Tag: sales

sales

Promotion! Promotion! Promotion!

In a now famous meme-worthy speech, Steve Ballmer argued that tech-focused Microsoft needed to switch its attention to monetization. Advertisers! Advertisers! Advertisers… Baby! I think of Microsoft’s former CEO now that I have a book coming out in September and must shift focus from writing to promoting. Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book! Baby!The truth is that the skill set required to sell anything is very different from the talents needed to create realistic characters caught in an intriguing set of circumstances. And, to be honest, I lack many of the attributes necessary for the former. You know those folks who could sell ice to an eskimo? I’m not sure I could sell water to a sandhog.  But, promotion is increasingly a requirement for writers. Gone are the days when you wrote it and the publisher sold it (except perhaps for the big names we all know). Now there are blogs to write, email lists to engage, reviewers to court, blurbs to request. This is the writer’s new normal. Write the next book while promoting the current one. Repeat.  I’m not complaining. I’m just mentally adjusting to my reality. Most importantly, I AM LEARNING. Over the weekend, I was on a panel with Eva […]

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My Relationship Status With E-Books: It's Complicated.

 As a reader, I love e-books.  I love their immediacy. If I hear about an interesting novel, within seconds I can have it on the Kindle app on my iPhone or on my e-reader device. Books arrive to me faster than prime shipping. It’s like living in a library with all the new releases.     Digital books are also cheaper than hardcovers. E-reader apps have built in highlighters so I don’t need to sit with a sharpie by my bed to make note of favorite passages. Best of all, they have built in dictionaries. Never must I stumble on a word like Margaret Atwood favorite “alacrity” (definition: brisk cheerful readiness). As a writer, though, e-books can be infuriating. Aside from the sheer economics of them (many writers I know that have both physical and e-books earn less off their digital books), there’s the black box of sales reporting. While Amazon gladly releases Bookscan data detailing physical book sales, there is no tool tallying digital downloads that can be seen by outside authors. There are apps that allow me to guess based on my hourly-changing Kindle rank what my sales are likely to be, but I do not know how accurate these are. For example, today, […]

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Book Promotion = More Writing

When I’m working on a novel, I write everyday. When I am promoting a book, it feels as though I’m writing every minute.  Why am I spending more time tapping away on a keyboard after finishing my latest novel than I did when I was working on it? In two words…guest blogging. For a debut or little-known author, guest blogging is a key tool in getting the name of your book out there. Sure, we mystery writers are all hoping that stellar reviews will sell our work (and they do). But unless you’re fortunate enough to have landed national press through your publisher, few people will visit your Amazon page to read any of that glowing critical praise. Folks need to either hear about your novel from a friend or read about it on a site that they regularly visit. In the month since The Widower’s Wife came out I’ve written: 2 posts for Booktrib.com (One story has yet to be published. Here’s the story that ran:How I Made Two Cinematic Book Trailers Each For Less Than $500) 1 post for Jungle Red Writers on why a horrible cruise inspired me to write my last novel. It’s scheduled to run on September 21.  1 post on How I Got My Agent […]

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