U = Understand
Up to this point, we have stressed how important it is to know your audiences, but it's critical to understand the questions that your customer is subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) asking before they purchase or read your book.
Even for a relatively inexpensive purchase like a book, you need to make your marketing materials address these issues. These are the questions that your customer is pondering while looking at your book and your marketing materials, (or even while listening to you speak):
- What can you DO for me, teach me or show me? How is what you know going to help me, entertain me or enlighten me?
- Is this information or story IMPORTANT to me? Your buyer is looking for a book they want to buy rather than the book you want them to buy. Of course you are in love with your book, but if your book is of no value to your buyer or reader, who will care?
- Is the information contained in the book NEW to me or MORE than I've gotten in the past? Whether people own up to it or not, everybody wants more, everybody wants new. It's not rude for a person to want more -- it's just human nature.
- Is the information BETTER than I've had in the past? Book buyers and readers alike are very likely to have many books on your subject or genre. Does your book offer something better? ("Better" is subjective in fiction, but quite objective in non-fiction.) Most readers simply want one nugget that will inspire them -- is there something in your book that sets it apart from the others in the same category?
- Is the information TIMELY? It's true that time is money. It's just a fact. One of the best reasons to independently publish is that you can get a book into the marketplace in a timely fashion. (Do not skip the editing process to get your book out fast - remember quality is important!)
- Does the book provide VALUE for the price? There is a point at which the cost is too high for the value a reader gets from it, and in turn, there is also a point at which the price is so low that the customer doesn't believe it is valuable.