A slew of new books on marketing and sales has come out recently, focusing on the new service-driven economy. More than 80% of Americans are now in some sort of sales or service industry, and that includes authors. One of the things we hear again and again at Lucid Books is that authors want to write, not market their books. That’s what they want a publisher for.
The bad news is that this model won’t work anymore. You can still find plenty of publishers willing to sell you marketing plans, but trust us – they are useless without the author’s involvement. The main reason we started our Partnership Publishing is so that we could create a system that gives financial rewards to authors who are willing to do the hard work to get their books sold. You wrote the book, the reality is that you will have to do most of the marketing for it to succeed, and you deserve most of the rewards.
It’s true that marketing and sales is hard work, a tough grind for anyone who is in the book business. But every once in awhile you come across a simple but brilliant strategy that you can use to significantly increase your sales. We’ll share a strategy you can use to more than double your efforts to get book reviews below, but first see how you answer the questions below.
How important is Word of Mouth Marketing? According to the author of [amazon text=Contagious&asin=1451686579], a new book detailing how to make anything go \”viral\”, it is the most important form of marketing there is. In fact, the average American has more than 16 conversations every day promoting some type of product by word of mouth. But how do you generate that kind of buzz about your book?Contagious&asin=1451686579], a new book detailing how to make anything go \”viral\”, it is the most important form of marketing there is. In fact, the average American has more than 16 conversations every day promoting some type of product by word of mouth. But how do you generate that kind of buzz about your book?
Social media, right? We are all sharing more online about our lives than ever before. What percentage of word of mouth marketing would you guess happens online?
How about 7%? That’s all that online social media contributes to online marketing. The solution that many marketers come up with to generate buzz is to Facebook & Tweet until their fingers falloff, but there are more effective ways to generate word of mouth marketing in the real world.
Ok, here’s the way you can double your book reviewing efforts. This is a great tip that I picked up from [amazon text=Give & Take&asin=0670026557] (both[amazon text=Contagious&asin=1451686579] and [amazon text=Give & Take&asin=0670026557] are new books written by business professors at Wharton). Send two books when you contact someone to do a book review, along with a note asking the reviewer to pass on the book to someone they know who would enjoy the book.
Simple, but effective. Don’t pass on this because you think it sounds too easy. I review a lot of books, at least a dozen every month. As one of the top 1,000 reviewers on Amazon, I get at least two or three requests a day to review more books. If an author sent me two books in the mail, it makes their pitch more effective and they probably jump ahead in the queue. Here are at least 5 ways sending an extra book with a personal note will help.
1. Book reviewers love books. I talk about books all the time and loan them out. Giving a book to someone that they will like and review is a great way to help someone.
2. A personal note makes a big difference. Less than 10% of the books I personally receive include a personal note.
3. By giving an extra book, you are incentivizing the reviewer to read your book. If they want to share the book with someone who will really love it, they will have to read it first.
4. By letting a reviewer target someone who will like the book, they are doing some of the hard work for you. You want to put your book in the hands of people who are likely to like it, no easy task. The reviewer will take care of half the job for you.
5. You are also giving a copy of a book to someone who likely doesn’t get a lot of free books. They probably don’t have a backlog of books to review and will relish the opportunity to be one of the first to read and review the book.
Do you use any methods to help with your word of mouth marketing? What kind of marketing help would be the most helpful to you, as an author?