Just fine, thank you very much.
Best Beloved finally had time to put on her accountant hat this week and gave me numbers about book sales this year.
The numbers themselves are small. It’s sad, but I’ll get over it.
Here’s the wildly unexpected part: sales of Through the Fog, which I give away free just for signing up for my fiction newsletter, are the highest of all my books, and higher than they’ve ever been for this book.
… more … “Free: How’s That Working for Ya?”
Prepare for a long rambling rant with overtones of self-analysis.
I have written before about using free as a strategy, not a price.
Please, make business decisions based on evidence, a plan, not hoping and wishing.
I’ve read mention of people giving away tens of thousands of digital downloads of their book, and receiving a few dozen reviews and the equivalent of $700 in related sales.
If the effort involved is minimal and the reward is $700, I guess I can see that. I suppose I have to reserve judgment until I have more data.
Yes, I want lots of people to read my books.
What I don’t want is for lots of people to just line up and download my books. It’s not the same thing.
… more … “Free is Not a Price and Hope is Not a Business Plan”
. . . change it.
If you write nonfiction, your goal is to build your business using your book as an elegant, even extravagant, $4 business card to give to prospects.
If you write fiction, your goal is to share your story as widely as possible so your fans can find you.
Either way, selling books is an outcome, if it happens at all.
… more … “If Your Goal is to Sell Books . . .”
Almost every author I talk to wishes someone else would sell their books for them. The few exceptions are those who, by nature or training, enjoy marketing their books. They’ve learned enough to have a plan and to execute it consistently, persistently.
Even my wife‘s clients, who pay her large sums for social media marketing for their books, engage fully in the process. Those who don’t quickly become frustrated because she isn’t selling their books well enough, not realizing that’s not how it works (despite having that clearly explained at the outset.)
Here’s the good news: if you hate marketing and you don’t want to sell your books, you don’t have to spend another second on marketing.
… more … “Learn to Love Marketing, or Give Your Books Away (or Both)”
The free downloads closed last week, with a total of 23 copies downloaded.
9 of those happened before I even started promoting it. These are clearly Story Cartel regulars who grabbed the book. One of them left a 4-star review of A Long, Hard Look so that’s super.
During the time it was free 14 more people downloaded it. I recognize 6 of the names from my newsletter or other places.
What’s not clear, or even possible to know without asking, is whether the other 8 downloads were the direct result of our promotion, or just more Story Cartel regulars who would have downloaded anyway.
… more … “Story Cartel Home Stretch”
Last week I shared some details about setting up my promotion at Story Cartel. I’d like us all to see what an author gets for a $25 investment (which, if I recall correctly, includes Story Cartel giving copies to the winners of a drawing, meaning the author doesn’t shell out on the back end, only the front end. I’ll confirm this detail for you by the end of this series.)
Today, the details of the promotion itself: the messages we used, how often we used them, and the response we’ve gotten.
Here are the messages we used. Twitter has its 140-character limit, so I wrote 3 short ones to fit that, and when I realized one of them was perfect for longer-format networks as well, only wrote 1 more long one. Twitter benefits from more frequent posting, which is why we created more short messages than long. … more … “Story Cartel Promotion Process Details”
Special edition post; I’ll keep it brief and direct.
Get a free digital copy of A Long, Hard Look at Story Cartel. Write a review, and you’re entered to win a print copy.
More importantly (to me) you’ll be spreading the word about my writing, and giving me honest feedback on my latest book.
Don’t say no.
Download it right here: http://storycartel.com/books/a-long-hard-look/
How much free is good for your marketing?
I’ve written bunches about using “free” as a marketing tool. Generosity is your greatest marketing tool. Don’t use it sparingly; spread it around like manure and watch things grow.
Generosity and free aren’t the same thing. Generous can include over-delivering on what you were paid to do. I’ve had generous helpings of fish at our favorite chippy in St. Paul. Paid for, but still generous. When you hire me to help with your writing and publishing, generosity will be ladled over you like gravy. Good white gravy like we make in Texas for your sausage and biscuits; that kind of generous.
My newsletter is also an act of generosity, one which also happens to be free. Membership, though, is stalled out at 140 of you good folks. When we hit that magic number, a couple people unsubscribe, and then someone else finds me and we roll back up to one Tweet’s worth.
One thing I realized is that the signup form simply offers “more information.” Not the most enticing offer, perhaps. I considered giving away something more; a whole book, maybe?
… more … “Free: Here, There . . . Everywhere?”
. . . blog.
If I had to choose one marketing strategy to fit into an incredibly busy life and didn’t cost a penny, it would be my blog.
This blog automatically feeds every post to Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. As soon as I sort the technical details, it will automatically post to Google+ and Pinterest.
(Update #1: … more … “Marketing Strategy: No Budget? No Time? The One Thing I Would Do Is . . .”