Thursday, January 9, 2020

Get Customers To Test Drive Your Book

Image result for mazda 3 images

How can authors or publishers get potential book buyers to test drive their books?

Over the recent holiday break I took advantage of a mailer my local Mazda dealer sent me. They had a coupon for an oil change that would save me some money and they offered a $25 Amazon gift card if I test drove a car.  I figured while I wait for my oil change, I’ll take the new 2020 Mazda 3 model for a spin.

Granted, my incentive to come to the dealer was money – a discounted oil change and money for a test drive. I had zero interest in trading in my car or buying a new one.  So, in this case, the dealership lost out but they have the right idea.  Get people and cars to the dealer.  If that oil change yielded a discovery of maintenance or repairs being needed, they would likely get that business.  Thought I didn’t go from test-drive to new car buyer, someone will.  It’s a numbers game.  Let’s say at least 1 in 100 who do the test drive buy a car. So it costs them $2500 but they’ll make it up on a new car/financing deal.

Ok, so you are not a car dealer, where tens of thousands or at least hundreds of dollars can be netted from a repair, purchase, or lease, but you can learn from them.  You can still benefit from offering discounts and test drives to your potential customer pool.

Authors should begin by offering sample chapters of their book to potential customers. One chapter, depending on its length and what percentage of the book content is reflected, may not be enough of a test drive for readers.  Give ‘em more – and a table of contents with chapter summaries.

Consider giving out a certain amount of books or heavily discounting copies so that you get the book in people’s hands who can post reviews and be word-of-mouth spreaders.

Even consider paying people to read your book if it means they will then share their views on social media platforms.

Mazda didn’t get me to buy anything -- and sometimes no matter what you offer as an incentive, you too won’t register a book sale.  But you don’t have to win all of the time.  Just some of the time.

If you have other books, products, or services for sale on your site, you’ll benefit more by getting people to test-drive one book.  If the customer likes it and buys it, he or she may look to see what else you are selling.

I have to say, I did like the new Mazda 3.  Mine is six years old. But it only has 36,000 miles on it, so it’s not worth doing anything today.  

Maybe tomorrow.

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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 ©2020. 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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