In my recent blog post: What Are the 5 Phases of Publishing a Book? | Part One I introduced you to these five phases of publishing a book and discussed phases one through three:
In this post, I will discuss the last two phases – 4. Marketing and 5. Distributing and Shipping. Although the five listed steps imply a linear progression, the journey is never quite straight and/or sequential, as in any creative process. For example, in the book publishing process, marketing activities underly all of the stages, because it actually starts when the first viable draft of the manuscript has been written. This surprises most new authors.
Marketing is the most important and the most complex phase. It is a long and arduous process that is not unlike having a child. I say this because the book needs constant and consistent attention over a long period of time, particularly if your content is evergreen.
[Disclaimer: This article describes my author experience of independently publishing a non-fiction art instruction book to be sold internationally. Off-set printing was used because color is on every page and it is a hard back so that it is durable, lays flat for better usability, and is marketable to a variety of venues, including libraries. Every book carries its unique goals.]
Phase 4: Marketing
What is marketing? It is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers. With its focus on the customer, marketing is one of the premier components of business management.
Given the above definition, to write and sell a book, the author must understand that he/she is starting a book publishing business. Most authors do not fully comprehend this phenomenon, which can cause angst and frustration. I arrived in my book publishing journey having taken classes in marketing and I worked in a marketing department within a medium-sized corporation many years ago. Hence, the principles were and are not difficult for me to grasp. If you do not have similar knowledge, I recommend that you take a basic Marketing 101 course BEFORE taking advantage of the many books and online resources available on the subject of marketing books.
It is important to know who will be reading your book and whether they represent a viable market. Along this line of thinking, knowing the problem(s) your book will solve and providing solutions to this problem is also critical. If these are not completely thought out then your book will not sell. [Read more…]