Wednesday, April 24, 2013

iUniverse on What 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 quick questions to hlep you identify the best path to take in promoting your book.

1. What is your book's purpose?

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 is your audience?

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?

Ask yourself “What makes your product appealing to your target market?”

4.How will your book stack up against other titles in your genre?

Identify 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 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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