When do I start marketing my book? The unpopular, unexpected, unappreciated, and sometimes unheeded answer is book marketing begins before the first word of the book is written.
The result, if this marketing advice goes unheeded, is a writer invests a lot of time and money into writing and publishing a book that has no clear message, no clear purpose, and no clear aim at a specific client base. This makes the book virtually unmarketable and therefore unsellable. So, if you want to write and publish a sellable book, marketing is key from the beginning.
Marketing is basically the act of letting the right people (your clients) know you have a product or service they will benefit from purchasing. In order to do that successfully, the writer needs to be clear about exactly what one service or product is offered and how it is unique (different and better) compared to the competition’s product or service. The next step, in order to successfully market the product or service, is to determine specifically to whom the writer is talking. Getting the answers to these questions requires market research up front.
Furthermore, a business person writing a book to build professional credibility and visibility must also be clear about the reason and the goal for writing and publishing the book. For example, the book should be organized differently, with different content focus, if it is a process, systems, or how to book versus if it is the platform for an inspirational speaker or life coach.
The following facts are based on the primary goal of writing a nonfiction business book to highlight expertise and grow business access to the right kind of clients, which increases business income.
If the writer is new to business and wants to get known to a new, wider marketplace, there is a tendency to want to put a life’s worth of miscellaneous knowledge into a book, but that is a scattering of unconnected information that doesn’t necessarily feature the writer’s expertise. If the prospective client can’t figure out the writer’s expertise, then the writer has not positioned themselves any differently than any other business person.
Sometimes the opposite is true if the writer has an existing business in which they are successful in several related areas into which they have expanded during the years. There is a tendency to want to explain multiple areas of expertise because it feels like the more we know, the more we should tell, therefore the more credibility we have, but that is not true. The multiple themes directed at multiple target markets actually waters down credibility and reach.
Think of marketing this way
Would you like to go into a room to try to sell your product or services to 100 people who know nothing about you and probably don’t need your services? These are 100 people just pulled off the street to fill the room. If you get one person to buy, you’re very lucky. Or would you rather present a questionnaire to people walking past the room? The form explains what the presenter is offering and speaking about. Then only let those 100 people into the room who are interested in you and your business. That’s 100 people in the seats who went in because they are actual potential clients. From the form/questionnaire these people knew you felt their pain and that you knew how to fix it. They are in, literally and figuratively. Chances are you can sell 25 percent of the attendees or more now, and then probably more later, because market research was done up front to fine tune your message and identify your proper target market.
Imagine the second scenario. That is the power and possibilities of marketing from the start.