Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and the Magic Wand
By Darren E Laws
The reason the big publishers have big sales is that they get their books in front of people in many different ways and they have the budget and expertise to do it -whether that is in-house or hired agency. A heck of a lot of smaller publishers want and expect the same results and sales without investing in marketing, pr or advertising; or by doing it using low impact, free or cheap services.
But there is no magic wand except experience and knowing who your target audience is and how to talk to them. The old adage of only 50% of my advertising works, I just wish I knew what 50% does have some truth to it but in reality advertising is far more sophisticated than that. Have a marketing budget that is realistic to the results you want to achieve and use it wisely. Negotiate with all media to get the best deals and have a plan. Now in the midst of a recession is a good time to buy advertising space, skilful negotiation can obtain some excellent deals. Also have patience; it takes time and money to build campaigns that work. I know a lot of this will make many people think 'yeah, that sounds expensive' but real marketing should be an investment and that is why it is often best carried out by those who know how to do it. This is not to say that you cannot do a great job yourself as long as you spend time researching your audience and strategising how best to talk to them.
Everyone expects results in days now, and this may be the fault of the Internet. Whilst you can obtain a quick response from good PR, the best strategy is to make your advertising budget last and plan for the long term.