Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Book Marketing and Book Sales Part 1

I've always known I wasn't like other people. I know everybody wants to be "special" and nobody wants to be "same-ish."  That's not what this is.

I don't think like other people do, and I never have. I'm not saying it's a good thing.

Here's an example: I have a lovely wife, a lovely young family, etc. I could buckle down and get a shitty full-time job that paid half decent wages, and take my family on holidays and buy our house etc. It's the dreams of every other guy I know in my personal off-line life. Their biggest ambition is to see their team win the world cup.

That's not an ambition I could ever buy into. We have little (ie no) cash because I'm a student, but money has never been important to me.

Seriously, the most I ever earned in a year is about 10k, so if I can earn that as a writer, I'll be able to support myself writing fulltime at the level I'm used to. If I can make £800 a month (which I reckon is doable once I got about 5 or 6 novels out there. We shall see) then I won't need to work.

Maybe other writers are like me. Maybe they look at people around them and think "How can you be content with such a normal life?" I love my wife, but I warned her when we met to never ask me to choose her or writing. I'd do anything for her, anything except that.

I go to college, and we get set tasks. I do them in completely different ways from everyone else, and quite often get better results. But these things just seem obvious to me.

It's the same with book marketing. I look at the ways other authors market their books (book trailers, blog tours) and I just think... why?

I can see the appeal to a blog tour. You get exposed to a lot of other readers (or at least, you hope you do). But do you?  I recently followed Kait Nolan's blog tour. I think she's a great blogger, informative and witty (I haven't read her book yet, but I'm sure I will at some point). I also read Nathan Bransford's blog. Last year (or earlier  this year, maybe) guest bloggers came on for a week. I didn't bother reading any of them. I give up part of my day to go to Nathan's blog to read things he writes, not things someone else wrote.

Is this me being weird? Probably, but I aint the only weirdo in the world.

And book trailers... how do they work exactly? If someone comes on my blog they can watch my trailer? If someone knows my name or my books title they can look me up on youtube? So I'm not actually attracting people that don't know I exist in the first place?

Yeah, I don't see these as being great strategies. I'm sure they work to a point, some people might read a guess blogger, a smaller amount might follow through to your blog. A much smaller amount might buy your book. And any sales a sale, right?

Here's my point... writers without business backgrounds get confused between marketing and sales. Marketing is all about research, and as writers you should have a handle on research. Marketing will help you set your price on your novel. It will help you pinpoint an audience. It will help you find out where your audience lurks likes to hang around, so you can stalk engage them.

Sales is how you engage them.

So Marketing would be the blogs you decide to go to on your blog tour.
Sales would be what you decide  to write in each post.

This is the first of a multi-part look at how writers can market and sell novels, and the steps I intend to take.  I'll be writing this sporadically over the next few months as I put the last touches to my novel and begin my marketing and sales drive.


  1. Even if half a dozen sports friends asked me for that product next week, I would neither stock nor drop ship this product for reasons that you will soon know.

    online affiliate marketing

  2. Spamming (see example comment above) is an excellent way to get sales. Actually, it isn't. It's shit.

    If you click on his link he will get paid. Please don't. I did, and honestly nothing over there is worth a monkey's spit, except to use here as an example of what not to do.

    Oh, and his comment seems to have been left by a drunk whose first language was not English.

    Don't be an arse.
    Don't spam.

  3. LOL
    I agree with your comment about that random comment above.

    Hmm, I did have something to say, but reading those comments just knocked it right out of my head. Anyway, good blog. :)