So you can read my books

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Help someone who defines what a champion is.  Join this blogfest.  I am.  Now, on to today's topic:



wrote a comment on yesterday's post -

"So I am not sure if you have ever covered this angle of being an author...

 so I thought I might invoke an idea to you...

I started to write and publish books via ebooks and print-on-demand, epic fail for me...

I started to join book/writers clubs, thinking that I might help out my sales...

I was wrong those people wanted to do the same. No one was really interested in getting my works,

they wanted to have me cover their works.

The groups were a good idea, the problem is those people were never going to be my audience...

 where do we find that group? I ask you and Einstein.

As I thought you might get a question out of this, but it's me whining...."

No, Jeremy.  It's not whining.  Most of us are there with you.

Despite the number of my followers, I have sold only 7 copies of THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT.   Ouch!


     We are singing to the choir there.  When everybody is shouting BUY ME, no one is listening.

II. We must break out of the ghetto of selling only to fellow struggling writers.
     It is a relatively small pool of readers compared to all those who buy books to read.

III. Then, what do we do?

1. Define Your Distinct Identity

You must have a firm grasp on what your writing (or latest book) is about.

And you must be able to define it clearly and quickly. What sets your book apart from others in its genre? What attitude or social statement do you (or your book) make?

Generic self-help, romance or science fiction titles won't cut it.

Dig deeper and discover your unique identity.

When you do finally reach some of those rare potential fans, don't lose them
by not being clear about who you are.

2. Describe Your Ideal Fan

Once you have a handle on who you are as a writer,
it's time to paint a clear picture of your ideal fan.

Can you picture how your readers dress, where they work,
 what TV shows they watch, what they do for fun and
who their favorite cultural heroes are?


Once you know exactly what type of fan you're going after,
start making a list of the various resources these specific people are attracted to.

What magazines and newspapers do they read? Where do they hang out?

What radio stations do they listen to? What retail outlets do they frequent?

What web sites do they surf to? What e-mail newsletters do they subscribe to?

 For example, if your fans are mostly UFO fans, go to a search engine like Google
and start entering keywords related to UFO's and Alien Conspiracies.

 Evaluate the search results and compile a list of the many good sources you uncover.

DO NOT restrict yourself to writing blogs, groups, and forums.

Go to forums, blogs, and discussion groups that ARE INTERESTED IN THE THINGS ABOUT

Enter into those fourms, etc. and talk humorously and informed about WHAT INTERESTS THEM.

DO NOT talk about your books.  Let them get to know you.  Build up friendships.  They will




  1. This is good advice, and I never thought about what my ideal fan would be, but it makes good sense to start figuring that out. I don't have a finished book to sell so I really can't offer any advice, but I can confirm that people on twitter who are there only to shout and push their books get noticed but not in a good way. Speaking about Twitter, I'm still a bit shy when it comes to Tweets. I have a lot to learn. The problem I find is with the amount of time it requires to sort through the feed, and I only have 200 some odd followers and follow about the same amount. I don't know how people manage their twitter accounts when they are following or have over 1000 +++ followers.
    Great advice as always Roland. (:

  2. Elise:
    It's great to see you here in my cyber-home. I've missed you.

    I seldom do Twitter or Facebook anymore. I can say something more substantive here on my blog.

    It's mostly "Me. Me. Oh, and what do you think about me?" LOL.

    It does take a lot of time to do Twitter. And I only rarely find something worth checking out. I do better with Google Search.

    I try to answer the quesetions sent me through email here so that the concerns of my friends can at least be heard.

    But I am hardly an expert. When only 7 copies of THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT HAVE SOLD ... I obviously need to think outside the box myself -- or pray that lightning strikes!

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. Please come again, Roland

  3. Oh man... this is the part of the writing world I know nothing about yet. I'm still in the happy naive stages of "just writing." Seems scary out there in the real world! But gosh, you're so talented, Roland. And with the way I see your name around blogosphere, everyone loves and respects you a great deal! I know I do!

  4. Hi, Roland. Jeremy is a good friend of mine. I understand the frustration.
    Where do we find our readers? Not other writers, but READERS!

    I have a twitter account, but I find that it is more than I can handle, and it's exactly just more writers talking about their stuff.

    So many of us out here in no-man's land, it's amazing we survive it at all!
    It takes a long while to get a following, but you have to start somewhere. I was forturnate enough to get myself a book signing at BORDERS, with my self-pubed Spell of the Black Unicorn. I blogged for the first time back in '08, and have been doing so and find that a lot of people do look at my books page, but I get no sales, usually from that.

    Advertizing in a local paper might help. I don't know. I don'thave the $ to spend. I have put up business cards & given them to people and sometimes it works, but mostly it doesn't.

    My thought is the economy needs to pick up a bit more. People have to be more willing to spend $5-$6 on an ebook by an author they aren't familiar with (despite the fact they have plenty of 4 & 5 star reviews.

    But for sure, we have to go to where the readers are, as you've suggested, Roland. They aren't hitting our blogs, or tweeting or whatever. But they're out there, somewhere. You have a valid point of making sure you have a "platform" so that people will be able to find you. This works best.

    All the best of luck to you, Jeremy and to your readers alike.
    Blessings always, my friend!

  5. Some people do buy their books from the blogs or via the blogs, and it's another presence. When a blog has books in the sidebar, I only look if they are the blog owner's.

    I wonder at the value of highlighting another author's book on our own blog. Are we being supportive or dividing the attention of our readers?

    BTW - liked that Pandora trailer, not sure I'd want to live there, but entrancing scenery.

