How Publishers Need to Rethink Marketing

“There have been two enduring realities about the marketing publishers have always done for their books,” Mike Shatzkin writes in a blog post for DBW.

Marketing copy was written by somebody with knowledge of what was inside the book. “The conviction,” Shatzkin writes, “has always been that intimate knowledge of what is in a book is the most important knowledge required to know how to sell it.”

Moreover, marketing efforts were usually B2B, aimed at booksellers and reviewers.

“Only the smallest part of a publisher’s marketing budget and effort, and none at all for most of the books any publisher issued—was dedicated to appealing to the ultimate reader or purchaser,” Shatzkin writes.

These two ideas, according to Shatzkin, “are now anachronisms, artifacts of a time when the primary ways a consumer would find out about a book were by seeing it in a bookstore or reading or hearing about it from relatively few review media.”

SpotlightMuch more.

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SpotlightDirect-to-Consumer Efforts Must Build Community (Joe Wikert)
Joe Wikert discusses publishers’ failing efforts to sell directly to consumers through their websites. “What’s the compelling reason for someone to come to the site? Even if they find the site why would a consumer consider buying direct rather than from their favorite retailer?” Wikert writes. “Rather than trying to change consumer buying habits and owning the sale, publishers should instead focus their D2C efforts on building community. Publishers own the relationship with authors, so as a publisher, what are you doing to build community around your authors?”

Amazon to Release $50 Tablet (WSJ)
Amazon has struggled to draw customers to its pricier tablets, so the company is going further down-market. The Wall Street Journal reports that the online retailer plans to release a $50 tablet with a six-inch screen in time for this year’s holidays. That would make it one of the least expensive tablets on the market and half the price of the company’s current Fire HD six-inch tablet.

SpotlightHow to Identify a Target Audience (BookBub)
When marketing a book, a common mistake authors and marketers make is targeting too broad of an audience. In an age when many readers have access to virtually any book at any time, it’s incredibly difficult to make a single book stand out. And now that more and more readers are discovering new content on their own, rather than in a bookstore, it’s the author or publisher’s responsibility to make sure the right books get into the hands of the right readers.

Reedsy Launches Open Source Author Survey (DBW)
How much money do authors typically make? And how much does it cost an author to self-publish a book? Questions like these are part of a new author survey launched by Reedsy, an all-encompassing self-publishing platform. According to Reedsy’s site, “data can help authors understand the publishing landscape better. The Reedsy Author Survey will unearth industry sales statistics. Whether you are a self-published or traditionally-published author, you can be part of this effort and contribute.”

Takeaways from the 2015 Beijing International Book Fair (Publishing Perspectives)
A publishing consultant and author discusses some of the major themes and takeaways from the 2015 Beijing International Book Fair. On the evolution of digital publishing, Hersh Bhardwaj writes, “The Tokyo and Seoul book fairs leverage the spiraling demand of digital content markets. BIBF also understands the need of educating domestic publishers about the best practices in digital publishing from around the world. On the other hand they need to showcase their digital expertise, and for the ninth year, there was a dedicated digital publishing forum to feature such content.”

SpotlightFacebook Pages Get First Major Update Since 2012 (Ad Age)
Marketers have been able to operate their own Facebook profiles since 2007, but Facebook pages haven’t had a major overhaul since 2012, when Facebook was very much a desktop-based social network. On Tuesday, though, Facebook announced a wave of updates to pages that seek to make marketers’ social profiles as useful for doing business as for connecting with customers. The updates also aim to modernize pages for the mobile world. In the three years since the last pages overhaul, attention has shifted to mobile, where the newsfeed figures more prominently.
Related: Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books (DBW)
Related: How to Best Use Facebook as an Author (DBW)

SpotlightHow Trending Hashtags Can Help Your Marketing (Social Times)
Twitter is a constantly changing and evolving social media platform. This is especially true with trending topics and hashtags, which seem to spring up out of nowhere. These moments are when individuals have a chance to shine, as the right tweet, with the right message, can go viral and be retweeted over and over. How can a marketer take advantage of these moments incorporate them into their marketing efforts?


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