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Title: Don't Be An Expert, Be A Filter (se crets To Selling More Books) Word Count: 1034 Summary: So, how much would you pay someone to sift through your email each mor ning, deleting the garbage and pres enting you with the 5 (out of 500) emails you need to respond to? If y ou already have someone like that, lucky you! But if you don't, I bet this sounds like a dream. In the ag e of a constant flood of informatio n, consumers will pay good money fo r a filter. So if you want to sell books, be the go-to person for your market. If you're wondering how to become a filter, giv... Keywords: books, book promotion, writing, boo k publicity, book marketing, Dan Po ynter, John Kremer Article Body: So, how much would you pay someone to sift through your email each mor ning, deleting the garbage and pres enting you with the 5 (out of 500) emails you need to respond to? If y ou already have someone like that, lucky you! But if you don't, I bet this sounds like a dream. In the ag e of a constant flood of informatio n, consumers will pay good money fo r a filter. So if you want to sell books, be the go-to person for your market. If you're wondering how to become a filter, give some thought to the f ilters you may not even be aware of . For example, in the book publishi ng market I can think of two major ones: Dan Poynter and John Kremer. Both of them are filters. Why? Well , they have zeroed in on their focu sed market and have become the go-t o people for everything publishing and marketing. We have structured A uthor Marketing Experts the same wa y: all book marketing, all the time. While you'll find filters in differ ent markets, they share a lot of th e same characteristics. Filters are out there weeding through informat ion so you don't have to, and then they are posting their findings on their website, blog, or talking abo ut it in their podcast. Sometimes t hey're doing a combination of all o f these things to keep their reader s informed. Next, filters are so laser focused in their market that not only can t hey filter out the "noise" for you so you don't have to, they can then compartmentalize the noise into su b-filters. These sub-filters become even more significant, and here's why. Increasingly, we are living in an age of customization. I mean wh en was the last time you bought an entire CD or read an entire newspap er? More than likely you're buying your music one song at a time on iT unes, or you're reading your news s electively or, in many cases, throu gh RSS feeds that allow you to tap into only the content that you want . We'll put all of this together in a moment, but for now, start think ing about the customized element to what you're doing. The tools we have at our disposal ( many of them free) make becoming a filter extremely easy. Blogs, podca sts, RSS feeds, all of these help u s to build our filter and therefore , build our audience. But before yo u launch headlong into filtering, c onsider these quick tips: Becoming a filter requires dedicati on, but the benefits will pay off i n ways you can't imagine (and many that will fill your bank account). When I talk about dedication, what I mean is *you* must read every pub lication that's out there on your t opic so your reader doesn't have to , and more than that, you should re ad outside of your area of expertis e because you never know where the big ideas will come from. Take an a fternoon, once a month, and devour your reading material. I read an av erage of 27 magazines a month. Yes, it can be overwhelming (at times), but the upside is that you are con stantly staying dialed into your ma rket. That's the first step to beco ming a filter. Be crystal clear about what you're filtering. If you're sitting in a h uge market like, let's say automoti ve, you probably don't want to talk about every single car that's out there or being developed. Perhaps y ou want to focus only on hybrid veh icles. Now your direction is clear. Once you have this direction, your website should reflect that. Your website should be the first marketi ng piece you look at as you're deve loping your focus. Next, ask yourself if your book is a filter. If it's not, it should be . Being a filter is tougher for fic tion authors of course, but you non -fiction folks should have no troub le leveraging this into your books. Blog, podcast, and write, write, wr ite on trends, reviews, hot new ide as and things that are so-so. I alw ays tell people that I am my own te st lab. If you want to try somethin g new in marketing, check with me f irst. It's likely that I've already tested it on myself. In fact, all of our programs are built from thin gs I tried first. If I don't like i t, or it didn't work, I won't sell it. That's a filter. And I'm not ju st talking about filtering stuff yo u can offer to a client, be objecti ve! Be a filter for the competition , too, and by all means, send peopl e to other vendors if they can offe r what you can't. Remember, the cus tomer/reader came to you first. Make customization your best friend . So, let's use our car example aga in. Let's say you wrote a book on h ybrid cars and your site is all abo ut hybrids as is your blog, newslet ter and podcast. But now you have b uilt your brand sufficiently, and i t's time to break out into new area s. How about this: ebooks for focus ed markets. Quick and easy tips, li ke "Buying a hybrid for seniors" or "Buying a hybrid for families." Th e key to remember is that each of t hese markets has its own specific n eeds. When it comes to buying a car , the needs of a family are differe nt from those of a senior or single. What's your brand? Everyone's a bra nd, even Nora Roberts. Becoming a f ilter will help you brand yourself. Remember that people don't buy a b ook, they buy a brand. If you're cl ear on your brand, you'll sell more books. Figuring out your branding doesn't need to be complicated, but it does need to be focused. I'm no t talking about the kind of brandin g that requires hours of logo devel opment. I'm not even talking about a brand that's necessarily original . Yes, you want to be unique, but t he key isn't doing something no one else is doing, the key is doing it better. So how can you become a filter? Wha t's your market and focus? Perhaps you're thinking that you can apply some of these principles, but not a ll of them. That's OK! The thing to remember is that being an expert i s passé. I don't know if you've not iced, but these days everyone's an expert. They're a dime a dozen. Wha t you want to be is a filter.
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