Everything that you want to know about buying and selling books comes down to three simple words:
Positive Reading Experience
That’s what it’s all about.
This is exactly what readers want. Put your focus on maximizing the reading experience for a significant target audience. When your book is perfected, switch your focus to showing the target audience that your book provides an excellent reading experience.
What Makes a Good Reading Experience?
Several factors go into delivering this:
- The storyline engages the reader’s interest.
- The characters fascinate the reader.
- The information is helpful to the reader.
- The content is what the reader was hoping to find.
- The words, structure, and ideas flow well for the reader.
- There are virtually no editing or formatting hiccups to distract the reader.
- The reader perceives the book to be a good value.
- The book pleases the reader.
If you can go beyond the reader’s expectations, really impressing the reader can be a wow-factor worthy of many referrals and recommendations.
How Do You Show This to a Customer?
- Design a cover that reflects the quality of the book.
- Design a cover that attracts the specific target audience that will most appreciate the book.
- Devise a short title that appeals to your specific target audience.
- Prepare a concise blurb that captivates your target audience’s interest.
- Structure the beginning of the book in a way that will show your target audience that your book is what they were hoping to find.
- Market your book to your specific target audience to help them discover your book.
- Let your passion for your book show through implicitly in your marketing.
- Offer a short sample of your book that will make them want more.
- Provide excellent customer service in your interactions with your audience.
- Develop a reputation as a professional author.
- Show samples of diagrams, notes, photos, and other things you use to help prepare your book as these reflect your diligence and dedication while also helping to create interest.
There are two parts to this, and both are critical. One part is showing the customer that the book will provide an excellent reading experience, and the other part is delivering on the promise.
Positive Customer Experience
Many businesses, like Amazon, orient themselves toward excellent customer service. This is what brings customers back for more, and it’s what generates referrals and recommendations.
Authors can similarly benefit from striving to provide a positive reading experience.
Did you see this article about Jeff Bezos and leadership in Forbes in April, 2012? If not, it’s worth checking out. I like point two, where an empty chair was used to signify the customer who was crucially important, but not present at the meeting.
I spoke with a representative from Amazon’s marketing department over the phone a couple of weeks ago, and one thing that repeatedly stood out was a “positive customer experience.” For example, consider those advertisements you see on Amazon’s website that drive traffic to a particular product. If that product runs out of stock, the algorithm stops displaying those advertisements because that wouldn’t provide a positive customer experience.
Ultimately, Amazon’s algorithm is trying to determine which books provide the best reading experience. The best way to benefit from this is to deliver a book that provides an excellent reading experience and market your book effectively to your target audience.
Think, “What can my book do for my target audience?”
The things that your book does to impress your target audience are your strengths that can help attract the target audience. The things that your book does to detract from the reading experience are your weaknesses. You can’t hide these, so you must shore them up as best you can.
Who Am I?
I’m not just a name. I’m a person, too.
I have a Ph.D. in physics, but don’t let that scare you. I love to read and write. If you just look around my blog or at the books I’ve published, you’ll see that I love to write. I’ve come to understand and appreciate the marketing aspect, too. I didn’t like it when I first started publishing, back when I naively thought marketing meant salesmanship and advertising. Now that I realize that marketing is more about branding, showing that you’re a person and not a name, and letting your target audience discover your passion—and more meaningful and subtle things like these—I’ve come to enjoy it. I hope to reveal the enjoyable and fascinating side of marketing—the parts that aren’t so obvious—to other authors. Focus on this side of marketing, and you may find yourself more motivated to do it, the process more rewarding, and hopefully better long-term results.
I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles by clicking one of the following links:
Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers