This guest post is by Ken Thurber, author of Big Wave Surfing
Your book is not just a book. It is a product.
You have just finished your prized tome and you have managed to get it into “print.”
Where you go from here is based upon your perception of your book. Did you publish a book or did you develop a product?
If you “published a book” you may have not completely understood the reality that only now is beginning. You must have a plan to sell your book. If your view is that you’re just publishing a book and not creating a product, you are in trouble.
The single sign that your on your wrong path?
Your sales plan.
Have you started your sales planning? Product planners (and this includes successful authors) start sales planning as soon as they define their product! For your book to be successful you have to earn sales.
If you do not have a sales plan, you are behind the eight ball in terms of getting anyone to actually care about your book. Since there are literally thousands of books introduced each week it takes foresight and planning to position your book for its sales cycle.
How are you going to be noticed in the noise that pervades today’s world of books? Make your book a promise.
Promise your book that you’ll see it as more than just a book.
Promise your book that you’ll treat it with as much care as developers of a product would before putting their product into the marketplace. Ask yourself these golden questions:
Why did I write the book and who is my target audience?
There are a variety of answers to this question, but your answer determines how you are going to proceed to sell your book. If you are trying to create the next big thing then you will have to use a very different strategy than if you wrote a regional flavor book.
How do I reach my target audience?
If your audience is well defined then you can use that definition to interact with the audience. If your book is on a scientific subject or a local sports team then you can readily identify the audience and ways to meet them.
What makes my book unique?
You must be able to identify features that differentiate your book and make it stand out from other books. Even if you are able clearly identify your audience you need to create a reason that people should buy your book and uniqueness in viewpoint, style or content are ways to create this differentiation.
Examples illustrate your value
Once you understand the above considerations, you can take examples out of your book to make points that are designed to engage your audience and convince them to purchase your book.
Viewing the publication of a book as just a starting point is critical to the book’s success. You must strategize sales plans. And, you must remember to see sales as an ongoing process that will falter. Take a cue from the pros and see your book as more than just a book, but a product with careful strategy and sales tactics behind it.
Kenneth J. Thurber has spent his career working in the field of computer and system architecture. He has written or led nearly 500 technical proposals (winning over 200) leading to over $2.5 billion in research, development, and product derived work since 1969. In addition to forming and running several companies he has been a consultant to many Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing and Investing (www.bigwavesurfingbook.com).