Why Campaigns Fail

by | Jan 6, 2006 | Book Marketing Basics

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If your campaign isn’t doing so well there might be a million reasons why. Everything from the book cover to the timing of the book release could affect sales. But there are a few other components that could affect sales and actually cause a campaign to fail that has the potential of being successful.

Overextending too early: book campaigns are marathons, not sprints. This is an especially tough one for authors because they spend so much time writing the book, the last thing they want is to wait even longer for it to be successful. The real truth is, much of what you’ll do in the first 90 days of a campaign is seed planting and sometimes it can take months for those seeds to germinate. The key to success is to pace yourself, but I’m not just talking about pacing your to do list. I’m also talking about pacing your budget. It’s very tempting to blow your entire budget the first few weeks of a campaign. There are so many things you can do, and so much of it is enticing you and tempting your wallet. Plan a budget and stick with it, no matter what and make sure you have a bit to splurge on something for your marketing plan six months after your campaign starts.

Media too early: I cannot express to you how significant this is. Getting media interested too early (i.e. before the book is done) can be the kiss of death to a campaign. Why? Well first off you have nothing to sell, and second it’s often tough to dip into that media well twice. Give some serious consideration to how much effort you want to put into pushing the media portion of your campaign before the book is done. Now this might seem like common sense to you but again, it’s enticing to connect with the media early and there are so many marketing programs that offer “early exposure.” Early exposure only works if you have a platform or some other funnel to drive sales to you, your business or your site. And never, ever consider doing media if you do not have a Web site.

Not having a blend of marketing options: Many campaigns are very vanilla. By “vanilla” I mean one- sided and often, boring. Any good campaign is a blend of different marketing components for example: speaking engagements, virtual promotion, and bulk sales. One of the reasons this works so well is that a campaign that is just focused on media can be pretty discouraging, especially given the response rate of most media outlets. If you’re sitting by your phone waiting for a producer to call, it can be a pretty long wait, but if you have a lot of irons in the fire you’ll find that with a lot of things brewing, a lot of things are happening. It’s not only more effective, but more rewarding and will help keep the momentum going on your promotion.

It’s no secret that there are a lot of things to consider when marketing a book, and often times it’s just a matter of staying at it, keeping your focus and making sure the targets you’re going after are realistic both in demographic and timing. Pacing yourself and your expectations can keep your momentum going and your book marketing on track!

1 Comment

  1. Kevin R. Tipple

    I would add that contacting the right reviewer is also key. I have made no secret of the fact that I will not review horror books because I don’t like them so I don’t read them. Yet, I get several e-mails a week asking me to review horror books written by authors who claim that they have read my reviews and my blog. If they had, they would know that I don’t read horror.

    Kevin R. Tipple

    Book Reviewer, Senior News
    Book Reviewer Apollo’s Lyre http://www.apollos-lyre.com/index.html
    Kevin’s Corner http://www.hollywoodcomics.com/~kevin/index.html

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