Monday, December 7, 2015

36 Things A Book Marketer Must Know, Do, or Say

I’ve been marketing and promoting authors for the past quarter-century.  From the time I began in 1989, much has changed.  The media is fragmented. Social media didn’t exist then. More books are now published in just a few weeks than were released in an entire year.  It’s a global, multi-cultural marketplace that is driven by tweet-length news cycles.  But a lot has not changed. Good marketing and publicity still demand the following 36 things from anyone practicing the art of book publicity, book marketing, and sales:

1.      To convince anyone of something, you need to know which buttons to push.  Know what’s important to the person you are pitching or selling to.  Do your research.

2.      Ask questions and use the answers from your prospects as launching pads to feedback information to them.

3.      Listen a lot more than you speak.

4.      Praise others in a way that doesn’t smell of false flattery but be sure to comment in a positive manner on something the recipient of the compliment will appreciate.

5.      Find something you have in common and build on that connection.

6.      Be knowledgeable, even in small ways, of a lot of things.  Have an awareness of what’s in the news and what’s going on in the world.  You need to be ready to dive into a conversation with a stranger who may talk about something other than what you want to zero in on.

7.      Express good morals, but not in a judging or overly opinionated way.  But you can sprinkle in the expression of values that make people feel you have good intentions.

8.      Be well-mannered.  It’s the little things that people judge others on.

9.      Always be prompt, follow-up, and show respect a schedule and the time of others.

10.  Be available to share creative ideas in a way that indicates you know your stuff.

11.  Laugh, smile, and share your wit.  Don’t tell off-color jokes, but show that you can be balanced and personable.

12.  Show them you were thinking of them, that you care about what they are concerned with.

13.  Always offer your book or expertise in a way that sounds useful, needs-fulfilling, and timely.

14.  Pepper your communications with words that reveal intelligence, but noting that sounds too technical, jargon-filled, or confusing.

15.  Offer to do a favor, such as put them in touch with someone or share some information.

16.  Don’t say everything that comes to mind.  Use a filter.  When in doubt, do not speak.

17.  Dress for success, but be appropriate of the situation.  Wearing a suit when others are in jeans is no better than donning jeans when others are in suits.

18.  Put yourself in their shoes and understand how they see the world.  You must speak to them based on the mindset, prejudices, facts and circumstances that they operate out of.

19.  Speak in terms of benefits, not mere features.  The book may have 26 gut-busting tips, but what it really offers is a proven method for losing 30 pounds and allowing you to look better, feel great, and live longer.

20.  Put people at ease by humanizing yourself.  Talk about your kids, spouse, parents or close friends in a way that describes you in a good light.  Hopefully you call upon a story that the other person, based on their status, can relate to.

21.  Adapt to the environment you are in.  Talk to people in a way that shows them you relate to their circumstances.

22.  Know what the competition says, does, or promises and be prepared to dismiss or debunk them by highlighting what you do better, differently, or less expensively than others.  Don’t name your competitors – just lump them together.

23.  Play up to people’s egos and dreams.

24.  Find out the goals and objectives of your prospect – and then show how your offerings match up to fulfill them.

25.  Speak to their ideology, even if you disagree with it.  Find out what means something to them and let them speak about it.  They’ll feel that you understand or appreciate them as a result.

26.  Do thoughtful follow ups – send a card or small gift or call them months later just to see how they’re doing.

27.  Keep notes on prospects and clients/consumers.  You may need to call upon this information later on.

28.  Give unsolicited advice or tips that you know will help them.  Build up trust.

29.  Zero in on the right prospect.  Don’t contact an anorexic association about a weight-loss book.

30.  Make sure you are talking to the right person or decision-maker at a group or company.  Don’t waste your time.

31.  Know when to walk away when the terms of a potential deal are turning away from being favorable to you.

32.  Consider some things as a try out -- audition to win them over a bigger payoff.

33.  Be willing to give books, time, information, or services away as a loss leader.  You may be able to get more sales as a result.

34.  Most people, if they’ve done their research and know what they want, will buy from you when you can demonstrate ROI.  Have examples of success in similar situations to sway them.

35.  Ask for referrals.  A lot of sales or business deals come from referrals.  It’s not what you know, but who you know.

36.  Keep in touch with those who say no. If a circumstance changes, yesterday’s No can turn into tomorrow’s Yes.

Most importantly, provide a great product or service with your book or speech or consulting – or whatever you are selling and promoting.  Everyone will remember and value something – and someone – of quality.

The Best Reference Books For Writers

Writers Need A Breakthrough, Not A Breakdown

10 Things Writers Are Doing To Achieve Success

The 7 Tenets of Author Branding

How we can improve the world with books by 2030

How to make a blog post go viral – or at least get opened

How to connect your book to the news

Explore a guided tour through the English language

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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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