Slow and steady really does win the book marketing race
I was reminded yesterday of a movie I’ve never seen. En route to a client meeting, I found myself driving down a busy street in Phoenix behind a tiny (at least he seemed tiny from my perspective) old man driving a motorized tricycle at about 18 miles an hour. Since I was making a right within a couple blocks, I made no effort to go around him, deciding it would do me good to slow down for a few minutes. Not so with some of the drivers behind me, many of whom couldn’t swerve into the other lane quickly enough.
To their credit, it is the holiday season, and many people seem to be in a rush these days. However, as I drove home later in the day in a completely other part of town, I again witnessed car after car zooming to beat the changing signals, streaking to jump ahead of the other drivers when they saw a bus or a lane closure ahead. I always find it comical when someone zips past me in a seeming huff (OK – that may just be my perception), only to wind up stopped next to me at the same red light.
I thought again of the man on the tricycle, which brought to mind the movie posters for The Straight Story. Though I didn’t see it, my sister described it as “exactly what you would expect of a two-hour movie about a guy driving a tractor 5 MPH for 240 miles.” And that led me to a great reminder about book marketing. It’s an old idiom, so overly familiar to us that we may dismiss it as just too simple. But when it comes to successful book marketing, more often than not, slow and steady does, indeed, win the race.
OK – more the steady than the slow. But when you think about how many ways and places we’re being marketed to – experts suggest that Americans are exposed to an average of 5,000 marketing messages per day – it’s slow repetition rather than the slick, quick, explosive, one-time message that has the greatest effect. Sure, you can go all out on an ad in Publishers Weekly. You can pay to have your book listed in the catalogue for Book Expo America. You can arrange to hold your book launch at the base of the Eiffel Tower. And such tactics might work, short term.
However, things that will have a more lasting effect are:
- Blogging daily or weekly, as opposed to as the whim strikes.
- Showing up at your networking meetings every time – not just once in a while.
- Adding every new person you meet to your database and sending a monthly newsletter – even when you don’t feel like it or “have time” for it.
- Following up in a timely, appropriate manner.
- Making a regular practice of social media instead of tweeting only when you’ve got a new book or event to push.
I heard a long time ago that bad marketing done regularly beats great marketing done occasionally, and I concur. Make the best book you can. Develop a website you can be proud of. Join a group blog – it will keep you accountable and probably drive more traffic. Retweet as often as you post original content. Repin and share and like with abandon. Most importantly, have a plan – and then follow it.
Here’s to slow, steady, consistent marketing efforts in 2015!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are you READY? If you haven’t begun mapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com