Don’t Spend Major Time on Minor Things
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Why implementing a book promotion plan in the wrong order will stifle your success
In everything we do, there are always very important things (the majors) and not so important things (the minors). For instance, in a marriage, communication and spending time with your spouse is a major thing; while giving him or her gifts is a minor thing. Now some may object, but if you bought many gifts but never talked and had alone time, how long would the marriage last? This is what the late Jim Rohn, author and speaker, called “majoring in the minors.”
Now this isn’t to say that minors aren’t important nor have any value. On the contrary, they support the more important aspects. If you spend time with your spouse and communicate, you will have a solid marriage. Then if you give each other gifts, it strengthens the affection and love. Done in the right order, it’s a huge success. Done in the wrong order, it can be a dismal failure.
When you need to promote a book, the same concept applies. There are major aspects to promote a book that are the foundation of its success. There are also minor aspects that build on the major ones to extend and strengthen the campaign.
For example, a book signing is a minor. While many authors use this tactic, it doesn’t get you the exposure you want on a grand scale; it only serves a small portion of a local market. So to promote a book with this tactic as your major approach would cause your campaign to fail. Plus, if you are a relatively new author, if this was done first, about the only people that would show would be family and friends.
Having an effective marketing website and blog, complemented by a PR campaign consisting of talk radio interviews and editorial print is a major and a MUST. The PR campaign will bring you national, regional and local exposure, credibility, trust and respect. Moreover, when they get to your website from this exposure, they will be drawn into your message and book. Now when you do the book signing, it supports your overall PR effort and more people will show up—because they’ve heard of you and your message, and your website projected the very best user-friendly experience needed to create interest.
Again, minor things are important and add value, so as we look at a list of minors, don’t think I am discounting them; I’m just putting them in the proper priority. Here are some minors.
- The already mentioned book signing
- Book readings
- Social Media Marketing
All of the above have their priority as well. For instance, social media marketing is a major in the minor category. It provides great value, but absent the PR campaign, it’s very difficult to create momentum so you can go viral.
I’m sure you’ve all either heard or seen the analogy done with a jar, big rocks, pebbles, gravel and sand. For those who have not, it goes like this. If I were to put the sand in first (the most minor of things), then the gravel, then the pebbles, there is no room for the big rocks. However, if I put the big rocks (the most important things) in first, I can then put in the pebbles (the next most important) and they will fall in between the rocks. I would follow with the gravel (some of the minors) and finish with the sand (the least important). In the right order, it all fits perfectly; in the wrong order, the majors never made it.
In other words, if you spend major time (and money) on minor things to promote a book, you will have exhausted your resources and energy, and may never make it to the major things (website, PR and social media), because the money was spent on the wrong priorities and you’re burned out.
So in what order should you create your plan? The following are the steps you need to take in order to promote a book.
- Get an effective, professionally designed marketing website. It is the hub of your entire plan and a poorly designed site will make all your other efforts and investments a loss. For tips on what makes a good website, read, What Makes a Good Website?
- Public relations: You need to get media
- Social Media: Push that media out in the social-sphere and bring that traffic to your website
- Book signings
- Book readings
So take the time to really think your book promotion through. Prioritize the majors and minors. Start with the majors and work your way down to the minors, and you will see that the result will be a far greater success.