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Wine into Water?

wine into waterAs writers, I hope you’re getting some of your marketing savvy from The Story of Telling. Not only is Bernadette brilliant, it’s the most writerly marketing description I know.

In her latest post she writes that “the customers you keep are not just choosing you—you are also choosing them. The fact that you make this choice means you get to do your best work and not the watered down version for people who might care some day.”

I co-authored a book with Rick Wilson called Hits or Niches. The diagram below outlines our shared perspective on why marketing should always aim at a niche and never aim at becoming a hit.

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Clearinghouse or Curator?

Baroque Rackett (a musical instrument)
Know why you’re making a racket
Word of mouth is powerful. It’s the backbone of social media marketing.

It’s easy to misuse if you don’t know your goal.

Quite common in some circles to tweet or post or pin and then ask the community to pass it along.

Before you do, ask yourself some questions:

  • Can you genuinely endorse this book or author or are you simply doing them a favor?
  • Will your followers know that?
  • Is that the right reputation for you?

If your aim is to be someone who is known for sharing; that you talk a lot about books and authors; you’re a hub, a town crier, then share far and wide. Be the town crier, the hub, the sharer.

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If You Want Word of Mouth to Work You Have to Teach Your Fans How

photo by Martin Lundgren of mouth is the best marketing you can get — if, like free, it’s done right.

What are you doing to help your fans share your books? Do you teach them what to say, so they’re doing real marketing? If they’re just saying “This is a good book” that’s not marketing, it’s just talk. They need your guidance.

You need to craft a message simple enough for them to say something like my fans would say about my first mystery: “Joel’s book is like meeting someone you love for a laugh and a pint at the pub.” Folks hear that, and they’re hooked (or repelled, which is also fine.)

My fans won’t know to say that if I don’t teach them.

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The One True Measurement Your Fans Care About

It’s not how many
they gave it at Amazon.

It’s not how well it was
It’s not that it was available in their
of choice: Kindle, Nook, print, audio.
It’s not the
It’s not
how long
or short it is.

image by Billy Alexander
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