State of the Industry 2018
A look at the market, book industry and marketing trends of 2018
Current bestsellers on Amazon in New Age / Spirituality
Majority of titles on the best seller list are old established titles in the genre. One exception being 'Mind Over Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality', published by Hay House. Which is demonstrating a trend I see in the best seller list where it deals with this genre through more of an established scientific lens.
What I also see trending in the best seller lists are books that are a 'complete guide' to something. Whether that be Chakras, Crystals, Meditation or even Psychedelics. I understand the buyers perspective of just wanting one book that will give them all they need to know on the subject. Casting the net as broad as possible to catch as many people, rather than having a book deal with a niche within a niche. Above are a few examples.. Maybe if we had named our Ayahuasca Rituals book instead 'The complete guide to Ayahuasca', it may have been more attractive to newcomers.
'The Complete Guide To' or 'The Beginner's Guide To' are both concepts that seem to do very well. With the aim of appealing to everyone within that niche, rather than our niche within a niche approach. Michael Pollen's psychedelic book was aimed at that, the book everyone within the psychedelic niche (and those being introduced to) was going to get.
Researching 2018 Marketing Statistics
92 percent of consumers read online reviews when looking for a local business
42 percent of consumers won't use a business with less than a three-star rating
68 percent of consumers will form an opinion about your local business after reading just 1-6 online reviews (seek ‘buisness reviews’ for the company on facebook)
90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions (create more product handling reviews? Flicking through the pages of the book. A video giving a rundown of what to expect in the book)
Facebook continues to dominate social media use, according to Top Rank Blog
Audiobooks were the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry last year. For traditional publishers audiobook sales mitigated declines in ebook sales, and trad publishers are bullish on audiobooks going into 2018.
Word of mouth is so impactful that half of Americans would prefer it over any type of marketing. Eighty-three percent of Americans said they’ve made a word-of-mouth recommendation -- 55 percent said they make recommendations at least monthly and 30 percent said they make them weekly. (utilize the word of influencers more)
Social marketing is shifting toward emotionally engaging content and storytelling because strong emotions increase content’s “spreadability,” according to Oregon Web Solutions. (Creating social media content with an emotional storytelling approach, would be why Michael’s story of self healing with GoodBye Parkinson’s techniques often performs well)
Marketing will become more expensive
“As we predicted, 2018 saw increased costs on Facebook as more brands and authors used the platform to market their products. We anticipate this trend will continue into 2018 to the point where Facebook ads will no longer make sense for authors with single titles. Returns may still be there for authors with series or multiple titles, but the ROI will be thinner. Unfortunately this trend will not be limited to Facebook ads. Amazon Ads (AMS) will continue to gain in popularity, driving competition and increases in costs on the platform.”
“If you are running a successful author business, 2019 may be the year to hire a marketing assistant.”
Confirming that advertising on Facebook is getting crowded and ROI smaller.
Info is suggesting advertising large catalogs is going to have an edge over authors with single or smaller catalogs as they are able to spread their marketing costs over multiple titles and will get better ROI from read-through.
Email marketing will be tested
Research suggest that the reach and response you get from email compared to the cost of sending an email is still unbeatable. 2017 saw indie authors turning to email marketing and aggressively building their lists. 2018 was the year of group giveaways and email list swapping. Indies were delighted at the performance of email and used it more aggressively. The side effect has been reader fatigue towards the end of 2018 – lower open rates and lower performance. Users are clocking on to the sell tactics in email marketing.
“To combat newsletter fatigue, authors are starting to become far more personal with their readers, simplifying newsletters to plain text, removing graphics, and refining their copy to something softer than a marketing pitch. The author’s personal empowerment will start, in part, with a more personalized email newsletter.”
It seems authors who respect reader preferences and send compelling content rather than frequent emails and sells, will continue to find benefit in email marketing.
