Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'll Buy Your Book

Most people you talk to on a one on one basis will tell you, "I'll buy your book." But the truth is more like a meme I saw on Facebook the other day. Said meme is below.

The meme literally made me laugh out loud. Yes, not just type LOL. Actually do it. Because that meme is really true. You wouldn't think that parting with no more than one pays for a pint of ale would be such a big deal. Certainly a book with dozens of 4 and 5 star reviews is worth taking a chance on. Right? Hmmm. You still have to actively market your book.

Earlier I wrote an article entitled "Cheer Your Success!" I literally cheer every time a person buys my novel or one of my short stories. I cheer even louder when they write a review. I can't really describe how I feel but it's damn good.

Readers are a special bunch of people. They are rebels. They aren't glued to a television set or to social media. They have a longer attention span than a tweet on Twitter. They go to libraries.

Libraries are a good way to market your book for the long run. However, opting for library distribution through Createspace will raise the price of your print book and you won't make as much in royalties off of it. So I advise against it. Not many libraries, if any, are searching through the hundreds of thousands of self-published books.

Here is a better library strategy. When you are talking about your book with someone and they say, "I'll check it out." reply by saying, "Thanks. But instead of purchasing it, try calling your local library and asking them if they will carry it." Then make sure you give the person your business card so they will remember to call the library. Hopefully, you have had the foresight to put your latest book cover on the back of your business card and you have remembered always to carry some cards with you.

This way they have two ways of getting access to your book, the library or by purchasing it themselves. So when you check back with them and follow up you can always just ask them if they got their library to carry it. That sounds better than asking them if they bought it yet.

Most libraries have a budget for acquiring books. I had a reader who requested my book, The Sacrifist, be carried at the Manatee County Library in Florida. So the library purchased a print copy through Amazon and I got the full royalty. A good marketing strategy is to get as many of your friends as possible to request your book be carried in their local county library system.

The library will be more inclined to buy it if there are already a dozen or more good reviews and the good reviews are in the majority. Especially if the reviews are by professional book critics who are well-known. Remember, the more your book gets read the better your future sales it will be, providing you've written a good book. Good books generate good word of mouth.

Urge your readers at the end of your books to write a review at and also at the retailer where they purchased it. The more reviews you collect the better. However, you will need to continue to ask people to write a review and be prepared to nudge them at least half a dozen times.

Be creative on how you draw attention to your books and short stories. The key thing in marketing is to continue to put your writing products forward and remind people that they are available. For once you stop talking about them, they cease to exist.

Until next time, don't be boring.

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