. 7. and engaging their audiences to drive word-of-mouth sales is the biggest challenge most authors face. Here again, the Internet offers an opportunity. Authors today can use blogs to launch blog book tours. Authors can create book trailers and distribute the trailer videos on YouTube and a host of other video sites. Authors can create fan pages on Facebook and get people to follow them on Twitter. The Internet, in fact, offers authors so many channels to market their books that authors are often confused as to which tactics to use to get the maximum benefit. The solution to the book marketing confusion many authors face is to work strategically. This small book introduces you to four key concepts that will help you run more successful book marketing campaigns. These four concepts form the foundation for a more comprehensive marketing program offered exclusively through AlphaGraphics called Take Your Book to Market. The Take Your Book to Market program introduces you to a simple seven- step program to help you promote, connect, engage and deliver your book to your target customers. Understanding these four concepts – promote, connect, engage and deliver – is the key to selling books in today’s market.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 3
  8. 8. 4 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  9. 9. Concept #1 – Promote For most self-publishing authors, building awareness for their books is the number one challenge they face once the book is published. Successful marketers know that the key to building awareness for any product is getting in front of their target audience multiple times. Traditionally, companies use TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Bus signs and a host of other channels to promote their products. This type of marketing is called multi-channel marketing. However, these standard marketing channels are rarely used by mainstream publishers to promote books because the return on investment just isn’t strong enough to justify these channels. Just ask yourself the last time you saw a TV ad for a new Stephen King or John Grisham novel. Mainstream publishers have learned that best-selling authors are created through passionate word-of-mouth advertising. Luckily for both traditional and self-publishing authors alike, the Internet is changing the playing field. Authors can now use Facebook, Twitter, personal Blogs, YouTube and a host of other channels to build awareness for their books and all these channels are free to use. Using these channels, authors can connect with thousands of people in their target audience.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 5
  10. 10. These Internet channels allow authors to launch multi-channel campaigns. But these channels enable an even more powerful promotion technique called cross-media marketing. Cross-media marketing is the art of connecting all these channels together. Here’s a simple illustration. Let’s say John has a book that teaches people how to grow herbs in box gardens. John starts a blog to promote his book. John also creates a Facebook fan page and a Twitter page. Every time John writes a message on his blog, the message is automatically delivered to his Facebook page and his Twitter account. People following him on these two social networks see his message and are directed back to his blog to read the article and leave comments. John then creates a series of short videos to show people how to grow herbs in box gardens. John creates a YouTube channel to host his videos and he puts the videos on his blog which then distributes his videos to his Facebook and Twitter sites. Everything John does is connected to give him maximum reach. Like traditional multi-channel marketing, John needs to get his message in front of his target customers multiple times and he needs to use all the media his target customers are using. John’s goal is to get people to visit his website6 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  11. 11. so they can buy a copy of his book. John is off to a good start, but now let’s take his multi-channel, cross-media marketing campaign up a notch. Now that John has his online presence in place and is selling books directly from his website, he shifts his focus to some offline, direct selling tactics. John approaches local nurseries and home supply stores and asks them if he can do a book event. At his event he will demonstrate how to create herb box gardens and he will have copies of his book to sell. To motivate the local stores to work with him, he shows the store managers all the people following him on his social networks. He explains how he will announce his book events to these people and encourage them to come to the event. John will also purchase a mailing list of people in his target audience and run a direct mail campaign. The direct mail motivates people to visit a personalized website where they can take a short survey to receive a free gift. This gift might be a miniature herb box or a free ebook on how to grow herb box gardens. When a prospective customer takes this action, John captures the prospect’s email address. John puts this data into an email program that allows him to send automated messages to his prospects multiple times.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 7
