Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt
Find your readers.
Make your brand memorable.
Sell more books.
Jennifer Fusco is the owner of Market or Die, a publicity services company. A three time winner of the Advertising Excellence Award, Jennifer has launched successful national print and digital ad campaigns. She has served as a member of the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and believes brand building is a key to professional success. Her first novel, Fighting For It, a contemporary romance, will debut in October, 2015.
"Jennifer Fusco has put together a comprehensive guide to creatively and productively market your book."—Barbara Vey, Beyond Her Book blog
"Romance writers are lucky to have Jennifer Fusco in our ranks—even a brand new author can turn into a marketing pro by following Jennifer's marketing and brand management tips."—Eloisa James, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Brand is one of those terms that we hear a lot these days; understanding what it truly means in the marketplace, creating and maintaining a brand, and how brand affects an author's career is much more complex. Jennifer's vast experience in marketing, public relations, advertising and brand innovation make her an expert in the field."—Kristan Higgins, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA award.
"Jennifer Fusco knows her stuff! In her career-changing presentations, she turns the baffling, complicated—and critical—world of marketing into practical, doable and understandable concepts. Don't miss out!"—Hank Phillippi Ryan, an Anthony, Macavity and Agatha-winning author
Marketing sucks. You don’t have to explain why you feel overwhelmed at the
mention of the word marketing. You’re not alone. No author sets out to market a
book—authors write. But, like it or not, marketing has become part of an
author’s career. In a recent conversation with urban fantasy author Anton
Strout, he posed the question: "Is it that authors are overwhelmed by
marketing, or are we just too focused on the writing?” After a bit of a debate,
he said, "writers have to embrace marketing, even though they’d rather write.”
Anton continued by saying, "As the landscape of publishing changes, so are the
responsibilities of the modern author. It’s not a question of if you
should, it’s a question of how you should (market) now.”
have Market or Die: A Down & Dirty Guide to Marketing Your Book.
But before we
jump into the how, let’s talk about why marketing is important
to your career. Marketing is about building relationships. These relationships
will generate demand for you and your work.
That’s it. Plain
demand, effective marketing is split into two phases: strategy and execution.
Some authors jump into the execution phase without taking the time to plan a
strategy, then sit back and wonder why their plans failed. However, this won’t
be you. Why? Because, by the end of this book, you will have learned that
marketing should be a coordinated, integrated effort. A cohesive plan will help
you make sure all of your marketing efforts are "hitting” at exactly the same
time. A one-time promotion, never to be seen or heard from again, won’t do you
any good... ever.
strategy should include plans for social media, advertising, in-person and
online events, promotions, endorsements, press coverage, reviews, and word of
mouth (word of mouth is often referred to as "buzz”). And all of it should
include a soft-sell message designed to build a relationship with your readers.
In this book, you will master the skills of soft-selling so that readers will
feel emotionally invested in you. That emotional connection will translate into
sales. You will learn how to compose a marketing plan, how to implement the
strategies therein, and how to gauge the efficacy of your ventures. The tools
contained in this book will enable you to market your book successfully.
So, are you with
Attitudes, and Marketing
The idea of
selling a book is simple. You have a great story, an interesting title, a
striking cover image, and enticing back cover copy. Your novel should sell
itself, right? Wrong. Today, the market is inundated with books competing for
readers’ attention. It doesn’t matter if the book is published traditionally or
through independent channels, more and more of the weight of book publicity is
being placed on the author’s shoulders.
Authors are creative and fascinating people. They create
worlds and characters; weave compelling conflict into stories; and craft
edge-of- your-seat plotlines and moving dialogue. So, why do authors with such
innate creativity shrink at the idea of marketing?
Some don’t know where to start, while others don’t give
themselves enough credit for being good at book promotion. Marketing is a discipline
that combines strategy, creativity, and execution. It is a skill easily learned
authors have understood and adopted marketing into their careers and recognize
it is as important as the writing itself. New York Times bestselling
romance author Lori Handeland says, "From the beginning of my career, I knew I
needed to be more than just another author with a book to sell. I knew I needed
to lay the groundwork to build relationships with my readers. I wanted to get
to know my readers, and let them into my world as much as possible. Career
longevity begins with the fans you make on your first sale, and those fans will
be the ones who stay with you forever.”
author, New York Times and USA Today bestseller Tawny Weber
agrees. She says, "I began studying marketing, taking workshops, and asking
promotional advice long before I had a contract for my first book, because I
understood one simple fact. The authors who reached more readers sold more
books. Since my goal has always been to have a successful, long-term career as
an author, I knew marketing would be a vital tool to achieve that goal.”
You, too, can
achieve Ms. Handeland’s and Ms. Weber’s levels of success by accepting that
marketing is a part of your job.
failure in marketing depends on the effectiveness of your communication.
Shouting the release of your new book from the rooftops will only be effective
if those listening care. In marketing, it is essential to not only craft
clear, concise messages, but also deliver those messages to the buying public
who will deem your book to be of value.
