Marketing is about letting people know and trust you and your books. It is the first link in the chain of customer service.
Each step of the way involves dealing with individuals on some level. Vital area of marketing is also part of the overall picture of customer service. If marketing is done properly (and honestly) the rest of customer service is easy. People will flock to get what you’re offering.
Marketing includes five vital areas. 1) A product or service people want 3) advertising, 3) public relations 4) Closing the Sale 5) Referrals
One of the first big lessons I had in this was when I was 21 and decided that I was going to join the military. I had planned to join the army, but the army office was closed that day so I went to the Navy recruiter instead.
The Right Product or Service
The first step in marketing is in providing a product or service that people want. I needed and wanted a job so I decided to join the Navy. Book marketing starts the same way. People have a need that needs to be filled. Even with novels, the need for relaxation is part of the equation. Our first objective is to give people a product that they want.
Paid and unpaid advertising also helps in marketing. Advertising promotes the product or service to the world. Advertising works best when it connects more with the benefit of the product or service than it does with what the product or service does. The Navy offered that to me. I took the opportunity and walked into the door. Advertisements of the time said that “The navy wasn’t just a job, it was an adventure” It appealed to what I wanted in my life. I not only wanted a job, I wanted to see the world. I wanted to get in shape. I wanted to learn new skills. I wanted to make money so that I could get a college education. Advertising works best if the product or service is presented to the right audience at the right time. The reason soap operas were called soap operas was because the main audience used to be stay-at-home housewives. The companies that sold laundry detergent discovered that sales increased when they advertised in the commercials during these programs. Women who day after day watched these programs to see what happened next on General Hospital were the same women who did the laundry and bought groceries which included laundry detergent.
Advertising appeals not so much to the idea that the product or service fills a need, but appeals more to the benefits that the advertising provides. Those women didn’t buy Wisk because they needed a good laundry detergent. They bought Wisk because it got out “ring around the collar”. People don’t buy books because they want a book. They buy books for the information that they provide about a specific subject or in the case of fiction, novels offer an escape from their everyday lives. In addition, the readers of fiction get involved with the characters. Novel series are popular because when readers get involved with the characters and start caring about those characters, when a new book comes out in the series, readers of the series buy them so they can learn what happens next.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has published a nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.