Someone came to me and asked what it took to get into writing. At first I thought she wanted to know about the process of writing a book and I politely told her to check out some of my other posts on the subject. She quickly stopped me and told me that wasn’t what she meant. She was pretty convinced that she could write a story (or a book for that matter), but what was more important was taking it to the next level. She wanted to know what it took to sell those books after they were published.
That, of course, is a whole different issue; one I’ll try to address here.
The thing is, there is no “set in stone” manner by which you can produce quantifiable, renewable results on a consistent basis. Maybe you don’t want to hear that. Maybe, when you read all of those articles, you think you will be different. Maybe you think that your work is somehow better than the next person’s and that puts you in the driver’s seat. You would be wrong. At least most of you would be. It doesn’t work that way. At least not for most of us.
So…unlike the people out there that are making grand promises about selling your books, what I offer is something better. I offer reality. If you can live with that, you have an opportunity to make your writing something that has a chance.
First things first:
I’ve said this before and I will repeat it until the day I decide to get out of the business; get your work right. What I mean is, get your manuscript edited and then re-edited by people who actually know what they are doing and actually do it for a living. It doesn’t matter if someone tells you that they can get your book out cheaper or quicker or whatever kind of crap they spout. If you don’t have the book edited properly, you may fool your readers once with a great campaign, but they’ll never go back for seconds. Then all your great marketing will be a waste. So get it right.
I won’t belabor the issue, get it right the first time and you will improve your chances at a second (or multiple) time(s).
I’m not going to spend a lot of time in this article talking about the local marketing. I will do that later. What I want to discuss here has to do with social media. You need social media if you want to do anything with your books.
Personally, I don’t really think it matters which social media you decide to focus on. I use several of them myself and have had good success with them all. However, none of them will help if you don’t use them correctly. Signing up won’t help. Actually, the only way any of them will help is for you to be involved with whichever tool you decide to use.
For example, I use Twitter as my primary social media. I build relationships with people and get to know them. With some, we’ve actually become friends. With others, it’s merely discussing a topic that seems to be on their mind at the time. Either way, you get out there and talk to the people who are going to buy your work. Sometime it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. The thing is, before you talked to them, they didn’t know you. Now they do.
Select ten people each day and say something to them. Let them know that you are open and willing to have a conversation. Tell them about your books, of course, but more important, let them know that whatever they are discussing is also important. It’s about give and take. What they have to say may actually be useful to you. And if it is, let them know.
Do the math. If you talk to 10 new people every day, you will have met 3,650 new people every year. If you have a good product, many of them will actually check out your work and many of those will actually buy it. If you want to sell more, there are several ways to do that, but only two in which you have control: 1) talk to more people, and 2) write more books.
It’s a simple process to gain success as an author. However, no one ever said it would be easy.