Monday, October 06, 2014

Six Sales Points for Authors

by Sharon Ledwith

There are a lot of authors out there today competing for readers’ attention—readers that you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Some do a very good job, make a lot of money, and stick around. They build satisfying publishing careers that last for decades. Other authors try to wing it and burn out. What’s the difference between a successful author and a wannabe author who just dawdles on the borders of success? Owning a great website? Having a damn good marketing plan? Creating a social media plan for each book release? Good luck? Whatever the answer, often the key to a successful career in the publishing field can be attributed to one or all of these time-tested sales points:

If it doesn’t work, fix it. Let’s face it—some sales strategies work better than others. The trick is to reassess what you’ve been doing. If you’re not producing the sales you’d like to see for a certain book, then chances are you need to correct and fine-tune your methods. For some authors this may mean retooling their blurb or tagline or change the cover. For others, it could be giving their website or blog a fresh new look.

Listen and learn. A number of things factor into book sales. One of the most important is your target audience—who you are writing for. Ask yourself, how are you fulfilling your readers’ needs? What must you do to continually hook their attention? For starters, you have to be willing to walk that extra mile by getting to know and understand your readers. You do this through social networks (Facebook, Twitter), workshops, book signings, school and library visits, book clubs, and online communities such as Goodreads or LibraryThing.

Show enthusiasm. Enthusiasm builds bridges. Panic tears them down. One thing an author has going for them is their unique voice. You use it in your books, so use it to sell them. Readers know when an author resonates with them. Be invested enough in yourself, as an author, to give your readers a fantastic story they’ll never want to end. Then write another one.

Sell yourself, on yourself. The power of positive thinking works wonders. Motivation builders such as podcasts, CDs or self-help books can help reinforce the super salesperson in you. Be specific with your goals and rewards, such as if you send out ten review requests in a day, book a pedicure or lunch with a friend. Write notes reminding yourself that you are a ‘Bestselling Author’ and ‘You can do it’, then leave them around your desk. After all, seeing is believing.

Create a sales plan to suit each book. Every book you write is one of a kind. Sales tactics for one book may not work for the second book. That’s when you get creative and take chances. Giveaways are always a fan favorite. Experiment with each book until you get a sales formula that works for you. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps, so if you can afford it, hire a publicist or a marketing consultant. The bigger the investment, the bigger the payoff.

You give, you receive. “What goes around, comes around” is a hard adage for a lot of authors to relate to, but it is nevertheless a vitally important point. And it’s a no-brainer. I tend to share a lot of useful information that could help my author peeps with their sales or marketing strategies. This comes naturally to me. Pass along opportunity when you can. It’s a wise investment—one that any author will never regret making.

Here's a little from one of Sharon's novels for your reading pleasure.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

To read an excerpt of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, please click HERE.

Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.

BUY LINKS
Musa Publishing - Amazon Link - Barnes & Noble - Kobo



Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

13 comments:

  1. Excellent advice. I think the best part is your sharing attitude. It doesn't hurt to help others to success. When you give, you get.

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    1. So true, Mary! Thanks for your kind comment. When one succeeds we all succeed!

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  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Sloane! Hope these sales points help other authors in their quest for success! Hugs!

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    1. I'm always happy to have you post, Sharon.:)

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  3. Great tips, Sharon. Plan, execute, and don't be afraid to mix it up a little--words I try to live by!

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    1. Cheers, Susan! Mixing it up is a GOOD thing! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Tweeted! Great and helpful tips, Sharon. I will use them. :)

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    1. Hope the tips work out for you, Alicia! Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

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  5. Great tips, Sharon! Thank you.

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  6. Right on target with these hints, Sharon, especially the voice one, and the point that marketing each book is done separately as befits the type and flavour of each book.

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    1. Cheers, Vonnie! Hit a bulls-eye with these tips! LOL! Thanks for popping by to comment!

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  7. Thanks for the tips, Sharon. We're still working on the sales sauce...ummm...formula!

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