What do these new titles mean? As marketing manager, you have to spread the word on your book and create a buzz about it. This will get some folks interested in or curious about the acim. These folks will visit your selling site. As sales manager your job is to convert these visitors to customers. Your differentiation statements are the key to converting the visitors. These statements tell the world why your book matters and why readers should buy it. This is a vital aspect of self-marketing. Consider this, thousands of new books become available every month. Consequently, your book is competing against all these other books for the readers’ attention and money. Your book has to stand out from all the others and persuade readers to shell out money to get a copy.
Marketing and selling on the internet is an entirely different process from other, more traditional sales channels. There are two primary reasons for this difference. First, you are selling from websites, not in-person. You don’t know the website visitors and the majority of them don’t know you. A second reason is that website visitors are capricious and fleeting; they don’t act like potential customers in a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Those customers wander around browsing. Website visitors don’t.
To sell your book, you have to devise a sales plan. Yeah, a sales plan. You’re the sales manager in charge of selling the book and sales managers develop sales plans. After you develop the plan, you then implement it. One vital element in a sales plan is the differentiation statement. Once the statement is developed, you can use it in a number of places to attract readers’ interest.
The good news about the statement is, that unlike many other marketing activities, it’s free. It can also be completed before the book is published. I start working on a differentiation statement for a new book long before the book is finished. This gives me ample time to tinker with the messages and to perfect them. There are three tasks involved in developing your book’s differentiation statement. You need a Pitch Line then you have to answer two questions. The first is: What’s in it for the buyer? and the second is: What’s different about this book?
Essentially, what this process entails is developing three sentences or short paragraphs that can be used to sell your book. The pitch line is the hook to grab the readers’ attention. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to read the two statements that follow the pitch line. The pitch line should be simple, a few sentences at most, and it must make a clear statement about your book.
What’s in it for the buyers? is a statement that explains what the reader (i.e. a book buyer) will get in exchange for money. This must be explicit. This statement is not the place to get cute. Don’t come across like the legendary used-car salesman. Tell the readers what benefit they’ll get from buying the book. Think of this statement in this way: If your book is surrounded by hundreds of books on a shelf in bookstore, what would persuade the buyer to choose your book instead of one of the others?
Your name is Homer and you’re a wandering storyteller who travels from village to village telling a long tale you wrote about a war. You can usually count on getting a free bed and food from the villagers, but you now think you’re ready for prime time in the major Greek cities. You think long and hard about how to let the big city leaders know about your story and get them interested in hearing it. So you develop a differentiation statement. After it’s finished, you hire a messenger to deliver the statement to Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth.