Market or Die

Market or Die

Jennifer Fusco

February 2015 $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-5-904

Find your readers.

Make your brand memorable.

Sell more books.

Our PriceUS$13.95
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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




Authors agree. 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.”

Luckily, you 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 and simple.

To create 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.

An integrated 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 me?


Let’s get started.




Chapter One

Authors, 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 and implemented.

Successful 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.”

Fellow romance 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.

Success or 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.

For the 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.”

A clearly 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 concept.

In 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an advertising and sales innovator, crafted a communication model, later recorded in 1903, to explain personal selling. defines personal selling as face-to-face selling in which the seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a pur­chase.

Lewis’s model 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.

Every day, 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 approach.

Similar to 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 reader.

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 book.

The idea sounds simple, and it is. The difficulty comes in writing an effective marketing message that incorporates each layer without sounding off-putting.

Below, you’ll find a marketing message created for this book using the layered communication approach.

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.

Let’s dissect 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.

The next 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.

Convincing the 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.

Leading the 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.

The simplicity 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 for...?

Have you ever...?

Do you think...?

Although opening 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.

In nonfiction, 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.

Other important tips:

*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 following:

* Address a problem facing your reader.

* Offer a suggestion for a topic the reader finds inter­est­ing.

* Focus on the theme or issues in the book.

* Answer how the book will improve the reader’s life.

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.

The last—and 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.

Good 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 book release.

* Your outreach strategy.

* What social media platforms you will use.

* What you want your reader to know about your book.

* How your book is made available to the public.

* What makes your book desirable?

* What benefit does your book offer the reader?

* How will you best interact with your readership?

* Do you feel comfortable asking for a purchase?

* How will you go about inviting the reader to buy your work?

Answering the 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?

Just as 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.

In conclusion, 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 success.

* Learning how to construct a marketing message, designed with your intended reader in mind, is vital to career longevity.

* 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.


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