The Most Important 20 Minutes of the Rest of Your Life

If you have been reading my stuff for any length of time, you ought to know that I “notoriously” do not write fiction. LOL

I also don’t read fiction, nor do I watch much fiction on the television (except for NCIS and Dr. Who)…

So, it should come as no surprise to you that I have never read anything written by Neil Gaiman…

However, I do know who Neil Gaiman is… He is one of those people who continues to influence me to see my role as a writer in a very positive light…

In May of 2012, he gave a commencement speech to the University of the Arts.

Do yourself a favor… Get out your headphones, turn on the sound, and give Mr. Gaiman twenty minutes of your time…

You will be glad you did!!

Bill Platt

Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012 from The University of the Arts (Phl) on Vimeo.

Market Your Books Like a Pro with Book Video Trailers

This video details the three most important steps in marketing your books online… No matter the marketing method you use to promote your books…

The most important goals that you need to achieve with a potential buyer include:

  1. Winning the attention of those people who are most likely to buy your books.
  2. Hold the attention of the reader long enough to convince them to keep reading your sales copy.
  3. Answer for the reader, “How will the reader benefit from owning your book?”

In other words, you must present your offer to the people who are most likely to purchase your offer.

Then you must be able to hold the attention of your prospective buyer long enough for them to read all of the pertinent information about your offer/product/book.

And, you must show the prospective buyer how they will benefit from owning your book… With fiction, you need to suck them into your story… With non-fiction, you will want to focus on how your reader will benefit from reading your book.

No matter the product we are trying to sell, these three steps apply to the sales process in all cases.

Neat Marketing Strategy for Children’s Books

Last week, I picked up my little one from school.

As my child came out of the classroom, his teacher handed me a piece of paper.

The headline of this flyer read, “So-and-So Author Visit Is Almost Here“.

The introductory paragraph read, “If you haven’t already ordered books and would still like to do so, please return this form with payment by Date. Thank You.

There was a list of 9 books with prices, and at the bottom of the page, it asked:

  • How many books?
  • Total Amount
  • To whom should the book(s) be personalized?

Being the marketer that I am, I brought the paper to my desk and opened my browser to Amazon.

The prices marked on the books on the paperwork are all higher than what I could buy the same books for on Amazon, with a price difference of $0.75 to $4.73.

Think about this for a moment…

  • The author sent out the paperwork in advance of her visit to my child’s school.
  • She set the prices above what it cost her to purchase her books directly from Amazon at full retail.
  • She is offering to “personalize” each book for the student.

All orders are paid in advance, and delivered on the day that she comes to the school to read a story to the children.

From a marketing standpoint, this is beautiful. She sells the books in advance, and she hand-delivers them to the school, with none of her own money invested in the process!!

If you create children’s books, please pay attention.

The author lives about 60 miles from where I do, and she has set this deal up with the local school system. She will be hitting all 4 grade schools in 2 days, going to one school in the morning and one in the evening…

She is getting direct access to several hundred children in two days, presenting a shopping list with 9 books on it, with a total marked retail value of $113 (books that could be purchased on Amazon for right at $96)!!!

If you ask me, this is brilliant… And, if you create children’s books, you should be drooling at the possibilities of doing this in your neighborhood…

Bill Platt