Review of "Discoverability" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Tim Grahl's listed helpful books for authors who want to learn more about the marketing world in a blog post sometime last year. So, I decided to go through that list myself and review every book.
I found this book very informed about the state of marketing in the publishing world. I'd recommend it to authors who are new to publishing and want to learn the best ways to market.
Throughout the book, Kristine explains Traditional Publishing views on marketing, why their methods do and don't work, and what we as authors can learn about marketing our own work.
To quote her book, "Discoverability is, in its purest form, marketing."
She goes on to say, "And the best practitioners of that art are often invisible. Their artistry is also invisible."
To illustrate her point, she talks about how we as consumers buy things we need without the need for ads. We need it, so we go buy it. This is the difference between Push Marketing and Pull Marketing.
"The best marketing makes you think that buying the product at that moment in time was your idea, not the idea of the company that made the product."
To Authors who have selling in mind, she says, "What you need is a great story, proper packaging, and just a little thought about how you want to present your product when you take it to the market."
Another lovely tidbit I enjoyed was the acronym she borrowed, WIBBOW which stands for "Would I Be Better Off Writing?" It encourages authors to study for themselves whether their marketing practices are actually working, or if they need to go back to the drawing board, and when all else fails, Write.
"As I say throughout this book, the most important commodity you have is time. And the best thing you can do with that time, my writerly friend, is to write."
Your writing and samples are how your readers will find you, Kristine asserts. She admonishes us to look at our marketing from a readers standpoint, to ask ourselves how we go about buying a book. We like to weigh our options before we buy, sample the product, see if we like the writer. Readers do the same.
Her approach to the reader is a necessity for authors who plan on making the best of their marketing. Readers are diverse. She breaks them down into categories, explaining what each is searching for in a book by discussing branding, pricing, and word of mouth.
"Bestsellers share something in common besides a well-told story. They share the fact that somehow a mass of consumers discovered the book at the same time," Kristine writes. "marketing, particularly in entertainment (books, games, movies, comics) is velocity-based, geared toward the sales that spike and then trail off."
Most often, we can't reach the kind of velocity that makes bestsellers by haranguing our social media following. It's not effective. We have to pick the methods of marketing that work best for us and then trust our readers to spread the word.
Kristine offers a variety of methods in this work as well as pros and cons of each. I highly suggest reading her words because of how much content there is (that is after all, why it takes up a book).
She encourages the artist to BE an artist and stay true to our unique styles of creating, something I've seen for myself, that I can attest to. People will love you for your style.
I hope this article helped you. If you'd like to check out her book, you can do so by clicking here.