- The marketing Aspect
This edition is a continuation of the last two articles published in this paper. The main focus of this article is on the various avenues for marketing our work as writers in general for massive sales. The marketing ideas shared are not restricted to only people within the book publishing space or writing fraternity. This material gives pointers on how to make a massive impact on your brand and business.
In the first series, it was acknowledged some writers may consider marketing and distribution of their works as a nightmare. Reference was made to Sabri Suby’s book “Sell like Crazy”, where he encouraged his readers to be marketers and salesmen; to be real-life representations of their products.
He notes how important sales are for a business to survive; it is the heart of the business, he posits. As the demands for the work are being met, that is what makes the lub-dub of the heart steady and stable. Sales can be made only when people know your product. We asked ourselves how we could make people aware of our products?
It is important to view your publication as a product just as big brands like Adonko bitters or Coca-Cola would creatively sell and market their products. Marketing is the preparation made to create awareness about your work. It can be likened to how ingredients are cut and prepared before being combined to make a sumptuous meal. Marketing involves what is being done to pave the way and draw attention to the work even before it is ready for all to see. These pointers would guide individuals on how to effectively market their written works for massive sales:
- Paid adverts
Even though social media has proven to be an effective platform for advertisements, the power traditional media has to create awareness cannot be underestimated. Using traditional media like the newspaper, television, billboards, and radio are also great ways to increase awareness about your publication.
Notable personalities like Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Tetteh Nettey who wrote “You Failed, So what” used this platform by advertising their books on billboards. Bishop Dag Heward-Mills and Rev. Eastwood Anaba both use television as a means of advertisement. This avenue is however not advisable for new authors as it is expensive and may overburden them. It is deemed fit for well-accomplished people who have authored books.
Depending on the marketing strategy one can engage start-ups and other accomplished businesses to pay for advertisements in the said book. Companies can pay to have their fliers inserted into the book at an agreed cost.
This is usually informed by the number of copies to be printed and distributed, the genre of the book, the target audience, and the consistency of the author; most companies would rather do this with an accomplished author. Adverts in the newspaper and magazines are examples of Inserts. Sometimes your book can sell as a magazine and it can have the adverts on selected pages.
- Features & Mentions
Bloggers and Influencers with a lot of followers can help boost sales. A lot of people are willing to buy things that have been marketed or mentioned by influencers with a large following base. These influencers can market and promote your book on their platforms to their followers.
Bloggers can also be used to draw the attention and interest of others to your book with their creative headlines and other content created. A piece of work can go viral with creative content and headlines. Any good writer can become an influencer if they increase their followers and provide good content. The more people enjoy your content, the more likely they are to share it with others.
- TV & Radio discussions
Writers may solicit for TV and radio discussions to talk about topical issues mentioned in their book. References can be made to their books during the discussion. This is a cheaper way of subtly advertising books as compared to purposefully paying for adverts on these platforms. In TV interviews on topical issues such as career, CVs, job hunting, etc.
I mention my book, “Career Advantage” and “Hello Intern” to highlight a few pointers on excelling and growing in your career after school and the importance of internships and why companies should take on interns respectively. As a beginner, you would have to solicit for interviews yourself but as you become more established, tables turn and you would be invited for these interviews.
My first interview was in 2010 at the then Choice FM on a show hosted by Brown Berry who now hosts a morning show at YFM: Ryse and Shyne. The interview allowed listeners to have first-hand information on what my book, “Why not think I can” was about.
As a new author, this interview did great for my writing career because it gave me exposure. I gathered feedback from friends who tuned in to identify the pitfalls in my submission. Over the years, I gathered feedback to improve on my delivery and communication. I’m grateful to media houses like GTV, ETV, Kwese TV, GN TV, Radio Universe, etc.
As a new writer, top radio stations and TV stations may not grant you the audience but give it your best even with the media houses that do not have a lot of viewers or listeners. This is a preparation ground for you to identify and correct your pitfalls before you move on to bigger stations. This will prevent you from making mistakes on larger platforms that could be costly to your profession.
- Writing Articles for newspapers
Just like you can make mention of your book on topical issues during interviews, the same can be done when writing articles for newspapers. When I was in my second year at the University of Ghana, I became interested in writing for Guide Young Blazes, a product of the Daily Graphic media house. I reached out to the editor and volunteered to write for them. After a review of my initial submissions, I was given the opportunity to publish one story, then another, then another, then another. My book, “My First Lessons in Leadership” targeted at teens and young adults is a compilation of weekly features in the paper.
As a writer, contributing to a newspaper, either voluntarily or paid can impact your writing career because the newspaper has a way of enhancing your credibility. You could write for any association be it that of a church, community, etc.; take the opportunity whenever it arises. I also recall writing articles for the “Siren” which was once a Sarbah Hall magazine, Legon hall magazine, and Pensa UG magazine. When people like the articles you have written in magazines and newspapers, chances of them patronizing your works are higher.
- Promotions or Freebies
Another avenue to explore is the use of promotions and freebies. Offering a gift with the purchase of your work could increase awareness and in effect, sales of your book. Customers like free things because they don’t have to do much work to get them. It is an effective way of encouraging people to try your work.
>>>the writer is a corporate trainer and professional ghostwriter assisting busy executives to write and publish their books, articles, and speeches. He has served as Head of Protocol at a diplomatic mission, Corporate Affairs Officer at a French multinational agribusiness and as Events and Media Correspondent for a digital ad agency. You can contact the author via: [email protected]