How to Define Your Market and Reach Them
This an excerpt from Simon’s talk on spiritual book publishing at a recent Book Expo America. This is the third of four parts, starting with Book Sales and Marketing For Spiritual and Mission Driven Publishers (Part 1) .
I rode in today on the bus with Dan Poynter who some of you will know as a household name among small publishers. He asked what can you tell me about spiritual and mission driven publishing. I said, what has happened is that “main stream” has gone “New Age. And now, there has been a merging and it is no longer the niche that it was. It is becoming integrated in society.
So let us take a brief look at the New Age market. I was told that this began on May 5 of this year which I find fascinating, bringing in the proverbial Age of Aquarius. I can’t help making an aside, Christianity had the symbol of the fish, Pisces. What this means for Christianity in this new era who knows. But obviously a fish and water are quite compatible.
The New Age market was defined beautifully by Paul Ray who wrote the “Integral Culture Survey” through Noetic Sciences. He identified a market of 50 million people and he called them the cultural creatives. Many of you know about this. He defined their income, tastes and so forth. The study is available from Noetic Sciences (415) 331-5650, $12.95. It really defines the market and for many of us who publish books for the “spiritual seekers”, this is the study that helps us understand and know the qualities of this market.
The other major source of information is New Editions International (800-777-4751) out of Sedona. They do an annual study of the New Age market and they will sell you lists of media. So you can reach all the media that specializes in this and bookstores that specialize as well. It wraps up this market. That gives you all the right contacts to build your sales.
Another Look at Publishing Basics
The reason we are here is that we publish to get the word out as opposed to identifying what a need is and then publishing to exactly meet that need. First things first–let’s start with the basics. The sales of what you publish depend on the foundations of your publishing company. And that all starts with your purpose and your mission statement. Your goal is to get your mission statement stated in as few words as possible. Get it blown up on foam core and put it up on the wall in your office. Put it up on the wall in the warehouse, so everyone knows and can see what your goal and mission is. If you haven’t done that, take a moment to reflect on why not. It may be a fruitful line of thought. You really want to have that goal in the forefront of every one’s mind. So everyone eats, sleeps and breaths it. Also, so that all your decisions are measured against it.