I wish there was an easy way. I really do.
There are people who will OFFER to sell your book for you. They’ll make it seem like they are the answer to all of your prayers. You can hide in your attic and write and they’ll do all the dirty work of selling for you.
And they might even do some of it.
But it’s always for a price. Usually a huge price.
And too often, for that huge price, they’ll actually do a pretty poor job of it.
The sad, ugly truth is that YOU, as the writer of the book, are the only person who can really sell it effectively. If you’re willing to learn a few skills and get your hands dirty, you can make a massive difference to the success of your book.
3 Quick Tips
1. Define your audience – every author wants to believe their book is for ‘everyone.’ Sad truth: even if everyone MIGHT be interested in your book, there is no way you have the time or resources to reach each one. If I wanted to knock on the door of every home in London, it would take me years. As one individual, it would be pointless. However, if I wanted to knock on every door in Hackney, that suddenly becomes more do-able. Or even better, what if I determined that people who I thought would MOST like my book live and hang out around Dalston Lane? Then I can think about handing out some flyers, maybe doing a reading in a coffee shop there, getting my book into a local shop, trying to get some coverage in a local paper. I can hit the people who are centred around Dalston Lane a handful of times (at least 7) over a 6 month period. Which do you think is going to result in more book sales?
2. What’s your hook? – Every potential reader wants to know WHY they should bother reading your book. There are millions of reading options…. why your book? What’s it going to do for me? Make me laugh until I wee myself? Turn everything I know about quantum physics on its head? Make me yearn to travel to Tibet? Understand for the first time what it’s really like to live with a drug addict? Get a glimpse inside the dirty world of stock trading? Take me into the head of a girl who’s forced to work as a sex slave? Don’t leave it to your reader to decide WHY they should read it. You’ve got to do the work for them. You’ve got to lay out the birdseed that is going to attract the birds to your birdbath. You’ve got to lay a trail that will lead me to clicking BUY on Amazon. And that start’s with working out what your hook is.
3. What’s your story? Authors love to hide behind their books. They like to think it’s only ever about the book. Sorry, another sad truth, but that’s bullocks. If you want me to buy your book, it starts with me buying the story of you as an author. Who wasn’t intrigued at the idea of J.K. Rowling writing Harry Potter as a single mother on Welfare writing away in coffee shops in London? Who isn’t curious about how Stephen Hawking gets the amazing ideas out of his brain and down on paper when he has so little control of his body? Who doesn’t wonder about what inside knowledge the young intern who has worked for free at Vogue magazine has gleaned and is now setting out in her novel? Find an interesting story about YOU as a writer and use that to generate interest in your book. Not the other way around. People are interested in people. Once I’m interested in you, then I’ll be interested in what you have created. Don’t hide your writer personality behind your book.
Want to know more? Want to spend 2 days with me and best-selling author Andi Michaels (plus a special Q&A with a publisher) where we hammer out all the things you need to know to create an author brand and market your books? Want to walk away at the end of two days with a solid action plan and a series of ‘next steps’ that will result in actual book sales?
Then join us on 26 & 27 July for Marketing Bootcamp for Writers.