Friday, September 7, 2012

The Four "P"s of Book Marketing, (and then some...)

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a presentation where the speaker asked the group of small business owners: "What are the four Ps of marketing?" As usually happens when a crowd is asked a question, no hands went up. So the speaker pushed again. "What are the four Ps of marketing?" A young woman timidly raised her hand and said "uh, product, presentation, uh, ummmm, people and persistence?"  To that the speaker said "No. Anyone else wanna try?"  I watched as another victim raised his hand and said "Product, profit, packaging and plan."

Again, the speaker said "Uh. No. Anyone else?" Finally, someone gave him the answer he wanted, "Product, place, price and promotion." However, he was wrong to even hint that the other words are not important to marketing. I believe there are a dozen critical words in marketing (for books in particular). We'll start with the ones most people are familiar with, and then move to the others in the next post.

Product: Does your book fill a need? Does it look like it fits in the category? Is it high quality? Is it in the proper format? Are you buying the manufacturing at the right place?

Place: This term is often replaced with the word "Position", but I'm keeping those separate -- you'll see why later. In my world, place means distribution. Is your book where people can find it when they are ready to plunk down the $20? Can you make money in the distribution outlets you have selected?

Price: Does your book reflect what the market will bear for this type of book? Have you done your research to see if there is a correlation between price and sales? Have you considered your costs? If you are using any type of collaborative publisher, don't let them push you into a price that is too high for the market. Be realistic and do your due diligence.

Promotion: Ah, this is where most people focus their time, energy and financial resources. This is advertising -- this is something you should be able to measure and quantify, and everyone thinks they can, but it's only part of the mix. This is getting your name out there. If you think you are ready to publish and you have not begun promoting your book, start today. (If you are still reading this...go now. Start NOW.)

Next post will cover some other Ps:  
Position, people, persistence, patience, presentation, profit, plan and publicity.