  6. Another great post, Roland. You may get sick of seeing me on here, lol, because I'm officially stalking your blog. Just kidding, but really, this makes total sense. When any of my friends have a book released, I'm first in line to buy it, and not because they've shoved it in my face, but because I'm interested in reading their work. I never thought about venturing to out of the way corners in the web, but this is a great idea too. We shouldn't be afraid to try new things. :)

  7. I'm sure that's why my publisher advised me not to follow only writers and authors. Although sometimes one's ideal fans might surprise you. I was surprised by how many women enjoyed my books despite the genre and dominance of male characters.
    And not only do own Jeremy's books, but I'm one of the lucky seven.

  8. Thanks, Morgan:
    We work so hard crafting the best novel possible and then find the quest for publication daunting, only to find once our book is out there, few read it. Ouch!

    Your words of support are greatly appreciated. :-)

    You're right: until we find readers outside the circle of our fellow writers, we will always languish with low sales.

    John Locke paid $1000 dollars to get 50 positive reviews and sales, but now that route is blocked by Amazon.

    Best of luck to you, Lorelei, in your books sales!

    I attempt to buy each book published by a cyber-friend. Yet, even if all of us did that, our pool of readers is relatively small compared to the enormous world of readers out there.

    It is word of mouth from the average non-writing reader out there that will cause our sales to rise.

    Wasn't that Pandora trailer beautiful? But you would have to wear scuba gear to get around in those dangerous parts!!

    I never grow tired of seeing a friend visit! Like you, I'm the first in line when a friend puts out a new book.

    We must visit non-writing blogs to make friends outside of the "choir" so to speak. The more non-writing readers we gain, the more chance to spread contagious word of mouth!

    Your publisher was a wise person. It is a wise move sometimes to post a survey on your blog to see just who your readers are in terms of sex, age, and interests.

    Thanks so much for being one of the seven! :-) Alice blows you a kiss.

  9. Roland, first thank you for taking the time to address my question. Second, I believe you have a fascinating view from your books to your posts also you should take all of your post on advice and make one book... you see and help in a constructive way... hats off.

    It's funny my social media places seem to do better for my overall responses, I think it humanizes us and people need to know we struggle in life things. I agree, if we have a just "buy me" attitude it is a turn off, I have in the last several months lost my way in... life is getting in the way. Bad news about a good friend who was sick and recently passed away... made me feel "what is it all for"... that is a real thing, so I wasn't sure where I was.

    I feel my identity and ideal fan go hand in glove... I decided to kill the zombie and embrace my passion of design. It's wonderful to see people come into my world and see the things I see and just smile... it's makes me feel whole. I cannot believe how it feels to have a little success in any project I get to work on.

    True on tigers... I for sometime would go to my profile and click into my interests and see others who have the same... then stop over and say hello calling it "drive-by blogging"... it's a great way to find new folks.

    You are a insightful friend, you know what you see and see what you do... from advice to your stories... it is refreshing. You know how to shake your readers up and know how to find the pulse...

    For that "We Salute You"...


    Ps. Thank you to all my friends who support... find and share passion. To Roland, you have a great gift... I hope you find all the success you deserve.

  10. And I forgot to mention thanks for the e-card!

  11. Hi Roland .. I subscribe to a blog - can't remember which! .. but this interview came up - and I took note - then this a.m. I watched ...

    Perhaps another post for you ...

    This is Seth Godin talking about Kickstarter ... but he makes some valid points for us all - authors and potential authors ..

    PS: Are all your books Kindle? I was trying to buy one earlier but couldn't remember if they were out in paper and Amazon only had Kindle - I still have to set it up .. nearly there!

    Seth is interviewed by Dan Blank .. "Seth Godin on Kickstarter and the Value of an Author Platform" - 17 minutes of well watch YouTube video - here's the link ..

    Cheers - I've lots to read of your back posts - which I'd like to read .. so will be ... do you get to watch that Game? If so have fun! Hilary

  12. You're right about most social networking = singing to the choir. I've had the best results with Amazon's free promotions. That's where the readers are, and a few hundred downloads usually translate to a few dozen sales a week or two later.

  13. the conversation, and I share in everyone's angst.

    Even one's own website no longer generates the kind of interest it once did, most likely because everyone's doing it.

    My latest story on Kindle, The Fall, is a quick page turner that can be gobbled up during one sitting, something I've been using as a selling point. And while sales have been okay, there's always that hope for lightning in a bottle.

    ...still waiting ;)

    Thanks Roland and Jeremy, insightful post with good points to consider.


  14. Jeremy:
    So sorry to hear about your friend. My best friend is dying of cancer, and it is hard for me to fling off the inertia of sadness and loss.

    If killing the zombie is what your instincts tell you, listen to them.

    Success, even a little, is the emotional plus that is the priming of the pump of our muses.

    I sometimes hit the NEXT button at the top of my blog just to see where it will take me and say HELLO!

    I'm glad you liked my answer to your question. On Wednesday, I talk about the key to ebook success that many are charging up to $100 for!

    Wasn't the card lovely?

    When life eases up, I will pop into Seth's video. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Sadly, all my books are only on Kindle. If sales do not pick up on THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT, it will probably be Victor's last hurrah.

    Congrats on your latest short story sal!! Free copies only make my readers wait for me to release my books for free. Ouch!

    THE LAST SHAMAN is like your THE FALL -- short enough to be read in one sitting -- and it is one of my more popular books.

    May lightning in an ebook strike the two of us!! :-)