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How To Sell More Books: 3 Tips To Help You To Sell

How To Sell More Books: 3 Tips To Help You To Sell

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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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99
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 →
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Write Your Novel: Your Characters’ Thoughts Sell Your Book

Write Your Novel

Every morning I get out of bed, pour a cup of coffee, and stumble into my office. I’m not awake. I never am until I’ve got some caffeine in my veins. That’s fine, because it’s precisely the right state in which to write fiction.

For the next half hour, I enter the imaginary world of my novel.

That borderline state between alertness and the dream world is perfect for writing from the heart. Your words come directly from your subconscious mind.

Over the years, I’ve learned not to place any demands on myself in this dreamy creative state. I just start writing, accepting whatever comes, whether it’s part of what I’m working on, or not.

This morning, what came was a new character. She’s funny, charming, and combative. She’s at a wedding, and almost gets into a fight with the bride.

I love her. She has no place in any novel on which I’m working, but that’s also fine. She’s a gift. Be alert to the gifts your heart and subconscious mind give you.

There’s another reason I like writing in a dreamy state: emotion. It’s easier to think and feel as your characters do when you’re in this state. When you share your characters’ thoughts, you engender corresponding emotions in the reader.

Here’s why this is important: your reader wants to experience your book, so emotions SELL.

Thoughts equal emotion: what’s your character thinking?

The erotic novel Fifty Shades Of Grey made its author, E.L. James, into a multi-millionaire in just a few months.

Although I haven’t read the trilogy, judging from excerpts I’ve read, and the reviews, I have a good idea of what’s making the books sell: emotion.

Unlike nonfiction, fiction is all about emotion. Give readers an emotional experience, and your books will sell.

So… how do we arouse emotion, firstly in ourselves, then in readers?

The answer is: your characters’ thoughts.

The more you reveal characters’ thoughts and use deep point of view, the more your readers live your characters’ lives. They share your characters’ emotions.

Pitfall: don’t tell us how your characters feel

Don’t tell us:

  • Emily was scared;
  • Henry was happy;
  • Sandra’s heart was broken… etc.

We’re not going to take your word for it.

SHOW us Emily’s thoughts, as she faces the mugger. She’s married and pregnant. What thoughts go through her mind? She thinks that she’ll never hold her baby. That argument she had with her spouse – she wishes she could take those hurtful words back now. If she dies, she doesn’t want those words to color his last memories of her.

When you show us what a character’s thinking, we forget that we’re reading: we experience your book.

How does your favorite author engender emotion in YOU?

Today, skim through three books in your current novel’s genre. Look for characters’ thoughts. Read carefully, so that you can see the connection between thoughts, and emotion.

Make notes. What tricks do the authors use, to build emotion in readers?

EMOTION – and the ability to arouse it – is central to writing fiction. Understand that, and learn how to do it, and you’ll write books which sell.

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

$5.99
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Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. More info →
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