Did you ever try to solve a jig-saw puzzle? It’s simple, right? The picture on the cover of the box shows you how the completed puzzle should look, so all you have to do is organize and connect all the pieces. Now think of your publishing journey as the puzzle. You have your vision of the end result, but you have to create the pieces to complete it. So when it comes to book marketing, sometimes it's just in how you frame your approach.
You can generate more book publicity, sell more books, and become more profitable if you follow several simple techniques for writing promotional material sent to business buyers. These are people in corporations, associations, schools, and other non-retail organizations.
Book publicity is the least expensive and perhaps most productive of the promotional strategies used to generate exposure for books. And a press release is the tool most commonly used to stimulate publicity. However, too many publishers' press releases go unheeded because of one major mistake—they write their press releases about their books.
Direct mail has been given a bad reputation because of overuse and poorly designed mailing pieces. People tend to perceive direct mail as junk mail. However, when you have a finite, identifiable group of people who are potential customers for your books, direct mail may be an efficient book marketing tool you can use to reach them.
Successful book marketing lies in giving prospective readers what they want to read. Figuring that out depends on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability.
Have you heard of Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy? It describes a pyramid of needs through which people move as they are motivated to fulfill unmet needs. The foundation is made up of the very basic needs (security, food, etc.) and people advance ultimately to self-actualization. Believe it or not, the same concept applies to book buying from business-to-business (B2B).
Goals are the foundation of a solid book publishing plan. They provide a target at which to aim and the standard against which you can gauge your progress. Author goals divide your vision statement into manageable steps and provide a path to its realization. And written goals provide a means for looking back to see how far you've come.
Are your book sales at the point where you expected them to be when you published your book? Are you doing the same things you always did to try to sell them? Have you heard the maxim, “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”? If your sales are below forecast, maybe it's time to try something different.
You could sell more of your books if you'd answer two questions honestly. First, how often do people think about your book? Second, how often do people think about their own problems? You will probably agree that people think more about how they can solve their own problems, learn something, improve themselves, or be entertained than they do about your book. However, if you can show them how reading your book helps them achieve these things, you are likely to increase your book sales and revenue, so let's cover how to target your book's audience.