Is Your Message Narrow Enough?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read “I’m Straight Not Narrow”. Most people don’t want to be considered narrow, rigid, or closed-minded. However, narrow is not always bad.

Narrow

Matthew quotes Jesus as having said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” So, in the spiritual world, narrow is good.

Narrow can also be good when it comes to promoting a book. There are two ways to utilize narrow to more effectively promote your book:

1. Narrow Your Audience
Narrowing your audience can help you do a better job of promoting your book because it helps you spend your time most effectively. When authors throw their audience net too wide, they catch fewer readers. Why? Because the message does not touch the right people. The net is too wide and the message becomes weak and diluted. However, when you are able to narrow your audience to those who most need or want the message you have to share, you can utilize your time efficiently to reach the people who are most likely to read your book.

2. Narrow your Message
Too many messages are confusing. One message that is repeated over and over is more likely to be remembered. Narrowing your marketing message can help you promote your book more effectively. Choose one message for your book marketing campaign. Your message should be what need your book meets for your audience. Messages like “pray more effectively” or “improve your financial stewardship” tell your audience in direct way what reading your book will do for them. Remember, people can only remember a limited number of items. By narrowing your message, you increase the chances that your audience will remember it.

As you craft your next book promotion campaign, remember this narrow concept. Narrow your audience and your message for the most success.

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Thanks to God

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for. I think the words of the following Thanksgiving hymn, “Thanks to God” by Ludvig Storm, sum up the scope of what we all have to be thankful for.

givethanks

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

This year, I am especially thankful for the following:

  1. Celebrating 10 years of directing Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) and helping small publishers and independently published authors experience success in marketing their book in the Christian marketplace.
  2. The publication of the Third Edition of my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.
  3. Winning another award for Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.
  4. Six years of blogging, and for you, the readers of this blog.
  5. The gift of salvation!
  6. Another year of living, loving, and serving God!

What are you thankful for?

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Are Reviews Important?

In my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace,” one of the marketing fundamentals is:

Book reviews open doors for book sales.

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This marketing principle is one of the reasons that Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) began the BookCrash book review program for our member publishers. BookCrash is a “books for bloggers” program, where, in exchange for a book, we ask that the blogger review the book both on his or her own personal blog and on one retail site.

Book reviews help sell books for several reasons.

  1. Reviews expose more people to your book.
  2. Reviews let readers know that your book is or is not worth an investment of money or time.
  3. Reviews provide you on-going testimonials about your book for use in your marketing materials.

The updated Third Edition of my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, recently garnered two great reviews. For the sake of space, I will not quote the entirety of the reviews here, just the salient points. I have provided a link to each review if you wish to read the entire review.

James Cox of the Midwest Book Review wrote:

Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace by Sarah Bolme will prove to be an indispensable 266 page instructional resource for authors and publishers of Christian literature whether fiction or non-fiction. Comprehensive, exceptionally well organized and presented, practical, informed and informative.”

Deborah Piccurrelli of TWJ Magazine wrote:

“I have to admit, my first thought was, ‘Another marketing book?’ because I already own a whole load of previously published ones. But once I began reading, I wanted to just go straight through without stopping. I never thought the subject could be so interesting. The formatting of this book is done in such a way that I never experienced tedium.”

If you have a new book you are publishing, make the push, get out there and get reviews. They will help you sell more copies of your book.

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