THEMES & TOPICS
The big challenge of book marketing is finding what works for you.
It’s often not just what you do, but how you do it.
The difference between a successful or unsuccessful marketing technique may lie in something incredibly simple.
Like which element of your book you mention.
You do mention your book in all your marketing.
Online, at the very least, you show the title of your book or a picture of the cover.
In person, you also mention the title of your book.
Online, you include a link to your product page.
In person, you pass out a business card—or even better, a bookmark.
But the title of the book may not be enough to really show potential readers if your book really is a good fit for them.
And a lengthy description is too much to give in passing.
What you need is very brief clarification.
But not the genre. That’s not enough.
You say something like, “It’s a mystery.”
No, that’s not enough.
But your description won’t work either. That’s way too long. (Until they finally arrive at your product page.)
I know, every newbie author would be thinking, “I want every mystery lover to read my book.”
Or, more realistically, “I don’t want to lose out on a possible sale from any mystery lovers.”
You don’t want to clarify that it’s set in Brooklyn in the 1800’s because anyone who doesn’t care for Brooklyn or the 1800’s will pass it up.
Newsflash: Once they check out the Look Inside, if they really don’t like Brooklyn or the 1800’s, it’s not going to matter that you got the customer all the way to your product page.
Instead, you’re losing traffic from your specific target audience—those mystery readers (and non-mystery readers) who really would like to read a book set in Brooklyn in the 1800’s.
Those readers hear, “It’s a mystery,” and think to themselves, “So are thousands of other books.”
If instead they hear, “It’s a mystery set in Brooklyn in the 1800’s,” those who would like such a book think, “Hey, that’s a mystery that I might really enjoy.”
Think through the various elements of your book. Talk it out with others who are familiar with your book.
Which aspects of your book may attract specific target audiences?
It could be the theme (a historical novel that takes place in the Civil War), topic (a spy novel about submarines), setting (a city that many people have visited or would like to imagine living in), an era (a time period like the Renaissance), character traits (a protagonist dealing with a particular medical condition), or a number of other qualities.
What can people relate to? What might draw interest in your book? What could serve as a helpful conversation piece?
Check out the following article on Just Publishing, which describes this and nine other common book marketing mistakes:
Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
- Boxed set (of 4 books) now available for Kindle pre-order
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