Don't you find it interesting that everyone thinks they should be writing a book? The fact that we can do such a task easily is the reason so many books are unleashed on the society. To answer my own question, look at Facebook and Twitter, it doen't matter what we say in speech or print, we all want to state our opinion on everything. Blah, blah, blah should be on every coin, not In God We Trust.
Although what you say is true, I think we can refine it a bit to make it less dismal. In the end, I think it makes little difference whether there are 100,000 books published next year, or 2,000,000 books. Our real competition is against books that are #1 - well-written and #2 - well-marketed. Sure, there are exceptions that get a lucky break and make it big, but typically those that lack #1 or #2 (the vast majority of books) are buried so low that they're not really competing with us.
In marketing my non-fiction book, I'll e-mail (this week) about 20 popular financial blogs or financial magazines, asking if they want to look it over to bring out tips for graduates. About 4 typically respond. If I follow-up well, I get reviews out there, with links pointed back to my book on Amazon. Another small-time author friend likes radio and is finding this response rate when he queries radio. I interviewed him last week. You might like to see exactly how he goes about it:
When another friend who writes novels puts his book into local (not chain) restaurants, he's not typically finding any competition. He's the only book there. It doesn't matter if 150,000 novels were published last year. The people in line at the restaurant don't have the 150,000 before them; they see my friend's novel.
That's all to say, although it's gonna be very difficult to get into the channels that everybody's competing for, like Publisher's Weekly or Kirkus, once you go to other channels, there's lots of room to sell good books. We just have to be creative in how to get the word out there. We're not competing with all the books that are published, just all the books that people are aware of, which may be no larger a group than we were competing against 20 years ago.
I think you are correct. I'll go even further to say that even with the books that are before that potential reader does not mean that they'll buy it. You have to know your audience and target them. For instance, I could care less about a horror book whether it's before me and even if it's free...it will just sit there on the stand.
Well for me the biggest challenge is having a bona fide strategy for marketing and the second biggest challenge is I am a one person show and I don't like marketing. Finally as I research various marketing options it can get overwhelming in determining what will really be effective..particularly the on line internet marketing options
How productive have you all found book festivals to be? I am trying to figure out a way to focus small and not big...Trying to get clear on what niche audience would be and try to work that. Anyway I think we wrote books because we believe in our message so my goal is really to use the book as a vehicle to get a message out-so also trying to get as many speaking engagements as I can-some are paying some are not at this point...We shall see what we shall see.
Book fairs seem like a good idea, but are only useful if focused on a few authors period. And their books better suck. If a used book store is anywhere near where you are selling - forget it. If you are at a street fair - forget it. If you are part of a craft fair - forget it. If some lady is selling children’s book within five miles - forget it. The point is, if you are not famous enough to draw a crowd on your own - forget it. It's a cart and horse logic issue. Become recognizable first.
Books have their secrets locked inside. When someone comes up to where you are selling, they are more interested in the fact you wrote a book and they are probably looking for advice on how they could write one too. They will pick and flip to be polite, and then walk away. If your book could do a song and dance routine, then maybe you could make a sale. Musicians are lucky. They hammer out some songs and tell people they’re on the CD and today they’re selling at a HUGE discount - sales are made, especially if a pretty young thing is doing the selling.
The more complex and interesting your book is, the harder it is to explain it. The thirty word blurb is about all you get before their eyes glaze over. That’s why how-to books sell 10 to 1 better that fiction. They sell themselves - like the ShamWow. The title itself tells people if they buy the book it will improve their lives. It really doesn’t matter what improvement you’re talking about. If it improves your sex life, makes you money or will save a marriage, it’s a guaranteed sale to many gullible people. They have a garage full of them and give them to Goodwill six months later.
If you’re a fiction writer, like me, you have to be creative with the selling technique. I will guarantee improved sales if you make a book trailer and have it running continuously on a laptop computer sitting on the sales table. Don’t say a thing. You open your mouth and the magic dies. You add tee shirts with logos from the book, even better. You will sell a tee shirt and a book.
What you find is, due to the nature of a book’s contents being inaccessible without a long sit and read session, you need to be famous and that’s the draw or you have to gimmick the sale with a dozen carny tricks or you can’t break through the interest threshold to make a sale. Sell the sizzle not the steak.
My biggest challenge right now is getting the word out w/o a book cover...humph. I should have it in about a month and the release is in about 4 months. I don't have a large budget for promotions and need lots of guidance in that area. I have great reviews from book clubs and other readers, but if others don't know about it...what good is it to the rest of the world?
I really want to go international, but how on such a limited budget? Where are the online resources to get my book trailer (pending) and website to be viewed by others?
I have to agree with this. I think the book cover has to be on everything you do-business cards, blogs, facebook, everything. Even if the final book cover gets changed in the end publishing, find something you like to use for now so that there is an image associated with your book
Have you tried www.blazingtrailers.com
If you open my book on google QUANTUM WOMAN CELESTIAL MAN, or by my name Kamelia Sojlevska you will see a lot of webs where you can join for free and promote your book. At least somebody will see it, you never know...