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Archive for May, 2011

If you REALLY want to sell books, you’ve got to start thinking like a marketer.

If you want to sell books, you must learn to THINK like a MARKETER.
(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Now, before you read the title of this post and start protesting that this blog isn’t going anywhere, let me reassure you that it is and that I know and respect how smart you are. However, I also know how imperative it is that you grasp one essential concept: you MUST learn to think like a marketer if you want to sell books. Period. So you’ll keep hearing it again and again on this blog, if only as a reminder.

Like other artists, many writers live for their craft but recoil at the thought of marketing their work. “I’m an author, not a SALESperson!” they exclaim. However, unless you want you and your mom to be the only ones who buy your book, it’s essential that you learn to think like a marketer. That means knowing WHO will read your book and HOW you will connect with them. It also means putting on your creative SBM* thinking cap, and noticing all the opportunities for connection as they appear. Like anything, the more you practice, the better you will get at seeing opportunities everywhere.

Still resisting putting on that book marketing cap because it’s just not you? Chew on this for a minute, then. Think back to Beta vs. VHS and Apple vs. PC. The best product didn’t necessarily prevail – it was the one with the best marketing. If you really want to SELL books, you must enthusiastically embrace sales and become an SBM. You MUST get over any shyness/reluctance and learn to talk about your book to everyone who will listen.

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, May 26 You must know why YOU are writing this book – and be able to talk about it

Monday, May 23 – You can’t build your platform if you don’t KNOW your reader

Thursday, May 19 If you don’t have a PLATFORM, it’s time to start building one!

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You must know why YOU are writing this book – and be able to talk about it.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

OK – we’ve established that one of the most important aspects of becoming an SBM* is creating a platform. And last time, we talked about how vital it is to know your reader when building that platform. Here’s a related point, though: besides knowing WHO your reader is, you must know why YOU are writing this book. (*Savvy Book Marketer)

Walking into a bookstore can be the most dispiriting act in the world for an author. With nearly 200,000 books published every year, you’ve got to figure out how yours is different. How will your book stand out, especially from all the others in your genre, industry, or market? I firmly believe that if you have a story or message to share, it is your duty, obligation, and calling to share it. But in order to do so, you must have a passion for your story or message, and you must know what compels YOU to write it.

Knowing why you wrote it is not enough, though. You must also be able to easily talk about it and describe it to others. You must do your research to find out what else has been written on your subject, without letting it depress you. Instead, figure out how YOUR book is different. Here’s reason #1 that it’s different YOU wrote it. But how else is it different?

You must also believe that the people who need to hear your words will find you because, even if there are 1,000 other books on this subject, YOURS will be the one to touch them or change their lives. People often buy many books on a single subject (remember the “people who bought this also bought …” lists you see on Amazon?). You want yours to be THE book they recommend most.

See you Monday!

MARCIE

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, May 23 – You can’t build your platform if you don’t KNOW your reader

Thursday, May 19 If you don’t have a PLATFORM, it’s time to start building one!

Monday, May 16 The best time to start marketing your book is WHILE you are writing it

Read Full Post »

You can’t build your platform if you don’t KNOW your reader.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

I’m hoping, since our last post, that you’ve given some thought to how YOU can become an SBM (Savvy Book Marketer). Last time, we talked about how vital your platform is to selling books. Another term for platform is a multitude of raving fans and supporters, people who know about you before your book comes out and who can’t wait to buy it. In order to build that platform, it’s essential that you know your reader inside and out.

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you must know everything you can about your reader. This includes two components: demographics and psychographics. Demographics means measureable things like age, education, and marital/parenting status. Psychographics, on the other hand, are the things that make your reader unique, such as their personality traits, values, and attitudes.

The better grasp you have of who your ideal reader is, the better you can connect with them and interest them not only in the subject of your book, but in getting to know YOU better. And the more they like and connect with YOU, the more likely they will be to eagerly anticipate your book’s release, recommend your book to others, and to enthusiastically await your next project.

Additionally, getting to know things about your reader like the Web sites they visit, their hobbies, and their civic and business associations might give you ideas about innovative ways and places to sell your book. For example, take Suzie Q’s Guide to Great Quilting. Since Suzie Q knows quilters as well as she knows her own mother, she’s aware that they tend to visit crafting and sewing blogs, hang out in fabric stores, and occasionally frequent sewing machine repair shops. So guess where she’s going to be spending lots of her marketing time and energy?

How can you model Suzie Q and apply her ideas for meeting readers to YOUR book?

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, May 19 If you don’t have a PLATFORM, it’s time to start building one!

Monday, May 16 The best time to start marketing your book is WHILE you are writing it

Thursday, May 12 – Book and writing contests WORK

Read Full Post »

If you don’t have a PLATFORM, it’s time to start building one!

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Today I want to let you in on a little secret. Our entire goal for this blog is to turn you into a Savvy Book Marketer (SBM). You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to write and publish your book now your sole focus is on marketing it. And if you’re lucky, you’ve found us before you’ve finished writing so that you can do as we suggested in our last post: start ramping up your marketing efforts BEFORE your book is done.

A key component of becoming an SBM and selling lots of books is the critical publishing concept of creating a platform.

If you are unfamiliar with the term “platform” as it relates to the publishing world, it’s time to get familiar with it! An author’s platform is his/her ability to reach their audience of book-buyers, or their plan to do so. It is a measure of your EXISTING INFLUENCE and your ABILITY TO SELL to your market. This is why celebrities find it much easier to land book deals than unknown writers they already have a built-in audience.

