Book Marketing Guide

The purpose of book marketing is to sell books.

So, in order to do good marketing, we need to understand why people buy books.

Once we understand the WHY, the HOW, WHERE, WHAT and WHEN of marketing gets much easier and much more profitable.

So, why do people buy books?

There are a total of six reasons why people buy books. Three major, and three minor.

Three major reasons.

  1. It is from a familiar author whose writing they love and trust.
  2. It is a recommendation from a trusted source.
  3. It fills a pressing need.

Three minor reasons.

  1. It is a gift for someone.
  2. To deliberately try out a new author.
  3. Came across it accidentally, and found it interesting.

As you can well guess, most books are sold because of one of the major reasons. The minors don’t contribute to sales in a major way (pun intended).

However, if you look at most marketing advice in the market today, it is geared towards all three minor reasons, and one major reason.

What is this marketing advice I speak of?

  • Get book reviews.
  • Have a dazzling book cover.
  • Write thundering book descriptions.
  • Sell them at an appealing price point.

Don’t get me wrong. This is good advice. But, it contributes towards less than 40% of all books sold.

Let me rephrase. More than 60% of book buyers don’t care about this stuff. They simply buy it because they know the author, or a friend told them they would enjoy a certain book.

And that’s good enough for them. After that, they don’t really go looking for reviews, descriptions, or much else.

Think about your favorite author. For the sake of this example, we’ll say … Stephen King. If you’ve read any of his books, do you really care if the new book has reviews? Do you care how the book cover looks? Does it matter how the description is written? Or, how much the book is selling for?

Not a chance. You buy it because you know the guy. He writes well, he scares the living **** out of you, and you enjoy that.

Now let’s go back in time. Think about the first time you read a Stephen King novel. Why did you read that book? Is it because it was a recommendation from a trusted source?

Okay, so I asked the above question to three people, and it turns out, Stephen King was a bad example. All three of them said, they began reading his novels after watching his movies.

Regardless, I trust you understand the point I’m making.

Goal of This Guide

Goal is not to regurgitate hashed out ideas. If you want that, run a simple Google Search – “book marketing ideas”.

Rather the objective is to make you think, and help you improve your ROI on both, your time and your money. How?

By pairing your marketing strategies and tactics with your reader’s needs, habits and behaviors.

What do I mean?

Let’s take a break from books for a minute, and talk about walking canes.

Walking Cane

How would you market a walking cane? Give it some serious thought.

Would you stand on a street corner, and shout “buy this cane” repeatedly?

Would you take out a Facebook Ad?

Would you make a video about the usefulness of this cane, and run it on YouTube?

All good ideas. Can you imagine what would happen, if all your ads, videos and shout-out messages were seen and heard by teenagers?

The results would be disastrous. You wouldn’t sell a single cane.

Maybe the marketing ideas were correct. But, the audience was wrong.

Remember what I said earlier … you will see success by pairing your marketing strategies and tactics with your reader’s needs, habits and behaviors.

In this case, the teenagers clearly don’t have a need for canes.

Now, let’s change up the scenario. Imagine you walked into a Senior Community Center, held the cane up, and asked, “How many would like this?” I bet, a lot of hands would go up.

It was the right audience, and marketing strategy wasn’t bad either. The pairing worked.

The wrong pairing results into frustration. The right pairing becomes magical.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice author, or a veteran author. The ideas I discuss in this book will help you build a tribe that will yearn for your books.

The rest of this guide is about showing you how to correctly pair your marketing strategies and tactics to your reader’s needs, habits and behaviors.

Hope you find value in it.

If you do, share it with other authors.

Note: This is just the Introduction of a FULL BOOK MARKETING GUIDE we are currently working on.

If you want a copy of the full guide when it’s ready, email Mayur Gudka at