Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Marketing Heart's in the Right Place--But It's Soooo Wrong!


In a newsletter I received recently was a picture of an author wearing a shirt he had printed up—probably for a book fair—that said, “Please Buy My Books.” It was visual. The author was adorable. His enthusiasm for his product shined through his face, right through the photo, right into my office.

The trouble is, he had got his marketing message wrong. It should have read “Let Me Tell You What My Book Can Do for You.” Yeah, not as short but infinitely more to the marketing point. Maybe the back of the shirt could include a bulleted list of things his book could do for most readers (though no one book will reach every reader!). People waiting behind you in the food line at book fairs—yes, you wearing a shirt like this—will have plenty of time to read bullets! (-:

The first rule of marketing anything. It is not about YOU. It is about what you can do for others. Make your prospective readers feel it. Steak sizzles and Coke makes you happy when it fizzes. You can feel the passion behind these products, too. It’s just done in a way that can actually turn someone on instead of off.
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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