Tuesday, October 11, 2011
However You Sell It, Go 110%
We hear about traditional writers doing well, then self-pubbers selling 20,000 copies, then e-book writers making a million dollars. None are wrong. All are right. Each successful writer, whether they used CreateSpace, Smashwords, or Random House, embraced the path they chose as the correct one, without second-guessing, without doubt. With such investment, they improved their odds of doing well.
I just read about a Brazilian author who gave away a novel of his. Paulo Coelho gives several of his novels away, asking the readers to talk about the book, then buy it if they like it. With two million international Twitter followers, thanks to his one-liner mystic mantras about living a good life, he mentions those sites that review his work. He focuses on giving away work and linking via Twitter. He sells hundreds of thousands of books.
Amanda Hocking used blogs. She attached herself to many blogs, leaving comments, becoming involved in her genre and the age-bracket that reads her fantasy stories. The grassroots movement propelled her into traditional success and the first one million e-book seller. Blogs and e-books were her tools.
JA Konrath used his blog. In his efforts to build a following for his Jacqueline Daniels mystery series, he blogged daily as he traveled the country visiting bookstores. He came bearing gifts for bookstore employees, sang their praises, and taught the writers still working back home how to design a successful promotional book tour through his daily journal. Later, when his traditional publisher nixed his series, he jumped with both feet into e-book publishing . . . and made a killing at it. Again, he used his blog to show how e-books were here to stay, and how he thumbed his nose at his traditional publisher to make money - back during a time when e-books were still on shaky legs.
Notice that these individuals mainly chose a couple of methods to self-promote. Then they used them to the maximum. It's not how many places you spread your name, it's how thick you spread it. Saturating one medium is much better than lightly making impressions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, Google+, and an endless number of websites. Others will take care of that for you by linking back to where you make a huge impression.
However you decide to market yourself, or your book, or your feature writing, or your copywriting, do it thoroughly, intensely, and with purpose. Better for people to say - "Hey, you know Hope Clark, the lady with that great newsletter at FundsforWriters.com" or "Hope Clark has this fantastic blog at www.hopeclark.blogspot.com" than "Hey, you know Hope Clark . . . I see her in several places, can't remember exactly where. Just Google her."
Make your mark, make it fat, clear and bold, even if it's only in one place or using one method. If it's loud enough, people follow the noise.