Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't stop before the miracle

It's hard to figure out how to write a million seller. But it's easy to figure out how not to sell any books. If you don't write them, you can't sell them. I know a few writers that quit after writing one or two books that didn't sell well. And I know a few writers that quit before they even finished the first book.

I've been in this business a little over five years and I've seen that there are many ways to sell books.

The first thing you have to do is write them. This explains itself

If you are not a master salesman, you have to write decent books. They don't have to be classics, but the have written well enough for the people you want to buy them. Some of us are natural story tellers, but learning more about the trade won't hurt. I knew a guy whose self published book was really bad. He couldn't give them away and would get mad when people didn't like his book. When I suggested some books and tips on writing he got offended. Which leads me to the next point.

You have to learn to take criticism. The paying readers are the judges, jury and executioners of our book selling life.

Write for a particular crowd. It makes it easier to market and get the word out about your book. I for example write middle class Urban Fiction for mature African American women. All I have to do then is get my books near other books that these same women are buying. The same thing goes if you write sci fi, horror or erotica. Trying to write for everyone is not going to work. James Patterson has a black character but h writes his books for white readers who love suspense. But he writes well and will pick up some black readers along the way. But most of his readers are white and his character doesn't get too black.

Realize that there is some luck involved. And just like the lotto, you have to be in it to win it.

Another thing I've noticed is if you keep at it, using the above tips, you can grow readership. After four or five well written and marketed books, you might not be able to make a living off writing, but you could have a decent side income.

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