Sunday, August 12, 2012

Meeting Your Reader's Needs and Wants: Yet another part of an author's business plan

If you want to sell books, you are going to have to market your book in such a way that the reader will want to buy the book.

Well, of course! That's just common sense.

If that's true, why is it so hard to do?

Lately I have been spending a lot of time reading everything I can about marketing and sales. It has has been pretty confusing for me at times.

I have come to the conclusion though that the general concepts of what you have to do can be boiled down to a single concept for most non-fiction and a single concept for the rest of the non-fiction books and all fiction books.

For non-fiction informational books, eliminate the potential buyer's pain.

For all the other non-fiction and fiction books, meet the potential buyer's emotional wants.

The reader will then use logic to justify the purchase.

Let's take a look at how this has worked ON me as an author trying to make more money via self-publishing. In the last month I have spent about $100 on Kindle books, used paperbacks and did not count the hours I spent reading and taking notes on this very subject of increasing sales and marketing my books.

Why did I do this?

I need more money in order to pay-off what we owe on daughter number one's college so we can send daughter number two to college (and eventually pay for their weddings). My wife would like to stop working so she can spend more time in community service through our church. I would like to just be an author so I can retire from teaching history. You get the point. 

My wife and I want to eliminate some pain from our lives. To do this, we need to make more money through our small business. I was "motivated" to purchase these books, search the internet and spend hours reading and taking notes in order to find information that would help eliminate the pain.

I justified this to myself because this investment of time and money will help me move towards my goal of eliminating my pain and allowing me to do what I think I want to do.

During that same time period, I purchased a couple of novels for my Kindle and read them. Why? I needed a mental break from what I was working on and I wanted to be entertained.

The news is so depressing nowadays I don't watch it anymore. I force myself to read the newspaper for 15 minutes a day.

I am tired of watching and experiencing all the crap other people do that negatively impacts the lives of others and how they seem to get away with it. Whether or not they do is besides the point, it seems like they do.

So I wanted to read a couple of thriller novels where the good guy kills the bad guys. Yes, kills the bad guys. Emotionally it is some how reassuring when this happens. That good can triumph over evil in this life. It's even better when the good guy wipes out a large contingent of bad guys on his (or her) own in a really cool way that involves explosions, car wrecks and the use of cool, hi-tech weapons (I am a guy - what do you expect?).

An momentary break from the grim reality of the world we live in. I really need the break mentally and emotionally sometime from all the stuff I see or have to deal with.

So it all boils down to finding a way to convince the potential reader you will either eliminate their pain or meet an emotional need in order to get them to purchase your book.

If you have an exact, proven method that works every single time and is inexpensive, let me know. I need to sell a bunch of books this fall.

That seems to be the problem with so many common sense things. The concept might be simple, but never confuse simple with easy.