Are you getting your money’s worth for your marketing dollars?
Sometimes it’s challenging to know whether the very tempting marketing opportunities we come across are really worth the money. Take for instance the email I received from a client in Trinidad. She’s about to release her second book – its primary audience will be Western European and American businesspeople.
Here is her message, in its entirety:
What do you think about this for my book?
The fact is, this is a tempting offer. The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the top book events in the world! Which author wouldn’t want to take such an opportunity?
But is it really all the opportunity it seems at first glance? Here’s how I responded to my client’s query:
That is one of the THE top book fairs in the world, so it might be a good idea. However, here’ s what a book fair like that looks like:
Now imagine having a small pile of your books on one table. That’s the effect it would likely have. It might make a bit of a difference if you were listed in the directory, too – but the directory is about 400 pages long, so again, you’d have one line in the middle of all of that.
The biggest thing it might do for you is give you the credibility of being able to say your book was at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but I think there are probably better ways to spend your money.
Just my thoughts…
For someone with a bottomless marketing budget, throwing anything at the wall to see what sticks might be a workable strategy. For most authors, however, their marketing budgets are an important consideration when making decisions about strategy, tools, and opportunities. It’s crucial that before you plunk down your dollars, you give serious consideration to something known as the “opportunity costs.” Opportunity cost is defined as “a benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else. Since every resource (e.g., land, money, time, etc.) can be put to alternative uses, every action, choice, or decision has an associated opportunity cost. … Such costs are not recorded in the account books but are recognized in decision-making by computing the cash outlays and their resulting profit or loss.”*
The challenge when it comes to book marketing is that every book is a little bit different, sometimes making it difficult to measure your book marketing ROI. What worked for one self-help book will not necessarily work for another self-help book. What worked for one author’s first novel will not necessarily work for the same author’s third or fourth novel. Sometimes analyzing opportunity costs is a trial-and-error process. Sometimes, though, it’s just a matter of asking the right questions of the right people.
Be sure to do your own due diligence before investing your marketing bucks. Be smart – don’t invest your car payment on a marketing gamble. Make a realistic marketing budget and stick to it. Know what your goal is, and how you will measure your success in achieving it. Sometimes it’s book sales; other times, it’s simply exposure for you, your book, or your business.
It’s possible that even the most promising opportunities will fall flat. Take those as learning opportunities. Maybe all that’s necessary is a little tweak in your strategy. Maybe you’ve misdirected your campaign. Maybe you failed to include a compelling call to action. Maybe it was just bad timing. Don’t get disheartened. When you do find something that works, do more of it!
Here’s to a your great marketing success!
PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several first-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.
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