For some people, writing a book is a dream come true. When it’s time to market the book however, that the dream can turn into a nightmare or, at the very least, a disappointment.

That Facebook fan page, while nice, is not really driving sales. Those news releases to all those journalists are not causing the phone to ring much at all. The website seems to exist in a vacuum, the email blast flopped and the last booksigning event did not break even.

It doesn’t have to be like that. To be successful at marketing a book, you must understand some key concepts regarding how to market a book on the Internet. Here are the top book marketing concepts you must embrace if you hope to meet your goals in 2013.

Outbound VS Inbound

Scenario A.

Imagine that you have a laptop computer you would like to sell. You make up some attractive flyers to help you sell your computer. You enter an auditorium. There are 1000 people in the auditorium. You walk through the crowd and hand a flyer to each of the 1000 people in the auditorium.

What are the chances you might sell that computer today? Well, it’s possible – maybe. Perhaps, out of 1000 people, somebody MIGHT be interested in buying a laptop computer today. Maybe.

Scenario B.

Imagine you have a laptop computer you would like to sell. You make up some attractive flyers to help you sell your computer. But this time you enter a stadium.

In this stadium there are 100 times as many people as were in that auditorium – 100,000 people. And every person in this stadium, before entering, made a decision: ‘I am going to find and buy a laptop computer today!’

Which scenario would offer a better chance that you might sell your computer?

Scenario A represents marketing as it’s done in the real world.
Scenario B represents marketing as it’s done on the Internet.
In scenario A, you are chasing buyers.
In scenario B, buyers are chasing you.

In that an extremely large percentage of people now state that the Internet is the ONLY choice in regards to making book purchasing decisions, it makes sense to implement an effective Internet marketing strategy. Marketing today is not about finding buyers. Marketing today is about buyers finding you. There are huge numbers of people searching for books. They are interested today, as evidenced by the search terms they are using today. All that is required is that you get in front of them.

Internet Marketing – The Basics

To be successful in Internet marketing you must have 3 things:

1. You must get traffic – and a lot of it, whether it be to a website, a blog or an Amazon page
2. You must convert traffic – remember – you can have a lot of visitors and no sales
3. You must do things that work – it is possible to work very hard doing things that produce no results

Breaking it down:

1 To get traffic you must have:
a. a laser sharp keyword strategy (this is not just picking out some words; no – no -no)
b. authoritative links
c. relevant content

2. To convert traffic you must have:
a. A unique and powerful brand that creates credibility and trust
b. Non-threatening calls to action
c. An engagement system

Your website is not a brochure. It is not a billboard. It is your store. It your your primary outlet. Treat it as such. It must function as a store.

3. Do things that work:
Every book is unique. Every audience is one of a kind. You must know your potential buyers (male/female, age, location, specific needs, etc) and you must communicate with them using their preferred communication styles and preferred communcation tools.

You must know how and why people buy things today. If you don’t really understand this, you are doomed.

You must also do things that produce compound interest, rather than cost. Advertising, social media and the like are holes into which you must constantly throw more money, time and effort. Very inefficient and very scenario A. This is why they produce very little in this environment. There are many other marketing tools that can increase in value over time with no further effort, time or cost.

Be A Publisher – Not A Printer

Most authors are not self published – they are instead self printed.

Publishing is not writing. Publishing is a business. It requires a laser sharp marketing model and approach.

Printing up a book and putting it on Amazon is not publishing.
Putting up a website and a Facebook page is not marketing.
Social media is not a publicity tool.

These are tools. They are employed to implement the underlying marketing strategy. A hammer is employed as a tool, combined with building materials, to build a house that has been laid out in a blueprint. As regards marketing, the above tools can be used to deliver a message to a specific group of pre-sold buyers through a well-developed marketing strategy.

If you own a hammer, you have not built a house. If you have a social media account set up, you do not yet have a marketing plan.

To be successful at marketing you must pull back from the work and look at it as a publisher would – as a product. That’s what a book is to a publisher. Writing a book is great, it’s fun and it’s fulfilling. Marketing a book is a lot of work. There is no magic or secret formula.

Generic, Cookie-Cutter Marketing Packages

When you go to a doctor, he does not sell you a ‘health package’.
When you go to a mechanic, he does not sell you a ‘repair package’
Why buy a ‘marketing package’?

Doctors, mechanics and other types of professionals first analyze a situation. That analysis leads them to the problem. They then offer the best solution to the issues that analysis has uncovered. If you want to create real success, a thorough, in-depth analysis of the challenges and the opportunities is the key to creating that success.

Understand The Challenge

If you own a hardware store in your hometown and have two competitors, you have a bit of competition in regards to marketing. Authors of books on the other hand have millions of competitors just one click away. Remember that the website of every author on the planet is now available on your buyers’ desk. Many of those competitors are very sharp marketers. If you hope to compete against them in the marketplace, you must be just as sharp and just as informed.

Therefore if one hopes to be successful at marketing a book, a professional level marketing plan is not an option – its a requirement.