Saturday, April 27, 2013

iUniverse Key Questions to Ask to Ensure the Success of Your Book

Launching a book is like launching a business in more ways than one. You can't even dream of hitting the bestsellers list if you don't have a plan that outlines the key steps for getting the word about your book out there. iUniverse give five simple questions to help you identify the best path to take in promoting your book.

1. What is your book's purpose?

What do you hope to achieve by writing your book? Is your goal consistent with your resources? Key promotional decisions depend on the alignment of these two things. The amount of investment needed to fund a marketing campaign for a few book copies for your immediate relatives or members of your local community will be vastly different from making copies of your book avaiable to an entire state or country. Regardless of the scope, ensure that your goals and resources are within the bounds of what you are 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?

Broadly labeling your book, such as calling it a “Christian” book, will not be sufficient enough. You need to identify what makes it unique and how will it stand out. Consider specific characteristics about your book that appeal to your audience. Maybe you are an expert on marriages within a Christian union, or you may have a compelling point of view about inter-faith marriages. Whatever the appeal of your book, it is essential to identify what separates your book out from the competition and then using it to your advantage.

4.How does your book fit within your industry?

Discover how your book relates to the industry you are writing about. 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 a compelling alternative.

5. Where does your target audience go?

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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