The Goal of Advertising

Most independently published authors shy away from paid advertising for their books. After all, paid advertising sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s usually expensive and the benefits (sales reaped) often don’t equal the money spent.

Interestingly, a new survey from Clutch, a B2B ratings and review firm, found that advertisements influence 90% of consumers in their purchasing decisions. That makes advertising a powerful tool.

The survey also looked at which advertising mediums consumers found the most trustworthy. People find traditional advertising mediums (TV, print, radio) more trustworthy than digital advertising (online, social media).

In addition, this survey revealed that Millennials are more likely to make a purchase after seeing or hearing advertisements than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. About 81% of millennials surveyed (those ages 18 to 34) made a purchase after seeing or hearing an advertisement in the last 30 days. The survey also found that Millennials trust advertising more than older generations.

This is good news for authors seeking to reach Millennials. If this younger generation is your target audience, you may experience more success with paid advertisements than those authors trying to reach older generations.

 

The truth is, for advertising to work the following must happen:

  1. You have to use the right vehicle to reach your target audience.
    Your target audience must match the target audience of the newspaper, magazine, website, or radio show where your advertisement is run.
  2. You have to convey the benefits of your book in your ad.
    After all, advertising is all about persuasion.
  3. You have to have repeat exposure for people to be convinced.
    People need to see or hear about a new product seven to twelve times before they decide to purchase. And it’s important to advertise through multiple mediums to engage consumers.

This quote by Mitch Leigh sums up what the purpose of advertising is:

“You can’t make money on advertising; you just have to seed the clouds. What you’re after is word of mouth.”

Whenever you decide to use paid advertisement, remember that your goal is to ultimately generate word of mouth for your book. You want the few people who purchase your book through an advertisement to love it so much that they tell all their friends and acquaintances about it. For that to happen, your book must be compelling.

Related Posts:
10 Book Advertising Ideas for the Physical World
How Visuals Affect Purchasing Decisions
Are Millennials Buying Your Books?

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Photo courtesy of Ben White.

Inspiration for 2018

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018. Another year, another new beginning, another chance to meet your goals and move into your dreams.

To start 2018, I want to encourage and inspire you with six pieces of wisdom from books I read in 2017. Takes these nuggets of truth and carry them with you as beacons to light your path this year.

On Writing and Marketing:
“The beauty of content is that it isn’t just for marketing. It also grows the content creator at the same time. Creating content forces you to grapple with ideas and grow and evolve your thinking.”
Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

 

On Personal Development:
“When we feel powerful, we’re less self-conscious about expressing our feelings and beliefs, and that frees us to think and do great things.”
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

 

On Perseverance:
“Sometimes the things we would never pick for our lives gives us opportunities to receive God’s provision, to see Him working in ways we otherwise might not experience.”
Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful by Katie Davis Majors

 

On Relationships:
“The best apologies are short, and don’t go on to include explanations that run the risk of undoing them. An apology isn’t the only chance you ever get to address the underlying issue. The apology is the chance you get to establish the ground for future communication. This is an important and often overlooked distinction.”
Why Won’t You Apologize? by Harriet Lerner

 

On Faith:
“If someone believes it is our faith that heals us and forgets that it is God who does it, we should ask that person how much faith Lazarus had. Remember, he was decomposing in a tomb when Jesus raised him from death. His faith obviously didn’t matter. It was all God. It is God and God’s grace that heals, not our prayers and not our “faith.” Though we are exhorted by God to pray to him, we cannot compel him to do what we wish.”
Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life by Eric Metaxas

 

On Hope:
“I was seized with the reality that God does do something about evil. This was a defining moment for me: I realized that, no matter what anyone else says, we can pierce through the darkness, and it is worth it to bring the light of God to those deeply hurt by the darkness of this world.”
God Is for Real by Todd Burpo

 

Related Posts:
Attitude: Is Yours Helping or Hurting?
Are You Running With This?
Are You Lacking Motivation?

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Age-Old Marketing Wisdom for Authors

Wise King Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. His advice is still relevant today, and so are these eight common English proverbs. Let each one give you wisdom for your book marketing journey.

1.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Anything that takes a long time to finish begins with one step. Marketing a book can be overwhelming. The number of tasks can be daunting. Instead of looking at the whole picture, look at one step at a time. Ask yourself: What is my next step? When that one is done, then ask again and repeat the process.

2.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

An image not only tells a story, it draws people in. This is especially true on the Internet with social media. Use images to convey your marketing messages. Studies show that people engage more with social media posts that contain images. In fact one study showed that social media posts with pictures are 40 times more likely to be shared than those posts that don’t feature a picture.

3.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What is “beautiful” is different for each person. That means that not everyone will like your book. Not everyone will find your story beautiful. Don’t take it personally. Know that your book is not meant for everyone and seek the people who will find the beauty in your book.

4.  Better late than never.

Promoting your book should start about a year before you publish it. If you failed to promote your book before you brought it to fruition, take heart. It is better to start marketing your book late than to never market it at all. If you have stopped marketing, it’s not too late to pick it back up again and remind people that your book exists and meets a need for them.