It is also important
to note that communication is a two-way street. When you find the subset of the
buying public who enjoys your work, it is your responsibility to not only
engage with them, but listen to their wants and needs.
book-buying public, authors are perceived to be superstars. Moviegoers may not
be able to connect with their Hollywood idols in the way they may wish, but for
readers, authors are real, attainable people they can connect with. Harnessing
and fostering that connection leads to discoverability, and, once discovered,
your fan base flourishes.
It is also
important to examine why you should learn how to communicate effectively.
Communication is the basis to selling a product. Effective communication is
not about "you.” It is about cultivating your readership and providing readers
with the content they desire. Writer Matt Doss, author of The Son of David,
says, "While we have ample opportunity to edit and rewrite our words during the
editing process, we do not have that luxury when speaking. Getting people
interested in our work means getting people interested in us. They know they
can read our work, but they want to be inspired by and connected to the author.
That spark of connectivity normally only comes from effective communication.”
constructed marketing message can be written or spoken. To become successful at
marketing, you must understand your end goal is to make a sale. In order to
make a sale, it is important to learn how to communicate your marketing message
effectively. Mixing effective messages with the intent to sell isn’t a new
In 1898, Elias
St. Elmo Lewis, an advertising and sales innovator, crafted a communication
model, later recorded in 1903, to explain personal selling.
BusinessDictionary.com defines personal selling as face-to-face selling in
which the seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a purchase.
attempts to clarify how the seller can influence the buyer through messaging.
Lewis’s model was later published by CP Russell’s "How to Write a Sales-Making
Letter” in Printers Ink in 1921, and the four-layer model which is
comprised of Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA), is still relevant
today. Lewis and Russell’s theory was used as a basic principle in advertising.
However, today’s marketing encompasses more than just traditional face-to-face
selling and print advertising.
readers are bombarded with marketing messages and headlines designed to grab
their attention. Each message must work extremely hard to get not only
noticed, but acted upon by the buying public. Therefore, the importance of
learning how to construct a marketing message designed to reach your intended
reader is vital to career longevity. It is imperative to your career that you
learn how to write with the intent to sell. When writing with the intent to
sell, you will construct the most effective messages with a multi-phased
creating advertising copy, pitching a book (with the intent to sell) to a
reader can be accomplished in four simple sentences. These sentences are
constructed as follows:
The Headline: Attracts the reader.
The Sub-Line: Relays the benefits of the book to the
The Body: Convinces the reader that this book will
satisfy his or her needs.
The Call to Action: Directs the reader toward the purchase of
The idea sounds
simple, and it is. The difficulty comes in writing an effective marketing
message that incorporates each layer without sounding off-putting.
find a marketing message created for this book using the layered communication
Are you happy
with your current book sales? Would you like to learn how to market in order to
increase your sales simply by building relationships? If you answered yes, Market or Diecan help. The simple act of building relationships using effective
communication is covered in detail in Jennifer Fusco’s latest book.
the above paragraph to analyze how the reader is directed toward a purchase.
The headline is
designed to grab the attention of the reader by asking a question. The sentenceAre you happy with your current book sales? is written for the author
who would answer "no,” and thus continue to read further. The message is
designed for the author who wants to increase sales.
sentence focuses on the benefits of the book. The sentence Would you like to
learn how to market in order to increase your sales simply by building
relationships? tells the reader what they will learn by reading the book.
buyer this book will satisfy his or her needs is communicated in the sentence If
you answered yes, Market or Die can help. This is the sentence which
provides the solution to the reader’s problem.
reader toward making a purchasing decision is implied in the last sentence—The
simple act of building relationships using effective communication is covered
in detail in Jennifer Fusco’s latest book. This sentence invites the reader
to buy the book in a non-threatening way.
of a layered communication message allows it to be used as a checklist. It’s
impossible to sell anything without getting the buyer’s attention. To write an
effective headline, it is best to begin your message with wording that pulls
your audience toward you. One of the ways to achieve this is to open with a
question, such as:
Do you like...?
Are you looking
Have you ever...?
Do you think...?
with a question isn’t required, you may find it useful to begin with a question
as you first develop your message. You can always refine the sentence and take
out the question in later revisions. Using your title or describing a situation
are alternative eye-catching openers and ways to begin your message.
You may start by
asking yourself what it is about your book that captures a reader’s attention.
Or answer the question, why should your reader care? The rest of your message
should be designed to keep the reader’s concentration and sustain the reader’s
interest to learn more.
grab the reader by telling him the crux of your topic. If you are writing
fiction, tell the reader what’s at stake in the story.
*Avoid the use of the word "I” in your opening statement. In other words,
refrain from the use of openers such as, "I think you’d
like...” or "I’ve got a story you may...”
Using the word "I” presses your opinion onto others. Remember, in order to become
attractive to a buyer, it’s important to pull a person in. Without a buyer,
you cannot make a sale.
* Refrain from using words like "hot” or
"best.” They’ve become overused and lost their impact.
