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Johne

How To Sell Indie Books

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This is from Sarah Hoyt, a speculative fiction author I follow on FB.
https://madgeniusclub.com/2019/08/21/status-achievement-diplomacy/
 

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BUT if you want to sell books, here are a few points, off the top of my head in no particular order:

You’re lucky.  No, seriously. You’re very lucky these days. You don’t have “every author’s” hand against you.
Despite an outward appearance of comradery, traditional publishing encouraged paranoia, dislike and sabotage amid authors. There were only so many slots, and you had to stay on the publisher’s good graces, so you did what you had to do, including snubbing or kissing up where needed.

Now, with indie, most authors will try to help you.  One good way to sell is to find big selling authors similar to you and whom you like being friends with. Don’t kiss up, but if a friendship develops, they can both give you pointers on your books, and help you gain access to their fandom.

– Don’t try to make a big splash by creating drama or constant problems of any kind.  Look, the fandom won’t care. Most of the fandom you’re trying to reach is not interested in the drama. They’re not on facebook. They’re not on twitter. They’re not even on mewe. They are people who periodically go to Amazon and download a book. Having a new book is worth three or four “OMG” and “Guess what this person said about me!”
That might work if you’re in it for the “fame” and even then, look, you’re never going to be Hollywood. No one publishes rumors of Stephen King’s shack ups, okay? It’s not how any of this works.

– When people more experienced than you tell you that you’re going wrong? Believe them. Particularly when it’s a lot of people. A lot of unconnected, sometimes don’t talk to each other people.  Just believe them. They might not be right about how you should “go right” but they know when you’re doing things they’ve seen done before that led to disaster.

– Ultimately, if you want to make it big by WRITING books?  Sit your a$$ down and write. Write as much as you can, as fast as you can.  Yes, sure, there might be such a thing as talent. (Don’t know. Ain’t ever smelled it, tasted it, or been convinced it’s there.) BUT there ain’t no amount of talent that can’t be beaten out by sufficient hard work. In fact, total lack of talent can be overcome by sufficient hard work. (emphasis mine)
You want to be a good writer who sells well and lives from this? Write. Continue writing. Write a lot.
And I too will take my advice.

 

 

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Earlier in the article:

"So… you can be very famous, if that’s what you want but it won’t sell books. And you can sell a ton of books, and no one knows who you are."

 

Actually, if you want to sell a ton of books, it helps to be famous first. xD

 

And yes, I do agree that you can sell a ton of books and not become famous. A majority of successful authors are hardly household names. 

 

  

30 minutes ago, Johne said:

Now, with indie, most authors will try to help you.  One good way to sell is to find big selling authors similar to you and whom you like being friends with. Don’t kiss up, but if a friendship develops, they can both give you pointers on your books, and help you gain access to their fandom.

 

I'd be very careful with this one. In fact, I really don't think it's a great idea. If you manage to strike up a friendship with a big selling author in order to get pointers and help gain access to their fandom, you're probably in for disappointment. Most are (understandably) reluctant to share writing secrets, marketing strategies, and they guard their fan base. What would they have to gain by sharing this? Nothing. In reality, it would only jeopardize their continued success.

 

If you do happen to strike up a friendship with a big selling author, my advice is to simply keep it a friendship. Don't exploit or expect anything out of it. If you're lucky, you might get some pointers on your writing, and maybe, just maybe, an endorsement of some sort. But it must earned, and not something you badgered out of that person.

 

 

      

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