Is There a Magic Pill in Book Marketing?

In our society of quick access to information and instant gratification, we often want to cut to the bottom line and find the magic pill to success. Look at the Madison Avenue messages we get in January–Lose Weight Now, Get Firm Abs Now, Get Rich Quick, etc. You see the claims visually on television as the spoken words fill the air. But, if  you squint and look real fast, you’ll see the fine print that says, “Results not typical.”

Results not typical applies to book marketing as well. No one’s going to know about your book unless you share the news. There is no magic pill. There are, however, other things that work, beginning with patience.

By now, you know you need a marketing plan and you need to work your plan.  You need to follow up as well. A general marekting rule says that someone needs to see your message seven times before it resonates. Vary the ways you get your message about your book out there–email, website, blog, publish party, book group event, book signing event, newsletter, media appearances.

If you’re relying on just one or two of these venues to market your book, you’re going into the marketplace with only an eighth of the marketing weapons you need to win the sale.

Here’s something else authors need to think about. The book sale is only the beginning of the author’s relationship with the reader. Authors can continue the relationship with offerings (articles, blog, newsletter, etc.) so the reader connects even more with the author.

And, the author needs to write and publish the second book and the third book because the reader wants more–and will buy the next books if the author has kept the relationship going.

I’m a product of the early rock ‘n roll days and sometimes tune into the local oldies station. One of the themes they have is the “One Hit Wonder” theme–songs that were successful but were the only success the recording artist had. One hit, then nothing.

And so it is with so many authors–they publish a book, it doesn’t sell as well as they anticipated, so they give up rather than take a step back and look at what they’ve done and what else they could do to create buzz about their book.  Instead of taking responsibility for sharing their book, they blame the publisher for not doing the marketing for them, for not getting them into bookstores, for not sending them on a book tour, for not getting them on television, and on and on the blame game goes.

Unless you have a platform (you’re widely and instantly recognized), you’ll have to work to market your books (at least the first few titles). But you will gain a following and you will gain customers if you see publishing as business rather than dream fulfillment.

Happy writing!

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8 Responses to “Is There a Magic Pill in Book Marketing?”


  1. 1 uninvoked January 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I’m building my platform right now. ^^ the magic pill = good writing, good luck, and hard work.

  2. 3 BookWhirl.com January 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I will definitely agree with you that there is no magic pill for book marketing success. As a writer/author, it is normal to get thrilled with results. But positive results come with patience and hard work. Yes, a marketing campaign will promote your book, but that doesn’t end there. It’s only the beginning. Author-reader relationship is vital. Given the technology, i think there are a lot of venues to establish and strengthen that kind of relationship.

    • 4 expertbookpublishing January 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

      I appreciate your comment and concurrence that there is no magic pill for book marketing. Indeed, you are correct in that authors have many options to establish and strengthen their relationships with their readers (customers). With the creativity and resolve it takes to write publishable books, authors demonstrate they already have what it takes to successfully market their books. Many of them just haven’t applied their abilities in that direction.

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