  12. 12. John has now created a solid multi-channel, cross-media marketing foundation. With this foundation in place, John will be growing his database of prospective book buyers, generating sales and, most importantly, creating the opportunity for word-of-mouth advertising. This simple illustration about John demonstrates that you have a wealth of channels you can use to promote your book. Finding places on the Internet to promote your book is the easy part. Even getting all these channels to work together as a coordinated cross-media campaign is fairly straight forward. The key to running successful multi-channel, cross-media campaigns is connecting with the right people and engaging them to take the actions you want them to take.8 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  13. 13. Concept # 2 – Connect The new media available to authors today has some unique advantages over traditional media. Not only can authors connect directly with their target audiences, they can also connect with market influencers in their genre. A “target audience” is defined by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) as: A target audience is people of a certain age, group, gender, marital status and other demographic data. A certain combination, like men from twenty to thirty is often a target audience. Other groups, although not the main focus, may also be interested. Discovering the appropriate target market(s) and determining the target audience is one of the most important activities in marketing management (Niewenhuizen, et. al., 2000). The biggest mistake entrepreneurs are making is trying to reach everybody which ends up appealing to no-one. Effectively using the tools that help you connect with your audience requires you to have a clear idea about your target customer. When defining your target customer, think about the people who are most likely to buy your book.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 9
  14. 14. By defining your target customer you will discover some unique marketing channels that will help you grow your audience. For example, let’s say you have a book on how to lose weight. You do some research and discover there are 152 million US adults who are overweight or obese. You can say that all overweight and obese people are your target audience and start marketing to them, but what channels are you going to use? This question is harder to answer if you have not narrowly defined your target audience. Now let’s say that while it’s true that all overweight and obese people are your target audience, you now narrow it down to the people most likely to buy your book. After a little thinking, you conclude that 50 year-old women living in the suburbs who make over $100,000 a year and have little time to exercise are your ideal customers. With this definition of your target audience, you can start looking for social networks that attract this type of person: you can find groups on Facebook that attract this type of person; and, you can write blog posts that appeal to this type of person. Without a clear picture of who your target audience is you will struggle finding the right marketing channels and creating the right messages. Another very important point is that you need this target audience to love your book so much they tell all their friends about your book. Best-sellers are created because a core group of people like a book so much they start telling others about it. Once you know who your ideal customer is, the next step is finding as many10 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  15. 15. of them as possible and getting them to buy and read your book. As there are literally thousands of ways to find your target customers, the challenge is deciding what tactics to use. For example, consider these 20 marketing tactics: 1. Send free online press releases to get worldwide media attention for your book 2. Do a book trailer and post on your web site and on YouTube 3. Get your book distributed in bookstores world wide 4. Get your book listed on 5. Place your book cover image on the flip side of your business card 6. Convert your book into an ebook 7. Get your book in the hands of the decision makers of book clubs throughout the world 8. Sell books at the back-of-the room table after speaking 9. Offer buy two books, get one free promotions 10. Always leave a copy of your book on your dash board of car for others to see 11. Place business cards with book cover displaying on all community bulletin boards 12. Have friends sell your books at their point of purchase displaysvisit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 11
  16. 16. 13. Sell book to seminar companies who will give it away to attract attendees 14. Partner with entrepreneurs who will give your book away in their marketing efforts 15. Get your books in the hands of all top performers in MLM (Multi-level marketing) companies 16. Sell books to corporations 17. Send out 5-10 review copies of your book daily to people who can buy in volume 18. Send press releases of your book to newspapers 19. Send your book to editors of magazines to review 20. Write articles for magazines after editor reviews your book These are examples of book marketing tactics used by authors all over the world. You can find many other great ideas by just searching the Internet. The million dollar question is, however, will these tactics produce the results you want. Understanding the results you want to achieve will help you decide what tactics to use. Selling books in today’s market requires authors to think more strategically about the book selling process. A key concept in the Take Your Book to Market program is to shift your thinking from just selling books to growing a12 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  17. 17. strong author platform. Your platform is made up of both your audience – or your database – and your credibility. Selling is a numbers game. Ask yourself this question: What is the size of my audience right now? When answering this question, think of the following: • How many friends do I have on Facebook? • How many people are following me on Twitter? • How many email addresses do I have in my email account? • How many people visit my website and/or blog? • How many connections do I have on LinkedIn? • How many other people am I connected to? If you add all these people up you begin to get an idea of your audience – or, in other words, your ‘reach’. What you want to do is increase this reach to develop the largest pool of target customers possible, and you want to get these people talking about your book. Now let’s go back to those 20 book marketing ideas. Most authors use these tactics with the single purpose of selling books. Selling books is, of course, the primary purpose, but here’s where we want to challenge you to shift your thinking. What if you were to deploy these 20 tactics with the primary purpose of growing your opt-in mailing list?visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 13
