Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sell, sell, sell.

I know nothing of marketing which is why I'm still an impoverished author and cheaply available rogue scientist.

Once I was the year tutor for the honours year of a business management course. Yes, they picked me, I suppose nobody else was daft enough. I neither understood nor cared about business management but I understood students. The previous incumbent told the students to 'aim for a 2.1 degree because a first is impossible'.

I told them to aim for first because whatever they ended up with, they knew they'd done the best they could.

During my tenure in that post, the course produced the only first class honours degree it ever had, before or since. My tenure ended when I defended someone who was unfairly dumped with a third class degree. He was eventually awarded 2.2 and I was no longer year tutor.

After what I had witnessed during those years, I regarded it as fair trade. I had been involved in quite enough crap by that stage.

I still know nothing at all about business management and less about marketing.So my book-selling efforts are amateurish and based on hit or miss attempts.

One of the most successful, if I can take enough of a liberty to call it that, was the release of a free short story with adverts for the other books at the end. It didn't boost sales of the other books to anything worth mentioning but it boosted pageviews by a hell of a lot. So, okay, the freebie gatherers didn't buy the other books but they now know of the existence of those books.

Did that help? Financially and immediately, not in the slightest. Longer term, they know I exist now. They need more prodding.

So there'll be more free shorts. The next will be a tidied up but no less horrible copy of this one. I just need a decent cover picture.

The cover is important because if I get the format right, Smashwords will spread it everywhere for me. For free.

Still, I'll take any and all advice on selling stuff because I honestly have no idea what I'm doing here.

If only...


Woman on a Raft said...

How about getting an agent? You'd have to share the dosh with them but a good agent should be able to get you a good deal with a publisher.

Leg-iron said...

Unfortunately, getting an agent isn't easy. Some of the big publishers won't even look at you if you don't have an agent, but you also have to convince an agent that you're not a one-book wonder and it's worth their while taking you on.

So, the trick seems to be to get a few books out there first, then talk to an agent.

Agents take around 15%, but they do all the selling work and they have access to the big guns.

Also, they don't get paid unless the writer makes money. No up-front fees (if they're legit).

That's why they don't want one-book deals. They're looking for a reasonably regular income.

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