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Welcome to The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson and Christy Kirk. It’s a new month and in the month of October, we are going to be focused on helping you get ready to market your books during the upcoming holiday season. In this episode, we are joined by special guest, Susan Friedmann. Susan shares the importance of niche marketing and strategies for marketing your book during the upcoming holiday season to your niche audience.
Becky: As we get started today, Susan, could you tell us a little about yourself, your business, and how you work with authors?
Susan: Absolutely, I’d love to. I love to work specifically with non-fiction authors because I find they often struggle to identify themselves in a very crowded marketplace. They want to be known for their expertise, and that’s what I specialize in at Aviva Publishing. I work with specific authors to get their books published, and then help them identify who they are and how to excel their authority in their marketplace.
Becky: Thank you so much. I know that your specialty is in niche marketing, so can you tell us what you mean by this and how it influences the strategies you recommend to the authors you’re partnering with?
Susan: I love that question, Becky. It’s one that I don’t think enough people appreciate because they feel that when they come to me with their book, and I say to them, who’s this book for? And they say well, it’s a universal message, it’s for everyone. My biggest concern is that yes, it may be, but I can’t imagine you have the funds to market it to everyone. The more specific you can get about who your actual target market is, the better and more efficient you can be with your actual marketing. Really narrowing down who your book is for and finding a niche market is critical.
Becky: I was laughing along with you when you mentioned authors say their books are for everyone, because I think nearly every author that I’ve spoken to starts there. I think it comes from this belief in their ideas, and it is not a bad impulse, but as you’ve said it’s very difficult to market a book to everyone. And a book for everyone is a book for no one. So when you are able to focus on your specific target market then your book becomes for someone and you can be more clear about the messages you create.
Susan: Absolutely. People like that more when they feel oh my goodness this person is speaking to me. And that “me” you have to really identify. More often than not it’s actually a person like yourself, because you probably wrote that book for somebody else like yourself to help them in some way.
Becky: Sure, that’s very helpful, Susan. I love your idea that many times authors are writing to people like themselves. I know one difference in the way that the two of us work is you’re really involved on the front end of helping an author conceive their ideas and publish their books in order to bring them to market. Whereas I more often get involved after the book has already been written. One of the things though, when I do talk to authors prior to them writing the book, is I ask them to envision that persona they’re writing to and make sure they personalize their writing so it speaks to that intended audience. I’m curious if there are any tricks that you have in helping authors as they’re actually writing and composing their words, to be able to stay focused on their niche?
Susan: I think really thinking about, again, targeting people like themselves. So if they think of themselves and then think of somebody in the workplace that needs what they have to offer, they need to visualize that person, because if there is one person like that, chances are there are many others like that as well. If you think of someone you know that could really prosper from the information you have, then that’s the person to visualize as you’re writing.
Becky: That’s helpful, Susan, thank you. So in addition to being a publisher, you are also an author, and your book is called, Riches in Niches: How to Make It BIG in a Small Market. So, why are niches so important for people who want to make money from their books?
Susan: There are fewer people out there in a niche market then there are in a general market. When you find yourself a niche and focus on that, then your marketing can be more efficient. Believe it or not, you can actually charge more, because if you’re the only game in town then people will pay more for what you have to offer.
Becky: So Susan, let’s shift for a moment. I mentioned as we started the podcast, that we are focusing this month on holidays and how we can use holidays to market our books. Not only the upcoming holidays at the end of the year but all of the holidays throughout the year can be an inspiration for authors looking for a way to promote their books to their niche markets. So I’m curious, Susan, how have you seen authors successfully pivot their approach in niche marketing to showcase their books by using holidays throughout the year?
Susan: So as you rightly said, we have the big holidays coming up, and those themselves can create many different subjects, one of which is stress. It’s a very stressful time of year; however, as you and I were talking before, there is a national day calendar out there. Do a search on it and you will find every single day of the year there is somebody who concocted a day which they want to celebrate.
For instance, October is Health Literacy Month and the 15th of October is Health Literacy Day. I have one of my authors who has a book on Health Literacy, and it’s the A to Z of Health Literacy. Do you think she’s marketing it this month? You bet she is! She’s doing everything she can to reach out to her target audience, who are primarily Healthcare professionals, to bring this to their notice and, of course, her book and the opportunity to talk about the subject. This is a very busy month for her. So I would absolutely recommend your listeners to go and find what holidays would work for their message. You can attach your book message to almost any holiday, you just have to get a little creative and think outside the box.
Becky: It sounds like you’re advocating that authors can have fun with this and really be thinking about not only their niche market, but about what holidays might appeal to the people in that market or be relevant to them.
So I’m wondering, Susan, if you can share some examples of other authors and what you’ve seen work best for them, particularly with the upcoming end of the year holidays. What have you seen authors do to leverage the end of the year gift-buying season to market their books more effectively?
Susan: What they do is a lot of is getting interviews or articles, and again, I’m thinking particularly of this idea of stress when it comes to the holidays, because not everyone likes the holidays. It’s a stressful time, and so I’ve got authors who’ve written in subjects about yoga, inspiration, motivation, or workplace books, parenting books, books for children, I mean every one of those could have a different angle as it relates to stress. It’s a hard time, and I think this year’s holiday is going to be an even harder time, so if they’ve got messages about hope, encouragement, and maybe ways in which people can feel a little more wanted and needed in the world, I think that in itself is very inspirational.
Becky: Those are some fantastic ideas. Thank you so much for sharing them, Susan. So as we wrap up today’s episode, we always want to leave our authors with some important action steps that they can take. Susan, I know you have some gifts for our listeners, and those wrap into these action steps. So what action steps do you recommend for people to put into practice today?
- Email me for 10 questions to find your niche market. I would love to offer your listeners a copy of my 10 questions to find your niche market for free. And even if you feel you have a niche market, it will help you think a little bit more about your niche market.
- Brainstorm and research a list of relevant holidays for marketing your book. I recommend looking for holidays on the national holiday calendar that you’ll be able to connect your book message to. Don’t be afraid to be OUTRAGEOUS.
- If you’re interested in contacting Susan for one on one 20 minute consultation to find your niche market, email her for more information.
- Learn more about Susan and her book, Riches in Niches: How to Make It BIG in a Small Market, here.
We hope you take advantage of the resources above and let us know if you take any action steps today. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, please email Becky Robinson here and Christy Kirk here.