There is one nut that must be cracked in order for any of us indie writers to have a chance at being writers as a career, and that is sales.
Here @ DPP we’re going to start taking a look at this. People just don’t seem to talk about it, and authors seem to think that if they’ve written the book, their work here is done. But that is not so.
Imagine, if you will, your doting favorite aunt (and may she still be with us!). Imagine your friend from college you lost touch with. Imagine your local book club. All these people are people who might love to buy, and read, and write a review of, your book.
Now, imagine you ask them to read your book.
Imagine I ask them to read your book.
Who do you think they’re more likely to buy your from?
And yet authors seem to have this idea that publishers have a huge drawer full of people stashed away somewhere, and we just open the drawer and yell, “Buy Joe’s book!” and they all buy it.
To-date, our best-selling author has sold about 96% of his books within 100 miles of his house. Most were sold at local bookstores or events.
However, there are those romance novelists on Facebook who self-publish and sell thousands of Kindle copies to people they have never met before.
So, how’s the one guy selling so many copies locally, and how are those romance ladies selling so many globally?
For this post let’s look at local.
The best and easiest sell is someone who knows and loves you, or someone who knows you a little and is curious about you.
Here are some steps I want you to take (whether you publish with DPP or one of our imprints… or not) to start your publishing sales:
Do you have a local writing group? Near to DPP we have the Eastern Shore Writer’s Assoc (ESWA), and we are proud and grateful members. If you have a local group, often they will send your accomplishments out in their newsletter, if you are a paying member (I think ESWA is about 25/year… cheap https://easternshorewriters.org). So see what associations you can join that will help publicize you.
Do you have an alumni association? You may not care about the people from college or etc., but they may buy your book! Let your AA know what you’ve been up to.
Do you have a state-wide arts council? They may also be willing to publicize your accomplishments. Write to them and ask if they are interested in news from constituents.
Have you made a list of email addresses to send press releases to for you? You want the smaller locale outlets here, until your name gets bigger. If you live in someplace huge, like Los Angeles, do not expect to get put into the Los Angeles Times, so look for smaller more local news outlets, print, TV, and radio. Often local radio is hungry for news, as well as small local papers.
CAN YOU, this week, do a Google search for writing groups/associations near you? Can you do a Facebook group search for writing groups near you?
Did you know that I was featured on a podcast from a college I attended but did not graduate from? Are there any schools you attended who might be looking for information for the next newsletter? If you write the next DaVinci Code do you think they’re going to care if you never graduated?
CAN YOU, this week, make a list of email contact info for your educational alumni associations?
CAN YOU, this week, do a Google search for your state art council, and find out what grant and publicity opportunities they have for you?
CAN YOU, this week, make a list of local press, TV morning shows, and radio local interest talk shows, and their contact emails?
WHILE you are doing this, start a fund for your writing PR (public relations). You may need to pay dues at some associations, and, as we progress through this series, there will be other things you may want to do for yourself as an author that will require some financial contribution on your part. It’s easy for writers to feel nickel and dime by submission fees and etc., but this is the cost of doing business. If you can, start an automatic withdraw from your pay to deposit 20 bucks each pay into your PR fund. If this crazy writing thing is really what you want to do, it has to be worth it to you in cash, and sweat-equity.
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