Friday, August 22, 2014

Beware the Book Marketing Expert

We knew it would happen, once we had a published book to sell, that we would have even more opportunities to experience marketing mayhem. We even received an invitation to participate in a "Book Marketing Experts Online Seminar" where the opening sentence was something like, "We know we are not your target audience but ..." basically we were being encouraged to waste our time chatting with experts in the field of book marketing. It was free and online so all it would've cost was our time.

One of our primary messages is an author's time is a precious commodity and not to spend it foolishly by jumping on the bandwagon of the latest promotional gimmick or hot blog.Our primary objective is to educate our fellow authors so that it's easier to discern the truth from the hype without wasting your hard earned dollars. Everything about this AM101 blog and our book is focused on how to apply basic marketing principles to design and implement a PLAN that is effective to generate sales of your novel. We focus on novelists because they have unique marketing challenges not addressed until now. 

Many of these marketing "experts" include a lot of statistics regarding their message and will even embellish the stats with engaging graphics and colors. This gives the impression the expert is FUN but that doesn't mean it will make your marketing and promotions fun. The difference is, they had fun creating their statistical graphics because that is their job. An authors job is to write books. An authors marketing plan is for an audience to hear about their book so it can be read.

A recent WIRED article featured survey results from the consumer group labeled "millennials" about what they considered Bad Advertising. This is fun reading for marketing professionals like ourselves, and we had a good laugh over targeting buyers specifically by their age. We hope "millennials" and all the other Gen X-Y-Z Boomers voice their offence as being targeted and labeled by their birth year. Feng Shui does a much better job of doing that with animals and nature elements than marketeers will ever accomplish.

Another results survey of an age specific consumer group found that:
  • 49 % of respondents say they turn to brands they know and trust.
  • 40 % say they buy brands recommended by family and friends.
  • 30 % cite price as the primary motivator behind a purchase.
  • 55 % say they find out about products from friends first
  • 85 % say they tell friends about products they like.
Our response to these statistics is YEP.

These statistics merely confirm what we already know and have discussed in this blog:

  • A consistent voice combined with a consistent PERSONA creates a readership that will know and trust the quality of your stories.
  • Word of mouth (buzz) is the best way to attract readers.

Regardless of what the 'experts' say, the fundamentals remain the same:

  • Know your audience and specifically target them in their natural habitat.
  • Create an engaging persona.
  • And above all: write great books!

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