Welcome to our Author Interview series.
Today we're featuring an interview with Gary L. Watts, author of 100 Marketing Trade Secrets. Our author interview series provides an opportunity for our readers to get to know our authors on a deeper level and also learn more about the types of books we're publishing.
Gary L. Watts works as a marketing consultant to a variety of clients. He has developed my award-winning marketing and communications expertise through local, regional and national marketing activities and has served in high-profile staff positions with or consulted for world-class companies, such as Walt Disney World, PBS Washington, Buena Vista Television, Hilton Hotels, and Kraft Foods. In early December 2012, he launched his first book: "100 Marketing Trade Secrets for any Business."
Synopsis: 100 Marketing Trade Secrets
“Marketing is not as complicated as you think – once you look behind the curtain.” -Gary L. Watts
Over the years, I have amassed thousands of techniques, strategies, and communication plans for my clients and now have narrowed down the best-of-the-best ideas into a 43-page book: www.100marketingtradesecrets.com. I worked for Disney World and consulted for some of America’s top companies using my best-kept-marketing secrets to customize innovative techniques. I developed and launched award-winning marketing communications programs, that delivered an array of “world-class” results through “secret-weapons” – most of which are still highly guarded trade secrets in the industry.
“The book demystifies marketing and features a concise and easy-to-read guide for those who want to understand the simple, basic steps to market a business, product or service. It’s a must-read for those just starting a business that have no experience in marketing or business pros looking for new and “fresh” marketing ideas. Even if you plan to hire a marketing agency, this book will help you get the most from their services.” Susan Howard, Corporate Communications Director, A. Duda & Sons, Inc.
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it and tell us why readers should pick it up?
I’m really glad you asked me this question. One of my trade secrets is called the "elevator pitch."
Basically, you have about 25 seconds, before you get to your floor, to tell someone why they should buy your product or service. In business this happens all time. You have 30 seconds to pitch your idea, or the busy executive loses interest. Here we go. Start the clock: “My name is Gary, and I’ve worked with some of America’s best companies: Disney, PBS, Kraft and others. I just wrote a book: 100 Marketing Trade Secrets for any Business – What if I could show you how you could possibly double your revenue with one simple task? Plus I’ll tell you the second most important thing you will ever do for your company! Would you buy my book? It’s just under $10.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
For a couple of reasons: most of the marketing techniques I discuss are real examples of programs that have been proven to work. They are new, fresh and creative. They will work for any size business with a product or service to offer. If I had read a book such as mine when I was young, I would have been a “shooting star”. Marketing is an idea business, packaged with salesmanship and persuasion. If you come up with great ideas and can pitch and execute them, you become a “golden-boy”. This is especially true in the Advertising Agency business. If you are lucky enough to land some big companies with big budgets; your job is safe, even in this very volatile business. He who controls the big clients rules the world.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Seventy percent of the book was written about a year ago, just after I retired from my full-time VP of Marketing job. I couldn’t finish it, because the last chapter dealt with the internet. Web-site marketing was changing so fast; that by the time it got to print, it would be outdated. I rediscovered the book in November of 2012 and decided to go all digital for two reasons: 1) I could write the last chapter and make revisions quickly, as it is in eBook format; and 2) I built a website to promote it and bring it to life. A digital eBook is exceptionally cost effective. I didn’t have to send out manuscripts to publishing houses and wait for rejection notices. I just did it and, like Frankenstein, lighting hit me and my book came to life!
What are you doing to market the book?
www.100marketingtradesecrets.com contains several excerpts from my book’s trade secrets to give you a feel for the innovative approach to providing 100 creative, easy to use marketing ideas.
In addition, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are up and running and providing me with 24-hour, 365-day promotion for the book. Many companies (some quite large) make a common mistake. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building an innovative and creative site, but invest very little in driving traffic to it. Therefore, no one is aware of their site, which makes it almost useless. It’s like selling your house, but putting your For Sale sign in the living room. This, by the way is Secret # 69 in my book.
In addition, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical. Today, the front page real estate on search engines is primarily based on a popularity contest. Before buying a product, billions of people search the Web on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. Ninety percent of those people only go as far as page two in their Web search. A remarkable 84 percent of consumers now use the Internet for research, before they purchase a product or service. Comprehensive SEO is what separates the Web site heavy hitters from the Web site wimps.
I have an opportunity to market this book in a really fun way, drawing from my nearly 40 years of marketing with some of America’s best companies. These experiences allowed me the freedom to develop and create high-end impactful marketing, advertising, promotions, public relations, client acquisition and retention programs that really work. I’ve also worked with startups and hundreds of products and service companies.
So, I’m really lucky to have an expert on staff – me. I can draw from all the new social media, website SEO (online and off) optimization tactics. I must say though; it is never too late to learn something, and that has been reflected by the Infinity marketing staff. Sherrie and company have guided me to initiate some new and innovative marketing strategies that I never would have considered. That’s why I am so happy with my working relationship with Infinity Publishing. Conversely, I come at marketing my book from a different perspective.
Here is a simple marketing example (that I’ve used), that will create a lot of ‘back-link” traffic from high ranking sites. I developed an ad from graphics I used on my website, and then I posted on some high- ranking web sites. I put my website link in those ads and posted them free in “classified ads” on Craigslist, EBay Classified, etc. Those ads are out there working for me 24/7 and generating traffic to my site and book. And as we know per Google: “Webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that “backlink to their pages.”
In two sentences or less can you tell readers something unique about your book?
