It’s a Saturday. Things are calm. I’m recovering well from surgery 3 weeks ago, and life has gotten back to our version of normal.
Going to let you all in on a secret today.
The best way to get people to buy your book is to get them interested in it enough to spend the money.
Yes, the story has to be well written. Yes, the cover and blurb have to spark interest. But they won’t even look at those unless they know about it.
And the BEST way to spread the word is to do it yourself.
I’m a big advocate for doing my own promoting. Why? Because I know me. I know what I want the readers to know about me. I control the information.
So, I’m personable online. I don’t get into politics or religion (both can alienate readers). I don’t bitch and moan about sales.
I project an image of success. I feed the illusion that readers want to have about authors.
I play nice with other authors.
This is a big thing for me. Too many authors see another one as competition. This could be through jealousy (writing skills or perceived success), or simply one wrong email blowing up to a major fight.
Sometimes, these fights get really out of hand. It makes those around you (or your readers) wonder if they’re back in middle school. Or who is telling the truth.
Now, what if you just took a step back. Took some deep breaths. And realized that all the sniping and undercutting and drama isn’t helping anyone.
And it could be hurting you and your books as much if not more so than you’re hurting the other author.
Readers don’t care. Your friends and family might, sure. If you’re lucky, a few will even speak up and tell you that you’re being a jerk and to calm back down. But all your readers will see is two people who can’t get along. Who can’t be adults and just walk away.
I don’t involve people in the drama around my personal life. Certainly not my readers.
Trust me, the last year and a half has been full of it. But readers won’t care if my parents died. They won’t care about how much money we put into our daughter’s first car. They aren’t interested in medical issues.
They want the next story. They want the next event or contest.
There have been times, yes, when I’ve looked at my sales and wondered what I’m doing. That I should just give it up and walk away.
But I won’t.
Being an author is so much more than writing a book. This is one of the few industries where morals, work ethic, the manners matter. The person who can be an adult, let things go, and be pleasant to everyone is the one readers want to interact with.
Books are an interesting world. The plots can all be boiled down to basic structures, and we find new and different ways to tell them. Sure, there’s lots of books out there that have dragons or magic. It’s how I use them that makes mine unique, the words I use to create the world. That’s what differentiates my stories from other authors.
No one’s going to read those stories, though, if I’m bitching about politics. No one’s going to buy my book because (yes, I’ve seen this) I scream at readers online for not leaving a review. Or curse at them for not buying more copies. Seen that, too.
We are NOT in competition with other authors. We really aren’t. Someone can read my books and then read one by J. K. Rowling and that’s okay. I have no monopoly on readers.
I concentrate on what I can control. My behavior. My image. And that’s going to make the difference.