Be the Expert:
Market Your Book with Expert Positioning
When organizing your marketing campaign and your message to your target customer, you’ve probably focused a lot on your book. Chances are you’ve tried to entice readers with the interesting topics you discuss or the twists and turns of the story you’ve written. An important element of readers’ decision-making often goes overlooked: why should they care about you?
Readers have copious choices when looking for a book that meets their needs and interests. You have to show them why you’re the best person to write the book they’re looking to read. Position yourself as an expert, using your book to support your case.
Finding Your Area of Expertise
To establish your expertise, first and foremost, you have to identify what you know. This step may be more difficult than it sounds. Most people have a hard time pinpointing what they excel at or the skill they have that others need. Start by looking at the writing you’ve done. Does most of it fall into a certain genre? How does your profession relate to your writing? For example, if you’ve spent years working as a teacher and have written for children in multiple media, you are probably more qualified to write a worthwhile children’s book than others. Thus, parents may wish to purchase your book over another choice if you present yourself to them as an expert in child education.
Also, examine your education and training. Remember, just because you have a degree in a certain area doesn’t mean you’re an expert, just as not having a degree in an area doesn’t keep you from being an expert. However, if you have been educated in a field of study and have used your education extensively, it’s probably safe to assume that you could call yourself an expert in the subject matter.
If most of your career is focused on a certain subject, you’re probably qualified to discuss it. Furthermore, interesting experiences in your life may set you apart and make you an authority about a topic.
Setting Up Interviews for You, Not Your Book
When journalists seek authors to interview, they want to be sure the author is personable and interesting. No one interviews a book. You will be what the journalist relies on to entertain and inform readers or viewers. Think of authors you’ve seen on television. After talking about the author’s expertise and experiences, their book is mentioned (usually at the very end of a segment). Authors have to have something to discuss other than the book: their knowledge about a topic.
Therefore, when pitching yourself to the media, it’s important that you highlight what you have to offer as a person, not simply what your book is about and why people should read it. Highlight why journalists, readers, and viewers should be interested in you.
The same advice applies to speaking engagements. No one wants to sit through a speech about your book when they could just read it. Engage them. Interest them. Then, without you talking about your book at any length, they’ll trust that it will be engaging and interesting as well. Seek professional groups in your area that may be attracted to what you know. When speaking, avoid a hard sell (telling readers they should buy your book). Instead, have a stack nearby and mention that your book is available for purchase after your speech. If you’ve established your expertise during your presentation, they’ll be more likely to take a look.
Giving Your Potential Readers More than Just Your Book
In today’s fast-paced world, people rarely sit down to read a book unless they’re really drawn to the subject matter. A great way to spark readers’ interest is to entice them with smaller bits of your writing.
Keeping a blog is an excellent way to establish your expertise. Your blog should be about the subject(s) you’ve mastered, and should ignite questions and comments. Be sure to keep your blog up to date and relevant in the field. If you’ve written a children’s book, your blog might focus on literacy in our nation’s youth or another issue that you feel qualified to discuss.
If you prefer to take the print route, look for publications related to your book that accept article submissions. Ask that your byline include that you’re the author of a book on the subject. If readers like your article, they may be intrigued enough to purchase your book.
Putting Yourself Out There
The bottom line is that most people won’t read your book until they’re sure you know what you’re writing about. Take advantage of every opportunity to establish and display your expertise, using your book to supplement your case. Don’t be nervous about talking yourself up. Think of it as a job interview. The job you want is to be the next author a customer reads. Why should you get the position?
To learn more about how AuthorHouse can help position you as an expert, check out these services.