People are bombarded with messages everyday. Psychologists tell us that a person needs to see a particular message a minimum of 7 or 8 times before he registers the message and is in a position to act on the recommendation of the message. As an author you need to make sure that your name gets out there through as many different media and outlets as possible. Get people to re-tweet your tweets on Twitter and somewhere someone sees your name. Get people to blog about you and your book. Make press releases. Participate in discussion forums where your target readership congregates. Be newsworthy and memorable for the right reasons to the right people.
Each time someone hears or reads your name or your book’s title, think of it as one impression. Now the important thing to remember is that not all impressions are created equal. To illustrate this idea, it’s best to conduct a thought-experiment. Let’s say you have the option of spending twenty dollars on your marketing in one of two places. In the first place, a thousand people will hear your name mentioned once. In the second option you can spend twenty dollars to get a hundred people to listen to your name 10 times. Which option would you choose?
Yes. You are right. You should choose option 2 where the same people hear your name more number of times. If you spend your marketing time and dollars in too many places, you’re spreading yourself too thin to make any difference. Instead you should focus on getting a few thousand people to hear about you in a variety of ways. That’s why email lists are so powerful. You get your prospects to hear your voice week after week (or month after month.) If the quality of information that you provide to them is of a high enough quality, they begin to trust you. You develop what marketers refer to as “brand recall.”
The cardinal mistake that most marketers make is to think up a creative campaign and give up after one or two attempts. Persuasion is about repetition. Let me repeat. Persuasion is about repetition.
Another important thing to remember is that an impression does not have to be a conscious recognition of your book or your name. In fact, an unconscious recognition is far better than a conscious recognition since the prospect will then think that he or she chose your book based on his or her own independent judgment.
But if you repeat yourself in the same way or in the same channel over and over again, you begin to annoy your target market. What you need to do is to figure out different ways to get to the same target market. Ideally your target would stumble upon your blog, see someone tweet about you or your book, glance at your book on fReado.com’s related books feature, hear a friend recommend your book on Facebook, see your book on somebody’s book shelf on Shelfari and read a book review on some other author’s website.
To summarize this post: The three most important words in book promotion are, repetition, repetition and repetition.
(NEXT: Book Marketing Mistake Number 6 – Not creating the perception of demand exceeding supply)
(NOTE: The author wishes to thank Chetan Dhruve, Freya and other members of the BookBuzzr team for their inputs into this series of articles.)