When thinking about book marketing, the best way to start is at the beginning, so let’s get back to the basic basics: the 4 Ps of product, price, place, and promotion. All of these Ps, along with a huge 5th P factor, are important to consider when book marketing.
The 5th P is a huge one: PEOPLE. Not only are people involved in every aspect of book marketing, but they are also the wild card. They can be unpredictable and you can do everything right with the other 4 Ps and still not convince enough people to buy.
The product in book marketing is your book. It needs to be the best product it can be, including the story/topic, writing, grammar, punctuation, cover, weight, paper, etc. It could be argued that the Product P is the most important because if it isn’t top-notch, no amount of price, place, and promotion is going to sell it. Above all, you need to produce the product that your readers (people) expect and want.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you are fully considering people when developing your product:
1) What does your target reader want in a book like yours?
2) How many errors are they willing to tolerate?
3) What kind of cover will catch their attention?
4) How large will they want the print and what kind of interior will give them the best reading experience?
5) If you’re marketing your book as being in a narrowly defined genre, are you delivering on that promise?
6) Will your ideal reader prefer print, e-book, or both or either?
7) Does your ideal reader prefer long books or short books?
8) What benefit does your book provide?
9) Go back to every decision you made about your book’s content, revision, editing, interior formatting, cover, and publishing; do they align with what your ideal reader expects, wants, and find value in?
In book marketing, place is another word for distribution; it’s where you will sell your book. You can sell your book online, at brick and mortar bookstores, various vendor fairs, or from the trunk of your car. Above all, you need to sell your book where your readers (people) buy books like yours.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you are fully considering people when deciding where to sell your books:
1) Where does your ideal reader hang out online and in person?
2) Where do they buy books?
3) Where does he/she shop in general?
4) Is your book available for sale at these locations?
Price is how much you will charge for your book but also encompasses determining if readers (people) will pay that price. If you traditionally publish, you will likely have no control over the pricing, but you might be able to offer discounts on direct sales, depending on your margin. With self-publishing, you generally have a minimum you must charge but have a lot of flexibility after that. Plus, author copies can be inexpensive, allowing you to offer even deeper discounts.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you are fully considering people when deciding the price for your book:
1) Where will they see value?
2) What price can they afford?
3) Where will they think they’re getting a bargain?
Usually, when people talk about book marketing, what they are really talking about is promotion, which is figuring out how to tell people about your book. It’s all of the social media activities, personal appearances, blog tours, media outreach, and paid advertising, among a whole host of other things you can do to market your book. Above all, you have to promote your book to readers (people) in a way that will get their attention and convince them to buy.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you are fully considering people when deciding how to promote your book:
1) What will you say?
2) How will you say it?
3) Where will you say it?
4) How will you get their attention?
4) Where is the best place to put your messages?
You may get discouraged thinking about all of this, but try not to. Considering all of these 5 Ps will not guarantee a bestseller but it will give your book the best chance.
Have any other thoughts on one or more of the Ps? Feel free to contact me.
To learn more about the five P’s and how they apply to book marketing, download my free mini e-book: Book Marketing Basics: The 5 Ps:
Click here to get your mini e-book.