As a self published writer I find that selling your work is a very hard one. Pushing it is difficult and to get it through to the public will be an enormous undertaking. Lets start with the basics.
My new book is currently uploaded to Amazon Direct Kindle Publishing and is ready to go. But before I hit that ‘Publish Book Now’ button I want to share with some useful information on the actual selling of the book. Although you as a writer might have a piece of work that delights you and is a great work of fiction but to the bookseller and the sales people it’s a product that needs to be marketed and sold to the public. So what is it about your work that will make people want to buy it and why should they have it? And above all what method of sales and distribution are you going to use?
When I sold my first novel I found it to be a big struggle of epic proportions. I had just myself, my relatives and my connections at the National Autistic Society and my friends in the arts and media. I had to convince them to buy my book and to sell it required a bit of effort on my part. This was ten years ago and I wasn’t a very good salesperson and I didn’t have much of the resources that I had now.
After a year of selling and constant advertising and shopping around for buyers I had made a loss. I made only £250. The NAS didn’t want to get involved with the book because of the way I had written a story about a person with autism who was frustrated with life. Especially as it had been based on a part of my life and it featured a psychotic episode where my character murdered a villain. With all that gone to waist I decided to take a break from creative writing and find a new direction in my life.
This time I am determined not to repeat the same mistake. To get it right I am going with a plan. I am going to release it as an e-book and encourage my friends to buy it. I will allow for them to buy a printed copy as well, but that will be available at a later date. Printed copies do not sell as much as e-books, so I won’t recommend primarily selling it as a printed copy. At the time I launched my book in 2007 the iPhone had been released and touchscreen mobile devices like the Kindle which was also released around that time changed the way people consume media. Including books. With this new technology and a means to get readership I can access a wider market.
Also in the plan is my new found connections which will give me customers. I have been a student at two brick universities which I’m still in touch with, I have my friends in the Conservative party, my friends who support autism causes, my friends in the theatre, my sports volunteer friends, etc.
To sell it to them I am going to have to make a pitch to each of them with a different edge. So for the Conservative party friends I will tell them that it will show how Conservatism works for autism and the bright imagination that I bring to the party’s beliefs. For the autism community I can tell them that it shows a positive and interesting way in which the politics of the disabled can be embraced in a way to show the usefulness of the disabled. And for my university friends it can show them some interesting ideas that we can talk about and how the disabled can be embraced in society in a constructive way by showing them how intellectual abilities are better at serving society rather than playing it through victimhood.
So to create a workable publishing plan you need to know your customer, know how to reach them and how to get them interested.