Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What Is Your Definition of Marketing?

This question was posed to me a bit ago, which left me pondering how my conceived definition of what marketing is in comparison to how others defined it.

So...just what is marketing?

Marketing is essential to any business if you wish to remain in business. However, there are so many varied definitions of what marketing is floating around, so much so that the core definition of it is lost. It seems that various industries have many different approaches and definitions of what marketing is as well as what it isn’t, which can be confusing. 

To put it simply, marketing is the process of creating a desirable attraction of wants, or perceived needs in a potential customers’ mind for a product or service, with the end result of obtaining the purchase.  Some would argue that advertising and marketing are one in the same. They are not.  Advertising can be thought of as a subset, (tactic) of marketing. Marketing encompasses the strategy, implementation, and execution of tactics that obtain results. 

Going further, analyzing the results (researching) gives answers to whether the intended strategy worked or not.  If the strategy worked, great! If not, the marketing objective, strategy, and/or tactics need to be revised.  A good marketing campaign can sell just about anything. It’s all about knowing your intended target audience and “knowing” what they want or think they need, customer perceptional positioning yourself (service or product) favorably, then giving it to them. 

When it comes to marketing, the big ticket item here is positioning, perception, and creating or filling the “need” to have what is being offered.  In order to create the desire or package your product or service to fit the needs or perceived needs of your target audience, you must know who you’re marketing to and how to market to them. What does your target audience consider a need or a must have and why? What features and benefits are they looking for? What are their “hot buttons”? Can you deliver? Can you show that you have the features that can benefit them and they value?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Smut Fiction Classified As A New Category Fiction: New Adult?

Just what is the definition of smut fiction?  Or for that matter, New Adult fiction? Bridging the gap between Young Adult and Adult fiction is the new hot ticket and both smut fiction/New Adult fiction is supposedly the new category that young readers can't get enough of these days.  Ask a few authors that have been cashing in on this new coined budding genre.  

 Ah, the coming of age. If you can remember back…remember Judy Blume books? During those times, Judy Blume was the coming of age hit, without the sexual tension that the this new category brings with it. Now we have the new wave of coming of age stories, more erotic, sensual, and sexual to boot.

Some critics want to go as far as saying it’s not real literature? People read it, right? Sounds like literature to me. To call it smut brings a negative connotation that some may view as a put down toward the authors that write in this category.

However, marching to the bank to the tune of at least $200,000 in just a few months, is hardly a put down to me. I’m going to go ahead and reach out on a limb and say that authors such as Colleen Hoover, who wrote Slammed, and others that are cashing in on this wave, and say they probably don’t think so either.  Publishing houses are now taking notice of "smut" fiction as some self published authors such as Colleen Hoover has proven that there is indeed a market for these types of stories. A few of these authors have now landed deals with the same publishing houses that once turned them down.

Take a look at the NBC news broadcast below: 

To read the full article that goes with this video, click here

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring 2013 - Best Selling African American Books - The Power List

As an Urban Publisher, we would be remiss if we didn't share this information:

Troy Johnson:
Gwen Richardson:
Ron Kavanaugh:

African-American Literature Web Sites Launch “Power List” of Best-Selling Books

(April 22, 2013 — New York, NY)  — Three leading African-American literature web sites announced the launch of the Power List, a quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African Americans.  The Power List is a joint project of, and, three Web sites which have promoted African-American literature for more than a decade.

The founders of these companies believe there is a need for a comprehensive list of best-selling African-American books.  “Currently, the data is dispersed over a wide variety of sources,” said Gwen Richardson, co-founder of  “We wanted to compile and analyze the data across the board and present those findings to the public.”

Besides collecting data from online book sellers and random samples on relevant Facebook pages, the Power List has a unique feature:  Its findings include a quarterly survey of 1,200 African-American book clubs.  “African-American book clubs are well-established in urban communities across America,” said Troy Johnson, founder of “The survey results tell us not only which Black authors are gaining traction among Black readers, but they also let us know which non-Black authors have garnered their attention.”

The Spring 2013 list is divided into separate categories:  Hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, paperback fiction and paperback nonfiction.  Best-selling ebooks and classics will be added in future editions.  The list will be released on the fourth Monday in the month following each calendar quarter.

Notable information about the Spring 2013 list:
  • Urban fiction author duo Ashley & Jaquavis have a total of four books among the top ten paperback fiction best sellers
  • Author Sister Souljah has titles on both the paperback and hardcover fiction lists
  • Best-selling author E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Gray was a top seller among African-American readers
  • Two titles by politically-conservative African Americans were among the best-selling titles in paperback non-fiction books
“Our ultimate mission is three-fold,” said Ron Kavanaugh, founder of  “To promote African-American literature; to assess the reading habits of African Americans; and to report those findings to the public.”

The Spring 2013 lists may be viewed at the Power List web site:  Updates will be included on the Power List Facebook and Twitter pages.  For more information, contact one of the individuals listed above.