Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do Book Teasers Really Help Sell Your Books?

The short answer is YES and NO. Sure they work, when done right, and no they don't work, when they're poorly done. So what's "done right" and what's "poorly done"? Glad you asked because I have plenty to say about it.
Here's a fact of life: Selling is easy! You read that right. Selling is easy because people's desires and needs are built in. People will always want things; things they like, things they need, they even buy things they never use. We're all alike when it comes to wanting things. Most of us want a beautiful house or a fast car, a big screen TV, nice clothes, great furniture, like a Lazyboy recliner where you can read a good book. So what makes selling your book so difficult? How about the wrong approach, the wrong words, the wrong sound, a vague platform, the wrong venue. You want to make selling your book easy? Then make buying your book easy. Everything must be in place--all green lights.

Human beings need instant gratification, all the time. We're always searching for something that will make us happy and make us feel good or feel better about ourselves, even if it's just for a brief moment in time. Don't derail that blessing with horrible advertising.

Desires are a natural human condition, an addiction we can't live without. In this digital age, do you wonder why so many people still read books? The competition for your attention (your dollars) is ferocious. With hundreds of channels on TV, cell phones that can do just about anything you can imagine, movie theaters, and tons of electronic gadgets, it's a miracle we find time for our wanting spouses and children.

Last time I checked, my family had been missing for 3 days before the annoying chime of my doorbell woke me from my electronic stupor. It was my wife and 3 kids, and I didn't let them in. Heck, after months of trying, I was just about to finish Norman Mailer's "Oswald's Tale."

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 "You want to make selling your book easy? Then make buying your book easy."

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Okay, you get my drift. Some of us love books. We love the control we have over books. We pick them up, read a little, get sleepy, toss them aside, sometimes we fling them across the room or tear them from limb to limb when we come across something we don't like. But for the most part, we love stories and we like to indulge in all the pleasures reading offers.

Point is, sometimes, people must have something, whatever that might be is personal, but hopefully, it's your book. Your book? Why would anyone want to read your book? Who the heck are you that anyone would take interest in what you have to say? Got you, didn't I? There you have it. A big part of selling your book is selling yourself, as a person, as an author, as a writer. And of course, that's where, among many different advertising and promotional efforts, book teasers come in. Holy crap, Lindsay Lohan just did what? You’ll have to excuse me, Showbiz Tonight is on and I digress. See what I mean?

Okay, let’s get to it. You’re an author, probably self-published, which is a good way to publish books these days. But let’s face it, nothing beats being backed by a major publishing house, when they champion your book to stardom, that is. Let’s not forget the thousands of Random House titles that go unnoticed because their authors don’t have enough clout, or literary cache, if you will. I recently came across a good book that frankly, I was surprised to see in a bargain bin for a buck. But there it was, a mid-list offering drowning in a sea of misfit bargain books. Well, I rescued it and I love that book. God only knows my own novel will wind up right next to it some day. (someone hug me)

Isn’t it refreshing when we put things into perspective? Are big house publishers a better deal than self-publishing? Not if you’re the author of the next “The Shack.” I’m sure William P. Young doesn’t miss the paltry advances and penny royalties the big publishers offer these days. He’s one of the many self-published, self-made millionaires and loving the huge profits that go with it. Why not you? What’s the big fu*#!&@! secret?

Here’s what you really need to know:

First and foremost, you must write a killer book. Nobody will buy a book that apparently, its author put little effort into. Here’s the short of it. If you’ve written a non-fiction book, you’re selling solutions. If you’ve written a fiction book, you’re selling a story. Stories offer many things people crave: an escape, a journey, learning about other cultures, a reflection of their own life, a hero to root for and commiserate with, a different way to look at things, anything that will make them forget about their next mortgage payment. Come on, it’s entertainment first, facts second.

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What a shame, but that’s life in the big city, folks. Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug."

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Next, you need to show and tell people who you are and what you stand for in this world. What’s your thing? What moves you? What drives you to write about dogs, cats, houses, relationships, your lovely mother-in-law? Whatever. You have something unique to tell the world in a way that only you can tell it. People want to know the story behind the story too. This is where press releases, publicity, and media kits come in. Don’t have any of that? It’s all easy to get. If you look hard enough, you can find most of it for free on the internet. Might not be the best, but it’s a start and it’s better than nothing.

