I listed my 1st book, 'No Write To Die' on Amazon a month ago. I thought "Great, look at me, I'm a self-published author, everybody wants to buy my fantastic super duper riviting earth shattering absolutely definately next best selling out of this world book." I wrote a few tweets, told a few jokes, built a blog and opened a facebook page. "Phew" I thought, "I have worked really hard!" I then sat back and waited and waited and waited. The odd sale here and there, (Thank you friends) but where was the avalanche? Why wasn't I inundated with back-patting reviews? Why hadn't I climbed the Amazon ladder of success? Why wasn't my ranking within the top 10, instead of 32 thousand and something. So I thought, "Hey wait a minute, maybe I need to do something more here!"
You've read all of these success stories of guys and gals who have written a book, threw it on Amazon and within a fortnight are knocking on the door of ranking #1.
What I have noticed though, is that the secret is either being sold in another £4.99 Amazon novella or is being drip-fed on various web-sites and blogs, wrapped in marketing jargon and technical bullshit. Now, all my techy bull was used up building this blog and trying to get my followers into double figures on twitter. So all I wanted was a hold-my-hand and lead me through the marketing minefield A-Z guide. If I have got to put a 'Whizz-bang' counter on my blog, that wakes all readers up at the book buying witching hour, then I want a join the dot guide to show me how to do it. Surely that's not a lot to ask.
Ok, calm down, rant over. Afterall why should anybody tell me for free how to generate thousands of sales. So I thought right, I will get out my comfy armchair and do a bit of surfing and wait for it... I hate it...but here it is....Marketing!!
So first things first, my number one discovery and top of the bleeding obvious chart, was the number of books I actually have for sale on Amazon. This throws up several conundrums. If someone buys a book by a first time author, the author is unknown, has no cred, could be a one book only writer, a one time major winner. So this could leave the reader either wanting more and being frustrated by this literary genius, who hasn't got another book in them or isn't willing to take the risk in the first place.
So what's the answer Mr Clever Clogs Tom, I hear you call. My father always told me to do the 'What comes natural, what would you do? And the bleeding obvious (I love that saying)' path of choice.
STICK MORE BOOKS ON, eek I can hear you all squeal, "You mean write another book Tom?"
Yes, write another book, show the great book buying public that you're not a one-book-wonder, that you can write another masterpiece, tell a great story, invent fantastic characters. You did it once, so do it again. The top sellers on Amazon invariably have a catalogue of titles to choose from and that is why they stay at the top; because they build a list of loyal followers who are eager to read and ultimately, buy from their FAVOURITE author.
In the last month to six weeks, my volume of sales has been steady, I have made some great friends, spoke to some lovely people, who undoubtedly love my 1st book and rate it very highly, (Many thanks) but the one question I keep getting asked again and again is, "WHEN DOES YOUR NEXT BOOK COME OUT".
Luckily enough for me, my next 2 books are due out within the next two weeks and I will hopefully keep my small but ever expanding group of loyal followers, but to be honest, if I could not deliver to them, I would expect them to move on and find another author to follow.
A Final word: Keep Writing!