Writing your book is the easy bit! No, it really is. The hardest bit has only just started. What are you going to do with your book now that it’s done? Do you think you can wait for people to ‘discover’ it amongst all the other millions of books that are available? Needle and haystack come to mind! It’s not going to happen. You have to market you book and that takes planning and just as much hard work and time as it did to write it. Unless you are already a major star, traditional publishers don’t have the budget to promote and market your book, whilst Indie Authors don’t have the capital either, so it’s left to you to tell the world about it. So what are you going to do – put an advert in post office window?
I’m going to be writing several posts and articles over the coming weeks/months about marketing, how to plan, form strategies and execute them (without bloodshed). Today I want to start with a little history lesson. Bare with me. I think it is important for you to understand how marketing has changed in the last decade, that way you will have a better understanding of what you should be doing today.
In the good old days…
Many people used to shop locally in the high street, relying on word-of-mouth as the many form of recommendation. People lived in communities, had limited choice and expected polite and efficient customer service. But, once newspapers, radio and the television arrived, the consumer became bombarded with adverts that told them what they should be buying. Word-of-mouth declined. After-all, you didn’t need Auntie Beryl telling you to buy this washing powder or that brand of fish fingers, you had a celebrity or a professor of crumb covered fish doing it instead. By the 1970’s communities became mobile and began buying from the large shopping areas that were cheaper for businesses to operate from. The pricing war followed. Unable to compete on price and with small advertising budgets, high street shops began closing. In the 1990’s the internet arrived and big businesses began advertising to the masses, quickly realising that this new faceless shopfront was even cheaper for them to operate from. Word of mouth and personal recommendation declined, replaced by big budget advertising. Then came the hero of the hour – 2003 and Web 2.0 encouraged interaction, it became the social media that we recognise today. Talking to one another once again, albeit on the internet, has now caused a decline in traditional advertising. Human beings now rely on other human beings to tell them about their personal experiences with this product, or what they thought of that book. And these are views from all around the world.
So now we are talking again, where do we go from here?
Traditional advertising was about pushing a message in front of an audience, but now we have to nurture our customers in a much gentler and subtle way. Social media interactions require a gentle pulling of your market to achieve the desired effect – a book sale. There is a journey you need to take your potential customers on, one that will also ensure lasting relationships. After all, you’re going to write lots of other books they will want, aren’t you?
Know – Help potential customers find out you exist.
Like – They need to like you.
Try – Allow the customer to try something for free.
Buy – Create a quick and easy way for customers to buy from you.
Repeat – Increase sales of your back catalog.
Recommend – Get your customer to talk about your book.
Because of the way the internet has changed the way we market to our customers, you need to put a lot more effort into social interactions to look after and grow your readership. And, you can do this as effectively as a big publishing house. It’s no longer good enough to shout about your book, we now need to have conversations with the world and make sure that the world listens and likes who you are, before they will be willing to take a look at your best-seller.
But it doesn’t stop there – Web 3.0 is already here!
Technology is moving at an unbelievable rate and everything now has to be compatible for mobile technology. What the future of the internet will be is anybodies guess, but unless you are using it to it’s fullest potential, you will quickly get left behind. So get back onto your metaphorical horse and keep up with your potential readers.