Sunday, 21 July 2013

70:30 Book Marketing Formula

This is going to be my first entry in a series that will focus on how you can engage your readers before, during and after a book release. However, first I should probably explain my headline.

Not long ago a colleague asked me how I weighted book marketing in comparison to actual content? My answer: 70% book marketing and 30% actual content. This holds especially true, if you are publishing for the first time and you are only at the beginning of building your readership.

To clarify a bit further, under book marketing I understand more than just shouting about your new release on your blog, FB, twitter accounts and activating your friends as rave reviewers. Marketing nowadays isn't about forcefully selling what you think someone needs by packaging your message in superlatives, it is much more about engaging your potential readers on as many platforms and in as many ways as possible. Your number one concern has to be your future reader and their experience, not how many copies of your book you can sell in a month, six months or even a year. 70% of our book's success will depend on how you go about communicating and interacting with your readers when you first publish. Or even better, way before your actual release date.

The other 30%, your actual book, should send your readers on a journey, and if you have done your job right as a writer, then they will buy into your world. 

Why should I still focus on content when marketing is more important? 

Because those 30% content are just as crucial as getting the marketing right, whether you plan on publishing a series or merely a one-shot novel. Additionally, having great content and loving the finished product of your writing will make the 70% marketing challenge easier on you and your readers. Talking about something you don't believe to be 100% where you want it to be will feel dishonest and most likely result in hesitation when you need to convince others to read your book. Doubts about your writing can't hold you back when marketing. Once you are finished with editing and packaging your book, it is full steam ahead to let everyone know what is coming their way. You have to be your book's biggest fan and be the first in the chain to recommend it to your future readers. The time for tweaking is past at that point. That train has left the station :)

Why does content still matter if people have already bought the book thanks to my marketing?
Good content will cement your reputation as a credible writer. Marketing means setting a reader's expectation of what they will find inside the cover. Bad content will not impress your readers and definitely not breed loyalty. Building trust and delivering on promises is important in any long-term relationship and you want to keep your readers. So you better make sure that your book lives up to what you promise when approaching potential readers. In case of a series the content of book # 1 should leave readers wanting to know what the characters will face next, while with a one volume plot, they will hopefully look out for your next work. 
Another important factor which is anchored in the 30% content is word of mouth. If a reader loves your book, they are much more likely to talk to their friends about it or leave a review, without you having to beg them to do so. Someone recommending a book to a friend is the strongest endorsement you can get as an author. 

Yet before anyone will pick up your book to read it, you will have to reach out to them and let them know that it's there for their enjoyment. That's where we come circling back to book marketing or platform engagement. So what should you do to catch your future readers on the right foot? That's what I will be talking about in my upcoming posts which will touch upon the following topics:

Do you think 70:30 is a fair assessment? Thoughts?

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1 comment :

  1. Yes!! Good content will cement your reputation as a credible writer. I like your tips.

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