My husband plays the bass. He recently got a better, upgraded instrument and decided he would sell his older one. A friend just happened to be looking for an affordable bass for his son to learn on. My husband, sensing a sales opportunity pounced.
He dropped his bass off at the friend’s house and told him to try it out. His plan was to return in a few days to either collect his bass or the money for the sale. That, my friends, is smart marketing.
You see, my husband understands a concept that many authors fail to grasp: connection. The more connected a person becomes to a product, the more likely they will buy it.
After playing with the bass for a few days, my husband’s friend and his son are not going to want to give it back. They will want to keep the bass as they will have become engaged with and connected to the instrument.
The same principle applies to books.
At the recent International Christian Retail Show (ICRS), the largest gathering the industry has of Christian product buyers, there are many books on display. Publishers and authors are trying to get the attendees to get interested in and purchase their books and other products.
My teenage son accompanied me to ICRS this year. He stopped at a booth that had a line of Christian graphic novels. I asked him about these graphic novels. My son told me that he did not know much about them. I wondered why—after all, he had spent time at the booth and talked with the creator of the graphic novels.
My son informed me that the author had simply stood and told him about the books. He had not offered to allow my son to look through one of the graphic novels. That is like telling a kid about a cool toy. The kid doesn’t quite grasp the concept and thus has little interest. But, give the kid the toy to try out and you have an excited child who wants one.
This author had missed an important marketing opportunity: connection. Yes, the author had tried to make a connection with my son, but he had failed to connect my son to the books. Had this author handed my son a book to look through, he would have created a connection and garnered interest, and possibly even a sale.
How can you get people more connected to your books? Try these two easy ways:
- Always carry a copy of your book with you. When you are telling people about your book, pull it out and let them hold it and thumb through it. Create a connection to the physical book.
- Offer a sample of your book in the digital realm. Allow potential readers to read a couple chapters of your book to get them engaged and connected.
Remember making a connection increases the chances you will make a sale. The best connection is where the reader not only connects with you, the author, but also with the book itself.
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