What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?Today’s readers and book buyers are savvy. Ads are not enough to get a potential customer’s attention, and being bombarded daily with emails, texts, posts, tweets, shares, images and videos makes it incredibly easy, and more likely, for people to ignore ads.

In fact, people are going out of their way to avoid ads, installing plugins known as ad blockers to outright remove them.

Enter content marketing, and the idea of gaining a community’s trust in order to sell products. In addition to sharing content that customers find worthwhile, and would potentially want to share with others, this method allows companies to forge connections with people by regularly communicating with them in a more pleasant manner.

Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are important tools in establishing that trust, but they should be considered just that—tools—and not strategies themselves.

Much more.

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Bill Gates: The Billionaire Book Critic (NY Times)
For years, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who now focuses on the philanthropic work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had been scribbling notes in the margins of books he was reading and then emailing recommendations to friends and colleagues. Then he began to post these recommendations and critiques on the blog. “A few years ago I started thinking it would be fun to share some of these notes with the public,” Mr. Gates wrote in a recent email interview. “I have always loved reading and learning, so it is great if people see a book review and feel encouraged to read and share what they think online or with their friends.”

What to Do About Disappearing Amazon Reviews (Chris McMullen)
It’s a well-known fact: Amazon blocks and removes numerous four- and five-star reviews, but almost never removes a one- or two-star review. You have two choices: get upset about it, or find a proactive way to make the most of it. I have proactive suggestions for customers who have had their reviews removed, and authors who have seen reviews vanish without even so much as a puff of smoke.

The Self-Publishing Checklist (Jane Friedman)
Whether you’re completely new to the publishing process or an old pro, it can be helpful to have a to-do list to guide your self-publishing project to completion, to ensure you don’t miss any important steps, and also to help you plan well enough to hit your target pub date. Here I detail the distinct stages of the editorial, production and sales/distribution process. My goal is to help you understand some of the assumptions I’ve made about the publishing process (which follows a traditional model), as well as where you can save time and expense.

Authors Guild Begins Letter-Writing Campaign (PW)
As part of its ongoing effort to raise writers’ income, the Authors Guild is sending an open letter to members of the Association of American Publishers. The guild will begin mailing the letters this week, with the first going to the largest publishing houses. In subsequent weeks the Guild expects to hit the remaining relevant AAP members, said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Guild, who added it will not target non-publisher AAP members, such as printers.

Soundtracked Ebooks Are Still a Stunt (Digital Reader)
The Independent has a piece up on Booktrack, the four-year-old startup that has been trying without much luck to promote the idea of ebooks with embedded soundtracks. The piece asks essentially the same question that The Guardian asked in 2012 and The Atlantic asked in 2011: Is this the future of ebooks? Given that we are debating the same question four years later, it’s safe to say the answer is no, or rather, not yet.

Print Sales Up Again (PW)
Unit sales of print books from outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan increased 2.8 percent in 2015 over 2014, marking the second consecutive year that print units posted annual gains. In 2014, unit sales increased 2.4 percent over 2013; in 2015 unit sales were up 5.3 percent over 2013. Total units sold topped 652 million in 2015 at outlets that report to BookScan, which captures about 80 percent of print unit sales in the U.S.


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