Do you want to know what the secret to selling books is? The answer can be summed up in one word: Marketing.
Jack Canfield, best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series should know. He encourages authors to “Spend 90% of your time marketing, selling, and promoting your book.”
Then Neil Bradman says, “”90% of marketing doesn’t work because it doesn’t get done.“
I know that I don’t do enough marketing. I believe most authors and publishers are in the same boat. We know that there is more that we can do, but we don’t—often because of constraints like time, money, ideas, and even bandwidth.
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
We can distill these activities into one sentence: Marketing is about persuading someone to take an action (click on a link, download a free ebook, buy your book, etc.). To persuade someone to take the action you want them to take, you have to know who is most likely going to want to take the action. In other words, marketing is also about knowing who your target audience is.
Many authors want to write something. So, they go about writing, and then they try to figure out who the book is for. Editors of large publishing houses know this. That is why they are gatekeepers. Their job is to find the books that speak to their customers and their needs.
But here is the catch. If you write the book first and then try to figure out who your target audience is, you have a lot more work and less chance of speaking in a meaningful way to that audience (resulting in fewer sales) then if you know who you are writing to before you pen your book.
Good marketing includes an understanding of how your book will fit people’s needs, wants, values, and lives. Marketing is not a set of activities that you engage in once you have a book. It’s a mindset. It becomes 90% of what you do when you keep your target audience in mind with every step you take in the book publishing process, starting with the conceptualization.
If you need help with either developing a marketing mindset or ideas for marketing your books, I am pleased to announce that the Fourth Edition of my award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books will be released at the end of February!
The book is available for preorder at a special rate of $22.00 that includes free shipping in the US (retail price is $24.99). Order your copy TODAY by Clicking Here.
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Photo courtesy of Geralt.