5.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

In marketing, it is a little of this and a little of that makes the most impact. No one marketing channel or task will ensure your book sells well. Don’t just use social media. Don’t just advertise online. You have numerous options for promoting your book. Use as many as you can.

6.  Fortune favors the bold.

Those who are willing to take risks tend to be more successful than those who play it safe. Take some risks with your marketing endeavors. Some will fail, but some will pay off.

7.  Honesty is the best policy.

It is always better to tell the truth than a lie. Make sure that your marketing messages are truthful and that you can fulfill your promise to your reader.

8.  There is no time like the present.

Don’t procrastinate. Don’t wait. Do it now. Yes, it may be uncomfortable. But, if you don’t try, you can’t succeed. Start doing whatever marketing tasks you have been putting off today. Write that press release. Email that influencer. Call that radio producer. Schedule that book signing.

Related Posts:
Marketing Wisdom from the Master
Are You Looking for a Formula?
What Authors Can Learn from Shopping Behaviors

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Photo courtesy of Picography.co.

How Visuals Affect Purchasing Decisions

Advertising photographs are airbrushed. Oranges are dyed “orange” and farm-raised salmon are dyed pink to make them more appealing to shoppers.

Visual appeal affects what we buy. Check out these interesting statistics:

 

  • Colored visuals are proven to increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
  • The average person views only 20% of a webpage, but will view every image.
  • 67% of product users say images are very important when making a purchasing decision.
  • 63% of consumers said good images are more important than product descriptions.

I have frequently said that your book’s cover is your number one marketing tool. This last statistic—63% of consumers said good images are more important than product descriptions—emphasizes my point. Almost two-thirds of the people who buy your book will be largely influenced by the cover design.

Authors love words. We want to convince buyers with our words. Words are good and must be used effectively in promoting your books, but keep in mind the image is what will draw people in to read your words.

I recently received an e-catalog from a small publisher. To my dismay, the book images in this catalog were minuscule. I do mean tiny. Each book hosted a lengthy description with many words, but the book cover images were so small that I could not even make out the title of the book on each image.

Sadly, this e-catalog will not be very effective. Had an inverse ratio been used—large book cover images and few words—this catalog would pack much more punch. It could convert more viewers to buyers. After all, one study showed that including a photo next to an item on a restaurant menu increased its orders by 30 percent.

Research is showing that the more inundated we have become with information; the more visual decision making is growing. Images are becoming the biggest motivating factor in what we do, where we go, and what we buy.

Consider this. The most popular website after Google is YouTube, a highly visual medium. The two most popular social media platforms for younger generations are Instagram and Snapchat, both photo driven sharing.

If you want to be more effective in promotion your book(s), keep the important of visual decision making and appeal in mind when you create your next social media post, blog post, advertisement, or marketing material. Put an engaging image in every piece of information you share on the internet. Make your images central as well as large and appealing in all your promotional marketing and advertising materials.

Related Posts:
Do Blogs Influence Purchasing Decisions?
Fresh Insight into Book Buying Behavior
Are Millennials Buying Your Books?

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Photos courtesy of Visual Hunt and Pixabay.

Market Your Book as a Gift

It may feel early, but it’s not. Christmas items are already beginning to pop up in stores. Christmas is the biggest gift-giving holiday in the United States.

Experts report that 25% of books are purchased as gifts. Children receive many of these books as gifts. Studies show that 43% of the books purchased as gifts are for children ages 12 and under.

 

Christmas will be here in no time. It’s not too early to begin promoting your book as a great gift. Consider running a Christmas special on your book to encourage people to buy it as a gift this year, especially if you have a children’s book.

You can remind your fans and followers that books make great gifts. Following are six reasons books are great to give as a gift.

1. Books Don’t Go Out of Style.
When you buy someone a book, you don’t have to worry about whether it is in fashion or not, whether it is the right size or color, and whether the recipient will actually wear it or not. Because, they won’t be wearing it, they will be reading it.

2. Books are Affordable.
Books usually cost anywhere from $6 to $20. There is a book for every budget, so you don’t need to break the bank to give someone a great gift.

3. Books are Life-Giving.
Books are life-changing. Additionally, studies show that reading a book reduces stress and that those who read regularly live longer than those who don’t read much. If you give a Christian book that encourages the reader into a relationship with God, then you help someone have eternal life.

4. Books are for Everyone.
There is a book for every age, gender, and interest under the sun. As long as a person can read, a book exists that will be of interest to them.

5. Books Last.
Books last and last. You don’t use them up and they don’t wear out. They can be read again and again.

6. A Book is a Gift You Can Open Again and Again.
Every time someone opens that book you give them, they are re-opening your gift.

Sadly, the average amount of time Americans spent reading for personal interest on weekend days and holidays fell by six minutes to just 21 minutes per day over the past decade. So, one additional reason to give books as gifts is to encourage reading.

Promoting books as great gifts and your book as a gift to your friends and fans not only benefits you and your book sales,it also benefits the larger book community. Promoting books as gifts benefits every author and encourages people to read more.

Related Posts:
Create Book Bundles for Gifting
6 Reasons Books Make Great Gifts
Gift Giving of Books in Decline

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