Three ways to sell more books

Selling your book… much, much harder than writing it.

There’s a huge amount already out there, and it changes all the time. So I’m not going to talk details, you can find those anywhere. But here are some angles you may not have thought of:

  1. Find a Focus. Everyone will tell you that social media is all, that you have to “be there” and that this presence will eventually turn into sales. No, don’t agree. You’ll just end up with a lot of time-consuming friends on Facebook, very few of whom have bought your book. You need a focus, an intended route to a sale behind every action you take. It might not always work, in fact it almost certainly won’t work most of the time…but occasionally it will.
    A very simple route might be: join a Facebook group about photographing clouds (or collecting toy cars, or eating sponge cake…). Post some pictures and then, when you’re no longer a newcomer, mention that you have written a book where the hero is a photographer and that the book is free on a particular day. You’ll get far more downloads than you would from just posting randomly (and maybe even some sales).
    And, if you’re actually into cameras, (why else would your hero be a photographer?) you might even make some new friends. This takes me to point 2:
  2. Don’t do the things you hate. You won’t keep it up. If blogging isn’t for you, but you like chatting on Facebook…then stick to that. If Facebook’s a wilderness, but you want your own website, then build one. You’ll be far more motivated to keep it up to date if you love doing it. Your focus then becomes…how to get traffic. See point 3.
  3. Find your niche. I’m not even going to start on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You can find that in abundance (especially in your spam folder). I’m simply going to remark that, if your novel has a hook, a trait of your hero or villain, that makes it different (and something that people will search for) then it’s really not that difficult to get high quality traffic (and by that I mean people who are actually after a book like yours). The hero of “Counting the Clouds” is deaf and that works pretty well. It makes for an interesting character and, as well as being an easy search hit, it’s an easy starting point when people ask you what your book’s about.