Experimentation will be the name of the game in 2019 as authors re-think their email marketing strategies. So new approaches from email marketing will need to be observed and evaluated for performance
Raise a Team of INFLUENCErS
Working with influencers seems to be a constant recommendation.
This taps into the positive word-of-mouth that stats above say is more powerful than words from the business’.
Working with Social Media Influencers
Perhaps instead of buying ads, it's better to spend to money on social media influencers that have direct personal access to the right we’re looking for audiences?
Having people post colourings of my own colouring book, sending copies of my book to influencers seemed to work quite well.
Instagram Shopping Feature
Potentially very powerful tool just recently implemented.
Companies will now be able to put shopping links into their Instagram posts and stories, this would go hand-in-hand with the recommendation to work more with social media influencers and to now also be able to have product link in a promotional post.
Investment in Content Developers
Quite a few websites and articles have mentioned the benefits of hiring an experienced writer - “Who is not only able to write unique and creative content, but his knowledge base should be potent enough to fluently write on a variety of topics in order to attract a large audience from different industries”.
The objective is to develop and promote a content that retains existing customers who will keep coming back for more as well as attract others through an encouraging word-of-mouth. They will create a story/case study relating to your brand well that allows customers to feel attachment with the brand on much deeper and personal level.
You mentioned you already tried this in the past with Divine Arts?
Convert with the Right Data
We have customer data, a professional digital marketer might be able to understand the exact customer behavior and what it takes to deliver the best efforts, and perhaps worth looking into commissioning. This is something quite a few articles are recommending.
The Best Visibility with Native Ads
To grab a plain sight exposure in front of the right audience, native advertising has become one of the most sought-after marketing methods. Most users find interruptive ads frustrating and irrelevant. For instance, browsing a website and instantly an out-of-context ad pops out of nowhere is a big no-no for the user.
This is a common concern, which is best catered by native ads. It facilitates brands to market their offerings in a quite non-disruptive way that blends in easily with the environment a user is most comfortable with.
Native ads blend in such a seamless manner, that customers may not even spot them when viewing. Rather than approving it as a deceiving aspect, the point is to put the right information in front of the viewer when they actually need it.
CTR rates for premium native ads on mobile gadgets were four times higher, than the count of non-native display ads. The data also stressed that native ads calls for better engagement rates on tablets and smartphones as compared to desktop systems.
Relevancy wins the war
According to research, It's no longer about collecting the most email addresses or leads. Those with the biggest lists used to dominate their niche, but this will not work in 2019 as people begin to crave greater intimacy and relevance.
In 2019, relevancy will win the war. “If you want to increase your profit this year, it isn't about creating more leads, it's about building greater intimacy and relevance with the leads you have -- so you provide the right solution, to the right people, at the right time.”
Attention is getting more expensive as more businesses have easier access to it. It's more important than ever to make the most of the attention you capture. People are so overwhelmed with messages that they're starved of significance.
It's no longer about spreading your marketing further and further for the sake of it, but spreading it to the right people at the right time, making the most of their attention the moment you capture it.
“Consumers in the U.S. spend an average of 4.7 hours each day on their smartphones, checking social media at least 17 times a day. This is changing the way brands must work to capture buyers’ attention.”
Micro-Moments is a “new consumer behavior,” as termed by Google, that delivers your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumers – all within a span of seconds (otherwise, they lose their attention and are onto the next article).
Social Media content
User Generated Content (UGC) rather than highly staged content is showing to be the most effective in 2018, and many brands are incorporating more UGC to promote their brand/products. It’s content that feels less like promotional content and blends more seamlessly into people’s social media feeds.
JetBlue is a popular American airline that’s making waves on social media through its impressive content-marketing strategy.
On its Instagram page, it engages its target audience -- people who love to fly/travel -- by posting content that appeals especially to them.
A prime example is JetBlue's weekly #DestinationFriday post, which typically includes high-quality pictures and videos of destination cities with travel tips from the airline's crew members, along with an engaging question presented to the airline's followers.
