Sharon Ledwith is the author of the YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, debuting through Musa Publishing this May 18, 2012. When not writing or digging up the past, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.
Six Sales Points for Authors
There are a lot of authors out there today competing for readers’ attention—readers that you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Some do a very good job, make a lot of money, and stick around. They build satisfying publishing careers that last for decades. Other authors try to wing it and burn out. What’s the difference between a successful author and a wannabe author who just dawdles on the borders of success? Owning a great website? Having a damn good marketing plan? Creating a social media plan for each book release? Good luck? Whatever the answer, often the key to a successful career in the publishing field can be attributed to one or all of these time-tested sales points:
If it doesn’t work, fix it. Let’s face it—some sales strategies work better than others. The trick is to reassess what you’ve been doing. If you’re not producing the sales you’d like to see for a certain book, then chances are you need to correct and fine-tune your methods. For some authors this may mean retooling their blurb or tagline or change the cover. For others, it could be giving their website or blog a fresh new look.
Listen and learn. A number of things factor into book sales. One of the most important is your target audience—who you are writing for. Ask yourself, how are you fulfilling your readers’ needs? What must you do to continually hook their attention? For starters, you have to be willing to walk that extra mile by getting to know and understand your readers. You do this through social networks (Facebook, Twitter), workshops, book signings, school and library visits, book clubs, and online communities such as Goodreads or LibraryThing.
Show enthusiasm. Enthusiasm builds bridges. Panic tears them down. One thing an author has going for them is their unique voice. You use it in your books, so use it to sell them. Readers know when an author resonates with them. Be invested enough in yourself, as an author, to give your readers a fantastic story they’ll never want to end. Then write another one.
Sell yourself, on yourself. The power of positive thinking works wonders. Motivation builders such as podcasts, CDs or self-help books can help reinforce the super salesperson in you. Be specific with your goals and rewards, such as if you send out ten review requests in a day, book a pedicure or lunch with a friend. Write notes reminding yourself that you are a ‘Bestselling Author’ and ‘You can do it’, then leave them around your desk. After all, seeing is believing.Create a sales plan to suit each book. Every book you write is one of a kind. Sales tactics for one book may not work for the second book. That’s when you get creative and take chances. Giveaways are always a fan favorite. Experiment with each book until you get a sales formula that works for you. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps, so if you can afford it, hire a publicist or a marketing consultant. The bigger the investment, the bigger the payoff.