Market Your Book with a Dose of CuriosityJan 10, 2022
Have you ever watched babies handle a toy or any item within their grasp?
They twist it, turn it, shake it, put it in their mouth, and then drool all over it.
Have you ever spent time with small children, and been at the mercy of their incessant question-asking with “why” being their favorite?
Why do they do this?
Babies and small children are masters of curiosity!
They have an innate desire to learn what things are, how they work, and then the “famous” why!
So, what is curiosity?
Plain and simple, curiosity is all about asking questions and examining things with the basic purpose of learning something new.
Do you recall Rudyard Kipling’s famous quote?
“I six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are “what, where, why, when, how, and who.”
Whether we remember it or not, we all went through the stage in our life when we weren’t shy about asking questions. We wanted to cram in as much knowledge as we could. Of course, some more than others.
But then what happened?
“Don’t ask so many questions.”
“You should know that.”
“Figure it out for yourself.”
“Go look it up.”
Do any of these sound familiar?
Were there people in your life who belittled you for asking questions or even asking for help?
Perhaps, it was in school when your fellow classmates laughed and made fun of you for asking questions.
Whatever the reason, many of us were affected by circumstances that stopped us from asking questions, because we didn’t want to look stupid.
Why is curiosity important?
Neurological researchers at the University of California found that curiosity makes our brains more open to learning, and when we’re curious about a topic we’re inclined to learn faster.
And, isn’t that what we want?
A naturally curious mind takes interest in a wide range of subjects to find connections to help solve everyday problems better.
Yet, as we age, we often become less curious about the world, and less willing to experiment. We often think that we know everything we need to know about a subject. And, it might even be dangerous to learn more because it might challenge our beliefs.
As the old saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
So, what does this have to do with you marketing your book?
There are several myths in the marketplace to guide and confuse a new author eager to get their book to market.
And, it appears that every author who’s published a book, whether traditionally, hybrid or self-published, has a miraculous technique to answer every newbie’s dreams of selling books. It worked for them or another author they know.
Great, but what authors often find to their detriment, is that what worked for one author, doesn’t necessarily work for another, especially when it’s a whole different subject.
When authors blindly follow other’s people’s advice it closes down the possibility of investigating other options, especially ones better suited for your book.
Marketing, much to the frustration of analytical thinkers, is an inexact science. One technique might work well for one campaign, yet for the second, or third attempt, it didn’t work as well, or it might even fail.
Are there techniques that are proven to work? As an old Chinese philosopher might say, “it depends.”
But, before I digress, this article isn’t about offering you a buffet of specific marketing strategies or tactics. It’s about donning the mantel of “curiosity.”
It’s about asking questions and looking for different answers.
It’s about investigating your best options before blindly following others who aren’t familiar with the wants and needs of your target market.
And, don’t let’s forget the money involved. The money many authors throw at various marketing techniques in the hopes of selling more books.
What if you didn’t have any money to spend on marketing your book
What would you do if you didn’t have a marketing budget?
By the way, this isn’t a wise move. You’ve invested so much time, energy and money writing the book, paying for the cover and layout design, and then publishing and printing. Why on earth would you fail to put aside money for marketing?
You might want to ask yourself that question.
However, let’s assume you didn’t have money to spend on marketing, what would you do?
Would it satisfy you to leave your books to gather dust or would it propel you to uncover other avenues?
I’d put money on the second option. You’d want to get your creative juices flowing.
When I did this with my first book, it sold 500,000 copies. It wasn’t on Amazon, and it wasn’t even a bestseller!
How did I sell 500,000 copies of my first book?
“Exhibiting at Tradeshow: Tips and Techniques for Success” didn’t attract the masses. Instead, it excited a couple of companies. Companies who served the same target market that the book was written for — exhibitors at tradeshows.
When I didn’t have any money to market my book, I asked myself who else was interested in my target market who wasn’t my competition. I wrote down all the possibilities and why they might get excited about purchasing my book.
At the time, I trained exhibitors at tradeshows how to be more effective on the trade show floor. I taught them how to exhibit and potentially sell their products or services.
In my curiosity hunting exercise, I considered the exhibit manufacturers. They serve the same audience, and they’re invested in their client’s success.
A match made in heaven. I contacted a custom exhibit builder who bought several thousand books for their clients.
Because that technique worked so well, I contacted companies who manufactured portable exhibits, and after a few failed attempts, managed to hit the jackpot. I found a company that liked the book so much they ordered 250,000 copies which they had translated into five languages. The icing on the cake was that after two years, they repeated the order!
None of this would have happened if I had relied on bookstores to sell the book. This certainly wasn’t a title the average book lover would rush into a store to buy.
And, this technique only happened because I asked myself some different questions about how to market my book.
However, this is only one of potentially hundreds of possibilities.
When you’re curious you not only ask questions but also actively seek out the answers.
So, what questions are you going to ask before marketing your next book?
And one more thing, there’s no such thing as a dumb question!
Here’s wishing you much book and author marketing success!