I’ve been busy trying to come up with new ways of marketing my writing. Yesterday, I googled all my local book shops to find out how, as an independent author, I went about getting my books in their shops. Like all aspects of my life, it’s been a case of trial and error.
I’ve been using Fussy Librarian and Book Cave to help promote my books as these companies are within my price range, and on over 125 sites across Facebook, as well as on LinkedIn, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and of course this blog. The problem is you’re never quite sure whether you’re just stabbing in the dark as I can’t say for sure if I’m hitting my market. The trouble is you have no physical contact with anyone. At the weekend I sold five books while chatting with the readers. I felt a real connection with them and hope they felt the same in return.
Reading is such a personal thing as you lose yourself in the writer’s words. The time invested in reading, an activity which is so time-consuming must be worthwhile for the reader. The writing needs to hook them and keep them turning the pages, but the real difficulty is getting your book into their hands in the first place.
Amazon is fine in as much as it is huge, and gives you the opportunity to sell in other countries without having to post your books to the readers. The trouble is it is so impersonal. To my way of thinking, the more personal contact we have with our audience the more sales we will likely generate, plus you will leave a personal impression on them that they will more than likely start reading your book straight away. All services, whether its banking, hotels, airports etc, all know how important the personal touch is to their customers, and the more positive the experience they have, the more likely they are to return. I know to make my business grow, I need to make contact with my readers.
The reason why all bestselling authors reach their dizzying heights, and have bestselling novels isn’t just because they tell a brilliant story, but also because they are known on a personal level by their audience. Go along to any book festival and you will see it for yourself. Being well-known is the reason why most celebrities take up writing and publishing agencies snap their manuscripts up. They are already familiar household names and faces.
How do you become well-known?
Well, apart from committing a nasty deed and getting your name plastered over the media, you’ll need to build an following. This can be done online by a blog, Facebook, Twitter etc. You’re here now, reading this, so I’m taking it that you have been following my progress for some time. Maybe we already know each other on a personal level, but is it enough for you to buy my books? I hope so.
What else can I do?
Well, I’m planning to meet my audience, and have done so already. At the weekend, my village had a garage sale, so I posted a photo of my books on the village’s Facebook site, and said copies were available at my house. Five lovely readers dropped by to chat and buy my book.
This coming weekend, I shall be on a live chat show called Writers Read with Liza Miles, talking and reading from Seeking the Dark. On Saturday, I shall be taking a copy of my first dark crime novel Stone Angels to a local bookshop. I know, it is so exciting. I can’t quite believe it myself.
How did that come about?
Well, after googling to find out whether there was any bookshops local to me, I then emailed them with details about myself, my books and why I was contacting them. In the evening I received an email back ask me for a copy of Stone Angels On Saturday, I shall be delivering it to the shop.
I shall let you know what happens next.