* Once your opening statement has an
interested audience, you’ll need to sustain their attention. To do this, you
must state the benefit of what you have to offer. In the sub-line, focus on the
book’s benefits. If you need help cultivating the benefits, consider the
* Address a problem facing your reader.
* Offer a suggestion for a topic the reader
* Focus on the theme or issues in the book.
* Answer how the book will improve the
Get to the
point. Avoid boring the reader by using too many words. Prospective buyers are
won and lost when they’re forced to consider how the book will benefit them.
State the benefits clearly. For fiction, this is the place to address the
emotional conflict of the story.
The sub-line and
body complement each other. So, as you begin writing the body, deliver the
reason why you believe this book will satisfy your reader. If the reader has
stuck with your message thus far, you have captured his or her interest. In the
sentence that is the body, be sure to:
* Ensure your
reader understands what your book offers.
* Tell your
reader what makes your book desirable.
* Focus on the
needs and wants of your reader.
* Create the
motivation for buying the book.
If you are
writing nonfiction, provide the answer to your reader’s problem. It is vital
that you summarize the reader’s problem first, and then address how it will be
solved. For fiction, this is where you place your story’s hook. If the hook is
expertly crafted, your readers will become so invested that they are compelled
to read further.
most important—sentence is where you ask for the purchase. Here, the audience
is directed toward buying the book with a buy link or learning opportunity,
such as a website address. It is perfectly acceptable to ask someone to visit
your website and then provide your web address. Also, if there are any
time-sensitive messages, such as On Sale Now, or For a Limited Time,they would go in the call to action. You may also end your message by listing
specific retailers where your work can be found.
communication will engage an audience, hook readers, and drive them toward an
action. Learning how to communicate effectively is not buyer manipulation. It
is simply providing a solution to a reader’s need (sometimes before the reader
realizes the need). When you reach readers who are interested in your work and
perceive your content is of value, they will engage with you. This interaction
can lead to a purchase. If they are satisfied with the content you provided,
they will continue to engage with you long-term. Before you put together the
marketing messages regarding your book, consider:
* How you will make readers aware of your
* Your outreach strategy.
* What social media platforms you will use.
* What you want your reader to know about
* How your book is made available to the
* What makes your book desirable?
* What benefit does your book offer the
* How will you best interact with your
* Do you feel comfortable asking for a
* How will you go about inviting the reader
to buy your work?
above will help you craft your marketing messages. Then, once they are created,
you need to answer the question of how and where will you use this type of
communication and, more importantly, what actions will you take to support it?
effective communication is layered, actions to take in order to apply your
message are also multi-phased. There are many techniques available to help
promote your message. Use these techniques to accompany each phase of your
message. For example:
* To increase awareness about your book,
put effort into outreach. Increase the rate and frequency of your
participation on social media. Facebook and Twitter are two social media platforms
which can assist you in spreading your marketing message.
* Gain attention for your book by
communicating your marketing message to other authors who will help you find
your audience by introducing you to their own.
* Newsletters are an effective method of
communicating benefits to your readership. Send out a newsletter and include
your marketing message.
* Communicate how your book satisfies the
reader’s needs by participating in book signings. Or, if in-person signings are
not possible, schedule an event online.
* Support your call to action by ensuring
your website is up to date and easily found. Provide a list or a link on your
website to all the retail outlets where your book may be purchased.
crafting a marketing message is integral to the sales process. Not only does
it promote discoverability, but it promotes the sale itself. In today’s
publishing landscape, the author has more control than ever before. Creating a
marketing message and writing it with the intent to sell places the author in a
position of power. Now, you have the ability to identify the reader who is most
likely to make a purchase, rather than communicating a message with the hope it
reaches someone who cares.
Today, you have
the ability to not only create the work, but create the value of the work to
the reader. This perceived value lends itself to career longevity, now and for
years to come.
Key takeaways from this chapter:
*Marketing is a discipline that combines strategy, creativity, and execution.
Mastery in marketing will come over time. Practice is key.
* Success or failure in marketing depends
on the effectiveness of your communication. It is important that you communicate
your message to an audience who cares.
* Once you find a subset of the buying
public interested in your work, it is your responsibility to not only engage
with them, but listen to their wants and needs. Engagement is essential to marketing
* Learning how to construct a marketing
message, designed with your intended reader in mind, is vital to career
* Crafting a clear, succinct marketing
message is similar to creating advertising copy. Use a four-layered approach:
the headline, the sub-line, the body, and the call to action.
* In the body of the message, ensure the
reader understands what the book offers, tell the reader what makes the book
desirable, focus on the wants and needs of the reader, and create motivation
for purchasing the book.
* Consider how you will make the reader
aware of the book’s release, your outreach strategy, what social media
platforms you intend to use, what you want the reader to know about the story,
how you will make the book available to the public, what makes the book
desirable, what benefit the book offers the reader, if you feel comfortable
asking for (or implying) a purchase, and how you will go about inviting the
reader to buy the work.