The Pre-Occupation Barrier
Your authors might appear on the Today show and think they reached millions of prospective buyers. Then they wonder why they didn't sell any books. In reality, they were only exposed to the millions of people in the audience, but that has no bearing upon what those people will do with that information.
There is an important reason for that response, and that is nobody cares as much about a book as does the author. People have other things on their minds and your promotion must break through their pre-occupation barrier.
Prospective buyers need to see about your book seven to ten times before they make a purchase. The less well known you are in your category, the more times they need to be "hit." And you need to reach your prospects through a variety of means and in different contexts. For example, one touch may be a TV appearance. Another could be a radio show. Then your prospect sees an article in the newspaper and another in a magazine. Next, they recognize your name as a speaker at an upcoming conference, and see a review of your book in their association newsletter. As they pass by a bookstore they identify a poster announcing your upcoming event there. Soon a friend declares that she read your book and thought it was good. And a mention on Facebook provides the final impetus to buy it.
Publishers that focus on one of these activities miss the point of marketing. You must conduct a variety of promotional activities to maximize the touch points on potential buyers. Your activities must exhibit these characteristics.
Synergy. The mention on Facebook did not create the sale. It was the accumulated effect of each previous message that led to the decision.
Consistency. A mixed message will only confuse people and delay the outcome. Focus on the primary benefit of your content and repeat that unique point of difference.
Regularity. One radio performance can reach only those people tuned in at that time. And they may or may not be actively listening. Conduct multiple performances to reach everyone in the audience one time.
Segmentation. Maximize the impact of your message by organizing your prospects in groups with similar buying motives, people who may already be predisposed to it.
Engagement. It is not enough for people to hear your message. They must listen to it, understand what you are saying, and recognize how it can help them. Communicate from their perspectives, not yours.
Importance. Consumers face a deluge of data every day and subconsciously screen out non-essential information. Break through that barrier by describing how your content can benefit them.
Time. People buy on their time frames, not ours. Successful book marketing takes time to unfold. Do not force it or give up because sales do not occur when you think they should.
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."