You’re an author, and self-publisher. You want to sell more books. You know that READERS are everything to your business. Perhaps you’ve spent time and money getting traffic to your website, and on promoting your books in various ways.
You’re disappointed at the results.
You suspect that there’s something missing in your book marketing and sales strategy.
There may well be, especially if you’re not completely focused your readers.
Want to sell more books? Know your readers
If you want to sell more books, your best bet is to sell them to people who know and love your work. In other words… get a mailing list. You need a way of getting in touch with your readers when you release a new book: a mailing list is the single surest (and free, almost) way of doing that.
Doing that already? Well done.
The next step is to clone your readers — in a sense.
Yes, we’re all individuals. However, readers of a fiction genre like mysteries, or a nonfiction category like self-help, are more similar than they’re different. When you know what those readers like in a book, that knowledge will help you to write books which appeal to them.
So let’s see how you can sell more books.
1. Focus on one reader at a time: every reader is ONE person, an individual
I’m on lots of mailing lists, for everything from recipes to yoga wear. I grind my teeth when I read: “hi everyone,” or “hi guys…” Or when I watch a video, and hear the presenter address his viewers as “everyone.”
Heh. I’m not everyone, and neither are you. Every single person on your mailing list is an individual, who is sitting at a desktop computer, or lounging on a sofa with his tablet, or reading your messages on his phone.
Each time you think about your mailing list, blog readers, or social media followers as a group, you distance yourself from them. It’s subtle, but your readers recognize this, and you’re pushing them away.
Moreover, this “everyone” attitude affects everything you do when you’re marketing and selling your books.
So please address your readers as “you”, and think of each and every reader as an individual.
It makes all the difference, and your attitude will help you to sell more books.
2. Do some easy research: read reader reviews on Amazon, and on social media
Ah Amazon, what would we do without you? 🙂
I love Amazon for the reader reviews; I spend a lot of time there, reading the reviews of bestsellers, and of books which sell few copies too.
The reviewers are telling you what they like, and what they don’t like. When you read reviews of books, over time you’ll internalize reader attitudes of whatever genre/ category you’re writing.
Again, please remember: each reviewer is an individual. He or she has an opinion. You may agree with the reviewer’s opinion, or not — what’s important is that you’re aware of those opinions.
And no, I’m not suggesting that you keep the opinions in mind when you write, but I do know that getting to know readers, even if only via their reviews, is important to help you to sell.
3. Selling fiction and nonfiction: what do readers WANT?
When they buy fiction, they want entertainment: emotion, and escape from their daily lives.
When they buy nonfiction: they’re buying information, knowledge, and ideas.
If you keep what readers want in mind while you’re writing, your attitude changes. You’ll read a scene in your novel, and you’ll ask yourself how to make the scene more entertaining. You’ll go the extra mile with your nonfiction, so that your books are truly helpful.
You CAN sell more books: you have millions of readers (potentially)
Selling more books starts with you. Over the past few months, since many authors’ sales slumped last year, some authors have contacted me looking for a magic bullet to increase their sales.
Here’s the simplest way to sell more books: start with your attitude to your readers, and get to know them as much as you can.
In business marketing, companies use “personas”, representations of their ideal customers. You can do that too. Write for one person. Imagine that person clearly — give him or her a name, if you like.
You’ve got the potential to have millions of readers, so… happy writing. We authors have never had it so good. 🙂
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I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.More info →