As an author, your marketing needs differ entirely from your wants because they serve the same purpose but on different scales of importance.
Many authors nowadays often need clarification on their needs and wants, thereby finding themselves doing what is supposed to be optional while neglecting the essentials.
Marketing needs are the essential strategies and tools that are crucial for your success as an author.
These could include a well-designed website, engaging social media presence, and effective email marketing.
On the other hand, marketing wants are those strategies and tools that could enhance your visibility and reach but are optional for your success, for instance, paid advertising, influencer collaborations, or premium PR services.
In this blog post, we'll clarify the difference between marketing needs and wants for authors and guide how to prioritize them effectively.
Let's get started!
When discussing needs and wants in marketing, we're talking about the basics versus the extras. Needs are the must-haves, the need to do to market your book effectively.
This includes knowing who your readers are, creating a unique author brand, and making sure your book is available where your readers can find it.
Wants, on the other hand, are the cherry on top. They're unnecessary optional for success, but they can take your marketing to the next level.
Now, this could be things like landing a spot on a bestseller list or getting your book turned into a movie.
In the end, it's all about finding a balance. You want to make sure you've got your basics covered while also aiming for those extra goals.
And remember, what works for one author might not work for another, i.e., a current author's need want might be another author's need and vice versa.
So, how can an author's marketing needs be identified and distinguished from wants?
Here are some key things to guide you on that:
Needs are must-haves for marketing your book. Wants are nice-to-haves that can boost your success.
Needs directly affect your ability to market your book. Wants are extras that can enhance your marketing.
Needs require your time, effort, and sometimes money. Wants can also require resources but may not guarantee success.
Focus on your needs first. Once they're met, you can aim for your wants.
Your needs and wants may change as your career grows. It's important to reassess your strategy regularly.
Now that we've looked at the differences between an author's marketing needs and wants, let's go through the must-have marketing needs of every successful author:
One of the most essential needs of every author is identifying their target audience and who they are in the first place.
Audience identification means you define who your readers are, which is essential for shaping all other aspects of your marketing strategy.
With this, you will be able to understand readers' demographics, interests, and reading habits.
As an author, this can be done through market research, surveys, and analyzing trends in your genre.
Another important marketing need of an author is their brand; this is so because of your identity to your readers.
It's what sets you apart from other authors. Your brand could be based on the genre you write in, your writing style, your values, or your personality.
The content, they say, is king in today's world; this simply means it's one of the core marketing needs of every author.
An author's content strategy will involve creating and sharing valuable content that attracts, engages, and retains your audience.
Now this can either be in the form of blog posts, social media updates, newsletters, videos, podcasts, and more.
However, the most important thing is that the content should be relevant to your audience and reflect your brand.
It is no news that in our day and age, having an online presence is a necessity for authors.
This includes having a professional website, being active on social media, and engaging with readers online.
Remember that your online presence is a platform you can promote your books, share your content and interact with your readers.
Having good public relations is definitely what most authors need. It simply means you building and developing relationships with the media, influencers, and other authors.
Public relations can help you gain exposure, enhance your credibility, and reach a larger audience.
Things like sending press releases, organizing book signings, participating in interviews, and more are public reactions.
You don't want to show the book you've put months or probably years into writing a not-so-good way, right?
This means your book lunch is a significant time to attract readers and generate sales, and your strategy would say if this will be possible or not.
A successful book launch could involve a pre-launch campaign, a launch event, special promotions, and more.
So make yours always count!
An author's book sales and distribution is definitely an essential marketing need. This involves ensuring your book is available in formats and locations that reach your target audience.
Selling physical books in bookstores, offering e-books online, etc., are all examples of sales and distribution methods.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a non-negotiable if you want to be found when on search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
This can be done by optimizing your online content on your website (Blog) or Video Platforms like YouTube.
Doing SEO the right way not only makes you and your brand show up as top results for searches of specific keywords on search engines but also helps increase your work's visibility online.
Another thing that can be very powerful and beneficial to authors would be building an email list and regularly engaging with your subscribers.
It allows you to share updates, promote your work, and build a community around your brand.
Encouraging readers to leave reviews of your books online can significantly boost your credibility and increase sales.
You can do this through various strategies, like offering a free chapter in exchange for a review or hosting giveaways for reviewers.
Now that we've looked at some of the most important author's needs let's take a good look at some of the wants of an author.
Note:These wants may differ from author to author depending on where they are on their writing journey, i.e., it evolves. However, these are some of the most common wants authors have:
A bestseller status is excellent and satisfying, as many authors aspire to see their books on bestseller lists.
It can significantly increase the visibility and sales of an author's book. Still, if you don't achieve it, that does not mean your work is worthwhile, as achieving this often requires a combination of high-quality writing, a well-executed marketing strategy, and, sometimes, a bit of luck.
Think of a movie-like trailer for your book. Sounds exciting, right? It can get people talking about your book. But remember, it's your story and characters that will genuinely pull readers in.
Paid Advertising Campaigns: Paying for ads can help your book reach more people. But, the magic in your words will genuinely enchant them.
VR and AR are incredible, amazing ways to promote your book. But they can't replace the power of a good story.
A shout-out from a celeb can give your book a big boost. But your unique storytelling will leave a lasting mark on your readers.
A big, fancy launch party can create a buzz. But it's the adventure your book offers that will keep readers hooked.
Fun merchandise is a great way to engage fans. But they'll treasure the unforgettable moments in your book most.
A marketing stunt can make your book the talk of the town. But the emotional bond readers form with your characters will make your book memorable.
Balancing Needs and Wants in Your Marketing Strategy
As an author, having a good balance between your marketing needs and wants in your marketing strategy is a crucial aspect of being an author.
Here's how you can strike this balance;
Firstly, you need to know what your needs (essentials) and wants (desirables) are to even start with. Your needs might include a strong online presence, a well-defined target audience, and a solid content strategy.
Your wants could be achieving bestseller status or securing a movie deal for your book.
After knowing what your needs are, they should always come first as they form the foundation of your marketing strategy.
It would be challenging to effectively market your books without meeting these needs.
Once you've taken care of your needs, you would want to start strategizing for your wants.
And yes, always remember, these are not essential for success but can enhance your visibility and boost your sales.
Both needs and wants require resources - time, effort, and money. Allocate these wisely. Invest in your needs first, and then use any remaining resources to pursue your wants.
This means regularly monitoring and analysiing the success of your marketing efforts.
You should answer questions like, are your needs being met? Are you making progress towards your wants? Use this information to adapt your strategy as needed.
As an author, you should always stay flexible because your needs and wants may evolve over time.
A good way to do this is to be open to revising your marketing strategy as you grow as an author and as market trends shift.
Let's look at some frequently asked questions on this subject matter;
You can find out your audience's needs and wants by using various methods such as surveys, interviews, reviews, social media, and analytics to research.
Also, tools like Google Trends, Answer the Public, and Quora are always useful in finding out what people are searching for and asking about in your niche.
Metrics like sales, revenue, reviews, ratings, downloads, subscribers, followers, engagement, and feedback can be used to measure your success.
Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Book Report can also be used to track and analyze your data.
So far, we've established in this guide the importance of knowing the differences between an author's needs and wants and how to identify them.
For instance, things like an author's audience identification, brand development, content strategy, SEO, etc., are all essential marketing needs for authors.
Just like we discussed earlier the other hand, celebrity endorsement, paid adverts, extravagant book lunches, etc., are all examples of an author's marketing wants.
It is also important to note that the needs and wants will always vary from author to author, depending on what's important to them and their current work.
You just have to do and act on what works best for you.
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