Expecting Fast Results: What A Mistake!

We live in a fast society. A Boeing 787 can fly around the world in 42 hours and 27 minutes. With Google Fiber, Internet connection speeds reach up to one gigabit per second. FedEx allows you to have a package delivered the very next day to almost any location in the world. China’s new Fuxing bullet trains travel at 350 km/h (over 200 m/hr).

We have become so accustomed to fast, that we expect it. Except not everything delivers fast results.

This is true of promotion and marketing efforts. Rarely, do these activities deliver fast results. After all, research shows that it takes on average:

  1. Seven to twelve exposures of a product before a person decides to purchase it.
  2. Nine months of regular blogging to develop a strong, loyal readership base.
  3. Seven contacts to secure a media interview.

I recently received a call from a woman who heard about a book that Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) represented at the CBA Unite International Retail Show last summer (in July 2017). The woman had recently talked with a gentleman who attended the show and told him of her need. He informed her that he had seen a book that met her need in CSPA’s booth at the trade show last summer.

The woman looked up CSPA on the Internet and gave us a call. She did not know that name of the book, but was able to tell me her need and I immediately identified which book the gentleman was referring to. I gave this woman the information on the book and the contact information for the publisher.

It has been six months since the 2017 CBA Unite show. Six months after viewing a book, a show attendee told this woman about a book he saw at the show that met her need.

Here’s the deal. Marketing activities usually don’t reap fast results. However, they do reap results for those who are patient.

Even though word spreads fast in today’s digitally-connected world, personal word-of-mouth can still take time. At the right moment, when faced with a need, a product or book is remembered and passed along.

Remember, marketing is all about exposure. It’s about introducing people to your books so that they know they exist. Your job is to get the word out. God’s job is to bring the harvest.

I have always said that promoting a book is a marathon, not a sprint. So, keep marketing. Keep spreading the word that your book meets a need that someone has. It may take months, but the people who need your book will hear and respond.

Related Posts:
Are You Expecting Fast Results?
The Rule of Seven
Are You Competing in a Marathon?

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Are You Using Videos in Your Marketing Efforts?

In 2017, 90% of the most shared content on social media was in video format. The increase of video online is phenomenal. Check out these statistics:

  • 55% of people watch videos online every day.
  • By 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
  • 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.
  • Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users.

Not only are people watching videos online, businesses are finding that videos are effective in selling products. Here are some more statistics that back up this claim:

  • 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process.
  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.
  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.

Videos are a powerful marketing tool. Should you be using them? Yes.

Creating videos to use in your book marketing campaigns can be a challenge, especially if you write fiction. Other than creating a book trailer for your book, what type of content should you put in your videos?

Interestingly, Curata, a content creation company, found that the top three most effective types of video content are:

  1. Customer testimonials (51%)
  2. Tutorial videos (50%)
  3. Demonstration videos (49%)

Here is the good news. Every author can create the most effective videos—customer testimonials.

Customer testimonial videos don’t have to be fancy. They can just be a quick 30 to 60 second video of a reader talking about how great your book is. Just like this testimonial video for my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.

Getting customer testimonial videos doesn’t have to be difficult. With a Smartphone camera, you can take them and your readers can create them. Here are three quick ideas to help obtain customer testimonial videos on your book:

  1. Film your friends or family members who love your book sharing their thoughts.
  2. Ask your readers to film their review of your book and share it with you.
  3. Hold a contest with a great prize (like a gift card to a restaurant) and make the entry requirement be that readers share a video of themselves raving about your book.

Make videos a part of your marketing plan for 2018. Start today. Get one or two video testimonials from readers that you can share on your website and on all your social media channels.

Related Posts:
Creating a Book Video Trailer
Using Videos to Promote Your Book
How Visuals Affect Purchasing Decisions

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Making Smart Use of Your Marketing Dollars

The number of books for sale every year grows exponentially. Add to that, the books previously published don’t vanish. With digital and print-on-demand technology, books remain available for sale in the cloud indefinitely.

Consider these numbers of books published independently from just four years:

  • 2016: 786,935 books
  • 2015: 727,125 books
  • 2014: 599,721 books
  • 2013: 460,064 books

This means that each year about a half-million books get added to the existing books available for sale. So, this year, there will be another half-million more books competing for readers’ attention.

Since the reading rate in America is holding steady (and has been since 2012), while the number of books is growing exponentially, this means that the ability to attract any given reader’s attention with your title diminishes exponentially each year.

Any time competition heats up, the cost to compete increases also. For example, it is becoming more expensive to reach readers with both Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads as these ads have gained in popularity. Again, thousands of Indie authors, along with traditional publishers, are using these ads and competing for readers’ attention.

The folks over at Written Word Media put it this way:

“The upshot of this increased competition is that authors will have to spend significantly more time on marketing to maintain the results they saw in 2017.”

The CMO of Reedsy, Ricardo Fayet, predicts that as Indie publishing becomes more competitive and requires more and more business and marketing skills, many Indie authors will experience marketing burnout.

I believe that it is more important than ever for Indie authors to be connected to an association or group that provides them support in their efforts. Staying on top of trends and making smart use of your marketing dollars is a must moving forward.

If you are an Independent author or small publisher producing Christian books, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) is a resource for you. Membership is just $90 for the calendar year and provides you great return value including:

  1. Cutting-edge information and training on marketing your books.
  2. Cooperative marketing opportunities to save you money.
  3. Discounts on advertising and other services.
  4. Free title uploads and revisions for IngramSpark.

Here is the deal. If you are publishing a book via IngramSpark, the cost to upload your title (print and ebook) is $49. If you find mistakes and upload two revisions, that cost is another $50. So, the cost to print and distribute your book via IngramSpark ends up costing you a total of $99.

Instead, you can double the return for that money by joining Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). With your membership, you will get your book printed and distributed via IngramSpark for free plus get all the other great benefits of membership with CSPA.

It’s better than a two-for-one deal. Don’t miss out. Join CSPA today at http://www.christianpublishers.net.

Related Posts:
Are You Looking for a Formula?
Five Trends Authors Should Know for 2018
Your Book: A Needle in a Haystack

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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


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

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The Rule of Seven

I recently watched the movie The Founder. This movie tells story of how the fast-food chain McDonald’s grew to be an impressive success. While the man who grew the restaurant chain to be an American sensation—Ray Kroc—was not an outstanding example of Christian character, we can still take a lesson from his life.

In the movie, Ray listens to a motivational album in his hotel room. The album recites something that Calvin Coolidge is known for saying:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Later in his life, Ray attributes his persistence as the largest contributing factor of McDonald’s success.

This notion of persistence is not new. After all, Jesus spoke about the success of persistence in his parables. One parable Jesus tells about the benefits of persistence is recorded in the book of Luke. In this parable about the Persistent Friend, Jesus says, “I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Jesus follows this up by saying, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10).

I think many independent authors give up too easily. They forget that it requires persistence to have doors opened.

Rick Frishman, one of the authors of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers, has what he calls the “Rule of Seven”. Rick has found that it takes an average of seven contacts to acquire bookings for an author. This might be a booking for an author signing event, an author speaking event, or a radio or television interview.

Rick says that the most important part of promotion is follow up. Without it, you can take away the pro and just have motion.

Persistence is required for successful book promotion. Keep the Rule of Seven in mind when you seek promotional opportunities. Remember that you have to ask more than once, and that pleasant, persistent follow up is required for success.

Persistence pays off. So, I encourage you to keep knocking; keep asking.

Related Posts:
Are You Expecting Fast Results?
Is Your Audience Growing?
Are Your Book Sales Struggling?

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