Next, you must introduce your book to prospects. As you read this, people are searching for books online (get back here). They’re looking for all kinds of books, maybe a book like yours. Is your book, your author website searchable in Google, Bing and Yahoo? If not, get it there. It only takes a few minutes to list. Your book is the star, even if you’re John Grisham. 

Stories are why people buy books, and not because a famous author wrote it. Remember, even famous authors often write lousy books that nobody buys. Your book (its story) is front and center at all times. Your book is the main product. People want the product and everything that product has to offer that can make them smile or laugh or reflect. If your book can offer a life-changing experience, then you’re way ahead of the game.

To successfully advertise and promote your book, you must spend some money, but some marketing can be had for a song. Last time I checked, YouTube wasn’t charging to display your book teaser. You can pay for positioning if you want, of course, but start by uploading it for free in their massive database and test the waters. There are dozens of other sites where you can upload your book videos. Google it!

Don’t have a book teaser? Uh, what are you waiting for? You need one. Don’t have enough to make a really good one? Make one yourself with Windows Movie Maker. With a little practice (about 3 weeks) you’ll come up with something horrible, hard to watch. 

Newsflash: It’s not about the snazzy photos, it’s about how to sell a product. Don’t know enough about sales and marketing? That’s no excuse. Got a few thousand bucks handy and a few months with nothing to do? Take a marketing course. You know, I don’t intend for this to come off sarcastically, but it’s turning out that way. It’s the hard truth. There’s so much more to making great book videos than you think.

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"People are not like dogs that you can train with Pavlovian tricks."

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Take a look at all the big production companies that make book trailers and see if you like any of them. Honestly, they’re laughable and embarrassing. Sad part is, authors are paying thousands of dollars for these atrocities and thinking they’re getting the best.  What a shame, but that’s life in the big city, folks. Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.

Well, if you don’t like being splattered across the highway of life by big production companies, listen up. The purpose of a good book teaser is two-fold. The main goal of a book teaser is to inspire you, and then to motivate you to buy the book. Inspiration is artistic, emotional. Motivation is psychological. Both are triggered by strong writing concepts. Notice the key words here. Emotional triggers. People are not like dogs that you can train with Pavlovian tricks. Human beings feed off and respond to emotional events. It’s what makes us human above all other animals in our known universe.

Aside from intuition, we have a cosmic understanding that keeps us in tune with all the things we like. Things that make sense to us. Must be why I cringe whenever I see the so-called book trailers these big production companies have to offer. I call them anti sales tools. They’re big on flashy production and very short on creativity and value. When was the last time you heard anyone praise a movie for its production values? There it is.

Good marketing concepts, with the right images and the proper soundtrack, make for great book teasers. Anything less is a waste of your time and money. If I were to charge separately for writing, designing, and producing your book teaser, it would cost you thousands, yet it would still be worth it. Take a look at some of my teasers and see for yourself.

The good news is you won’t pay thousands of dollars for your book teaser at Book Teasers Pub! In fact, you can get a 30 second book teaser for as little as $399 complete. That includes the marketing concept, all the images enhanced on Photoshop, special effects filters and the best soundtrack for your particular teaser, all for one low price. Film footage and voice-overs are available for additional fees since these can drive up the cost considerably.

I encourage you to shop around. Check out all the other production companies out there that claim to be the best. I have yet to come across one that can match what I can offer.  You simply get much more for one low price with Book Teasers Pub, and the best part is that you’ll have more than a great looking and awesome sounding book teaser. You’ll have a marketing concept that works for you as an author--a marketing tool that helps you sell more books.

Let’s discuss promotional ideas for your book and ask me how I can help you put together an amazing book teaser that represents you and your books in the best possible light. I promise to make it great and make it functional or your money back.

Get an instant Discount!

Ask me a question here or email me and if we do business, I’ll discount $50 off your Book Teaser. Email me right now before this offer fizzles into obscurity.

Don’t miss this discount. It won’t last forever!


Next Post: Book Covers: The Doorstop Effect
Having trouble getting a good cover design in place? Don't miss this Post next Monday.


This article was swiped from Alberto's upcoming book, "Don't Freak - Secrets of a Marketing Guru"

Projected Publication August 2012

Your moment of Zen: Not giving up is your best revenge.