Jim Rubart

Since 1994, Jim Rubart has worked with clients such as AT&T/Cingular, RE/MAX, ABC and Clear Channel radio though his company Jr2 Marketing, but his passion is writing fiction. He's also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer, and semi-pro magician. He lives in the Northwest with the world's most perfect wife and his two almost-perfect sons. No, he doesn't sleep much. You can reach him at jlrudini[at]comcast.net

Quantum Marketing Moment

Quantum: sudden and significant: a quantum increase in productivity.

If God is really for my book, why should I have to learn a bunch of marketing techniques?

The above is this column’s intent: techniques and ideas that will give you a quantum leap forward with your marketing and branding.

Instead of an intro telling you who I am and the tale of why Michelle invited me to write a monthly column on marketing, we’re going to leap right in. (Yes, I’m applying a little Fiction 101 here and avoiding a big back-story dump. You’re welcome. I hear those sighs of relief. If you’re really curious about me, pop over to www.jimrubart.com.)

This column will help you market your fiction and, more important, help you market you. Why? You are your books, your books are you, whether you like it or not. To put it in marketing-speak, you are—and must be—the brand.

I realize editors and agents tell us, "Hey, it’s not you I’m rejecting! It’s your book." To some extent that’s true, but if they’re impressed with you, the decision to buy gets mucho easier.

So if I can help you stand out like a lighthouse with agents, editors, and ultimately readers, you’ll get more contracts and sell more books. A lot more books.

Future Column Topics

• The mistake a majority of authors make on their Web sites

• How to market yourself at writing conferences

• Why Baby Boomers are lousy marketers (and what they can do to fix it)

• Using the power of sound

• The difference between marketing, advertising, and PR

• What branding really is

• How to identify and establish your brand

• How to write Web site copy

• Book trailers—what works, what doesn’t

God’s Role in Marketing

A recurring question I see on e-mail loops goes like this: "If God is really for my book, why should I have to learn a bunch of marketing techniques? I don’t like marketing. I just believe that if God wants my book to fly sky high, it’ll sell; if He doesn’t, it won’t."

I disagree.

As the owner of an advertising agency and marketing company, I tell my clients the only thing great marketing and advertising can do is make the inevitable happen faster.

A number of years ago I handled the advertising for the Northwest Cingular Wireless dealers. I designed a strong creative campaign, put it on the right media, and the results were almost immediate. Sales spiked, calls to a toll free number I’d set up climbed, and everyone was happy.

For a while.

Turns out the network was still being built out. Call quality was horrible. Dropped calls. Dead zones. Complaints were rampant.

I wrote a long e-mail telling the owners they were in big trouble. Word of mouth would spread. Fast. Cancelations would start coming down like Seattle rain. I said the current campaign would hurt more than help unless they fixed their product. Bingo. I was right.

Great marketing makes weak companies go out of business faster, strong companies grow more quickly. The only thing marketing does is call attention to the product or service.

Consumers sample the product, discover what is reality, and word of mouth takes over from there, good or bad.

I don’t think there’s a difference between marketing retailers or services and marketing books and authors. Our role? I believe we need to take part in the process of getting the word out to accelerate the inevitable.

Can God spread the word about your book by Himself? Sure. And I suppose Moses didn’t have to raise his staff to part the Red Sea. God could have done that all by Himself, too.

But He didn’t.

If you’re talented enough to weave a compelling story, I encourage you to raise your staff and see how effective marketing can speed up the process of becoming a successful novelist.

If you’re an agent with a knack for finding great stories, let’s explore how the right marketing can grow your reputation and influence with the pub houses faster.

The same goes for book stores. These techniques will help you as well.

(Editors are gods, they need no help.)

If you have marketing/branding/advertising questions you’d like answered, shoot ‘em my way and we’ll yak about them.

Next month: Branding, a simple explanation.