Archive for April 2nd, 2012

Book marketing lessons from the record Mega Millions jackpot

Were you one of the millions of folks waiting with baited breath to hear the winning Mega Millions numbers announced on Friday night? According to the Los Angeles Times website, people in Southern California waited for up to five HOURS to purchase tickets to the record jackpot, some spending thousands of dollars. Turns out, two of the three winning tickets were single-purchase quick picks; none were in California.

On hearing this, my husband commented on something I’ve often wondered myself: “Why do people only come out of the woodwork to buy tickets once the jackpot gets up over $100 million – and their chances of winning become even more remote? What, they can’t be bothered when it’s just a paltry $5 million?”

I’m not here to sermonize about the morals or logic of playing the lottery, but my husband’s question struck a chord because I think many of us do the same thing when it comes to our book marketing strategies. Rather than plodding along at the small stuff on a daily or weekly basis – the things that in the aggregate actually add up to book sales – we’re often looking for the silver bullet, the one strategy or campaign that’s going to launch our book to bestseller status.

Just as a tiny number of people actually won that megajackpot, the same may be true for authors who get lucky with a creative marketing strategy. For most of us, however, it’s the day-in, day-out work that builds the platform and garners the attention of the readers we seek.

So, while an expensive book trailer and high-profile TV interviews could be invaluable, I’d remind you to give equal, if not more, priority to things like:

  • Regular contact with your current readers and e-mail subscribers
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Article marketing
  • Networking
  • Any opportunity to speak
  • Bookmarks and postcards
  • Website development
  • SEO
  • Drip e-mail campaign

One advantage you have over the folks who play the lottery is that your success need not be left to chance.



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