Some Basic Business Truths for Authors and Writers
A book, any book, is a product of a production process: from ideas in the imagination of the author, to scripting on paper/stone/webpages/emails, editing, designs, printing, and distribution. These processes require the use of production tools such as fingers/hands, pen, pencils, typewriters, computers and printer. Book production requires human resources too as well as storage and administration. The final phase is getting the book to the consumers.
A book unlike cars and any other product consist essentially of written words and graphics. Words, unlike any other product never get decay though paper may decay over time. Example of this is Magna Carta and the Bible/Dead Sea Scrolls. Thus, the words of an author and works in a book are “diamond forever.” Books, unlike any product and except there is a new edition, may not go through the product cycle. The works of Shakespeare and other great writers continue to sell even after they have died.
The third fact is that, unlike any other product, a book which is of course, set in words is an intellectual property that remains, until copyright is disposed of, the “property” of the author.
The Book as a Product Must Reach the Consumer
Whilst writing a book is tasking, getting the book to the ultimate consumer is even more tasking. The task of getting a publisher to get the book published in the first place falls in-between and is no less easy. When the book is ultimately published, the author in particular must play a vital role in getting the book to the buyer. The publisher, either traditional or POD, and the distributor play introductory and intermediary roles.
All authors and writers need to promote their books, regardless of how or by whom the book was published. In the end, the book(s) is the author's intellectual and real property, eventually. It's a product like any other and which must get to the consumer (readers, libraries and indeed the general public).
Books are easily associated with individuals and the face of any book is not the often unseen publisher but the author who must stand out from the crowd, and give his/her backing or authority to the book as in say book signing sessions.
Also, no one can speak or talk about the content of the book more than the writer. He or she alone knows what he/she was thinking while writing the book. Therefore in modern times and with extensive technology at the disposal of writers and publishers, authors should actively promote their book as in promotion of any industrial product.
Authors should simply view their book as their own “industrial product”.
Unique Marketing Channels for Books: Authors Should Take Note.
The Price and the Product (the book): The price/product will not be discussed here as that should be discussed with the publisher before the book is published.
There are many avenues through which books uniquely, should reach the consumer and which author should actively participate in.
a) Book Signing. This is important as both the book and the author can be seen physically by consumers in a strategic, preferably bookshop setting. This gives the author the opportunity to interact with buyers who for a long time will associate the face and the signature of author with the book.
b) Book Reading to School Children: Authors, apart from the financial benefit, can attain celebrity status on account of their books. Authors can begin this by reading his/her book to select audience of children with permission of the respective authorities. And of course, the book should be appropriate for the respective children.
c) Interviews and Talk-Shows: Often on radio and television, interview in modern times can be held on the internet. Authors should explore this channel. Also, interview can be on print media which in most countries of the world still exert considerable influence along with television. To the interviews and talk shows, if possible and author has the skill, should be added, speaking engagements.
d) Email Marketing, Blogging and Webpages/Internet: Needless to analyse the impact of internet in modern times. The advantage of a website and blog is that the search engines such as Google and Bing or Yahoo will ultimately pick up the WebPages and blogs. The search engines may actually rank such web page high provided that background work had been done to promote the website and blogs.
e) Trailers and Video in Youtube and Flicker: Video presentation is gaining ground these days online. Youtube is free as are in many other websites such as Facebook. Authors can promote their works via videos posted online, Facebook, and in so many other websites.
f) Press Release: SIP recommends that author should seriously consider issuing offline and online Press Release about the book before its release and after the publication in as many frequency as possible. If in doubt as to how to proceed on this, authors should contact us immediately
g) Actual Advertisement. Authors can on their own, independent of the publisher, advertise on radio, TV, internet, bill-boards, newspapers, flyers and should continue to do so. Of, course, the publisher would have been engaged in the distribution process which may involve, book in publication catalogues and depository libraries,
h) Free Gifts and Charities: Authors can donate books to libraries and charities. It serves as a golden opportunity for promotion as the media may pick the charitable act of the author.
i) Book Launch: Whilst it may be tasking to organise, nothing brings a book close to the influential circle of friends, family, work-mates, club members, religious organisations that the author belongs to as much as book launch. This can be very rewarding if properly organised. Author can reap great immediate benefits from book launch. Such benefits include press coverage and financial rewards from benefactors.
j) Personal Business Cards: Introduce yourself in elegant way. Have a business card ready totell all about you. It goes a long way to keep fresh, your memory in the mind of the people who met you.
k) Book Awards: SIP recommends that authors should enter their titles into competitive book prize awards at local, national and internaltional levels: Example: the Booker Prize, Foreword Book Award, Pulitzer Book Awards, Costa Book Awards. Other credible awards include, Strategic Insight Book Prize, Orange Book Prize For Fiction and Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. See the Full List of Literary Awards here.
l) Book Fairs: SIP do participate, with our partners, in local and international books fairs (London, Frankfurt, Miami , Bookexpo America , BIBF/China etc). At the discretion of the author, paticipation through SIP should be considered. Please let us know if you want this service.
Book Markers: Book markers, are great ways to spread the news about your book. It serves as a ready source of reminder to the reader about your authorship and it creates awareness in the process for everyone that picks the book marker up. With a little investment, book marker can go far to inform children and adults about a particular book and author.
What can Strategic Insight Publishing (SIP) Do for Authors in Marketing?
1. We can help with the planning process and execution
2. We have dedicated strategic partners in the Press, Email Marketing Specialists and Book Promoters (including video and social media marketing) Community in USA, UK, Africa and Asia that can help authors reach maximum exposure to the reading communities. Interested authors should contact us for more details.
All you have to do is tell us what you need and what you can afford in the promotion process. For a little fee, we will work with our global partners to deliver the best in book marketing to you.