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Friday, February 8, 2013

Author vs. Content: Which Sells Books?


If you don’t know much about a book but heard the author has great credentials, would you try the book? What if the author has great credentials, would you try the book? What if the author was a name you recognized, would you try the book? What if the book sounded interesting or useful – but was written by an unknown entity - -would you try the book?

Which moves a consumer to buy more – who the author is or the book’s content?

People like to read an author they feel connected to. If there is something in the author’s background that will make readers feel uncomfortable in reading his or her book, marketers should highlight the author’s credentials.

What might readers identify with?

·         Author demographics – age, sex, sexual preference, race, religion, location
·         Writing history – has published other books
·         Won awards or received recognizable honors
·         Career experience related to the book
·         Personal connection – author overcame adversity
·         Membership to a circle of influence

For non-fiction, I think people buy based first on subject matter, than on other factors like length, features, price format – and author credentials. For fiction, I think people buy based on genre but then look for an author with an interesting background that  comforts the consumer into believing the author’s pedigree will yield a good story.

I find in promoting or marketing a book I will play up whatever is the apparent strength to the intended recipient. It could change depending on the media outlet and the journalist – blogger producer. It could change depending on the news cycle or other fluctuating variables. Ideally, you would love to promote strong content from a well-established writer.

But life is not ideal. You settle for doing your best to put the best possible shine on things. If you promote your book successfully today, things may get a little easier tomorrow.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

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