Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Do You Know Why People Buy Your Book?

It’s a simple enough question but many struggle to answer it. It is worth exploring: Why will people buy your book?

Here are 21 potential reasons why someone may buy your book:

1.      Someone buys it as a gift for another person.
2.      Someone needs the information in your book.
3.      Your author credentials are better than those of authors for competing books.
4.      Your cover price is cheaper than the competition.
5.      Your cover image and title are catchy.
6.      Someone the consumer trusts – friend, family, colleague -- recommends it.
7.      One reads a favorable review of your book.
8.      One likes the way your book is presented in an advertisement.
9.      Someone enjoyed hearing you speak somewhere.
10.  Someone identified with something about you – maybe they grew up in the same city as you or graduated from the same school.
11.  You pushed their emotional buttons and they bought your book out of fear, anger, love, desire, etc.
12.  Your book appears to deliver solutions to their problems.
13.  Your book comes off as being entertaining, helping them to escape the burdens of reality.
14.  Your book’s descriptive catalog or back cover copy draws them in.
15.  The reader bought your book because they mistakenly thought it was about something else.
16.  The consumer may like the same charity that you support and bought the book as a showing of solidarity.
17.  The consumer is exposed to media coverage about you and or the book – an article in a newspaper or magazine; an interview on radio or TV; a blog review or interview.\
18.  Your book is packaged with another book, product, or service that is in higher demand.
19.  Someone likes your previous work and/or enjoyed reading a free sample of your new book.
20.  Someone likes your blog and/or Web site and buys based on that.
21.  A tweet or Facebook posting from a respected source supports your book.

So, why will people buy your book? Once you figure out what would drive your reader to purchase your book you need to aggressively appeal to and pursue those who are similar to your buyers.

No need to keep trying to appeal to everyone. Figure out what specifically drives others to buy your book and just exploit that for as long as you can. Support your strengths and ignore your weaknesses.

People buy your book for all kinds of reasons but somehow they had to have heard about it, whether by accident or on purpose, whether by friends or enemies, whether by a paid process (ad) or an organic/free one.

What else moves people?

·         State of mind: Are they happy or sad?
·         Culture and race
·         Faith and religion
·         Sexual identity
·         Intellect
·         Health
·         Location
·         Age
·         Lifestyle
·         Attitude
·         Time constraints
·         Perceptions
·         Acceptance or denial of something
·         Finances

Statistics show that over 100 million Americans in 2011 did not buy a single book. Not one. Not a 99-cent ebook, not a six-dollar mass market paperback, not a $25 hardcover, or a 15-dollar trade paperback. Why? The availability of free information online and at libraries contributes to fewer book sales. Tens of millions of illiterate adults also contribute to this. Plus there are many Americans who struggle with English as their primary language and prefer Spanish or whatever is spoken in the country from where they had come from. We need more readers and book consumers.

It is hard to imagine a world without books playing a key role in one’s life. Books today can be rich in text and images, and can offer the reader a worldly education. The world is books and the published word means everything to me. Others out there will buy books, not because they are deeply passionate about books, but because they see it as a viable option at that moment. Go find out what moves people to buy your book and go sell it to them the way they need you to.

Featured In Publishers Weekly

The firm I head up marketing for was featured in the leading industry trade magazine last week. I hope you enjoy the story: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bea/article/52260-bea-2012-pta-celebrates-gold.html

What Will Books & The Publishing Landscape Look Like In 2016?
by Mikki Sadil 

I think in today's world, the publishing landscape is already changing, and in another four years will probably be quite different from what we authors have always been used to. To be blunt, we don't need the "Big Six" publishers. There are too many options now, from small, independent publishers to ebook publishing to many more "legitimate" self-publishing options. I use the word 'legitimate' only because I believe that those who are going the self-publishing route are doing so on their own, rather than going with the so-called 'vanity' publishers who only want your money. There are so many avenues for authors to use to self-publish, with services like Smashwords and Amazon's Kindle Direct, as well as others. You don't have to have a world of technological knowledge to do this, either, since these services give you the tools for converting your work and formatting it to fit their requirements. Of course, it still costs money, and time, but if an author has that to spare then there is nothing to prevent him/her from successfully publishing, distributing, and selling their own books.

 E-books were supposed to be the 'wave of the future,' but guess what? The future is here, as e-books today account for almost 10% of book sales, and they are predicted to account for as much as 50% of sales by as early as 2014. Even the Big Six publishers are realizing that the print option, so hard to come by from them today, is not going to continue to dominate the publishing market in the future as it has in the past. For that reason, many of them are now beginning to extend their services to include e-book publishing.

As for the smaller, independent publishers, some consider them "tiny," "microscopic", and barely one step up from the OLD version of self-publishing, or the 'vanity' publisher. However, for the most part, that's not true. There may be a few who are not quite on the "up and up," but there  are many small publishers who are just as dependable and legitimate as any of the Big Six were when they first entered the industry.

Print books will never die out, but by 2016, I believe the publishing industry will have gone through a dramatic change. I think ebooks will account for at least 50% of the books sold to consumers, and probably even more. With all of the different kinds of ebook readers already on the market, from the original Kindle and Nook to the iPads, SmartPhones, and so on, with ebooks already in libraries and schools, with the cost of ebooks so much less than print AND authors getting so much more from ebook royalties than print books, digital publishing can only continue to change and improve. Ebooks and self-publishing are the cornerstones of the publishing landscape of the future, and possibly by 2016, the Big Six publishers will either have taken a big bite for themselves out of those corner stones, or they may be relegated to a section in "Ancient History!"

Mikki’s blog can be read at: www.mikki-wordpainter.blogspot.com.

Have You Seen This Past Week’s Posts?

You Can Use Crowdfunding On Your Next Book -- Turn Your Idea Into A Business http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/crowdfunding-your-next-book.html

What The Bestseller List Sales Numbers Reveal

How Promoters, Authors & Publishers Get Others to Say YES

Shrinking Newspaper Industry Hurts Authors, Publishers, Publicists, & Citizens

The Appeal & Necessity Of Fiction

Don’t Make Me Like You!

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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