Getting the Word Out There
In today’s world where numerous venues exist to sell books—from bookstores to mass-market outlets to catalogs to the Internet to author-supported sales—making the best use of each channel can be challenging. To help make cross-platform marketing more effective, here are some proven insights I’ve learned during more than 25 years of publishing and marketing books.
Ninety percent of all marketing efforts are wasted.
This law of wasted effort is just a fact of life. It applies to all areas of marketing, from making sales pitches to direct mail to Internet sales. If a publicist actually gets one media hit from every 10 phone calls she makes, she should be ecstatic. That’s a great return on her time and probably a higher return than most publicists get.
Direct marketers expect an even smaller percentage (as little as 2 percent) and can make money from such a small percentage response. If one out of 10,000 readers of a magazine read a review and buy the book, we’d all be amazed. It doesn’t happen very often in real life. In short, a lot of what we do to try to reach potential readers is wasted effort.
While that’s not necessarily bad, there are several actions we can take to alleviate this law of wasted effort:
• Learn from your mistakes. Over time, we’ve all seen some things work pretty well and some things that didn’t work well. This may sound obvious, but the smart person learns to focus time, money and efforts on the things that work. One reason most publishers focus on certain subjects is so that they can learn the market, get to know the audience, cultivate the experts in the field, and nurture relationships with the key media people who cover that subject. If you skitter from one subject to another, you never get a chance to find out what really works.