How To Effectively NOT Sell Your Book
Last week I wrote about the three-step process to marketing your book. This week we focus on sales.
First, let’s explain the difference between marketing and sales:
Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. Sales is but one part of the marketing process. (Small Business Notes)
Reach and persuade (or influence) are why we do things like interact on social media, blog, optimize our websites, advertise (though that does go to sales also), guest posts, interviews, and more.
Selling our books is connected synergistically to our marketing efforts. If you do no marketing, will you have any sales? Highly doubtful.
Let’s break down sales as it relates to authors and our books.
Selling is a process. You’ve undoubtedly heard people say that selling books, and your career as a writer for that matter, is a marathon, not a sprint. Yet most authors upload their book, sit back, and wait.
And wait some more.
If people don’t know about your book, how are they supposed to purchase it? And what are some ways for them to find out? Marketing!
Sadly, marketing means spamming repeated and duplicate links to many authors who haven’t taken the time to learn that they are, in actuality, alienating their potential audience. Remember this: there are as many sales processes as there are books. Many authors aren’t salespeople so don’t kill yourself trying to figure it out. I’m not going to break down pie in the sky sales formulas here because that’s not what I do to sell books.
Part of the reason I found success early on as a pharma rep (in my former life from which I’ve now recovered thank you), was because I avoided the ‘hard sell’ of ‘feature, advantage, benefit, close,’ at all costs. Instead, I focused on building relationships (to the chagrin of most of my district managers). The more physicians and health care facilities got to know me as a person, the more they were inclined to listen to my message when the time was right. And it worked — I won awards, trips, blah blah.
I did not hit them up all the time, ‘Write my products and here’s why blah blah blah’ because I saw them turn off completely when I or other reps did it. Selling is kind of a weird dynamic: you’re having a stilted conversation about topics that relate to each of you in only the most abstract of ways. Physicians are like anyone else: they have to decide for themselves to write a certain drug. Throwing constant information at them did little to motivate them. That’s why relationship building was critical to my success.
That same concept carries forward today as an author. The authors who provide interactive, interesting content that isn’t the hard sell of ‘Buy my stuff! Here’s my link link link, see see see?’ are the ones we all want to follow, right? Those who do spam their own stuff constantly are the ones we unfollow and run hurriedly from in a different direction.
Let’s get specific. Here are ways I ‘sell’ without doing the hard sell.
Google is the largest search engine in the world, like it or not. I want someone who types in ‘books about (insert keyword)’ to see my (or my clients’) books. And you set your own budget. You can spend as little as $1 to $2 per day.
I like it because it provides a presence and information about my books in more of a passive way. If people want to find out more, they can. Or they can read the free sample.
My final word is this: writing is always the most important thing. BUT you can’t ignore marketing and sales. Even traditional authors have to market and sell their books. Make no mistake: while we say ‘brand the author, not the book,’ you still have to create the book to have something to sell.
That should be enough to fill up your head and create another to do list for now.
Questions? Ask away!
Need personalized help? Check out my BadRedheadMedia.com services page.
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Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.