Bookcoverzone Blog - Covers Makes Books - Getting published

What's the Marketing Rule of 7

Today we're going to talk some about the art of marketing. Remember your book is the product, the book cover is the package. And before people start using your product (ie reading your book) they will judge everything by the package. But what makes an unforgettable package? 


Of course obtaining a catchy and interesting cover for your book is important. (That's what we are here for.) However no matter how good your cover is, it won't matter if no one is there to admire it. Marketing is not about selling stuff – not directly. It’s for making your book so familiar to consumers that they will decide they need whatever it is you’re selling. The Marketing Rule of 7 is the basic idea that for someone to finally purchase your book, they will need to see it for at least 7 times. Every experienced marketing expert knows that it takes seven contacts with a potential customer before any results will come. In other words, one single view (or ad) will not make you sell your book (unless it's directly a topic that the buyer is after). Two-three "views" will only carve a small place in the memoryç But the golden number of 7 is when the consumer starts getting interested in your book. After having "bumped into" your novel 7 times, you just might have a customer.

However the number 7 is disputed and has been disputed for quit some time now. In 1885 Thomas Smith wrote a book called Successful Advertising in which he claimed it takes 20 views of an ad before it makes a difference. According to Smith the phases were as follows (credits to Lynne Cantwell):

  • The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
  • The second time, they don’t notice it.
  • The third time, they are aware that it is there.
  • The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
  • The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
  • The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
  • The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
  • The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
  • The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
  • The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
  • The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
  • The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
  • The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
  • The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
  • The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
  • The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
  • The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
  • The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
  • The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
  • The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.

So remember this when you're planning a marketing strategy for your book. Showing in one time to a million people won't matter, but showing it 20 times in a row to a focused group might make the big difference.


Before sending a book to the publishers, this is what you should do

Welcome to our blog. Our first post will not be about book cover designs (we'll have plenty of time for them in the future!), but laying out to aspiring authors, a successful road map to getting published.

How to send a book proposal


Your book might be the next great American novel, but no publisher will have the time to read it when you send it to them. To the established publisher your manuscript is just a manuscript - and they receive hundreds of them every month. So writing a book proposal is a fundamental step to the path to get published. Your book proposal is your opportunity to sell your book to the publisher. They will expect you to have done some research into your genre and your target audience. You need to tell them why your book will appeal to them, and why people will buy it.

Ironically this step is a good practice for you too. Try asking yourself the following question:
Why is my book important? Be not just objective, but also self-critical. Not just readers, but agents and publishers too, need to be convinced. Imagine someone looking at you, shrugging and saying ‘so what? who cares?’ That’s what you are up against. You need to get attention! Typically, your proposal should also include a synopsis and sample chapters from your manuscript. 

Secondly, think strategic and be organised when sending your manuscript. Make a list of all the publishers that are right for your manuscript. Sending a childrens book to a publisher that focuses on scientific papers is not going to be the best approach. Keep in mind it will take them many months to get back to you, so be patient. You don't need to send to one publisher at a time though. Send it to a group of publishers to begin with; if it turns out negative, try another group of publishers.

And when one of them gets back to you, just don't forget, you only have one chance to impress. If necessary, have a professional editor read the manuscript before sending the entire work. After that, if the publisher asks for amendments, keep an open mind.