People Read – So How Do You Sell To Them?
When was the last time you read a book? I don’t mean any judgment with that question: it’s simply to illustrate a point about marketing. While a television show, or a movie, can take only an hour or two to get through, books cannot—by their very nature—do the same.
And, yet, people read. Statistics show rises in that, not falls. But that does not mean that individual books sell well. The number of new novels coming out every single day, let alone every year, is insane.
So, in that landscape, what of the writer? How do they advertise and go about marketing new books? Well, there are a few common techniques, and all of them have relevance to other things you might be interested in marketing to customers.
So, let’s go over them.
The first is giving things away. Yep: give free stuff. On Amazon, giving away free e-copies of books is a cheap way to get people on an email list. The most important thing to marketing is word-of-mouth, and, by that logic, reputation helps in the race. Even if it costs money, and you are losing products, offering something for free is a time-tested strategy.
The second choice is an odder idea, but one that makes sense if you really think about the marketing theory behind it. The best way to sell a book is by publishing more books. If someone likes one thing by you—a single instance of excellent service—then you have them as a possible person for something later.
For instance, I’m pretty sure I could sell you any book if it was written by J. K. Rowling.
Products matter, sure, but so does the relationship with whom made them.
Finally, as my last lesson for all you budding authors and beyond, there is the simple act of being presentable. It’s almost just as much a cliché to point out that people do judge books by their covers as it is to tell people not to do that. Avoiding the social implications of the idiom, it makes sense to just have a professionally made cover.
People buy with their eyes. Advertisements and marketing efforts bombard us all, and people will make decisions in seconds, milliseconds maybe. So, nail that visual element. It is imperative to everything.
If you can sell someone on something at first impression and then back it up with a good experience, then you have a customer. And, no matter what you are selling, be it socks, frying pans, insurance, videogames, lamps, or books, or anything else in the world, you are nothing without customers. Authors are nothing if they do not have someone to read their words. The “secret” of success, in business, in life, is to be good to the people who you care about.
Treat them well—and you will be treated better.
It’s the golden rule of marketing, too.