When I was child I went door to door to sell my mother’s crafts. Now I think some of my success was because it’s hard for women to say no to a kid, but the other part is my penchant for asking questions. I showed a genuine interest in people. Yeah, I was there to make a sale, but I didn’t let that get in the way.
Now some might say I’m a horrible marketer, because I don’t employ any of the popular techniques of marketing and promoting with my books. I don’t want to be the Tweeter that posts nothing but book links. Once or twice a day is fine, as long as there are other statuses. But when it turns into the car salesman screaming “Sale! SALE! SALE! Buy now! NOW! NOW!” it turns me away from that author.
I’m one of those people who cringe at the thought of marketing, and there is a whole long story behind it, but in order to keep it short I will say this. I don’t care about sales rank. I don’t do contest. I don’t do guest posting or interviews unless someone asks me to. If I do a giveaway, I actually give the books away for free to anyone, no strings attached; although, I may ask them to leave an honest review at their favorite book sites. If I like an author’s work, I have no problem promoting them on my blog. And I try to stay away from reviews on my books.
In the three years since I published my first book, I haven’t done much more than create a blog/website, write more books, and connect with people whose blogs I like to read. But as a writer friend pointed out to me that other day, I sell more books in a month then some of the author’s she knows who employ a more aggressive style of marketing and have been published longer. I jokingly told her that if I actually put some effort into marketing think how many books I could sell in a month. But it really wasn’t a joke.
Yeah, I love my books. Yeah, I’m passionate about them. Yeah, I’d love to tell everyone I meet about the story I wrote. But I don’t want to do the telemarketer’s style of promotion and pitch my book to people who don’t care.
Over the years I’ve learned that part of good, non-aggressive marketing is realizing when you’ve lost the sale. If you meet someone and are having a good discussion and you mention to them that you are an author of whatever genre and they shut down, move on to another topic, because if you push the issue, you run the risk of annoying a potential reader and not only losing their sale, but others. No one wants to feel hounded. If they ask questions or show interest, be ready to answer their questions and maybe have a business card to give them.
Remember, word of mouth is the biggest seller. Readers share with each other. If you annoy one, they will tell other readers about your behavior, and you lose even more potential readers. If you impress a reader with your professionalism, they will tell others about experience, and you will gain readers. And who doesn’t want to gain readers.
What things do you see other author’s doing that you find annoying? Why would you repeat their mistake?