Writing a great book with wonderful cover art and getting it on the “shelf,” virtual or pine, is not enough to make it sell. This reminds me of the boom in home-based internet businesses when the thought was that all you needed to do was create a website with a “buy” button and have some cool product to sell, and those “internet people” would flock to your site and you would be rich. Well, four or five of those companies made it, and the other three million are still having garage sales to try to get rid of all the doggie diapers and stained glass window decorations.
Shouting “buy my book” is not enough to make it sell either. The only person who will buy it because you tell them to is your mother. Maybe. The rest of us? We’ll just put our hands over our ears. Or unfollow you. It’s self-serving. It’s annoying. Your instruction to us has no credibility. You give us no motivation to buy it just by telling us to. In fact, it motivates us to do exactly the opposite. People are peculiar that way :-).
So how does an indie published author sell a book? We’re still learning, but what we have learned on this adventure so far is that you sell your books by:
- Getting people to tell other people that they should buy it.
- Being interesting.
- Making people care about what you have to say.
- Finding ways to get your book linked to other books by other authors that are selling.
- Creating the appearance that it is selling (people buy books that other people are buying).
- Having more than one book, so that if you do create a “fan” that person will have another one (or five) to buy.
- Making the process of buying your book easy
- Make it easy to find – get it in front of your target market.
- Minimize the steps in the buying process.
If I went into detail on what each of those mean this blog would be forty pages long and those that haven’t already fallen asleep would pretty soon anyway. Stay tuned and I’ll break some of these down over the next few months.
Meanwhile, at the risk of losing a few followers I want to share an observation that will be in a series of tweets with this hash tag: #Skippyadvice.
I have a personal Twitter account with 2000+ random people, and it is a cool stream of consciousness: ideas, smiles, and funny stuff. #Skippyadvice
I have a publishing Twitter account with 500+ writer followers, and its feed feels like I am in a room full of people shouting BUY MY BOOK. #Skippyadvice
People will not buy your book because you tell them to. You need them to want to get to know you. You need to be interesting enough that other people will sell them for you. #Skippyadvice
That’s all for now, folks.
p.s. see some advice on what DOES work in the comments below — don’t worry — we’ll expound upon all of that soon.