During the pandemic I have found myself grilling everyone on their television viewing habits. Not only am I curious about what they are doing, I want recommendations of what to watch. Unfortunately, fewer people do the same when it comes to books, but it is a practice that takes place for millions nevertheless. This is how books get sold.
It is no secret that book sales are dependent on the word-of-mouth exchanges taking place wherever people gather or communicate. It is also no secret that word-of-mouth begins with two things: readers and marketing.
The marketing part is crucial. Through paid reviews, ads, speaking engagements, email blasts, social media, traditional media, and other means, authors can orchestrate sales. But your sales don’t have to end there. These readers can then be super-spreaders and lobby for you with word-of-mouth praise.
Then, there are some readers who discover your book and organically tell others to buy that book. They naturally like your book and feel compelled to tell people. The more enthusiastic and passionate they sound, the more likely a consumer is converted.
In both cases, two things are needed: a genuinely unique or entertaining or informative or inspiring book (hopefully well written and priced to sell) AND for the reader-turned-advocate to champion for you in a way that is rare, emphatic, dogged, and obsessive. Lukewarm fans deliver tepid responses. Raving lunatics can’t be ignored.
Authors and publishers demand cult-like responses to their books or their books will just be ignored and vanish from the book landscape. It is not enough to tell a friend that you liked a book. You must speak with conviction, courage, and excitement!
Tell them why you love the book. Use superlatives and animated adjectives. Cite wild examples. Compare it favorably to what you know the other person has liked. Beg them. Challenge them. Coo with orgasmic sounds. Show them in voice, words, eye contact, and sound as to why they should not deprive themselves of such a treat. Fight for that book so others won’t mistakenly deprive themselves of such glory.
We seduce, bribe, yell, barter, or lure others to see our way when we are driven and adamant about something, usually when discussing politics, relationships, or money. Bring that same attitude to books — and sales will jump.
Going back to TV recommendations, I discovered Ozark in the summer and loved consuming all of its first three seasons on Netflix. I have told everyone to watch it. Some took me up on it, but not my sister.
She was a holdout for months, despite my repeated recommendation. Finally, she gave in. I went out of my way to endorse it and cut to her objective, which was a false assumption on her part about the level and frequency of graphic, bloody violence. She reluctantly gave it a shot and is now hooked. It is as if I found her a soulmate after her first impression about the guy was unenthusiastic.
Sometimes we need to literally jump up and down to make our point heard. But if we believe in something, we can drive others to similarly believe. By emphatically stating your allegiance to a book, highlighting some great lines or passages, stating lots of benefits and not just features, and addressing stated or assumed objections, we can convince enough people to not only buy a book but to then advocate for it.
We are each the book matchmaker for those we interact with, whether with a friend in person, a relative by zoom, or a stranger on GoodReads, Facebook, or a blog. We can each persuade others to buy a book — and we can help others spread a powerful, convincing, and sales-ringing word-of-mouth to their circle of connections.
Read, Read, Read!!
Some Authors Fail, Some Succeed: Why? https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-failing-authors-can-succeed.html
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at email@example.com. His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. 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 The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby 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.