Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Need

The best way to market anything is to create a product that fulfills a need. Generally, people don't know what it is that they need so you have to tell them.

Successful author marketing will tell consumers why they need your book or blog. That doesn't mean you specifically come out and say, "You need to read my book because blah blah blah." Think about the best advertisements. You have to drink a Coke to be All American. You have to buy an iPad to change the world. You have to eat at McDonald's because you love it. All of those address needs of consumers - they need to feel All American. They need to change the world. And so on.

The needs that are usually fulfilled through books are: Consumers need information or they need to be entertained. But we, as authors, can still pinpoint even more specific needs.

Why do you choose the books that you do to read? Because other people reviewed them and told you all the reasons you needed to read it. Because you saw a book trailer that told you why you needed to read it. Because you saw a display at Barnes and Noble that said "On the NY Times Bestseller List" and you felt like you needed to be up on the latest.

When you are deciding how to market your book or your blog, focus on the needs that your product could fulfill. The more specific you are the better. It's just like when you write your query and you tell agents why they should request your material. Tell readers why they should read your book. Why is it different than every other dystopian? Why is this romance the best of the century?

Even if you aren't yet published, it is never too early to start thinking about this.

Are you thinking about the needs your book fulfills? What about your blog or website? Do you address a need that readers are looking to fulfill?

17 comments:

Leighcaron said...

Good one today. I've thought a lot about marketing, when the time comes...but never why someone 'needs' to read my book. I'll be thinking of this now. Thanks.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I wouldn't know where to begin with this one. What need does a Follower/Reader have except to be either entertained or informed through our blogs. Well, I supposed unless you use your blog for business (I forgot about that one). gosh I sound like a dumb blonde rambling...OUT!

Sue Roebuck said...

Oh Gosh! What's my product? And why do people need to read my books? For an emotional roller-coaster! Ooooh...you've got me thinking now...

Kimberlee Turley said...

Convincing someone they need something is the first lesson of marketing. Except, no matter how many car commercials I've seen and heard on the radio, I have never been convinced that buying a new factory car is better than getting one used.

There are some opinions no amount of marketing will ever change. But definitely, do go after the ones that are on the fence!

Yvonne Stephenson said...

That is one difficult question to answer.

AlexJCavanaugh said...

I thought about it with my second book and aimed to fulfill the needs of my fans.

Jay Noel said...

I think my current project fills a gap in the science fiction/fantasy genre. That's how I pitched it to my publisher, anyhoo!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

But I don't like telling people why they have to read my book. I'd rather tell them why they have to read yours - I'm MUCH more comfortable with that! I think I need other people to convince people to read my book :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Laura! Since I currently have no book to sell, I like sharing about other author's books.

Susanne
PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't thought nearly enough about this! Thanks for the reminder :)

Laura Barnes said...

It's a tough one to really pinpoint sometimes. Hope this helped. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Such a great point: there are some people you will never sway, but marketing helps push people off the fence. :)

Laura Barnes said...

It is a tough question. Good luck with it!

Laura Barnes said...

That's great! That's going to really pay out for you in your career if you're already thinking like that. :)
Hey, how many blogs are you hitting daily during the challenge? Do I even want to know?

Laura Barnes said...

That's perfect. Pitching a book as something that fills a gap is excellent. You're ahead of the game!

Laura Barnes said...

I know! Self-promotion is hard! You could find a way to work your plugs in that don't seem too forthright. Figure out what needs your book fulfills and find ways to showcase those qualities by talking about them. For example, if you did a post about how you come up with ideas on your books or feedback from your agent you could easily talk about your own books. Tell them, "my agent chose to submit this story because bleh bleh bleh" and then you aren't bragging about yourself, you're teaching us. AND you're telling us about your book. Make sense? Cuz I'm kind of tired as I type this and may not be coherent. :)

Laura Barnes said...

You're welcome!

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