Monkey Traps and Marketing
There is a unique way to trap monkeys in the islands of the South Seas. The natives drill a small hole in a coconut, hollow it out and fill it with rice. Once a monkey puts its hand in the coconut to get the food, it cannot remove its clenched fist. Refusing to let go of their prize, the monkeys are unable to escape.
Publishers can get caught in a similar trap if they become conditioned to avoid risks and persist in using strategies that were successful in the past, without evaluating whether they are still relevant today. Their grasp on a comfortable feeling of security yields the same sense of contentment the passengers on the Titanic experienced moments before it struck the iceberg. Success in a rapidly changing industry demands that you evaluate past triumphs to determine if you should introduce new titles using a different game plan.
Blind adherence to the programs that led to past marketing successes leads to inertia. A sense of rigidity develops when a successful publishing company fails to recognize market drift—a gradual but substantial shift in customer preferences, business conditions and competition. Instead, remain focused on the fact that success is determined more by addressing the dynamic predilections of today's customers than by blindly following historical marketing formulas.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."