- On March 18, 2016
So you’ve written a book. Now what? It’s time to sell! In today’s technological age, selling books is one of the easiest parts of being a writer. With social media, cell phones, email, computers, and more at your fingertips, it’s hard to imagine a writer’s sale chart not skyrocketing.
One of the many curses bestowed upon writers is the introvert personality. But the very world we live in also makes it even easier for an introvert to sell more books than ever before.
Let me guess… You’re still like:
And, yes, I know one of the best writer job perks is the uniform…
The best part about these five simple steps is that you can do all five in your pajamas.
- Setup your online platform. Create a website and social media accounts. If you’re not one who spends a ton of time online, then stick with the basics: a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. There are several independent designers who will help to create a custom website design for you, but if you don’t have hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars set aside for this, then consider creating your own. Website platforms like WordPress and Wix offer free templates. However, you should dish out the twenty bucks for your own domain (e.g. www.yourname.com or www.your-name.com). It’s inexpensive and makes you look professional. Plus, you want to snag it before someone else does. (This happens more than you’d think!) When creating your website, be sure to include basic pages like “about,” “books,” and “contact.” Stick with a clean design. Readers don’t want to sift through useless information to find the goods. Once your website is done, create those social media pages. It’s really important you at least make a Facebook page (not the same thing as a Facebook profile). This is crucial for step three. You’ll want your social media pages to be public, not private, and you’ll want your username to be simple. For Twitter, try @yourname or @your_name.
- Create teaser image(s) and a hook. Hire a professional designer to create amazing teaser images for your book. Most professional designers create these images for $10 or less, so this shouldn’t break the bank. While your designer is working on your look, it’s time for you to work on your hook (aka the tag line). Some writers like to compare themselves to other writers. This is acceptable if done in a tactful manner. Saying things like “my book is better than [insert competing author’s book]” is never okay. Do not do this. Instead, try “readers of [insert competing author’s book] will enjoy…” Another option is to offer advanced reading copies (ARCs) of your book to reviewers and then taking quotes from the reviews and using them as your hooks. This works extremely well. If you aren’t giving out ARCs (something you should seriously reconsider–especially if this is your first book), you can try using the tagline (if it has enough pull) from your book’s blurb.
- Focus on your pre-launch. Remember those social media pages? Now’s the time to use them! Focus on interacting with readers who enjoy your genre. Engage with them. Post things of interest like publishing news, writing quotes, and more. Now that you have teaser images and a hook that will sell your book, invest in social media ads. Facebook and Twitter ads are known for being complex and tricky, but they can bring in amazing results if you know how to work them. Use your teaser image and hook to really drive in the pre-orders and sales.
- Offer a free story. Offering a free short story, or even full length novel, to readers who visit your website or sign up for your newsletter is becoming increasingly popular. If you’re a new writer, it can be difficult to bring in new readers. This is an easy way to showcase your writing ability and introduce readers to your fictional world. (This option can work for nonfiction writers, too.) Perhaps write a prequel short story that introduces your characters, or maybe write a story set in the same world but follows a different set of characters. This is one of the easiest ways to grow a following.
- Take advantage of free promotion. Once you’ve set up your social media accounts, start sharing your work, but remember to not overshare. Stick with one promo post/tweet out of every 10 posts/tweets. Authors and readers love to promote an author’s work and most will willingly share your promo posts. You may also want to start a street team, a group of individuals who follow your writing career and support your writing. It will be even easier to find willing readers to join your team if you do step four first. Also consider a blog tour. Contact professional bloggers and ask them to partake in your book launch. Most will even review your book in exchange for a free ecopy.
And that’s it! See, the introvert in you is celebrating, right? Sure, some of these steps involves talking to people, but slapping your fingertips against keys on a keyboard can hardly be compared to actual socializing, right? Right.
I know, I know. But you know what else is exhausting? WRITING A BOOK. But you managed to do that! This process isn’t supposed to be easy. If it was, everyone would do it. So unfortunately, writing the book isn’t the end. If you want to make writing books your full-time career, then you have to step out of that constricting, introvert shell, and sell some books.