In learning to think like an SBM, you’ve got to tap into all the ways and places you can start creating demand for your book (even before it is printed) and expand your sphere of influence. This includes things like:

  • Public speaking
  • Radio and TV interviews
  • Articles, on- and offline
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Video marketing

How much exposure do you have? If the answer’s “not much,” it’s time to get started. Stick with us to learn more about creating a platform and becoming an SBM!

See you Monday!

MARCIE

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, May 16 The best time to start marketing your book is WHILE you are writing it

Thursday, May 12 – Book and writing contests WORK

Monday, May 9 A book is a BUSINESS

Read Full Post »

The best time to start marketing your book is WHILE you are writing it.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Thanks for bearing with our unscheduled but important announcement in our last post (Book and Writing Contests WORK). We’re now ready to get back on track with the orderly organization of things. Good thing our readers are flexible and able to go with the flow!

You will, of course, recall that two posts ago we discussed the fact that a book is a business. And how does anyone build business? By marketing … the whole point of this blog, right?

Yet the super-duper GINORMOUS mistake that many authors make is waiting until their book is written and printed to begin marketing it. “Hellll-oooo? I’ve got this great book over here … anyone want to buy one?”

DON’T LET THIS BE YOU!

As you get ready to begin writing or even while you are already writing take some time to answer three IMPORTANT questions:

  1. Who is my reader?
  2. Where will I find them/where will they find me?
  3. Why must they buy my book?

The answers to these questions will help you begin to position yourself and your book so that you’ve got people clamoring to get their hands on it as soon as it comes off the press. Another term for this is “creating your platform,” which we’ll discuss in more detail in our next post.

If you’re brave and have a huge vision for carrying your message BEYOND your book, you can even build additional marketing into the text of the book itself things like suggesting that readers visit your Web site, buy other books, or attend seminars and workshops. The übermotivational Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is perhaps one of the best examples of such a book.

Just remember, wherever you are in the writing process, the time is perfect to begin marketing your book NOW.

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine where your marketing skills shine, and where outside help might be a good reinforcement.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, May 12 – Book and writing contests WORK

Monday, May 9 A book is a BUSINESS

Thursday, May 5 Decide that you WANT to sell books

Read Full Post »

Book and writing contests WORK.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

OK – under normal circumstances, this tip would come much later in the series. And it’s not really our style to brag, especially to our friends and new subscribers like yourselves, but this news is too exciting not to share!

Laura and I are thrilled to announce that her clients, Steve Weitzenkorn and Robin Damsky, authors of Find Fulfill Flourish, have been named as finalists in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Self-Help category. This is significant for a number of reasons:

  1. This is Steve and Robin’s first book it just came off the presses in March of this year!
  2. They took Laura’s advice to submit to worthwhile contests – and then followed all of the submission directions precisely.
  3. If you’re a self-publishing author like Steve and Robin, you know how challenging it can be to stand out in such a crowded field. Winning a contest – or placing as a finalist – is a great way to set yourself apart and receive validation from the entire publishing industry.
  4. This recognition even if they don’t actually WIN is going to garner them all kinds of positive PR and put them in front of industry experts and bigwigs who might not otherwise have learned about their book. (Think about all the American Idol contestants who don’t even make it to the finals but are offered recording contracts and you’ll get the idea.)

Read this excerpt from the email informing them of their selection as a finalist:

To acknowledge this achievement, we will be sending you a Finalist Certificate by email prior to the end of May, which you can print and display as you wish. We will also be mailing you a Finalist medal
in June.

Your achievement will be published at www.IndieBookAwards.com, along with the other Finalists and Winners in the next few weeks. Also, we will be sending out a press release within the next month announcing the Grand Prize Winners and advising media and others where they can see a complete list of Winners and Finalists.

Additionally, your book will be listed as a Finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards catalog which will be distributed at Book Expo America (“BEA”) in New York later this month to thousands of attendees including book buyers, library representatives, media, industry professionals, and others. Our intention is to promote the Winners and Finalists to as many people as possible.

All Finalists and Winners are invited to attend an awards reception at the Plaza Hotel in New York City from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24th (during BEA).

Please feel free to check out the complete list of 2011 Winners and Finalists by clicking on the link “List of 2011 Winners and Finalists” on the home page at www.IndieBookAwards.com after May 20th.

If you have ever doubted or questioned the legitimacy of contests as a means of marketing your book, take a cue from Robin and Steve’s success: First, write a contest-worthy book … then, submit submit submit!

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Is YOUR book contest worthy? And which contests should you enter? For a complimentary 15-minute consultation, e-mail MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com TODAY.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, May 9 A book is a BUSINESS

Thursday, May 5 Decide that you WANT to sell books

Monday, May 2 – Welcome to Our Blog – Marcie Brock, Book Marketing Maven

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A book is a BUSINESS.

If you're serious about selling books, you've got to think of your book as a business.(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Well, we’re just underway, and after only two posts, we’re already approaching 300 hits to our little blog … so it seems we’re onto a topic of interest to many of you!

Here’s the thing – once you have made the decision to write a book you intend to SELL, you must make the mental shift to treating your book as a business unto itself. Altering your paradigm in this way will allow you to begin creating the space to pursue the publication and marketing of your book as diligently as you would a business – with a strategy, budget, marketing plan, metrics, deadlines, etc. – rather than as a hobby, where you work on it here and there … and perhaps … one day … finish it. This is true whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction.

You may already have a full-time job, or other projects that consume many of your waking hours. Nevertheless, if you are strategic and determined, you will make time, if necessary, to focus on your book so that you can treat it as a business. Watch for future posts where we talk about scheduling time and creating a marketing strategy!

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, May 5 Decide that you WANT to sell books

Monday, May 2 – Welcome to Our Blog – Marcie Brock, Book Marketing Maven

Read Full Post »

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