Video Still King
"Nothing on social media is as eye-catching as good video content. Whether you’re marketing on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, it looks like social video engagement stats are going to be through the roof in 2018.”
YouTube viewers watch a billion hours of video each day
Facebook users consume over 8 billion videos every day
82% of Twitter’s audience views video content on the platform
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that mobile comes first. After all, 90% of Twitter video views and 60% of YouTube views are now from users on mobile devices.
“The marketing community has seen the writing on the wall---65% of marketers are preparing to increase their budgets for mobile ads to focus more on video within the next few months."
Notable New Books
Notable New News Stories
Young Online Spiritual Figures
Younger Audience demographic
One of the main problems is that a lot of these figures tend to self publish with a platform like Amazon Createspace. They often already have an established fan-base, and so can self publish with more confidence.
Example of one such person: (that has a book)
533k YouTube Subscribers
A popular Youtuber in the growing Spirituality and Self -Growth category there, where people talk about their spiritual journies and provide insights.
Each video dealing with a particular subject. Very popular for the younger generation, whom digest information in this medium.
Koi has a couple of self published books, both seem quite popular.
I think it would be worth looking for young upcoming speakers like this who have not become ‘as big’ at this stag,e or published their own book.
Here is a selection I found that I can see increasing in popularity, has interesting content that could be turned into a book, and also has not yet self-published a book of their own…
01: Modern Spirituality
4.2k YouTube Subscribers
Run by two people, each sharing stories of their won spiritual journies.
How to not have a spiritual ego
Has his own on-going podcast series
Examples of channeling spirits that is a little more usual, somewhat controversial & interesting to hear about…
03: Shaman Durek
2.9k YouTube Subscribers
A 3rd generation shaman who has devoted decades to study and practice in becoming a thought leader and spiritual enthusiast for people all over the world. His focus is educating people on how to make shamanism a life style choice for evolutionary adaptation.
04: Psyched Substance
1.2m YouTube Subscribers
Seems to be the most subscribed channel on Psychedelics at a whopping 1.2 million subscribers.
Book Idea: Could see someone like this helping to put together a popular style book explored earlier that is along the lines of ‘The Complete Guide to Psychedelics.’
Other Notable Figures
Not young YouTube personalities, but interesting individuals I have found (likely on a Podcast interview) who don’t have books and might be worth proactively approaching to suggest a book partnership.
Lifestyle design expert, transformational coach, and podcast host.
Active speaker, shows excellent internet marketing skills, good potential audience reach.
A former Hollywood Celebrity Fashion Stylist, has spent the past twenty-one years developing and refining the ultimate lifestyle, based on the most powerful principles of health and spirituality,
I filmed a workshop with him on his unique approach to collecting flower essences. He has a very interesting story, see a trailer to the workshop I filmed with him to the left.
He has no book, but I certainly think he would have a great story to share. He could do the complete guide to making flower essences (the spiritual way)
October 11-14: Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum (Victoria, BC, Canada)
October 13-14: Colloquium on Psychedelic Psychiatry 2018 (Nacka, Sweden)
October 14-16: SPARK Biohacker Summit (Toronto, ON, Canada)
October 18-21: Harm Reduction Conference (New Orleans, LA, USA)
November 2-4: Spirit Plant Medicine Conference (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
November 3-4: KRIYA Conference 2018 (Hillsborough, CA, USA)
November 21-22: Sacred Plants Forum: Uses and Norms (Mexico City, Mexico)
January 5-9: Tulum Medicines of Mexico Retreat (Tulum, Mexico)
March 31 - April 5: Psychedelic Integration at Esalen (Big Sur, CA, USA)
(Michael Pollen is here)
Spiritual Stores to contact about stock
Looking at ones where ‘books sold’ has been mentioned in the shop reviews on Yelp or other.
Holistic Shops in CA
Spiritual Shops in OR
Spiritual Shops in Chicago
Spiritual Shops in the UK