Friday, April 26, 2013

iUniverse 5 Questions to Help Successfully Market Your Book Like a Business

Marketing a book is not much different from marketing a business. Fantasizing about the best-sellers list will not help you get your book off shelves. Businesses rely on a business plan. Likewise, your book requires a blueprint for identifying and creating a successful marketing plan for your book. With iUniverse Begin with these few simple steps to help identify the best way to market your new book.

1. What is your book’s goal?

What is the purpose of writing your book and what do you want to accomplish? Key marketing decisions depend on your goals. The degree of investment necessary differs from just making a few copies of your book available for family and friends to selling thousands of books to total strangers. Whatever the case, make sure your goals are realistic and achievable based on resources you are willing and able to commit.

2. Who should read your book?

Decide who should read your book early on your campaign. By focusing on your readers and knowing their demogrpahic, you will know how best to reach them. You can focus your marketing resources on a few key channels where you know these readers frequent (e.g. the internet message boards, the local library, amazon?) You can also determine the financial viability of targeting therse readers by projecting their numbers and purchasing habits based on industry trends. For example, you may target Youn Adult fiction readers for your vampire-themed novel due to its popularity in the last few years. So investing in a well placed banner ad and a website in online forums and social media sites where the young converge should sound like a sensible investment. You may even adjust your wirting accordingly to cater to the prevailing trends and increase your reader base.

3. What is your Unique Selling Proposition?

Know as much as you can about what appeals to your target market? Position your book as an alternative with a specific difference. Perhaps your book belongs to the Self-Help genre on marriage counselling. Then identify what sets it apart from other titles by "writing against the grain". Maybe your book can contrast itself from most books with Christian views about marriage by writing a book that focuses on inter-faith marriages.

4.How does your book fit within your industry?

What makes your book appealing to your readers that no other book currently provides? This question can make or break your book's appeal to your target audience. For example, if you are writing a cookbook, it may fit in with healthy eating rather than down home barbecuing or cookbooks featuring celebrities. Start by identifying who your competition is and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Focus on their weaknesses where your book can highlight its strengths, because this is where you can position your book as acompelling alternative.

5. Where is your audience at and how do you plan to reach them?

In today's digital world it makes sense to begin your search for your target readers on the Internet. Search for websites with related interests to your book. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter. Take advantage of online book cataloguing sites like GoodReads and Shelfari and submit copies of your book as contest giveaways while encouraging book reviews on your social media profiles, website and blog. With online distribution becoming a favorite feature among most e-publishing formats, your book can also be sold and downloaded through the Internet, so it makes sense to start your marketing efforts where a growing population of readers is frequenting.

For more book marketing tips, head over to the iUniverse Writers Tips and learn from the experience of iUniverse self-published authors.


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