Are You Speaking the Right Language?

In a recent conversation I had with an indie author, the author told me that she had sent a query to a number of podcasts. This author was working on scheduling a podcast tour.

I asked her if she meant that she had sent a pitch to these shows. The author asked me to explain the difference between a query and a pitch to her.

Are You Speaking the Right Language?

I explained that a query is the request (letter or email) that a person sends to print publication to inquire about submitting an article or book to be considered for publication. A pitch is the request (usually email) that one sends to media outlets—radio, television, and podcast shows—when one is seeking a guest interview or spotlight on the show.

The author and I then commiserated together about how much there is to learn about publishing!

Every industry has its own language. There is medical lingo, legalese, and car talk. The publishing industry has its own terms like:

  • Derivative work
  • Exclusive rights
  • Frontispiece
  • Gatefold flaps
  • Interrobang
  • Moral turpitude clause
  • Plagiarize

Every author and publisher should take the time to educate themselves so that they are familiar with the publishing industry language. Whether you are traditionally published or indie published, you will have conversations with industry experts. Knowing the publishing industry language allows you to both understand what the other person is saying and to talk intelligently to that person in return.The Publishing Dictionary

Mary Hollingsworth has compiled a resource to help you. The Publishing Dictionary is an information, easy-to-understand reference that includes Christian publishing terms.

The book is designed to help anyone—authors, editors, proofreaders, marketers, publishers, and freelancers—understand and communicate accurately and effectively with others in the industry.

If you want to make sure that you are speaking the correct language, I suggest that you get a copy of this book and keep it as a handy reference guide.

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Use Direct Mail for Better Response Rates

The average response rates for an email marketing campaign are about 1%. That means if you send out an email promoting a special on one of your books to 100 people, only one person will act on your email and buy the book—if you are lucky.

So, the question that marketers ask is: How can we increase this response rate?

The answer involves direct mail. Yes, it is more expensive. But it can also be more effective.

According to a study by Millward Brown, physical media generates a deeper brain activity than digital media, leaving a longer lasting memory when compared to email or television.

Studies also show that direct mail has the highest response rate when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, website, and social media. Check out this infographic on The Power of Direct Mail & Digital.

The Power of Direct Mail & Digital

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How to Land Local Media Coverage

Dream big. But, remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The same is true for marketing your book. Maybe you have big dreams for your book. It all starts with a small step.

Marketing Your Book Starts with a Small Step.

This small step is done locally, right where you live. Whether you want to conduct author events like book signings, start a speaking ministry, or be a guest on television and radio, you must start locally.

In his new book, Landing Local Media, publicist Jason Jones explains why starting local is so important. He says:

Your local market is not only where you’re best known; it’s also where you’re most relevant. The chances of you landing local media are exponentially higher than landing a covered spot on one of the major networks, cable outlets, or national radio programs. Besides, before you appear before a national audience, you’re want to have honed your skills before a smaller and friendlier crowd—and local media can you do that.

Jason’s book provides great information on the following:

  • Landing Local MediaWho your local media is
  • What your local media does and how you can play a part
  • The myriad things you should do before you ever reach out to media
  • What to do when you’re ready to pitch
  • What to do once you’re booked
  • How to deliver a great interview
  • What to do when your interview is over

In my years of working with independently published authors, I see many of them making some serious mistakes both when it comes to trying to secure media coverage and in their interviews. Two really important pointers that I have given authors are also highlighted in Jason’s book.

1.  Publishing a book is not news.

Many independent authors think that publishing a book is news—even for their local media. A new book is not a news worthy event.

Local media outlets are looking for entertainment and information that will benefit their audience. This means unique stories about people and events in the community, service or products that meet a need, and experts who can expound on local news stories.

2.  Your radio, television or newspaper interview is not about selling your book.

Your media interview is not a commercial for your book. It is about providing entertainment or information to an audience. The purpose is for your message to add value to people’s lives.

When what you share resonates with the audience, they will look you up. If you mention your book briefly in your interview, they will remember that you are an author and find your book.

If you want to secure local media coverage, I recommend that you read Jason’s book, Landing Local Media. The book will give you the information you need to launch a successful local media campaign.

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Photo courtesy of langll.

Are You Offering a Compelling Reason to Buy?

Why should I buy your book?

Have you ever been asked this question? I have, numerous times.

Why Should I Buy Your Book?

As humans, we need a reason to part with our money. We want what we spend our money on to benefit us in some way.

Are you giving your potential readers a compelling reason to purchase and read your book?

A compelling reason explains the benefit that your target audience will get by reading your book. Without a compelling reason, a buyer is left not knowing how your book can solve their problem. Each person who is unclear as to what your book will do for them is a missed opportunity for you.

If you want to sell more books, you need to be crystal clear about what a reader will get from reading your book.

To craft a compelling reason for someone to buy your book answer these questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What pain does your book address?
  • What is your solution to solve that pain?
  • What value or benefit does it bring to the buyer?
  • What are the results of implementing your solution?

Once you have answered these questions, put your answers together to make a compelling case for your book. Here is an example of what that might look like:

For (target audience) who have (insert problem/pain), get the help/answers (say what your solution is) that (state benefits and results of your solution).

Example:

For Grandparents who are separated by distance from your grandchildren, learn five easy strategies to stay connected and involved in your grandchildren’s lives using today’s technology. You can leave a Godly legacy that will have eternal impact.  

Do this for your book. Use this formula to craft a compelling reason to buy that captures the attention of your target audience helps move them to make a purchase.

Then use your “compelling reason to buy” statement in your book’s description, on your website, and in all your marketing materials. Give people a good reason to invest in your book. It’s smart marketing.

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Photo courtesy of Robin Higgins.

 

Amazon Is NOT Your Publisher

I am surprised by the number of indie and self-published authors who tell me that the publisher of their book is Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing, or IngramSpark.

Amazon is NOT your publisher.

It is clear to me that these authors do not understand the difference between an author, a publisher, and a publishing platform.

Authors and publishers have distinct jobs. These jobs are as follows:

Author’s job:

  • Write a manuscript
  • Engage in marketing to assist sales

Publisher’s job:

  • Edit the manuscript
  • Create a cover
  • Lay out the book
  • Secure a printer
  • Assign an ISBN
  • Access distribution for sales to retail and other channels
  • Engage in marketing to ensure sales

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is neither an author or a publisher. It does not write, edit, lay out, or create a cover design for your book. What KDP offers are services.

They offer a cover design template, an ebook conversion program, printing, distribution for sales, and even advertising options. They also offer the option for you to have Amazon assign an ISBN number to your book. This still does not make them the publisher of your book. The option to secure an ISBN is just another service they provide.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a publishing platform. Other publishing platforms include:

  • Kobo Writing Life
  • Barnes & Noble Press
  • Draft2Digital
  • Smashwords
  • IngramSpark

A publishing platform is a service provider. These platforms allow an independent author—acting as a publisher—to secure printing and access distribution for a book.

If you are an author who is also producing your book—directing the editing, layout, cover design, and securing printing and distribution—then you are also the publisher of your book.

Amazon is a publisher. But it is not the publisher of your books. Amazon owns 16 publishing imprints. You can find the complete list of these imprints at https://amazonpublishing.amazon.com/our-imprints.html. Be assured, Kindle Direct Publishing is not one of Amazon’s publishing imprints.

Don’t be confused about the difference between a publisher and a publishing platform. If you are the one responsible for bringing your book to fruition, then you are the publisher.

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