A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Free speech, literacy, and great books are also discussed. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Monday, April 22, 2019
Authors, You’re In Business!
Remember, you’re a
business entity. You sell books, information, ideas, advice, and
expertise. As a business, adhere to some standards:
an advisory board
your intellectual property -- use copyrights, trademarks and patents
written contracts and have an attorney review what you’re about to sign
sure your contract avoids misunderstandings, identifies who does what by when,
assures payment, avoids liability, and clearly states what is being agreed to
Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating a Small Business,Second
Edition, by Steve Mariotti and Caroline Glackin, several business plan
software packages are identified. These can help you focus on treating
yourself as a business:
To learn more about
the latest technology that can help your business efforts, consult: www.techweb.com.
Do You Need Some Market Research?
Big companies spend
millions researching and analyzing the marketplace. You can’t afford the
time or money to do this. But thanks to the Internet, you can find a lot
of information about your potential customer.
You may not be able
to conduct a phone survey of 1,000 people, but you can find out about the
buying habits and needs of the American public online. You can look into
the habits of people based on geography, demographics, book reading patterns,
etc. A harder thing to do is to measure what’s still relevant is the
behavioral or psychological patterns that people operate under. Reading
up on pop psychology may provide insight on how people tend to act or react
under a given situation. Even certain words can trigger emotional
responses, so take that into your consideration when marketing to others.
A lot is common sense, but it helps to know more about the people you market to
in order to get more yeses.
life, gets filled with to-do lists and lots of random notes that need a home.
How will you keep track of people, calendar events, things to check out,
etc?Many people are disorganized –
scribbled notes on napkins, old emails stored somewhere, online calendars mixed
with hand-written planners. We all try to create a system that works but we
start to lose track, get lazy in maintaining it, or find ourselves simply to be
our worst enemy. That said, don’t give up.
For marketing purposes, you will need to be
organized about the following:
a list of your ideas
web sites or people you want to check out
invoices and accounts receivable
you need to pay
book of key contacts
to follow-up or reach out to certain people – with notes on what was said and
place to keep resources that you uncover
collection of articles and blogs that you plan to read
for things you plan to blog about
The list can go on
and on. You may do a lot of this on your phone or computer but rarely is
everything neatly in one place. Just be sure to update the system that you
create for yourself and print/copy/or back it up regularly. And know that you
will never be perfect in this area, but learn to prioritize and be on top of
the bread and butter things.
Also, Make Note Of These Rules For Managing
paid upfront or collect payment as quickly as possible. Never assume
what you invoice for will always get paid. Every business has
debt-collection problems. Be prepared to get stiffed at least a few times
know your cash balance and keep track of planned receivables and of bills that
are due. Don’t get caught short or off guard simply because of poor
record-keeping or overly optimistic assumptions.
bill payment as long as possible – always stretch out the terms – but don’t
alienate vendors or incur penalties in doing so. Prioritize your bills
and pay what’s most overdue first or pay what’s most important first.
to negotiate the best possible deal – on everything, all the time. Don’t
be afraid to ask for a discount or to counter-offer when buying
something. Everything is negotiable and everyone in business knows this.
Keep Good Records Of Expenses And Income So
do your taxes with ease and avoid an audit
track of cash flow
activity and review ROI
be able to examine which areas need attention.
Consult with an
accountant as to which business structure you should operate under (sole
proprietorship vs. LLC or S Corporation for example). Obtain the proper
documents or federal employer identification number for the business. You
may need to collect sales tax and pay it to the government, so look into
whether you need to obtain a sales and use tax registration number.
What Will People Pay?
will pay what they think it is worth.
will pay what they are told to pay.
pay what they can afford.
pay for perceived value of your offer vs. perceived value of competing offers.
will pay for comfort, security, piece of mind, ease.
will pay for relief to a problem.
will pay out of fear, guilt or pleasure.
will pay because they don’t know any better.
will pay to avoid a greater loss or payment later.
will pay a premium if they like you, if they are attracted to you, if they
think you like them and care about them and understand them.
You set your price
and you canchoose to negotiate
downward. It is up to you. Make sure you understand the value delivered by you,
your book, your services, your brand. As long as you can articulate your value
in a confident way you won’t have to shy away from or apologize for your price.
By knowing your customer’s perception of competitive substitutes and alternatives
you can get into their heads about how you compare.
Jeffrey J. Fox says it best in regards to price, in his book, How to Become a MarketingSuperstar: “Price your products or
selves according to the value the customer receives from the product. Do not
price your product based on its production cost plus a markup. Do not price
your product solely according to supply and demand. (Even the most basic
commodities can be differentiated and priced to value. And gouging customers
who need plywood during a hurricane may produce short-term profits but will
long be remembered by the customer base). Do not automatically price your
product to mirror competitive pricing. Do not price your product below cost.”
Here are a few more things to consider:
a dollar value on your time and keep increasing it.
the quickest and easiest ways to get clients and customers.
look for cheaper ways to market yourself.
your solution – the result of what people will get if they read your book or
hire you as a speaker/consultant
and monetize that solution and all secondary benefits.
You are an author -- and a business! Take ownership of it.
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How Book Publishers Grow Their Brand & Sales With Their Authors’ Help