Archive for May 19th, 2012

Like baseball games, book marketing is won “one base hit at at time”

If you’re a sports and movie buff, you likely saw Moneyball, the Brad Pitt vehicle adapted from Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. If you’re a baseball fan and you somehow missed this movie, you must make time to see it.

It’s an insider’s film, but the main premise is that Pitt’s character, Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane, is convinced that he can compete against the big boys (i.e., the New York Yankees) by focusing on on-base percentage and slugging percentage, rather than spending ungodly amounts of money on superstars that might or might not pan out.

In a nutshell, Beane and his assistant, Peter Brand (portrayed by Jonah Hill), understand a fact that everyone else in baseball seems to have missed: baseball games are won one hit at a time.

This is a lesson that easily translates to marketing (or writing) your book. Of course, when it comes to marketing your book, your game can be endless – you’re not relegated to 27 attempts to score. But if, like Billy Beane’s team, you focus on getting on base rather than swinging for the rafters, you will likely see more overall success. Just as it would be outrageous to expect every batter to hit a homerun, likewise, it is outrageous for you to expect every book marketing attempt to lead to skyrocketing sales.

Consider, instead, the cumulative effect of your work. One blog post, piled on top of another, and another, combined with a growing legion of social media connections, enhanced by a strong drip e-mail campaign, on top of a well-crafted blog tour, in addition to a couple good reviews … and you start to see the similarity.

Unless you have New York Yankee money, your campaign will roll out in phases – and some phases will energize you, while others may drain you. You may see more success with particular endeavors, and wonder why you even tried other things.

The point is to keep going. Keep on getting up to bat. Base hit after base hit after base hit will eventually turn into some runs on the scoreboard.

You can’t win if you don’t get on base!



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