That’s easy! When you buy my book, you are getting a Marketing Consultant’s advice that will give you an easy-to-understand creative roadmap to increase your sales and revenue. That advice normally would cost you $200 an hour.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I have a nephew, Doug, whose wife wrote a wonderful children’s book and published it via the traditional route. Both are well educated and were extremely excited after it was published. I don’t see them very often; and when I started my book, I called and told him what I was doing. I asked if he had any suggestions on the publishing aspect or lessons that he had learned. He said, “Don’t ask me. We have several hundred copies sitting in the basement that we will probably never sell.” As I digested that, it became clear that a digital eBook was the way to go. I see it as the new wave with more and more people using tablets and devices. I just read that eBooks now represent 23% of all books sold. In addition, digital books are very cheap to bring to market, which will pull in a lot of first time authors. I’m a digital guy, having worked in and around TV and Radio all my life; so I am really comfortable with the eBook concept.
Why did you decide to publish with Infinity?
This is my first book, and Infinity’s staff is professional. They made the process so easy, cost effective and fast; which has prompted me to start on my next ebook.
While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite?
My book was written with lightning bolts shooting out of my head. As I remembered interesting and unusual events that had been extremely successful and unique, I wrote them down. Then at the end, I asked a friend I knew and respected for help with formatting. The best analogy I can give you is that the book was like a giant puzzle that needed to be assembled. My friend is Carolyn Baily, who is a PhD and teaches at Ohio University. We, by chance, had not talked for over 40 years and discovered each other again through LinkedIn. We had worked together at a television station, and she was always highly organized. As fate would have it, she accepted the challenge of assembling the parts and pieces into categories and proofing. So I rewrote only once or twice.
Do you like to travel?
Yes, very much so. When you get older you think about how aging will affect you. My wife and I would never want to become a burden to our kids. The appeal and money needed for an assisted living facility is ridiculous, but I have an alternate plan. When the time comes that cooking and cleaning the house are burdens, this is what we’re going to do - cruise around the world! For approximately $100 a day, you can have all your meals and your room cleaned daily with crisp new sheets; and you get to see places you only dreamed of. If we get tired of the same ports, I’ll “cut a deal” with another cruise line. Try to find an assisted living facility with meals, house cleaning, etc. for $100 a day. They don’t exist.
by Amy Collins
I get calls all the time from people who “know” the book publishing industry. They have written a book and have been avid readers for years… so they assume that they are the key demographic and what they know is fact.
More often than not, what they “know” is old news. Now I assume that no one reading this falls into this category, but perhaps we can pass this info onto the others…
So, once again:
- Hardcovers no longer are the standard for “serious” books and are rarely purchased
- POD has become more acceptable to bookstores, but you still need to print some and offer them through traditional distribution or fulfillment companies to be taken seriously by the bookstores.
- Digital Printing has improved in quality and you do NOT need to print thousands of books.
- There are even fewer print and online reviewers of consequence but…
- Reviews are still KEY. Most libraries and major book chains need professional reviews before they will consider a small press title in any real quantity.
- Libraries and bookstores are not necessarily the best way to get to readers anymore
- Most books are not sold in bookstores
- eBooks have taken a much bigger portion of book sales
- There are MORE readers now than there were a year ago THANKS to eBook readers
- Inexpensive eBooks are the best way to get your book out to the most people and create a buzz. It does not “cheapen the book, it gives the reader a chance to sample something they would not otherwise because of a special offer. (Depending on your book recommend pricing it $3.99-7.99 for fiction and $4.99-$9.99 for non-fiction.)
Amy Collins MacGregor started her career in the book industry as the book buyer for Village Green Books in Upstate, New York. In 1996, she “hopped the desk” and thoroughly enjoyed working as a National Account Rep for Prima Publishing. In 2001, Amy was named Director of Sales at Adams Media in Boston and quickly rose to the Special Sales Director for parent company, F+W Media. Over the years, Amy has sold to Borders, Barnes and Noble, Target, Costco, Wal-mart, and all the major chains as well as help launch several private label publishing programs for chains such as PetSmart and CVS. In February 2006, Amy started The Cadence Group and now runs the fastest-growing book distribution company in North America, New Shelves Distribution, where she offers her sales experience to small publishers and self-published authors.
Image courtesy of guillermo ossa.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Are you on the verge of publishing and not sure what format you should publish in OR if you should consider publishing an eBook vs. print vs. audio? Let me help you out. You want to say, “YES!” to publishing an eBook version of your title. Of course you do want to offer your book in print and audio, but still so many authors are asking me about eBook publishing and if they should take the plunge.
Publishing Print, eBooks and audio simultaneously.
There is no reason to hold off on publishing your book as an eBook. You need your final print file before you can convert your book to an ePub, so just do it all at once. You can have your eBook published and ready to release soon after your print book hits the virtual book stands. While your eBook is being converted, you can have your audio book in production as well.
eBooks are very inexpensive to publish and distribute.
More and more people are buying eBooks so take the time to make the investment. Infinity Publishing can get your book out to the world from $199-$349. It’s cheap and increases your opportunity to reach more readers. Reaching more potential readers helps to sell more books. There are many readers who prefer eBooks and won’t even consider a print option and this number is growing every day.
Is your book in print and NOT in electronic format?
If you’re an author who is already published in print and you haven’t made the decision to expand your reach to eBooks, let today be your day to take charge of your publishing destiny.
eBooks are no longer the future of publishing, they are now. Contact an Infinity Publishing Author Advocate to take your step into the future of eBooks...
Click here to take an eBook Poll.
Image courtesy of Claudia Gabriela Marques Vieria.