Rob Eagar's Monday Morning Marketing Tip
is written to help authors, publishers, and organizations
spread their message like wildfire.
This week's focus: Breaking the rules of becoming a bestseller
The publishing industry is going through an incredible amount of chaos and transformation. Some of this change is good, such as new technology, lower prices, and easier ways for people to get access to information. In contrast, some changes are bad, such as Borders Bookstores filing for bankruptcy, publishers working with lower budgets and less staff, and authors finding it harder than ever to land new publishing contracts.
In the midst of this change, the rules for becoming a New York Times bestseller are also getting rewritten. For example, if you asked most publishers 10 years ago to explain their marketing strategy for creating a bestseller, they would probably emphasize the following five activities:
1. Secure numerous national-level TV and radio interviews.
2. Urge the author buy 10,000 - 15,000 of his own book directly from various retailers.
3. Schedule a whirlwind speaking tour in major cities across America.
4. Place expensive advertisements in major magazines and newspapers.
5. Setup as many bookstore signings as possible.
These ideas no longer hold sway. Gone are the days of boring bookstore signings and pricey print ads. In addition, national media has lost much of its power as more programs cater to specific niche audiences. In contrast, we now live in an era where the author has more power than ever before.
For example, I just helped a client hit the New York Times bestseller list for over a month without doing any of the five rules listed above. Instead, she succeeded by breaking the rules, building her own platform, and making personal connections with thousands of readers. Here are the results of the marketing strategy we conducted:
1. Drove over 100,000 unique visitors to the author's website in the first 30 days.
2. Created a free resource that was featured for 21 days on over 350 niche radio stations.
3. Hosted a 6-week online webcast that garnered over 20,000 views per week.
4. Captured exciting success stories and promoted them both online and offline.
5. Utilized the power of viral video to create a catchy book trailer and helpful author videos that received over 25,000 views in 30 days.
By utilizing a modern marketing strategy, the author sold over 100,000 copies in the first 6 weeks of her book's release and landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and CBA bestseller lists. And, all of this success cost a lot less than a publisher's typical marketing budget.
This week's action step:
You may be an author or a business owner. Regardless, what are you doing to build your own customer base? Are you relying on antiquated methods that are outdated and ineffective? Add at least one new marketing activity this week that relies on distributing free value via the Internet. For example, you could develop a free resource, newsletter, product sample, behind-the-scenes video, customer testimonial, webcast, etc. If you have legitimate value to provide people, the old barriers that hindered distribution no longer exist. Take advantage of the new opportunities that are now available.
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© Rob Eagar 2011. All rights reserved.