One of the buzzwords you hear in publishing today is discoverability. Authors must be discovered by potential readers. To that end, even though obviously selling a car is much different from selling a book, I still think we might be able to learn some lessons from Maserati.
I hadn’t thought about this automobile company except with the vague idea that they are an iconic Italian race car maker more suited for the Autobahn than for my errands such as going to the mail box and church, usually navigating a 25-mile per hour zone.
So a few weeks ago when my husband and I saw two Maseratis parked inside Tysons Galleria, we said, “How about that?” and walked by. About a week later, my husband received an oversized card in the mail saying he should lease a Maserati. We showed this to Daddy (he loves cars) since this idea seemed hilarious. (Well, it still does, but…)
The next week, I received a large brochure in the mail with MY name alone on it, asking ME, of all people, to come in for a test drive. Clearly they had not gotten the memo that we are paying for a daughter to attend college. I had no idea what bizarre world I had just entered. I told Steve Laube they must have found out I’m with The Steve Laube Agency! Then I called Daddy. He said, “You should go in for the test drive!” (I don’t have plans to, but still…)
Since they had sent me a brochure, I learned how to spell their name, and did some digging on the Internet to learn more about their family of cars. This past week, we had some errands to run at Tysons Galleria. This time we stopped and looked at the parked cars more closely. We still can’t see ourselves driving a race car to church, but our interest had increased since they had sought us out.
Within a month, a company I never considered convinced me to learn about them. They had given our household three points of entry: the indirect impact of the parked cars, then two direct approaches — the invitation to lease, followed by the invitation to take a test drive, to let us know they hope to be an option for us.
Authors have books to sell, and in many ways, that task is easier because books are affordable and people can buy many, many titles. But authors still need to be discovered among the myriad of options competing for the reader’s limited time and attention. That is why authors must decide how readers who haven’t thought much about their particular books will want to find out more.
How did you discover an author or company you hadn’t thought much about?
What do you think is the most effective way for an author to reach readers?
In your view, what is the most impressive marketing tool an author can bring to a partnership with a publisher?