Sunday, April 14, 2019

Authors Should Learn From Competitors

Why do people buy from others? 

They buy from them for the same reasons others buy from you. But there may be reasons that are not known to you. 

You may look at a best-selling book and wonder why it sold so well or you may look at a great book and wonder why no one has heard of it. Look at your competitors, whether they are authors, consultants, web sites, DVDs, etc. and analyze what they offer that is so appealing. See if you can copy their offering or exceed it. 

The things with which to compare yourself can vary, but certainly you should see how you measure up on:

·         Level of media exposure
·         Size of marketing budget
·         Price
·         Distribution or product availability
·         How their book positions itself
·         What types of claims others make
·         The credentials of the other person
·         Does the other product do something better than you do?
·         How is the product packaged – does it look attractive?

You can do a competitive analysis and still not conclude why A is bought over B, for there could be other factors involved that aren’t readily apparent. But by examining what you like and dislike about other books or related products, you will begin to be as familiar as potential customers are with the landscape of possibilities. The more you see things through the eyes of your customers the more you will be in a position to service them.

A customer-centric frame of mind will now have you working over time to bridge any gaps you uncover. Now, some things won’t or can’t be changed about your book, so you will need to have to come up with a plausible defense. For instance, knowing that someone else wrote a similar book with a cover price that is four dollars lower than yours, means you will need to highlight something that you offer that makes it worth the higher sticker price.

If you are competing against a non-book, you will have to highlight something that makes it more valuable. Otherwise, don’t hype that your book is better than something but rather let people know that your book is complementary to something, that they are a tandem. For instance, if your book is about relationships, you can pitch it as: “Contains $10,000 worth of advice your therapist never offered.” Or you can say: “After complaining to your therapist, read 10 steps you can take to heal your marriage.”

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No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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