In the last article, we busted the Myth of Social Marketing to market your book.
Let’s talk about marketing your book and define what the goal really is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a traditionally published author or an independent author, the facts are the same—you’re going to have to market your book.
Yes, that goes for traditionally published authors as well. If you aren’t a megahit bestselling author with millions of sold books, your publishing house is not going to market your book.
What is Marketing?
We’ve all seen it, on Facebook, Twitter, or any number of social media platforms; authors who are desperately thrashing around trying to get people to buy their book. There are times when I feel the need to thrash about and there will be times when you will feel the same urge. That is not the way to market your book.
There is a great deal of evidence that suggests that social media has the lowest of all marketing conversion rates, if you haven’t read my article on the Myths of Social Media, I suggest you do so before continuing with this article.
So what is marketing? For me it is two things: building a lasting relationship with people, and being relentlessly helpful in every way I can.
That’s a pretty generic view of a very complex mechanism. BUT, if you start with that perspective, you are much more likely to be successful.
I’ll admit it, I am new to the playing field of online marketing, however, I am not a new hand to the sales industry. A very successful salesperson, my teacher, once told me that a widget is a widget. Meaning that if you can sell someone a boat, then you can sell them a refrigerator. It’s true that you need to have some knowledge on what it is your selling, but it is also true that the actual sales process is the same for whatever it is your trying to sell. Sounds sleazy?
It can be. We have all met a sleazy sales person at least once in our lifetime. Someone who only cared about separating you from your money. That tactic can work…but if it does work, it will only work once.
I’m going to make a statement, I believe it to be true, there are exceptions to the statement, but it is what works for me.
If you are going to be successful in marketing your book, you need to take a step back and change your perspective. It isn’t about selling your book; it’s about having the heart of a servant. If you have the heart of a servant, focus on building real relationships with your readers, and exert your focus on being helpful, you will sell more books.
You are on a mission. The goal of the mission is to sell your book, obviously. But why should someone buy your book? The same reason I buy books. Reading is a way to learn, to explore new worlds, to meet new people.
“It is often said that one has but one life to live, but that is nonsense. For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.” –Louis L’Amour
Your book is important. Whether it changes lives through education, or provides a means of escape from the hum drum of daily life. Your book will brighten someone’s day. Believe it.
Fact: the more relationships you make with readers; the more books you will sell. Continue to cultivate those relationships after they have bought your book and you will have a built in readership for the next book.
I hope this helps. This article wasn’t written to be a technical guide, that comes later in the series, but I hope it did at least change your perspective on the mission. As my mother says, “Perspective is everything”.
This article was written by Jake Parrick