Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 12 December 2017. In this issue:
Of course Amazon has itself now opened a series of bookstores across the US, and although this isn’t a neighbour that any bookstore would welcome it’s likely to be Barnes and Noble that is most directly impacted.
Read the article, and watch an interview with one indie bookseller in the US, on The Scholarly Kitchen website.
What percentage of your sales still come through ‘bricks and mortar’ bookstores? Assuming you publish printed books the chances are it’s pretty high, whatever the nature of your business. Knowing which retailers are supporting your list and working with them in partnership should be a key part of any marketing strategy, and is a topic always covered on our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget Workshop.
As I turned a corner in the Cambridge University Press offices last month I was greeted by the smile of someone leaning against a filing cabinet. It took a moment to realise that the smile belonged to a life-size cardboard cutout, and a little longer to find out that there were several of them standing around in the marketing department.
The ELT marketing team recently developed new personas for its Adult English Language Teaching list, to make its potential customers seem real and help the marketers to home in on the issues and preferences of actual teachers. Personas are an excellent way of doing this, but if you’re going to do them I wholeheartedly recommend representing them in life-size cutouts. That way they’re a permanent and tangible reminder of the profiles you’ve identified, and much more likely to genuinely inform planning and messaging than a report in a file.
An absolute rule of copywriting is to write to a person rather than about a product, and the natural extension of stepping away to think about a real reader before writing is the persona. Which is why they are always discussed on our Copywriting Workshop.
See some of the Cambridge personas on our Facebook page, The Marketability Grapevine.
Everyone I talk to seems to have been exceptionally busy these last few months, and most of us are now hanging on for a bit of downtime to recharge the batteries over the Christmas period. I’m a sucker for a good flashmob and this one’s not only excellent but features Irish music (always guaranteed to lift the spirits) rather than the usual Christmas numbers. At less than 2 minutes I think you can probably give yourself a break to watch it about now.
Watch for yourself on YouTube.
If you have a dense paragraph of specialist copy and no time to tackle it, try chopping it into three short paragraphs instead. Even if the copy’s unchanged, more people will look at it. Why? Because nobody reads paragraphs of marketing copy, but they will quickly scan each block for keywords.
Our Copywriting Workshop and Academic Marketing Workshops both cover this topic.