Grow Your Marketing Part 1: An Introduction
Readers of my e-book Crack Your Marketing will have seen how to make the breakthrough that every published author wants — getting people to actually buy their book(s).
The book details an organic marketing strategy which is virtually guaranteed to generate sales over time. Those implementing the tactics given within it have seen how exactly it works, how it saves time and money, not to mention energy expended in frustration, and how satisfying it can be to engage with an audience who is interested in what they have written and warming up to buy more.
But Crack Your Marketing also outlines that, to make writing fiction into a viable career, an individual needs to look at acquiring about 10,000 book sales in any given year. That’s quite a lot, when all you have is your own resources and perhaps very little or no access to established book-selling venues or the usual mass marketing techniques employed by big publishers (flawed though those often are).
How can you speed up the process of getting books into the hands of readers?
Let’s look at four ways of boosting your sales.
Here is the standard formula for doubling sales as used by businesses everywhere:
L x C x M x f = growth potential
L = leads
C = customers
M = margin
f = frequency of purchase
Expanded, it reads like this:
Leads x Customers x Margin x Frequency = Growth Potential
Doubling leads can double your sales.
Doubling customers can double your sales.
Doubling margins can double your sales.
Doubling frequency of purchase can double your sales.
If you were to somehow double all four of these factors, your business would multiply by sixteen times — but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pull that off.
However, you might be able to double one or two of them.
You can probably see how this formula works if you’re in the business of selling pizzas or magazines or even insurance — but how does it work for an independent writer?
‘Frequency of purchase’ and ‘customers’ are pretty clear, but what exactly are ‘leads’ and ‘margins’ when it comes to fiction writing?
A ‘lead’ is standardly defined as ‘someone or something that may be useful, especially a potential customer or business opportunity’. So a lead for a writer would be someone who potentially would buy their book.
A ‘margin’ is a profit margin — how much money you actually make for yourself out of the business of book sales.
In other words, there are four methods you have available to grow your viability as a writer:
1. Increase the number of potential readers
2. Increase the number of actual readers
3. Increase the amount of money you take away from each book sale
4. Increase the number of times your book is bought
When you think of making more money as a writer — if you ever do think about it clearly, without confusion or frustration — you probably think of number 4 first and possibly solely. Obviously, you think, the way to make more money is to get more books sold. And that’s fair enough: you’re not a business-minded person, in all likelihood, and selling more books is a valid way of generating more money.
But it’s only one of four.
And the ways in which you imagine it’s possible to sell more books are probably fairly limited.
So it’s worth breaking this formula down and seeing what we can do with it to boost your viability as a whole.
That’s what we’ll be doing in this series.