Position. Position. Position.
As with real estate (location.location.location.) Positioning is the magic mantra that provides the ultimate guarantee for the success of your book.
Positioning is at the heart of building your personal brand and business brand through your book. It is the one factor that decides whether your book reaches your audience and ultimately achieves the desired outcomes.
So, what exactly is ‘position’ regarding your book?
‘Position’ is the place your book occupies in the mind of the consumer.
It is basically the total of value that the consumers associate with your writing, influencing their purchase and engagement decisions. Positioning is audience centric and built from the perspective of the prospective reader rather than the author.
Your book’s positioning strategy will decide who your audience is and what media and reviews are best to establish your book’s image in their minds.
Positioning is a function of perception.
Ideally, you should create the perception of an intrinsic value that the audience associates with your book and only your book. To attain a unique, sustainable and credible position in the minds of readers, your book has to completely occupy and control your niche.
In this regard, identifying and leveraging your Unique Selling Proposition is the cornerstone of positioning.
What does ‘Book Positioning’ involve?
Positioning your book involves creating, reinforcing or challenging the perceptions of your audience. It often begins before you start writing the book and continues through the publishing cycle.
Book positioning often begins with zeroing in on category (fiction/nonfiction etc.) and genre (biography/personality development etc.).
But it is further articulated through the title, sub title, the blurbs, reviews, etc. – All focusing on and promoting a certain theme. They all can be used to promote the narrative that best describes the book and makes it appealing to the audience.
Promotion and Positioning – the Overlap
Many authors make the blunder of totally missing out or half assign the positioning of their book, not because they are unaware but because they often confuse promotion with positioning.
Book promotion and positioning are complementary functions which use several common services to meet their objectives.
For example, market research is the beginning point for both. They both use channels like author website and reviews to connect with the consumer.
The major difference is that Book positioning is the strategic base upon which Book promotion strategies are built. Book promotion is the series of activities that achieve the vision of book positioning.
This kind of overlaps can be a hard nut to crack for the uninitiated due to the volume and complexity of the tasks involved.
Many authors miss out on the golden opportunity to position themselves as the industry thought leaders and reach the right prospective audience due to improper positioning.
Two types of positioning –
What is the best approach for positioning your book?
Primarily it depends on the book and what you are trying to achieve with it.
Are you trying to address a particular problem and offer solutions? Or, are you trying to share your expertise and inspire others?
Your publisher, armed with market research and experience will be in a better position to advise you as to positioning of your book –
- Need-based positioning – Positioning your book as the solution to the needs of an entire class of customers.
This addresses the particular pain points of consumers and offers solutions for the same. These books usually address a specific existing problem that audience is already aware of. Books like seven habits of highly effective people, cookbooks for bachelors, etc. are examples of this.
- Value-based positioning – Positioning your book as an exclusive authority in content across various customer segments.
This highlights the value proposition you bring across various consumer segments through your book. These books usually make the audience aware of possibilities and options beyond their present capabilities.Books like The Intelligent investor and Monk who sold his Ferrari are examples of this.
The Need for Positioning your Book –
Positioning is the convergence of your book’s image and consumer perception. It is potentially the most important component of building your book’s brand experience.
As professionals with exhaustive expertise in book positioning across various audience segments, we consider it to be a non-negotiable for publishing a successful book –
- Stand apart from competitors – The primary function of your book’s positioning is to ensure that you stand out amongst the competition. When positioned effectively, the audience can clearly see the relative superiority, advantages, and uniqueness of your book above that of the competition.
- Reach the right audience – Book positioning is vital for identifying your target audience and designing strategies to make the book most useful, attractive and engaging for them.
- Reach a larger audience – One of the major functions of positioning is making the message and image of your book appealing to the maximum number of consumers across diverse categories at the same time.
- Better decision making – Your book positioning is the essential framework that helps for you to determine what to do and what not to do right from the content, design, marketing, pricing, etc. so that your book is most appealing to the target audience.
- Better use of resources – When your book positioning is crystal clear, it brings laser focus to all your activities. Such focus ensures that all your resources are employed in their best capacity and avoids any wastage.
- Better control over the market – Either you position your book, or your competitors will position it for you. Positioning helps to clearly define and claim your unique space in the market, thus exert greater control about your book’s visibility and reach.
- Improve your Book – Clarity about the positioning of your book enables you to craft the content that strongly connects to the aspirations of the audience and in turn, increases your book’s value to the readers.
- Reflected glory – Once you have successfully positioned your book as the industry thought leader and innovator, its appeal often transfers to your products/services and your personal brand.
- Inspire brand loyalty- Systematic positioning promotes the emotional association and strong recall value among the audience of your book resulting in clear consumer preference for your book.
Why entrust your Book Positioning to a professional?
Positioning your book powerfully demands a unique combination of the ability to know the present market inside out and the ability to think beyond what is presently visible.
Book positioning is often decided at the beginning of writing itself and continues throughout editing, design, promotion and so on.
Considering this need for continuity across complex functions, a professional is best equipped to ensure coherence and integration for your book’s positioning objectives.
Additionally, Once the book is out, depending on the developments in the marketplace, new competitive advantages should be identified, and your positioning should be tweaked to suit those changes.
A single publisher, who can provide end to end services would be the best option for you to ensure uniform and effective positioning for your book throughout the publishing process.
To know more about the best positioning strategies for your book and opportunities for making a lasting impression in the minds of your reader, connect with the Book Positioning and Branding experts at The Books Factory.
To schedule a free strategy call, please click here.