How to NOT get a sale
Congratulations. You picked up a free ebook by an author and read it. You found something that didn’t meet your expectations (whatever those expectations might be) and thought, “Oh goody! Now I can email this author who’s never heard of me because I don’t have any credentials to my name and offer my services.” AKA I will go up to a stranger’s door and pitch my product to make a sale.
Tacky. This is so tacky, and I can’t even begin to wrap my head around why anyone would have the audacity to do this.
If you are any good at your job, you will have authors seeking you out. Authors are VERY busy with writing, editing and promoting out books. Yes we do edit our own work even though we use a proofreader and editor already! because even the best editor/proofreader will miss something or not understand we intended to do something a certain way in the book. And don’t even get me started on an editor who has no concept of author voice.
My point is this:
Stop emailing authors you don’t know. It’s a real turn off and puts you on the “never do business with” list. Seriously, it’s spam. And how do you like spam? Do you love it when people come to your inbox to pitch their product? Why is it so hard to understand that this method turns people off?
So what do you do to build up your credentials so authors will seek you out?
Start by being active on writer forums. Get to know the authors. Engage with them. Build yourself up as a person first. We have no clue that you exist. And just like when we’re starting out, we can’t go around and email strangers to pitch our books to them because we have NO credibility. You build credibility by being a person first. This will help you longterm when you get that word of mouth going. I refuse to trust a stranger with my book unless it’s someone a good author friend has recommended. Word of mouth is your most powerful tool, but you can’t get it immediately and you can’t do it yourself. You need time and other people to do it for you.
Note: don’t go on to the forum to sell. Go on the forum to participate. Get to know the authors. Be personable. Then make a thread after hanging out there for a couple of months letting them know you will offer free services to build up your portfolio.
And for God’s sake have a website or blog! You are a business, right? So act like a business. Have a point of reference for authors to find you. This is so crucial for us writers, and it’s crucial for you, too. What are your qualifications? What books have you worked on? What makes you better than another editor/proofreader? Why should we use your services? Just like with authors, there are a TON of editors and proofreaders already out there. So why should we go through the slush pile of editors and proofreaders to choose you?
If you learn nothing else from this post, please remember this: if you are good and you build up credible resources for authors to check out your work, you will have authors coming to you. You won’t have to go to them.