Disclaimer. This is a difficult subject for me this week, but I’ll attempt to tackle it anyway though I DO NOT claim to be an expert. I read somewhere that a new author should be happy to sell over one-hundred books and when I hit that mark I stopped counting. I’ve never made it onto a major bestseller list, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be there one day. But this journey has been tremendous and far more than I ever hoped for.
Selling books is not only an art, but it’s mostly a business. Author Taylor Dawn recently shared an article written by Nicholas Sparks about the pitfalls of the book business. Book selling is not for the faint of heart yet as authors whose hearts are full of our stories, we continue to try and share them with the world despite knowing that it’s an uphill battle at times.
I’m happy to share what I’ve learned in the past few years of doing this crazy book-thing especially if it helps someone even a tiny bit.
- Be grateful … for everything. Every reader, every review, every like, every connection, everything that tells you that someone chose YOU. With the millions of books in the world, I’m grateful every time someone chooses one of mine, even if they didn’t love it or didn’t connect with the story or the characters. Someone still chose my book to read and I’m constantly amazed that they would. Saying THANK YOU and participating in giveaways and supporting fellow authors with hops is a great way to show gratitude.
- It’s been said a million times but don’t spam people with your books 24/7. It’s annoying! They’ll unfollow, block, and ignore you for all of eternity. Enough said.
- Try new things. Some things will work and some won’t but there is value in trying. Before I try a new opportunity, I always do my research and read comments or ask questions of other authors who’ve done it. Some marketing avenues will work and give you great exposure while others will boost sales. Know your audience and know what they like.
- Share the love! There is strength in numbers and supporting other authors/bloggers not only shows how awesome you are to new fans, but can introduce your readers to wonderful new people as well. It’s a win-win to get involved in giveaways, cover reveals, celebrations, and anything that can get your name out there.
- Be true, be you! Show your readers who you are, inside and out. They are readers and people, just like you are. Interact, listen, and respond … consistently. Every single reader is important!
- Do your research and don’t keep doing what doesn’t work. It’s important to ask around and take your time when making a decision. But don’t be afraid to try, although you do wanti be selective when it comes to spending marketing dollars!
It’s important to remember that this is a journey; a marathon and not a sprint. It can take time to build an audience so don’t get discouraged and don’t compare yourself to others. Marketing involves taking risks, trying new approaches, and being brave. Try all of the free stuff and be selective about what costs money because not all of it is tried and true.
If bloggers offer to help, interview, or spread the word about your books, then let them, and don’t forget to THANK them! Many of them do it just because they love books and for no other reason.
Be true, be you, and have fun while your doing it!