Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Like Shoveling Heavy Wet Snow

Once again I think I've been doing things backwards.  If I was smart, I would be put together a plan for selling my novels before writing them.  I say this before it is becoming clear that social media isn't the answer.

According to the reading and research I've done, the way to sell products on the Internet is to provide the customer with content they want.  Content that is related to what you are selling.  For example, if you selling videos on improving your golf game, then you might provide free tips on golf.  If you sell car tires, you might provide free information about how to care for the tire and all the technical stats on your tires compared to tires from other companies.

In that vein, I decided to offer short stories to folks for free.  It is related content and background information on the world.  This has worked to a limited degree but as far as I know has not sold any more books.  The problem is that I'm not well-known.  If I had news that say Stephen King or Dan Brown, or even J K Rowling had a new book out and it was posted to my site, it would be flooded.  But I don't.  All I have is my work and -- as good or bad as it may be -- that sparks no excitement in the heart of prospective readers.

So I need to provide more free short stories or perhaps sell a few.  I could also try posting in forums so that people know who I am but that's not guaranteed to help me sell books.  This, of course, begs the question:  how does one sell books?

Well, one way is to be in bookstores.  That's where people go to find books.  Thanks to Smashwords, I am in many bookstores.  But I am one voice in a chorus of thousands (maybe millions).  So I need to establish myself as a name, like Stephen King.  Social media might help with that (I am not convinced however).

No, I think the real answer is to attend genre-related conventions and try to sell my novels there.  Or perhaps become involved in these organizations and network.  Tell people know I am a writer and have a novel available.  Speak on panels, attend trade shows, and appear at book signings.  Those last three are only going to happen once I can pierce the veil that separates me from being an unknown to someone who is known, if only in certain circles.

And so I need to do a lot of heavy lifting, kinda like digging out from a blizzard.  Hopefully, it will all be worth it.

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