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Discussion in 'off topic' started by RoyleBlue, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. RoyleBlue

    RoyleBlue pfm Member

    …a friend of mine has asked if I know anyone who can advise him on a couple of questions he has re. marketing - he didn’t specify anything else.
    Any thoughts / help on here please?
  2. mhv

    mhv pfm Member

  3. Bananahead

    Bananahead pfm Member

  4. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I have a degree in it, which doesn't mean much, and have worked in marketing research for 20 years, then online retail for the last 6. All have touched the sides of marketing, or should I say I have touched the sides, ie in no way am I an expert. I'd like to see the questions regardless.
    hifilover1979 likes this.
  5. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    I work as marketing director for a company that sells to Governments and a handful of specialist private companies. We don't really do mass media or facebook/twitter/IG, so can't help there, but other comms, strategy, promotion, product management, etc. is more what I deal with. If can help, happy to do so.
    hifilover1979 likes this.
  6. Spraggons Den

    Spraggons Den pfm Member

    You beat me too it.
  7. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    why don't you just post the questions for the collective self appointed expertise to argue about
  8. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    That's a bit like saying your friend wants some help with Hifi: a bit vague.
    I don't know much about marketing to consumers, but did spend many years on B2B marketing of industrial goods. If his questions are in that area, I would be happy to help him. Best to PM.
  9. Heckyman

    Heckyman pfm Member

    For a new product or service, the starting point would be to understand who the customers are and why they should choose this particular product or service. Some reasons might be newness, improved performance, customisation, "getting the job done", design, brand/status, price/cost reduction, risk reduction, convenience etc. The key here is testing.

    If it's an existing product or service, the question is probably about how to promote the product more effectively — the answer to that really depends on the specifics.
  10. RoyleBlue

    RoyleBlue pfm Member

    Thanks so far. Will ask him to be a tad more specific!
  11. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Good plan. Otherwise it's like asking for advice on engineering. Sure. Are you repairing a bike or designing a spaceship? Both engineering.
  12. RoyleBlue

    RoyleBlue pfm Member

    Here’s what I received.
    “Chances are that I'm going to have to self publish my book which means I'll have to do my own marketing strategy also, but I have no idea where to even start. Which platforms are the strongest, how to successfully utilise blogs and vlogs, Instagram, twitter etc.”
  13. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    what sort of book? fiction? non-fiction? price bracket? media print or e or both?

    why haven't they been successful through more traditional publishing methods? what have they tried? what feedback have they received?
  14. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    Before worrying about blogs and platforms and formats, your friend should answer as honestly as possible a few questions about his product (the book)
    "What compelled you to write this book? What is unique about your book, versus all the other books on Amazon? What does it do that no other book has done before, or how does it approach an old subject in a new way?"
    In other words "Why should readers care about your new book"?
    Once he has worked out some crisp and compelling answers to those questions, the other questions will be much easier to handle.
  15. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    If the subject has written a book - then they should have some idea who the book is for....? Which will give a lot of clues about how to approach the 'marketing' of it.

    Chap I knew self-published his novel (and a follow up!) So far as I know the only people to see it were the friends that he gave it too as a Xmas gift. (it was terrible - no wonder it was not published)

    Anyway - the other thing these days is - why publish a book? There are lots of ways of getting your information/story/history out there without printing and making a book. Make a website, make a blog, publish in a relevant journal.. this list could go on. The marketing could could be similar - just get people to know where to find it. Unless you believe that somehow publishing the 'book' will make money. Best sell it though Amazon then....They are a bookshop, after all!
    gintonic likes this.
  16. Heckyman

    Heckyman pfm Member

    OK, the problem here is that you would generally opt for the self-publishing route if you had time and money to spend upfront on the marketing, and believed you could do a better job of it than a publisher. It doesn't sound like that's the case!

    So it's gonna be tough...

    "The best strategy I tried initially seemed both counter-intuitive and counter-productive and that involved producing free books and linking them to my website and author newsletter," explained Nevill. "I feared devaluing my own writing, but in all of the courses I studied from professional and successful indie authors, they recommended this marketing strategy.

    From — this is the "classic" online marketing method, drive traffic to your own website/blog, offer free download, capture email address, convert subscribers to paying customers.

    Platforms like or could also be useful to test interest in shorter pieces of writing or a longer serialised work.

    Maybe read, "Don’t Self-Publish A Book Before Answering These Crucial Questions"

    Some quotes from the article:
    If you’re going to bypass the gatekeepers of the literary world (e.g., literary agents, traditional publishers), then you need to make sure to at least consult with a professional editor prior to publication. And even before that step, give your manuscript to some beta readers to gather feedback.

    4. Who is your target audience?
    As the owner of MindStir Media, a leading self-publishing company, one of the most common responses I hear to this question is “everyone.” Unfortunately, that’s the worst possible answer. Your book is not for everyone. Focusing on everyone will make your book nearly impossible to market because your marketing campaigns will be completely untargeted. As with any product, you must determine your ideal customer before launching your book product. Some important reader demographics to consider include age, gender, location and interests. Pinpointing your target audience is important because it will allow you to target the proper consumers in your marketing efforts. It will also save you a lot of money because you won’t be blindly wasting your funds on readers who naturally have no interest in your book.

    5. Where and how will you market your book?
    If you’re going to properly target your audience with your digital marketing campaigns, you need to determine where your audience likes to spend their time. If you’re launching a teen novel, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat are great platforms to leverage. If your book centers on knitting, for example, you could run Facebook ads targeting women who are interested in knitting and then advertise through knitting magazines. Most magazines will allow you to email their subscribers for a fee.

    Good luck!
  17. RoyleBlue

    RoyleBlue pfm Member

    Cheers everyone. Have forwarded on some of your helpful thoughts to him. Btw he is writing a horror novel.
  18. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    I know three people who have self published, and all have done it on Amazon/Kindle as they found the cost to be manageable. In all threee cases, the publicity was done on social media to friends and acquaintances, and it picked up from there (in one case the author had some 3000 contacts on Linked In and he sold 6000 copies/downloads). Worth noting that in all three cases, they weren't expecting to retire on the proceeds, it was done for a bit of fun.
    If the author is really intending to make a go of this, I'm not sure self-publishing is the way to go, unless you have the media machine to go with it. You need access to blogs, reviewers, press (printed ads in the Tube and around bus stops is apparently very much worthwhile), media serialisation, etc. etc. To do that off your own back represents a heck of a lot of cash.
    Heckyman likes this.
  19. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    I know nothing about marketing.

    I would advise him to persuade a celebrity with many followers to read and publicise it.

    Also send a copy to well known reviewers who have a large audience.

    Mark Gatiss likes horror. I’d start there.

    Have minimal expectations.
  20. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Good books seldom don't get picked up, especially in crime and horror.

    Self publishing is cheap, self promoting isn't.

    My ex is a literary agent, her mum's one of the uk's best known agents, her dad's an author, her uncles an author, the entire family is in publishing.

    Does your mate know anything about the industry, really know?

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