So you can read my books

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Not anymore.

Things have changed in the publishing world.  Things are STILL changing.
Have you ever sat in a movie theater and been driven to become Hannibal Lector
by some numb-skull louding straw-sipping on a drink that has long since been consumed?
THE CUP IS EMPTY, YOU MORON! is what you want to yell.
The same applies to what used to work in marketing our books.  The usefulness of certain endeavors is long past their expiration dates.

1. “Build a huge list” Won’t Work Anymore -

There was a time where the numbers mattered. Those days are long gone. If you focus on getting anyone and everyone on your email list, you won’t be able to market to them effectively.

Flinging your cyber-net to the whole world fills it with many who want nothing to do with the type of book you have written.

Think of the type of reader who would like to read your book.  Google sites where they might hang out.  Comment on those sites.  Let them become familiar with your name for a few weeks.  Casually mention in a comment that you have written a book on the subject being discussed.

Hard sell days are over.

2. “Get lots of page views” Won’t Work -

Remember what the late Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything you want if you help enough people get what they want.”

Do NOT write BUY MY BOOK posts.  Write posts that help the kind of audience that you want to buy your book.  They will come, drawn by subjects that interest them and perhaps they will notice your books in your sidebar and gamble on your novel. 

If not, you still have won a friend -- which in today's cold world is a win all in itself.

Also - Do your keyword research, optimize your articles and share them with the world.

3. “Sell, Sell, Sell” Won’t Work -

As I said: BUY MY BOOK only turns off visitors.  You like those tele-soliciters that call you?  Yeah, no one does.

What works today? Build relationships. They’ll buy when they’re ready.  If they never do, you will have at least found a new friend.

4. “Shouting” Won’t Work

Today, Social Media is more crowded and noisy than New Year's Eve at Time's Square. 

Good marketing isn’t intrusive. Good marketing is useful.

Or as Jay Baer says, good marketing provides “Youtility.”

In other words good marketing is a service. 

When your blog figures out a way to be useful, then your novels will be viewed in a welcome light.

Need is the premise. Content is the medium. Consumption is your reward

when your Content answers Need.

Alex Cavanaugh pointed out to me a concrete example of all this
in Elizabeth S. Craig's fine post of today:


  1. Yes!!!! You're so right! I've unfollowed people on Twitter because all they do is talk about their own books. It's annoying. I'm with you- friendship wins, and we buy our friends' books. Hope you have been well!

  2. Tracy:
    I'm facing cancer surgery so I am working, feeling as if I have a time bomb ticking inside me. Little apprehensive.

    I'm glad you agree with my thoughts. Friendship is something that makes blogging special. Twitter, too. :-0

  3. Relationships become more important in a world with an interface between.

    Didn't Annie Lennox sing, 'Everybody is looking for something?', so if you luck onto that something, you create a spark. A spark can go either way, with the whim of the reading public.

    Word of mouth is a more personal touch to learning about a new book, and if someone we respect says this is good, I recommend it, we'll at least give it a look.

    Glad to hear the ice is gone, but take care on your drives.

  4. D.G.:
    Sometimes in a cold world, relationships are the only warmth we have.

    I emailed Annie, asking what that something was. Ah, she is a feisty little thing, isn't she?

    Word of mouth is the best seller of our books -- getting it out there in sufficient numbers is the hard part!!

    It's the fatigue of driving at night during the weekend when I work solo that hurts. After my surgery, I will have to work the weekend solo. I am going to have to get enough sleep in the days prior! Whew!

  5. This is a great post. I haven't quite been shouting at people: "Hey, you! Can you read? Read this." (Bonus points to anyone who got the Newsies reference.) But every-once-awhile I'll do a generic shout. Time to rethink things.

    You're right: it's about relationships. That comes first.

    "Ask not what your blog can do for you, but what your blog can do for your community."


  6. Relationships are everything.
    If you're at work, school, home , or at the grocery store if you don't have the attitude of beatitude then it is all for naught.

  7. Relationships are key. So is finding your audience. And sometimes it's the unexpected. But it's never the constant Buy My Book.
    Elizabeth S. Craig had a really great post today about book sales you should check out.

  8. I'm thinking about staking readers to an ant hill and forcing them to read my books, and to give an Amazon Kindle review.

    Call it jungle marketing.

  9. Beth:
    LOL. I wish you the highest sales on your books. :-)

    You're right. The people in our world want to be seen as human beings first and that they matter to us!

    Usually it is the unexpected that garners us sales. I wake up each morning hoping to find, like Ted Cross did today, that Neil Gaiman has commented on my blog!

    As you can see, I spotlighted Elizabeth's fine post here and on Twitter. :-)

    I was bound to be right sooner or later! :-) Your visits here mean a lot.

    :-) Somehow I think the reviews gotten that way might be a tad negative!

  10. Roland, my heart skipped a beat when I read about your upcoming surgery! Please know that I'm sending you lots of prayers and positive thoughts that everything will be okay. HUGS!!!

  11. If you look at all the really popular blogs out there, they're all popular for different reasons. And NONE are popular for shilling their books.

  12. Kittie:
    Thanks for being concerned. I am a bit apprehensive although the Father has never let me down yet. Thanks for the prayers. :-)

    J E:
    I agree. Hard Sell equals No Sell! Thanks for visiting and commenting. :-)

  13. Roland, I had no idea about the cancer. Sorry to hear about that, and I wish you the best in the surgery.