To be a successful author, you have to market your book.
It doesn’t make any sense to write something and no one knows about it. Heck, even if you are in the process of writing, you should get the buzz going.
You know the main mistake I see authors making? Not knowing their target audience. They will tell me that their book is for “everybody.” Wrong.
The only book for everybody is the Bible – every other book has an audience in mind.
The first step is to identify the specific target markets and audiences that want your topic. This means discovering websites, blogs and social media channels where your target readers go and reaching out to them with your book and articles. When you provide value, solve a problem and really relate to a particular audience, you get TRACTION. You’ll start to get buzz.
So, the main thing to do is to get an early start in identifying your target market(s), who you are writing for and what problems are you solving for them? Where do they work, how do they process information, are they reading magazines and newspapers, listening to talk radio, tuning into Christian television or are they active in their sorority or church choir?
You have to REALLY know them. Do some research, some focus groups. Watch them – and study them – before you try to SELL THEM anything!
Your target market are the people that are going to buy the book, so the more narrow you make that target the more you can know them and really focus on serving them. The better you know them, you can speak to them and pitch media that you know will reach them. (Side note: This process works for the media too, you have to know and target the media if you want publicity success.)
By knowing your core target, you now know how to translate the message to them – and you know what are their hot buttons. Your goal is to convert your target audience into RAVING FANS, your tribe, your customer evangelists. You are now speaking their language. You have developed RELATIONSHIPS with folks who love your content, and want to tell their friends about you and share you in their networks about you. Social media is powerful!
So knowing your target audience is very, very key. I cannot stress that enough.
Because for one thing, you can’t target everybody. That will be very expensive; if you say “My book is targeting everybody and I want to get everybody in the world to read it,” how expensive will that be to target everybody in the world? It would mean buying advertising on every media – all the time. Even Oprah can’t do that!
So use a focused, targeted approach. You want to be more like a laser.
In order to avoid “author overwhelm,” think about it like this: you are convincing one person at a time. This makes the process easy. You are creating messages over time that speaks to your audience personally. Using this approach makes it more likely for your audience to buy what you are selling.
So, after you know your audience, you then have to get down to the nuts and bolts of translating content that speaks to them. You are going to put all this on paper and on the web.
Here are the basics:
1. The press kit. Because you know your audience, you now can identify the hooks. You put together your endorsements, your fact sheet, your bio, an excerpt, press clips, interview questions and of course a press release. You can put the press kit online and also have some in physical form to mail out to media or organizations when requested (along with your book).
2. The blog. Yes, you have to blog. This is your home online. This is where you interact with your target audience. You develop your voice here – and hear from those who are listening. Make sure you building an email list on your blog and send out regular communication via email to them.
3. The package. How you present yourself, your blog or any of your marketing materials online or offline (such as business cards, postcards, blogs, social media pictures) will have to reflect your brand. The materials must be polished and professional – and coordinated if you want to be taken seriously.
But, first think about what is it that is the obvious factor that someone will say that is your brand? Remember I talked about building a brand, positioning yourself and building a platform in a previous blog post. So whatever it is that is unique about you, you need to play on that because that is your unique selling position (USP).
That’s how you stand out. That’s how you’ll cut through the clutter. Marketing is about connecting with the right people – with the right message – but first you must get the attention.
Having a solid marketing plan in place is key. In the next post, I will go over what goes into the making of a good marketing plan for a Christian author. Having your SEO (search engine optimized) website is #1
Everything else comes second. If they can’t find you in search engines like Google, how will they know you’re there – and how will they support you, buy from you and share you to others. SEO is like attraction marketing. Let your website do the work.