book marketing, self publishing

The most important thing you must do for a successful book marketing campaign.

Because of my current role, I spend a lot of time speaking with authors.  I am always fascinated to learn their reasons for writing their books; the processes they went through to finish their manuscripts; and what their goals are. So consequently, I spend a lot of time also talking about marketing and selling books. What I find most interesting is that many authors haven’t thought about what I believe is the most important issue when it comes to book marketing: defining your audience.

Assuming you have a well-written book with an effective cover and compelling back cover copy, I believe the most important factor for launching a successful marketing campaign is defining who the audience is for your book.

With clarity about who the potential readers are, you can quickly identify some key tactics to connect with them and integrate your marketing efforts to maximize their impact.

Who is the audience for your book?

How would you answer that question? I ask it of authors all the time. Some have a clear idea. Some have unrealistic expectations. My favorite response of all time was from the author who told me the audience for his book was, “every man, woman and child living on the planet”. While I appreciate his ambition, it is impossible to craft a marketing plan with such a broad and unrealistic description.

Tips on how to define your audience

So what about you? Who is the audience for your book? Here are some questions to answer which can help you define who they are.

  1. What is readers’ age and season of life? Teens? Mothers? Business owners?
  2. What interests or goals do they have? Get into school? Raise children?Manage people? Escape?
  3. What do you have in common with them? Make your life experience seem relevant to them.
  4. What impact will the book have on them? Help them, inspire them, inform them?

Answering these questions isn’t the only thing to do, but it is an important starting point. In my next post, I’m going to give you an example of how this works for a book. Check back soon.

AuthorHive, book marketing, self publishing

Help from a new book marketing community

AuthorHive launched a new community focused on book marketing.

Recently, AuthorHive launched its community functionality on the web site. It’s easy to use and eventually will have lots of info you need on how to market your book. The beauty of this site is it isn’t just written by experts, but will also include lots of ideas from other authors you can implement to maximize your exposure. Get registered by clicking here

authors, self publishing

Book publishing is simply becoming self-publishing.

That’s the statement made in the NY Times magazine article, “Authors Unbound Online”. The writer Virginia Hefferen reports that the latest Bowker stats point to the fact that the revolution I’ve been talking about in this column has likely taken place.

Some other statements worth noting from her piece:

Self-published books also look great these days — altogether booky

As has happened with other media in this heyday of user-generated content, last century’s logic has been turned on its head:  small and crafty can beat big and branded.

….self-published books are not just winning in terms of numbers but also making up ground in cachet.

As I have stated from the outset, if you can find a publisher that will give you a big advance and throw a bunch of money behind marketing, take the deal. But don’t let that be the only criteria you use to decided on whether you should publish or not.  Self-publishing has allowed authors to be unbound.