Use a PAR Statement to Sell More Books
You could sell more of your books if you can answer two questions honestly. First, how often do people think about your book? Second, how often do people think about their own problems? You will probably agree that people think more about how they can solve their problems, learn something, improve themselves or be entertained than they do about your book. However, if you can show them how they can help themselves in some way by reading your book you are likely to increase your sales and revenue.
Defining your target reader.
When asked who their target reader is, many authors reply, “I do not know,” or “everybody who likes (their topic).” Either answer will reduce your sales and profits. If your book is for everybody, how much would it cost you to reach them frequently enough to make an impact—if you could find a way to do so?
Consider Gloria Boileau’s title, "Stop The Fear! Finding Peace in a Chaotic World," a book about ways to resolve fear. Her premise is that everyone is afraid of something, at some level. But how can you tell “everyone” the ways in which your book will help them? One way is to divide your target readers in categories. Using these techniques, Gloria might address the people who are afraid of flying, dying, being in a relationship or other types of fears.
Remember that you are marketing to people. So who is the typical person in each segment who will actually purchase your book? If you can describe those individuals and the problems that consume them, you can communicate the ways in which the content of your book can help them.
Continuing with the title "Stop The Fear!," what if “soccer moms” were singled out as a target segment? These mothers might be fearful for the safety, health and future of their children. In this case, Gloria would define the typical “mom” who will benefit by reading her book, in terms of age, education, life style and geography. She would seek answers to the following questions, defining the “typical mom” and creating a composite of the person to whom she will market.
· What is her average level of education?
· About how old is she?
· How much money does she make?
· To what ethnic or religious groups does she belong?
· In what leisure activities does she participate or watch?
· What magazines and newspapers does she read?
· In what current events or issues is she most interested?
· Is there a particular life event she is facing (e.g., divorce, career balance, childbirth)?
· What makes her happy? Unhappy?
· What are her problems or ponderous issues?
· What organizations or associations does she join?
· To what radio and television shows does she listen/watch?
· Are there geographic concentrations of prospects?
· How can you reach her?
Conduct a PAR™ analysis.
Once you have defined your target readers, list the problems facing them using a PAR analysis. This is a brief description of the Problems relevant to your target readers, the Actions you recommend they take to rectify their situations and the Results they can expect if they follow your recommendations. For each major problem (issue, situation or circumstance), describe how your content will show them how to take some action to resolve it. Then explain the results the reader can expect after taking that action. The analysis looks like this:
Problem Action Results
The key is the Results column. This is the benefit your target audience gets from reading your book. Rank these in order of importance to the reader, then communicate them in your publicity, advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, on your website and on your book’s rear cover.
Use your PAR analysis to develop a one-sentence elevator speech.
It is important to quickly and briefly tell potential readers how they will benefit after reading your book. There is a formula for writing such a statement in one sentence that will describe the results target readers can expect to receive:
I help _______(your target audience)
Who want ______ (problem they want to solve)
Get________ (results they want)
The solution statement that might persuade small publishers to purchase "How To Make Real Money Selling Books" reads like this: "How To Make Real Money Selling Books" helps independent publishers who want to increase sales and margins, get more profits and fewer returns on sales to non-bookstore buyers.”
Market leadership is maintained by owning the position in your prospect’s mind as the “one and only” in your category. Use your benefit statement as a means to invent and own a distinct category among the people in your target markets. (This is the only book available that ….) Keep it in mind as you create your promotional material. Say it when people ask you what your book is about. Recite it on the air when the host asks you to briefly describe your book.
PAR statements can help you focus your attention where it belongs: on the needs of your prospects. Describe your target readers, conduct a PAR analysis, write a benefit statement for the typical prospect in each of your target segments and you could sell more books, more profitably.