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Friday, October 28, 2011

Unstoppable Book Marketing Success

Can a high school wrestling coach and clinic director of a chiropractic center supply us with wisdom and inspiration?  After reading Unstoppable Success, by Dr. Mike Mason, I believe the answer is a yes.

The firm I work for is promoting his new book to the news media.  Though I am not involved with the campaign, his book caught my eye.  I can always use a good pep talk to get me going.  Perhaps you can to.  Below are a dozen quotes of his.  I then relate them to marketing and promoting a book. I hope they inspire you!

1.      “There is no copyright on success.” So true.  You can develop your own blueprint to market and promote your book or you can copy and borrow the strategies of others.

2.      “What someone else can do, you can do also.” Have the confidence in yourself that you can promote and market just as well as the professionals.

3.      “Successful people outlast everyone else.” Persistence and perseverance in sales, publicity or marketing is what will turn your almost or maybe into a yes.

4.      “In order to succeed, you must know what you want.” Set book marketing goals and measure your progress-daily-towards reaching them.

5.      “When your life is balanced, stumbling blocks will appear much smaller and more temporary.  In a balance life, catastrophes become opportunities.” It’s okay to fail or have setbacks – it means you’re reaching higher and you’re learning and growing.  Push yourself to achieve marketing excellence.

6.      “Stop focusing on your inabilities and start concentrating on your abilities.” Don’t dwell on shortcomings or what you lack; grow your strengths and exploit them.  Accept the things you don’t do well or don’t enjoy doing. Either avoid these things or hire someone to help you market your book.

7.      “All competition is essentially you against you.  Focus on being your best rather than the best.” Seek out ways to make today better than yesterday, to always improve.  Don’t worry about what others have or are doing – just take care of yourself.

8.      “A strong purpose behind our actions will push you through any challenge.” Having goals and knowing why you want to reach them will drive you to do more and to succeed in book marketing.

9.      “Every failure should be viewed as temporary.” No setback is permanent.  Keep looking for success.  As long as you’re looking to achieve something you won’t need to dwell on missteps or losses.

10.  “Are you doing what you know you should be doing?” Don’t avoid what needs to be done.  Set your priorities and take the steps necessary to move closer to your marketing objectives.

11.  “To increase your success, find more ways to help more people.” When you give to others the favors get repaid.

12.  “Are you following your priorities each day and keeping first things first?” Don’t get distracted or make excuses for going off-course.  Make your to-do list, check it daily, and then start attacking it.

Dr. Mason’s book also offers these takeaways that are worth your consideration:

  • “You can learn from everyone since everyone is better than you at something.  Remain coachable.”

  • “Are you working as smart and as hard as you can?”

  • “Look inward for solutions and learn to bet on your own abilities.”

  • “You are the only person whom you can control.”

  • “You alone have the ability to change your current circumstances.”

  • “Within yourself lies every answer to every problem that you will ever face.”

  • “Action creates energy and reaction creates fatigue.”

Interview With Glenn Yeffeth, Publisher, BenBella Books

1.      Where do you feel the industry is heading? The dominant issue right now is ebooks, which soon be the dominant format for books. And even putting ebooks aside, the online stores (i.e. Amazon, bn.com) are growing faster than the physical stores.  This has huge implications across publishing. The physical stores will continue to be a smaller percentage of the business. This means that publishers – especially publishers that have deemphasized marketing and editorial – will be under continual pressure to justify their value by the most important authors. Ebooks will be under continual price pressure from Amazon and other vendors, and so the price point is likely to be moving down over time. And Amazon will continue to move into a the publishing world, snatching up some of the more valuable authors.  I don’t think apps will be a major factor for book publishers, but enhanced ebooks will become the norm for books where video adds value to the reading experience.

We’re moving away from the big bang book launch (which was driven by retail presales and fear of returns) to long-term marketing of books. Much more marketing is online, and this will continue to grow, especially for the overwhelming majority of books that are niche products. Online, books have to compete with all other books from all times. So now the new biography of Lincoln has to compete with the best biography of Lincoln, and best will beat new in most categories. So quality is increasingly important.

2.      Glenn, as a book publisher, how are you handling the changing book publishing marketplace? We’ve always thought of ourselves as a marketing-driven boutique publisher, and we so we have traditionally put a big emphasis on editorial and marketing. These elements are more important than ever, and today marketing means understanding how to market online and how to reach niche communities. It also means effectively partnering with authors who bring a lot to marketing. And of course we are distributing ebooks through virtually all venues, and experimenting with enhanced ebooks for certain books.

3.      What do you love most about being a part of the book world? The books we are publishing are always changing and the publishing environment is continually evolving. So as someone who gets bored easily, I’m never bored in this business.

4.      What do you look for in the authors/books that you decide to publish? We look for one of three things, or even better a combination of a few of these things. One, a book associated with powerful and/or popular brand. Two, a book that is unique and brilliant in its niche. Three, a “big agenda” book that the author is using as a marketing tool to support his business or career. I like these elements because they each give us fun marketing opportunities.

5.      What added value does a publisher provide to authors contemplating self-publishing? Every new book published is a new business, and it has all the needs of a business. It needs great product development (writing and editing), great marketing and great packaging. It needs a strategy for long-term success. Self-publishing is the equivalent of starting your own business on your own, and it’s a good decision for some people. Traditional publishing – at least ideally - is finding a partner for your business who brings expertise and money to the table, and who is good at the things you aren’t good at. The right publisher is very committed to your book, not because you paid them and they want to make you happy, but because they have real skin in the game. The right publisher treats you like a real partner and brings considerable expertise in marketing, editing, packaging, and strategic positioning. It’s not always easy to find the right publisher, but when you do the outcome is better, for most authors, than self-publishing.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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