Taken from my rant today on Facebook because I just couldn’t listen to the whining anymore (warning: a few choice curse words ahead).
Tough Love For Authors — Stop Whining And Do The Work!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ONE thing will not sell your books. It’s a combo of:
— a spectacular book (professionally edited, formatted, designed, proofed)
— reviews (minimum 25) within the first few weeks
— beta or ARC readers before you release
— an optimized website (professional graphics, social media icons, keywording, HTML, CSS for faster loading, etc…all to increase your SEO). Look it up.
— an active blog (once weekly minimum).
— a book trailer (share on your own site, social media, and YouTube)
— participate in memes like #MondayBlogs or chats — meet cools peeps, learn, promote others
— interactive social media (not spammy) at minimum Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (important for your Google ranking) following readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, book clubs
— groups (important to establish connections with peers)
— an eBook version (duh). Don’t care if you hate eBooks. What do your readers want?
— a virtual blog tour (won’t sell books. DOES increase visibility, SEO, reviews, connections with readers and bloggers, and Google Ranking)
— Google AdWords (get advice on how to do it correctly, study and research, or pay someone to do it for you), or FB or Goodreads or blogger ads. Something!
— Book clubs.
— Book signings.
— swag (bookmarks, pens, postcards, etc)
— guest blog guest blog guest blog (and not only about your book and how wonderful your toenails are).
— email newsletter (aka, email marketing). Mailchimp is great and it’s free.
— giveaways, promotions, etc.
— give back, for fuck’s sake. stop talking about yourself all the damn time.
Bitch and moan that you’ve done EVERYTHING (bet you haven’t), and still haven’t sold any books. I don’t believe you. Sorry.
When you’ve done ALL of the above in great detail, and I mean everything with a concentrated effort and still haven’t sold any books, then guess what? Maybe you need to rewrite your book, or write another.
It typically takes FIVE books to start making a living on your work. FIVE. (Says who? Almost every writer who is making a living on their books —Steena Holmes, Bette Lee Crosby, Ryne Pearson, Liz Schulte, Hugh Howey, and on it goes).
Bottom line: focus on building relationships, people. It’s not all about you!
So stop with the whining over here about how Amazon sucks or blah blah doesn’t work (nothing is magical), pull up your big girl and big boy pants, and spend that effort writing your next blog post, book, or tweet. Or yell at me for bitching at you. I don’t care. I won’t be here.
I’ll be writing my next book TOUGH LOVE FOR WHINY WRITERS. ha.
*addendum from The Author CEO Naomi Blackburn: And may I just add in…fighting with drive by reviewers! You have too much time on your hands if you have time to fight with people who don’t know how to write a review!
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released 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. Rachel is published by Shadow Teams NYC and represented by Lisa Hagan Books. 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.