  18. 18. An opt-in mailing list is a better definition of your audience than friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter. For example, when a potential customer “friends” you on Facebook, he or she has not given you permission to sell your book to them. If you begin hitting your Facebook friends with messages asking them to buy your book, chances are many of them will “de-friend” you. So, your objective is to get your Facebook friends to visit your website. Generally speaking, each of the 20 ideas listed above are focused solely on selling books at a one-time event. Multi-Channel, Cross Media Marketing (MCCM), on the other hand, has several objectives. The primary objectives of MCCM campaigns are: 1. Grow a database to increase your reach 2. Generate leads 3. Send multiple messages to the target audience 4. Develop rapport 5. Engage the audience 6. Create referrals 7. Connect all the channels together – known as cross media14 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  19. 19. The sequence this model follows is: Step 1: People find your website through social media, publicity and direct selling. Step 2: Once people are on your website they either take an action you want them to take or they leave. When they take an action like downloading a free product, buying a product or contacting you, you now have their email address and maybe other information about them. Step 3: Once you have a prospect’s email, your email system sends an automated response asking your prospect to opt-in to your database. Step 4: Once you capture their data they become a member of your tribe. Step 5: With your prospects’ data, you can send automated e-mails to move them through the sales cycle to buy your book and other products, broadcast emails about upcoming events and send direct mail pieces to them if you have their mailing address. You will also use social media at this step to announce your events.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 15
  20. 20. An underlying concept in this process is permission-based marketing, a termcoined by marketing guru Seth Godin, the best-selling author of the bookTribes, among others.Having an audience of people who have given you their permission tointeract with them is powerful. How you choose to communicate with youraudience is a critical success factor. If you bombard your audience withmessages to buy your book, these people will most likely opt-out (removetheir permission) of your database. On the other hand, if you never ask forthe sale you will be the tribal leader of a worthless tribe.With a foundation in place to capture and use your prospects’ data, youcan now focus your efforts on growing your database. The Take Your Book toMarket strategy advocates starting with the following four tactics: • Social media marketing • Publicity marketing • Direct selling • E-mail marketingThe sequence is to first build your online platform with social media,blogging and publicity to drive leads to your website. With your onlineprocesses running, the next step is to focus on direct selling, and a big part16 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  21. 21. of direct selling is to create customer-facing events. You then use email marketing, direct mail and social media to get people to your events. Your AlphaGraphics Marketing Communications Expert can assist you in the execution of all of these strategies to connect with your audience. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention broad-based distribution. One of the first tactics many authors do is list their books with Amazon and Barnes and Noble. When you list your book on Amazon then market your book and tell people to go to Amazon to buy your book, what happens? First, you did all the work getting people to buy your book, but Amazon takes a percentage of the proceeds. Second, Amazon has a program called ‘Buy X, Get Y.’ When you buy a book on a particular subject on Amazon, Amazon recommends other books on the same topic. Amazon keeps the customer data and cross-sells your COMPETITORS’ products to YOUR customers. These are two large distribution channels you can’t ignore, but let Amazon and Barnes and Noble find customers for YOU. Then they deserve their cut.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 17
  22. 22. 18 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  23. 23. Concept # 3 – Engage The tools to run a successful multi-channel, cross-media marketing campaign are accessible to every author and many authors are using these channels to market their books with varying degrees of success. One reason an author may not see the results he or she wants is that the author is not using the channels in a coordinated fashion as we’ve discussed so far in this book. Another reason may be the author is not effectively engaging his or her tribe. While every authors has his or her own style, there are a few key points to keep in mind as you engage with your audience: 1. Know your subject matter: As an author, you are an expert in your field. Continually read books, blogs and news relevant to your subject matter. 2. Be relevant: Help your audience understand how your expertise can be applied in their lives. 3. Be interesting: What is your target customer interested it? What conversations are taking place on social networks that you can engage in and get your audience to engage in with you?visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 19
