We live in a beautiful country. Despite the chronic Red State, Blue State debate, things are good. We are at peace and the economy is doing so well that anyone who wants a job can easily find one. True, inflation is crazy, but wages and the stock market are up, too. We have a vax to prevent most Covid deaths and good meds to save most of the hospitalized. We also have opportunistic entrepreneurs, maybe even some with unbridled greed, and authors should learn from them.
Here’s an instructive story for you:
As a lifelong Mets fan (baseball), I signed up for a small ticket package, attending about 10 games this past year. As a result, I receive email offerings of all kinds — to buy swag, pre-order tickets for 2022, and a multitude of ways to separate me from my money.
I recently was sent an offer to tour their stadium — Citi Field — for a fee. They want me to pay more to see an empty stadium in the offseason than I might spend for a ticket to see a mediocre, underachieving, third-place team that is in disarray. If I take a friend, we each pay $125 for a 70-minute tour.
I essentially pay for them to advertise to me. Genius.
But wait, they have add-ons to my tour:
· Mascot Appearance - $600/hour (Mr. or Mrs. Met) Souvenir Photo Op with Prints - $750
· Alumni Appearance – Fee is based on Alumni Player.
· Personalized Replica Jersey - $150
· Engraved Bat - $125
· Custom Step & Repeat for Photo Backdrop - $300
· Mets Souvenir Cap for Each Guest - $35 per cap
And if you still didn’t spend over a thousand bucks, you could have a “Personalized Scoreboard Message” for $1,500. Mind you, no one sees it but you. Empty stadium. No game. No TV. Take a photo to prove you did what no one saw.
Outrageous, you say?
Try paying $7,500 to partake in what they call “The Batting Practice Experience.”
Hmmm, sounds like The Girlfriend Experience. That is where high-priced prostitutes pretend to be in a relationship with the client. I can see the similarity.
The BP Experience merely means you get to hit for 10-15 minutes. Mind you, it is not in addition to your 70-minute tour, but part of it. Further, it does not even take place on the field, by home plate, but rather in a batting cage, under the stadium.
Who is pitching to you? Not a current player or coach. In fact, they couldn’t say because they didn’t know when I called them, but they know it won’t be someone on the current team roster.
Amazing. The Mets are baseball’s version of acting like a Corvette when they are selling a Honda.
They overcharge and underperform during the season, but they now have a business model to exploit diehard fans. No one is a victim; everyone wins. Someone will pay it, so might as well charge it. You can’t get the money unless you ask for it, right?
But don't be as slick as them and try to sell something that was never bought. Case in point. The Mets put a charge on my credit card without my permission, automatically renewing my season ticket package for next year. I almost decided to leave it on and lazily go with the flow, but then principle and ethics kicked in. I cancelled it.
Their offerings show that if you create it, they will come. If you charge a lot, someone will buy. Authors, are you paying attention?
Authors should go beyond books and sell all kinds of related product, from clothing and mugs to jewelry and bags. You are a business. Upsell. Diversify. Establish your author brand and sell off of it. You are a commodity. So are your words, ideas, and images.
Or, expand from one book or one format. Sell sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. Put your book on all platforms and storefronts for sale. Convert it into all formats: hardcover, trade, e-book, paperback, mass market, and audiobook. Sell workbooks and workshops. Take your content to other industries — theater, film, television, children’s book version, comic book, or a video game. Exploit yourself, please!
Too many authors act as if they don’t deserve to make money from their writings or that they should not market or hype a book. They believe it should sell by itself, on the merits. They hold themselves to a higher standard and want to earn their way to success.
But the world of sales, regardless of the product, is all about perceived value and branding. Convince people that they should want your book, and they will buy it. Doesn’t matter if the book is great or lousy.
Stop operating out of the belief your book is great and then staying quiet on the sidelines, begging to be noticed. You don’t have to have a great book nor do you need to prove its greatness. You just need to speak of it as if it is great, with passion, animation, sincerity, and conviction.
You are selling a dream, a vision, a fantasy, an idea - the cure to their depression or loneliness, a great escape, an inspiring tale, a piece of history, a moral compass — and anything people believe a book can be.
You don’t really sell a book; you sell yourself. You sell an attitude. You sell what people want. You sell the way people want to be sold to. You sell based on how they hear and what they see, not on how you like to say something or feel things actually are.
Impressions. Prejudices. Desires. Needs. Timing. This is what you have at your disposal.
Learn from the Mets and get paid regardless of what is being sold.
Contact For Help
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. 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. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.
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