Branding and How to Properly Market Your Book

There's a saying that I like:

"If you can't tell it... You can't sell it..."

If your books are really good, but they're not selling, then maybe you're telling it the wrong way.

One would think that authors, who are storytellers, would have no problem here. But, the lack of marketing know-how is common among writers. In social media, you will see conflicting messages and brands.Their marketing materials do not quite get their messages clearly across and often confuses their message.

Before marketing your book, there are two things that you need to know more of, in order to maximize your marketing efforts and get results.

First is the difference between BRANDING and MARKETING.

YOUR BRAND is simply who you are. In the case of authors, what your book is about.
What's the gist of the story? What experience are you promising readers? What's the genre?
That's your BRAND and your brand will dictate your choice of marketing materials, the design, and the words you use.

The first step before promoting your book is to clearly define your brand to yourself.
  • My book is for people who likes this topic. (Choose a genre.)
  • This is what it's about and what's unique about it. (The story. Your story is always unique unless you plagiarized it. Get the gist of the story.)
  • This is what you'll experience if you read this book. (Thrills, chills, discovery, lessons, knowledge, horror, entertainment, laughs, tears... you get the point.)
Be sure about it.
Be firm.
Be confident.
You have to KNOW what you are selling.
You have to be able to TELL it when you market it.

Ideally, no one knows your brand better than you... because you wrote it.

Once you have defined your brand, then you can communicate your brand's message, which is what MARKETING is.

MARKETING is your brand's message, designed to target and attract your would-be readers. People who are looking for the type of books you write. It's the storytelling part. If you don't know what your brand is, if you're confused, then your message will be confused too ---- and the result is, you will confuse the people you are selling to. A diluted marketing effort is a failed effort because you won't convince anybody that your book is what they want to read. Marketing needs to be SURE and FOCUSED. Else, you'll be adding doubts, instead of helping a prospective reader decide .

And it all starts with defining YOUR BRAND.

Let's take for example, Author A, who writes romantic mystery novels.

THE DILEMMA: Should Author A sell his book as a romance or a mystery? Should the swoony love angle be highlighted or the whodunnit aspect of the story?

Romance readers are different from Mystery readers and there's a different way of selling to each audience. To capture both groups, Author A sometimes promotes the romance, sometimes the mystery. A tentative marketing strategy.

As mentioned earlier, your brand's message should be clear so it doesn't lose its impact. Author A's desire to capture both markets will eventually end up confusing both groups. What is the book about, really? Romance or mystery? Ah, forget it! 

You have lost a customer.

THE SOLUTION: Choose a genre, and if there are other aspects to the story, then hint at it, but highlight only one. Author A can choose romance, using romantic images and words, but mention that there's a mystery involved. But the theme of the whole campaign should be centered around romance. A mystery banner shouldn't be there all of a sudden, promoting the same book.

If in the future Author A decides to sell the book as a mystery, primarily, then the design and campaign should shift to mystery.

The point is to choose one and go for it with your whole heart. And not traverse 2 rivers with the same boat.

Successful marketing is being able to address a prospective reader's unspoken questions. If you falter in your message and give them cause for doubt, you've lost them.

What questions do you need to answer before a reader buys your book?

I'll write another article about this, but let's just quickly go over it.

Readers are on Amazon, most of them are. That's why a powerful and high converting Amazon book page is better than any social media marketing campaign you can think of.

On social media, when you promote your books, you will need to overcome a lot of objections before you convince someone to buy. As compared to browsers on Amazon who are already intent on buying something.

What are these objections / questions?

WHAT is the book about?
WHO wrote it anyway?
WHERE can I buy it?
WHEN can I buy it? Is it available now?
HOW do I buy it?
and the hardest question of all....
WHY should I buy it?

A successful campaign depends on how good you are at overcoming these objections. When done right, then you have a high converting campaign which will result in sales.

This is the reason why simply posting a link to your book page when you advertise on social media won't do squat. A minute of your life wasted. Your banners, tweets and posts should answer these questions before you can convert a viewer to a buyer.

This is also why not including your book's cover on your banners weakens your campaigns. Authors have no logo, like Nike or Coca Cola. You have the book's cover. Without the cover, what are you promoting? Where's the product? Marketing is about embedding your book's image in the minds of people, so they will remember it the next time they think of what book to buy next.

So, to properly market your book, you have to do 3 things, basically.

1) Define, know, and understand YOUR BRAND.
2) Communicate your Brand's message in a consistent manner through marketing.
3) Market in a way that overcomes a buyer's unspoken objections.

Hope this article helps. :)
Thanks for reading!

We can help promote your book.

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