  24. 24. 4. Offer calls-to-action: Examples may include: take a quick online survey; download a free ebook; or, submit questions to you via your website or email. 5. Make compelling offers: Invite people to sign up for your free e-newsletter, offer free webinars so people can learn more about your subject matter, offer a free CD or DVD. People love free things and you can provide free items for zero or little out-of-pocket expense.One of the best ways you can engage with your audience is with a blog.Your blog is your communication hub. As you constantly write about yoursubject matter, search engines will begin to recognize your content. Whenpeople search for your subject matter, these search engines will direct peopleto your blog.As a general rule, people will not stay on a website for long. They want toget relevant and interesting information quickly.20 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  25. 25. For example, if you were to search the topic of how to write compelling blog messages, you might find an article by Debra Murphy with Masterful Marketing that provides the following list of tips to effective blogging: 1. Develop a List of Post Topics 2. Craft Post Titles that Get Attention 3. Write for Scanning, not Reading 4. Use a Casual and Friendly Tone 5. Link Out to Relevant Content 6. Eliminate Unnecessary Words 7. Stay on Topic Because Debra wrote an article that was relevant to the subject of writing compelling blog messages, her article is highlighted in this book. Everyone who receives a copy of this book will now be exposed to Debra’s website… and yes, she sells books from her website, as well as asks people to connect with her so she can send them emails about her coaching programs.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 21
  26. 26. 22 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  27. 27. Concept #4 – Delivering Quality Products The POD publishing companies helped spur on the growth of self- publishing by offering authors a quick and affordable model to publish their books. However, a negative result of the POD publishing model was that the quality of books published by these companies was generally inferior to books published through traditional publishing companies. Delivering a quality book and other products is the most important element to creating word-of- mouth advertising. The purpose of connecting and engaging with people in your target audience is to get these core people talking about your book to their friends. Without a quality book, fostering word-of-mouth sales is difficult, if not impossible. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll assume that all books are written with valuable content for a particular target audience. The reason for this assumption is that only you, the author, control the message if you are self- publishing. Mainstream publishers get much more involved in the contents of an author’s book, but if you are self-publishing you control the content.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 23
  28. 28. So putting aside the content – or story or message if you will – the quality of a book can be defined as follows: 1. A book that has been edited. Editing is not proofreading. Editing is a creative process performed by a professional editor who has experience in your genre. Editors offer suggestions on plot, message and other elements of your book. 2. A book that has been proofread. Editors may catch many grammatical and spelling errors, but they won’t catch them all. You need at least one other set of eyes to go through your manuscript. Proofreading is less creative and more technical. Proofreaders won’t make suggestions, but rather just make sure your book is free of misspelled words, typos and poor grammar. 3. A professional cover. A professional cover is one that appeals to the right target customer and is designed by someone with experience designing book covers. 4. Professional layout. The interior pages also need to be designed to fit the target customer. Non-fiction books often have break-out text boxes and graphics and novels use a certain font and spacing between the lines.24 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  29. 29. 5. Quality printing and binding. Covers should be printed in color and on a heavy coated stock. The covers should also be coated, either with a UV coating or a gloss film lamination. The inside paper should be on a heavier 60# offset stock. Your AlphaGraphics project manager understands what it takes to produce a quality book and will guide you through the process. Remember, an author’s platform is made up of both audience and credibility. If your book is riddled with errors or falls apart when a customer opens it, your credibility will be damaged and your readers will most likely not recommend your book to their peers. Another important concept when it comes to delivering quality products is that your book can be turned into multiple products. This concept is referred to as “repurposing.” Repurposing is the process of taking your book and turning it into several products: soft cover books, hard cover books, ebooks and audio books. You can also create workbooks, planners and CDs for your customers. In addition, you can take the concepts in your book and create a coaching course. This course may be a program you deliver through live seminars,visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 25
