Writing Our Books, How Much Do Publishers Think About Marketability? Featured Guest Article: Marketing Your Book 101 …


Most all my book marketing clients know when they hire me to market and promote their books that I am a stickler when it comes to research and visiting many writer and book marketing websites. I am always on the hunt for information or guest article that I know will help my authors and writers. I came across an exceptional article on the best place for all thriller, suspense, and mystery writers and readers called Killer Nashville and submit your book for a free review!

The Article is by Erik Deckers and has some solid advice about our books marketability and book promoting 101. I hope you find it informative and I will at the end share with you my thoughts about the new Twitter Promo Mode … CAT 

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Marketing Your Book 101 ~ Erik Deckers

“If you’ve been writing for any lengthy period of time, you’re familiar with the catch twenty-two of publishing: you want to write your book your way, but you also want it to sell. Sometimes, those two desires don’t run parallel.

Sacrifices are made, compromises are drawn, lines in the sand erased. In this month’s “Marketing Your Book 101”, marketing/promotion guru Erik Deckers offers up some advice on how to sell your book without selling your soul.”  ~Killer Nashville

Want to get a writer good and riled up? Do one of two things: 1) Ask where they stand on the Oxford comma; 2) Ask about the marketability of their book.

I can’t help you with the Oxford comma, but I can tell you quite a bit about a book’s marketability.

Marketability is often the last thing many authors want to think about. They want their art to stand on its own, and to write the stories they want to write, not what the masses want.

But marketability is often the first thing many publishers consider. They want to know how many people might want it, and how well you can market it.

In my first book proposal, I had to answer a few questions about whether there were books similar to mine, the size of my social media following, and whether I had an email newsletter list.

(Careful readers will note the Oxford comma in the previous sentence.)

Because the book was about social media and personal branding, my co-author, Kyle, and I both had a decent social media following, he had a sizable email newsletter list, and there were almost no books about personal branding. So we scored high on marketability, which we learned later went a long way in getting that book deal.

Yay, book marketability!

For us, marketability was a combination of whether a lot of people would buy the book, and how well we could promote it.

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The book market for social media, in general, was already being tapped out. Kyle and I had written a book about Twitter marketing the previous year, but this was new territory for us. If we hadn’t come up with a new idea that appealed to a large crowd, we never would have gotten the deal.

But my previous success has not meant automatic deals later on. I’ve proposed other book ideas since then, but the social media book market has just about run its course. If I want to write another book, I need to come up with a brand new idea.

Book marketability sucks.

How Much Do Publishers Think About Marketability?
First, just know that publishers do look at the marketability of your work, almost as much as they look at the quality of your work. And that goes into the decision of whether they’ll publish your book or not.

Don’t get me wrong. You could have 1 million Twitter followers, but if your work isn’t that great, it will never be published. (Still, if you have 1 million loyal Twitter followers, do you really need a publisher? Self-publish that sucker!)

You may have written the greatest story about teenage vampire wizards who fight zombies, but since that one has already been done to death (I hope!), you’re not going to get a lot of love from traditional publishers.

The marketability of a book is not just about the size of your social networks, it includes whether the book will be interesting to the largest number of people. When we wrote Branding Yourself in 2010, it was only the second book of its kind. But in the last several years, there have been a few hundred titles published on social media and its various sub-topics, so our publishers knew they had to strike fast. We were in the right place at the right time.

Having said that, I’ve read some pretty mediocre books published by people with big fat social networks, and it’s easy to see how much consideration the social networks were given. (Hint: way, way too much.)

So Should Marketability Affect Your Content Choices?
Yes and no.

No, it should not, because you should be free to write the book you want, and people should buy it because it’s good, not because it’s what the masses want. On the other hand. . . .

Yes, it should, because your publisher (ideally) knows what the public wants. If you can give it to them, you’ll sell lots of copies, and you’ll go on book tours where your publisher will put you up in the finest discount hotels and eat at the finest fast-casual restaurant chains. On the other hand. . .

No, it shouldn’t, because you have options! You can skip the whole traditional publishing route, and self-publish on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. (Again, note the Oxford comma.) You can market your own book, or sell print-on-demand copies at book fairs and community fairs. On the other hand. . .

Yes, it should, because you can win the greatest number of readers if you pay attention to what the public likes, and try to keep up. On the other hand. . .

No, it shouldn’t, because there’s an audience for nearly everything you can imagine (and even those things you can’t. Don’t go looking for those though. Just don’t.). Just because there’s not a huge audience doesn’t mean there’s not an audience. Even an audience of 1,000 is a good audience. On the other hand. . .

Yes, it should, because your publisher can get you into the bookstores, especially the large chain(s), which means great exposure to a wider audience. On the other hand. . .

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No, it shouldn’t, because you’re going to be doing most, if not all, of the marketing, and yet you’re only going to get a small royalty from your publisher. But if you self-publish, you get a much larger royalty.

Ultimately—I hate these kinds of indecisive answers—it comes down to what you want to do, where you think your book is going to go. If you want to write a commercially successful book that gets you invited to Killer Nashville as a keynote speaker, and your book is sold in the Barnes & Noble room, then consider your content and marketability very strongly.

But if you don’t want to be beholden to others, to let someone else dictate your story choices, or you just plain want more money than publishers offer, then marketability be damned! Your book’s—sorry, your books’—success will depend on you and how hard you’re willing to work. Happy Book Marketing!

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FYI: Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale.

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Lastly, I wanted to share a little and ask what you think about the new “Twitter Promo Mode” service they are offering. Here is what Twitter sent me this week about the new service … What author has $99 per month marketing budget just for Twitter? Please share your thoughts if you use or know about this promo service! TY! CAT

Automatically promote your Tweets to your best audience and grow your followers, without creating or managing campaigns.

Reach more peopleReach more people
Promote Mode enables your personal brand or business to be discovered by thousands of new people.

Amplify your TweetsAmplify your Tweets
Your Tweets and profile are automatically promoted, helping you grow your influence.

Pay a flat monthly feePay a flat monthly fee
Enjoy consistent growth without the extra effort.

 

https://ads.twitter.com/subscriptions/mobile/intro?ref=gl-tw-tw-promote-mode
INFO-LINK: New Twitter Promote Mode