Smart Author Self-Promotion in the Modern Age
Just as with any product – and you do want to think of your book as a product – you need to know what your target market is and tell them why they want and need your book or book related product in a language they will understand and in a way and place that will catch their eyes.
What do people buy? Years ago I heard something about marketing that has always stuck with me. “People don’t buy shampoo, they buy beautiful hair.” And I might add, they buy what beautiful hair will do for them. So you need to convey what experience your title will bring them and how that will benefit them – or bring them some sort of pleasure.
If your work is non-fiction, this may be a bit easier to tease out and explain, but you still need to present the benefit to the reader’s life, business, profit, health, sex and love life, and so forth. It’s not just “How to Fix Widgets” but “How to Fix Widgets for Fun and Profit – The Smart Person’s Manual” You are selling an experience not just instructions or a history. Tell them what’s interesting AND what’s the benefit to them.
For a fiction title you need to convey the vicarious experience the reader is in for, without giving a way the story. There are certain things people look for in fiction, and while there are too many genre to cover here, the basics are adventure, danger, emotion, mystery, discovery – all of which are basically pursuit of a passion in the face of challenges and triumph over those challenges. In a way, non-fiction is like this as well, but with fiction you allude to the experience, and that experience is the benefit.
For nonfiction, you are always solving a problem. You book is only as interesting as the value of the solution it provides, and again, that is an experience, not just a product. Find the ‘beautiful hair’ of your topic and how it makes the reader feel better, richer, more powerful, sexy and so forth. Touch on feelings, for feelings are in the realm of desire. Why do people need your book? How do you get them to realize they need it? How will they feel when your book fills their need? Nonfiction titles will need some modicum of educational efforts in your promotional plans to convey this.
All books are about life experience, understanding it better, and answering questions. Whether nonfiction, fiction, poetry, technical, business, self-improvement or others, they are all about new comprehension of life in some aspect to bring greater satisfaction, excitement, security and peace. Your book gives them a vantage point to see something about themselves, life or their area of interest that will solve problems and make them feel more whole, powerful or alive.