I never wanted to be a salesman.
You can make a ton of money in sales. But you have to be good at it.
I suppose there is more than one way to be good at sales, but to my mind, I would have to believe in the product. I wouldn’t be able to just sell any old thing.
( I got conned into going to what I thought was an interview once. Turns out it was a “training” session for being an independent vacuum cleaner sales person. There was free pizza at lunch. I didn’t go back the next day.)
And now, roughly 20 years later, I find myself with a product I believe in, my novel “Drawn to Flame”.
(Admit it, you thought I’d started selling Avon, Amway, Herbalife, or some shit like that. Yeah, I would have too. Go ahead a breathe a sigh of relief now. I’ll wait.)
Now I have to learn to market my own work, and, if any of the things I’ve read/ listened to about self-publishing are true, myself.
Turns out there is more than just believing you’ve got a good product.
(Hint: among other things, it involves talking to people – to strangers. I know, I know. Let’s wait until the shivers subside…)
There’s branding, and e-mail lists, and learning how to create ads on Facebook and Amazon, and god knows where else. I’m still trying to nail down the specifics.
All of this is made more difficult by my relative lack of operating capital.
Money. I don’t have a bunch to spare. So, it takes me awhile to save up for things.
But I’ve been getting there, in fits and starts, which is better than the alternative.
And I’ve also learned, after years of research, that big traditional publishing companies – the Big 5 they’re sometimes called – don’t do much in the way of marketing for an author’s book anymore.
Oh, they used to, but not now.
Not unless you’re one of the special few.
(Hint, hint: I ain’t on that list. Most traditionally published authors aren’t either, as the facts go.)
So, what is a body to do?
Well, learn, for starters.
To wit, I’ve read books and listened to experts on copy writing, ads, book blurbs, hooks, back-jacket copy, and everything else I can get my hands on. Everyone from traditional to self publishing, as long as they’re vaguely successful.
(There’s a secret, BTW. If you want to learn something, go to the people who are doing it well. It’s a good place to start.)
So, on top of trying to write the best stuff I can, I’m also negotiating the world of commerce. That’s okay, as I’d like to make a living off my writing.
Apparently, this wasn’t a thing a writer used to have to do.
But then again, we didn’t used to have the internet, and self publishing was only vanity-press stuff so you could hand sell a few copies of your work at some local convention or the other.
I’ve engaged a mailing list company, (Mailchimp, if you’re interested), and I’ve written the hook and the back-jacket copy.
Both of those, the back cover synopsis and the e-mail list/ newsletter sign up will debut here on the blog sometime in the next month.
And, come January, I’ll start the ramp up to the book’s release date.
So, if you need a recap: to self publish, among other things, write the best book you can, and learn to sell it.
And that means I have to become a sales person; gods help us all.
It is an ongoing process.
Thanks for coming along on this crazy ride with me.
It means a lot.
Until next time…