  30. 30. through online webinars, through online courses or through all three products. You might also create T-Shirts, calendars and a host of other consumer goods. Creating multiple products for multiple income streams is an important part of your marketing roadmap. Take Janet (real name not used), for example. Janet came to us one day to help her print 250 copies of her book on helping people improve their marriages through better financial management. Janet’s research showed her that money, or rather, poor money management, was the leading cause of divorce. As we began working with Janet, it became clear that Janet’s expertise could be turned into many different products. The first new product Janet created was rewriting her current book. Janet had written her first book with women as her target customer and the book’s cover design and the content itself appealed to women. Janet wanted a book cover that also appealed to men and she decided to “tweak” the contents a little to speak more to the men in her target audience.26 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  31. 31. Over time we helped Janet create a host of products she had not envisioned that first day she came to us to print her book. Here is the list of products Janet created: 1. Perfect bound (soft cover) book targeted to women 2. Perfect bound book targeted to men 3. Audio book version of her book 4. An ebook 5. Subscription based website for continued education 6. Wall poster her customers use to see their financial plan at a glance A year into her business Janet discovered that larger organizations were interested in having her come in to speak about her program to their employees. Employers know that the productivity of their employees depends largely on how happy they are in their personal lives and that financial stress at home can sometimes relate to poor productivity at work. To meet this new market opportunity, Janet needed some additional products. Following are some of the products Janet created: 1. A hard bound version of her book to present to company senior executives 2. A step-by-step coaching program 3. A full-color workbook to use when coaching executivesvisit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 27
  32. 32. 4. A black and white version workbook when coaching managers and other employees 5. A keynote speech presentation to use when presenting at company functions Janet’s book — her expertise — is a good fit for creating these types of products. However, until we began exploring the possibilities with Janet, she didn’t see these opportunities. Most books can be turned into multiple products. For fiction writers the obvious channel for additional products are writing more books or turning a current story into a series. However, most fiction authors do a fair amount of research when creating their story and it is possible that this research could be turned into a non-fiction book and that non-fiction book could lead into yet other products. The best way to create additional products is by listening to your customers. Your multi-channel, cross media marketing plan allows you to get direct feedback from your target audience. Successful entrepreneur authors spend time listening to their audience. As you get feedback from your customers, you learn of the needs they have and you get ideas for new books and other products.28 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  33. 33. visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 29
  34. 34. 30 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  35. 35. Conclusion Best-selling books are created primarily through word-of-mouth advertising. The marketing channels available to authors today make it easy for people to share books with their friends and peers. These 21st century marketing tools, like social media and blogging, are free to use and therefore accessible by all authors. The key, however, is to use these new channels strategically. Strategically using the tools available to you today requires you to launch multi- channel, cross-media marketing campaigns designed to connect you with your target customers. Customers need to see your message multiple times before they take action. All your marketing channels need to be connected together for maximum benefit. In addition, authors today need to shift their focus from just selling books to growing their permission-based email lists. Just connecting with your target is not enough to sell books. You also need to engage with your audience by writing relevant and compelling messages. You need to make exciting offers that motivate your customers to take the actions you want them to take. And most importantly, you want your core segment of target customers to start talking about your book and referring your book to their friends and peers.visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 31
  36. 36. Fostering word-of-mouth advertising relies heavily on the quality of your book. Investing up-front to have your book edited, proofread and professionally designed will pay huge dividends down the road. In addition, the finished bound quality of your book reflects on your credibility. This short book gave you an insight into the general concepts behind the Take Your Book to Market program distributed exclusively through AlphaGraphics. To learn more about this product visit www.takeyourbooktomarket.com32 To find out more about the Take Your Book to Market program
  37. 37. visit www .takeyourbooktomarket .com 33