Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Key Principles Behind Successfully Marketed Books

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In the last 30 years there have been a number of sales and marketing gurus who wrote best-selling books and helped transform a new generation of marketing-savvy professionals.  One such individual is Brain Tracy, who has been promoted in the past by the public relations firm that I work for. I just finished one of his books from 2014, aptly entitled Marketing, and want to share his helpful insights that can be applied to authors and publishers seeking to grow book sales.

He tells us that Rule Number one is the customer is always right. 

“They buy for their reasons, not yours,” he writes. “Customers are selfish, demanding, ruthless, disloyal and fickle. But they are always right, based on their own needs, wants, desires, and ways of thinking.”

Another factor to consider is that people buy based on emotions.  

“It is how they feel, and especially how the believe they will feel after the purchase that determines whether they make the purchase at all,” he says.

People also buy based on the perceived benefits of what you have to offer. What benefits are in your book that may spark a sale?

Of course in order to sell anything, including a book, you need to identify if there is a market for it. Who will buy your book?  Where do they live or where do they exist online? How will you reach them?  Knowing who your customers are and how to find them is an integral part to your success.

People buy out of a need or a desire - to solve a problem or pursue a passion. They look to use your book to achieve a goal, feel better, avoid pain, learn something, provide a gift to someone or support their values. Figure out why people buy your book and use that in your appeal to others. Sell to them what they already have a taste for.

Everyone will buy a book, if it saves them time, makes them money, achieves a gain or averts a loss, makes them feel better or entertains them. But other books will claim these things too, so why should they buy yours?  Differentiate your offerings and highlight your personality, your background of experiences, your unique views, and your style of writing.

Craft your unique selling proposition.  “It should be made clear in all of your promotional materials,” Tracy says.  “It becomes the heart or core of all your advertising and marketing efforts. It is the single message that you strive to convey to your potential customers in every way possible.”

Of course people will more likely buy your book if it is readily available, nicely packaged, priced right, endorsed by people they respect, and appears to be a good buy. But don’t assume your book is so great and special. Perform a SWOT analysis. Determine what your book’s strengths and weaknesses are.  Determine what threats or challenges – as well as opportunities – exist in the marketplace and look to be on top of things.

If you could stand by a potential customer at the bookstore and do your best to convince this person to buy your look, what would you say?  Are offering a book that’s better, cheaper or newer than others?  Is it a greater value than that of your competitors? Can you say one thing that would help them believe in you to the point they look no further? What ever you would say, put that on your website, social media and advertisements.

Above all, Tracy believes you have to anticipate an ever-changing marketplace. What worked yesterday may not today. Marketing a book in 2020 is different than in 1990, though certain key principles are still in effect. Strive to be assertive, creative, opportunistic, and of service to those you seek to impress. You may believe your book deserves more readers. Now go out and sell it!

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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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