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Thread: Book Marketing: Part One ( Market Research)

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    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Book Marketing: Part One ( Market Research)

    First let me say there is no way I can do this subject justice in the space of a forum post. This subject is just too big. So I'm going to split it up into three parts, namely market research, online, and offline, marketing. I'm also going to do it in "outline" style, otherwise, I'd be writing a book. Under each of these bullet points is a full chapter. Marketing your work, either as self-published, or traditionally published author, is by far, the hardest part of the job.

    Marketing is just such a huge subject its easy to be overwhelmed. There are so many different ways to market, and so many variations, on each way. Add to this, some writers will say "X" is a must do. Another will disregard "X" entirely. Each may be true, because what works in one genre, or one demographic, perhaps won't work in another. (And they have no experience in any other) So you have to examine what anybody says from the point of view of your own demographic, including this post. This is why you end up feeling like a bug on a windshield. The same is also true in MMO. A typical person gets paralyzed by information overload.

    So let's deal with the "Information Overload" factor first.

    The way you deal with it is by using "Pareto's Principle." Or commonly, the "80/20 Rule."

    Pareto's principle states: that, for many events, roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes, or put another way, 80% of your will sales will come from 20% of your marketing efforts. Which means it is NORMAL to waste 80% of your money and time in marketing. Wasting 80% of your time and money fits anyone's definition of pounding your head against the wall. So just know this going in.

    So then, the question becomes, "WHICH 20% of my efforts will result in 80% of my sales?"

    If you can determine WHERE to focus your energy, time, and money, you can eliminate 80% of the work, while still retaining 80% of the profit. So it behooves any marketer to understand this principle and apply it whenever possible, or at the very least keep in mind. Otherwise you ARE going to spin in circles on the marketing treadmill.

    • The Bad news is, it's almost impossible to tell which marketing effort will yield (The best) results ahead of time.
    • The Good news is, you can guesstimate it somewhat, and then you can make general (educated) assumptions.
    • It WILL NOT be 100% accurate.

    So this is where you start the (Marketing) journey. By trying to determine, ahead of time, which marketing effort will get the most bang for your buck.

    You do it THAT with market research.

    Market research is genre specific. What works in one niche, won't necessarily work in another, the same market research principles will apply though.

    So let's pretend I/we want to break into the "Techno Thriller" genre.

    • First I determine who are successful authors in this genre. For this example, I'll use Michael Crichton.
    • I put his name into a search engine and see if he has an "official" website. He does, http://www.michaelcrichton.net/
    • I also look at his "Page Source" data to determine his SEO keywords. (Write them down because you may, or may not want them in the online marketing stage.)
    • I copy/paste his website URL and put it into https://www.quantcast.com

    This can give you a goldmine of demographic information relating to the people who come to his website. For example, the people who visit his website are...

    • Male 55%
    • Female 49%
    • Mostly between 35 and 44 years old, AND between 55 and 64
    • Mostly no kids (so probably professionals)
    • They make between 100K and 150K a year. (Again, this says professionals)
    • Most are grad school educated (Professionals)
    • Mostly white

    It's safe to assume, if they are visiting his website, that professionals are potential buyers of his books.

    So what do we know? We're talking to a white male/female audience, with money, who are very educated.

    You do this because...

    • You want to build a mental picture in your mind of your buyers.
    • You want to WRITE to this person (Your writing needs to be directed to them. Your books as well as (especially) your website copy.)
    • You want to build your website to appeal to them.
    • You want to sell to them, the way they want to be sold to.

    THAT is how you HAVE to market to them, or they simply won't buy your books. This is where most writers (and most business owners) fail. They don't do market research ahead of time.

    If you throw up some shlocky MMO website, with blaring headlines, and winky-blinky graphics, you'll drive any prospective customers away in a heartbeat. It may look slick, but it will sell like crap. If you talk "down" to them, they are going to blow you off. If you try sales gimmicks, they are going to see through them. If you follow any of the online marketing "gurus" you'll fail. Why? Because this demographic is WAY too smart for those tricks. It will insult them at worst, and turn them off, at best. The end result will be no sales. Even if you wrote a masterpiece.

    It also tells you, in your writing, you want to write quick and fast. They are not going to wait around to read endless descriptions and bloated novels, A-la Steinbeck or King. Your writing needs to be broken up into small sections that they can easily pick up and put down. This gives you insight into your formatting your book as well. It may point to an audience for audio books too. (They listen to them as they commute.) It tells how you can price your books, as well as the format. This niche will buy a quality hard cover as soon, or quicker, than a paperback. Why? Because they have the money, and it isn't an issue to them.

    Conversely, if your niche is 24 year old women, with kids, and an income of 25K a year, $7.99 paperbacks or Kindles would be the way to go, not $25 hardcovers. This isn't to say you disregard the paperbacks and Kindles for professionals, it simply suggests an avenue to explore.

    Now do this same exercise for as many authors as you can think of in your niche.

    • You want to look for patterns, where the demographics overlap.
    • This strengthens your overall picture of your "Ideal Buyer."
    • The more places of overlap, the better.

    If you can't think of any authors, go to Amazon and look at the bestsellers in your niche.

    Now then, think of what other niches may appeal to this same audience, for example, police procedural, or crime fiction, or medical thrillers.

    Is there overlap between the demographics? If there is, you're in luck, because...

    • You can move beyond the niche of "techno thrillers"
    • You can reach a wider audience.
    • A wider audience means more buyers.
    • You use the same marketing platform to appeal to different niches. Meaning you don't have to reinvent the wheel (or create different websites) each time.
    • If your Ideal Buyer also likes "Medical Thrillers" you have a direction to go for your next book.
    • Or you can market with that demographic in mind, for THIS book.

    So HOW do you market to them?

    Straight up. No frills, no BS.
    • This is what it is,
    • This is what you'll get, and
    • You want to buy it for this reason.

    Look at Crichton's website. Nothing fancy, it is "just the facts, Ma'am" style. Simple navigation on the left. Now go and look at other competing authors in the same niche. Chances are their websites will confirm this style of website for your marketing.

    Now you know the elements needed, as well as how to build your website to appeal to your demographic.

    Which brings us to, online marketing...
    Last edited by dsieg58; 24 June 2013 at 12:24 pm.

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dsieg58 For This Useful Post:

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