How to market your book

BookshopIn recent weeks, a couple of authors have approached me to help with marketing their fiction books.

They know I’ve written three business books that sell through Amazon. (Here they are, thanks for asking.) The most recent was published in 2013, and I don’t do much to market them any more. Yet Kindle sales still trickle in every month, and the print copies are great to sell or give away at events where I speak.

Each time I replied: “Sorry, I don’t do book marketing.”

But, being a helpful kind of person, I searched Google to see if I could find someone to help them.

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KISSing is good for you.

KissYou’ve probably heard the acronym KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. I’ve never liked the ‘stupid’ bit, so prefer to say Keep It Short and Sweet.

But what’s the science behind why simplicity works?

I’ve recently read the book Presentation Genius by Simon Raybould, which contains 40 insights from the science of presenting. Chapter 3 describes research by Daniel M Oppenheimer of Princeton University, with the gob-smackingly beautiful title of ‘Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly’.

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OK, so we know people read the headline first. But why?

graffiti

Did you read this?

You’re looking out of the window of a train travelling through the outskirts of a city. You see colourful graffiti on the walls outside. You can’t help reading it even though you don’t want to.

Once you know how to read, you can’t NOT read. You just can’t turn off the reading bit of your brain. And that’s why the graffiti is there – big, bold and colourful. Because the artist wants you to read it.

Equally, you can’t NOT read the headlines on the big poster adverts you pass by when you’re driving, or the posters on bus-stops as you walk along the pavement.

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