Tuesday 5 March 2013

Marketing Tips for Authors – The 4Ps Part Three

In the previous posts in this series I covered the areas of Product and Price. In this penultimate post in the series I would like to briefly discuss Promotion. Earlier this week I mentioned the concept of AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Our promotions need to grab the Attention of our prospective readers and generate Interest. This interest needs to build Desire in the prospect, so ultimately they take Action – and buy our book! As authors we have a number of online tools at our disposal to help us achieve this – Twitter, Facebook, Websites, Blogs etc. However, Twitter is NOT a selling platform. With just 140 characters at our disposal, the best we can hope to achieve is grabbing our prospects’ attention, at the same time as planting some seeds to generate interest. Therefore, it is important to always have a link within tweets promoting books. Links which take the prospect to either our website/blog (preferably) or Amazon book/review page (if you don't have a website). These are the platforms where desire must be created, with a carefully worded message. Now here is a challenge for you. I want you to carry out a sanity check on the sales message, within your website/blog, which relates to your book. (If you don’t have a website or blog, just go to your book’s Amazon page.) Imagine you’ve never seen the page before, and this is your first introduction to the book. Based upon your ‘sales pitch’ would YOU buy your book? If you hesitate in saying yes, then the message probably needs a bit of a polish.

The next aspect of promotion to consider is the small matter of cost. You’ll find plenty of people on the Internet only too glad to help you part with some money. You’ll hear terms such as ‘our site will provide great exposure for your book’. If you are not ultimately interested in making money from your hard work then look away now. If, however, you do want to make some money by SELLING your book, you will now need to disconnect your heart from your decision making process. Yes, we all love to see our books in all their glory, on various websites, with people waxing lyrical about them. But this section is about the cold numbers. Let’s assume you’ve been approached by a website owner, who’s given you the ‘exposure’ speech, and he/she just wants just $50 to place your book on his/her well visited website. You know that Amazon is currently paying you a $1 royalty on every e-book sale. You just need to sell 50 to break-even.

Before you go anywhere near your wallet or purse, grab a calculator and start asking questions.

Question 1 – How many unique visitors does their website attract each month? They proudly say 5,000. You quickly calculate you only need one out of every hundred customers to buy your book in month one to break-even. WRONG CALCULATION!

Question 2 – How many of those 5,000 will visit your page on the site? It may be only 10%. So that’s 5,000 reduced to 500.

Question 3 – How many of the 500 will click on the link to Amazon? That again may only be 10%. So 50 people visit Amazon from your page on their website.

Question 4 – How many visits convert to sales? It may be just 2% - not an unlikely figure by any means. 2% of 50 is ONE!  Yes, that’s one sale from 5,000 site visitors in the first month – and I believe I’ve been generous with my percentages. So, to get your money back will take over FOUR YEARS!!

The above scenario is known as a ‘sales funnel’. Each stage reduces the numbers going through to the next stage. Good use of AIDA will certainly help you to widen the neck of the funnel. I hope the above has been of help to you. My final post in this short series will be based on the last of the 4Ps – Place. Until then, happy marketing.


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