Book Marketing: Reality & Fiction

people_comedy_carpetJohn Hayes of Carnegie Mellon did a study on why certain writers of classical music became successful and why others failed.

~ Talented writers that failed had worked extremely hard, but worked on the wrong things.

~ Talented writers transformed into mediocre writers when their work ethic was to do things the most pleasant way. The writers preferred the easier path with the least amount of effort, least amount of time, and least amount of money.

~ Talented writers failed because they did not break down their craft into basic parts, then focus on those parts. Instead, they viewed their career as one moving part.

The Hayes study makes sense on why the success rate for authors is so low.

What’s easier? Social media or a marketing campaign that targets a specific group of readers?

What’s easier? Publishing an eBook or publishing a printed book?

What’s easier? Giving readers what you have to offer, or giving readers what they want?

Talented authors understand all the parts needed for a successful novel which includes storytelling, flow, point of view, character development, writing mechanics, etc…

However, talented writers fail because they spend time working really hard on a general marketing campaign. The parts of a marketing campaign must be broken down and worked as individual pieces. (Target marketing, studying reading trends, product testing, budgeting, obtaining reviews, promoting excerpts, etc…)

Let’s take one piece of the marketing puzzle and work hard on a few details: Reading Trends.

FACT: Studies have shown that lower class families will purchase video games and DVD’s for the weekend as a distraction from life, while upper-class families purchase books as a way to relax. (Source: The Social Animal)

LESSON: Are you marketing in lower-class areas, middle-class areas, upper-class areas, or are you just putting your books on Amazon and marketing to the entire world?

FACT: Women are 70% more proficient than men at remembering details of a scene and objects in a room. (Source: Eals and Silverman Study at York University)

LESSON: Is there a lot of description in your stories? Are you focused on a male or female market? Or do you just post your books on social media and market to anyone that follows you?

FACT: According to studies, opposites don’t attract. Most men and women fall in love with individuals that have the same ethnic background, social experiences, religion, education, economic background, similar physical attractiveness, comparable intelligence, similar attitudes, similar expectations, values, interests, and similar communication skills. (Source: The New Psychology of Love by Helen Fisher)

LESSON: Based on your characters and this latest study, can you now describe your target market in detail?

FACT: 89% of people do not believe in love at first sight. (Source: The Social Animal)

LESSON: If the main storyline of your book is two people falling in love when they first meet, then only about 11% of readers will find that interesting. Are you specifically marketing to that 11% or are you hoping that the other 89% will change their viewpoints on life?

If your reaction is, “I’m not going through all this effort to market books,” then you’re a type of author that is looking for the easiest path that will take the least amount of effort. However, that’s also the path to low book sales.

You can succeed in marketing by understanding there are individual pieces that can be improved. By doing that, you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed and actually making things easier on yourself.

“Research your story ideas to the point that no one in the world knows more about it than you.” ~ Ron Knight

Do you need help with a detailed marketing plan for the next year?

Check out 12 Month Author Marketing Plan!


Ron Knight

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