Monday, December 17, 2012

Writing 101: Sell More Books

It is a truth universally accepted that a reader in possession of a good book must be in want of another good book, and as a self-published author this is the mantra you must adopt. After your book is written, and published, and promoted, there's only one thing left to do: write more. Want to sell more books? Then start writing more books. 


You're Only As Good As...

What's your favorite song right this minute? What was your favorite song, one year ago on this day? Do you even remember? Most people probably won't, for one simple reason: there's always something new. There's a new singer to hear, a new food to try, a new show to watch, a new book to read. No matter how remarkable or fantastic your book, eventually it will be eclipsed by another. Just ask J. K. Rowling, and 10 million Twilight fans, how quickly the tide of the MTV movie awards can turn against you. 

Unless you write a book that becomes the basis of a religion, or come up with something wildly popular like the 50 Shades trilogy, chances are darned good that your book won't be self-sustaining. You have to promote it constantly, and after just a few months it's already going to be old news anyway. The best way to keep your books, your brand, fresh is by offering more

So, you've just got to write more books. In this business, you're only as good as your last book...and even that isn't going to last too long. People are always looking for what's next, so in order for you to keep your name out there and keep readers interested you've got to give them what's next.
  • Don't take breaks from writing. When you're done with a book, great! Drink a glass of champagne, high-five your friends, pat yourself on the back, and start thinking about your next project. Get to work on it immediately. If you need time to rest and relax, give yourself a week between books. No more. It's time for what's next. 
  • Don't stop promoting. Continue to promote all your old books. Re-release them with new covers and new extras; make them fresh and exciting again. Do this in-between promoting whatever your next book project is. 
  • Don't forget to tell your fans and reviewers. Whenever you have a new book coming out, make a big deal about it. Tell all the people who have reviewed you in the past. Offer them free books, tell them you've got something else they're going to like. Do cross-promotions so your existing fans know you have something brand-new for them. "Did you like Red Heat? Then you'll love my new book, Cold Wind." 
  • Don't fail to use your new books to get new fans. There's no way your last book appealed to everyone you wanted to target. Try again with this new book. If you gain brand-new readers, they might go back and read some of your older books while they're at it.
If you're only as good as your last book, then make that work for you. Make it work by producing new books and changing your reputation. If your work is very high-quality, well-written and well-edited, you will gain new readers and sell more books. Writing more books will make you more legitimate as an author, and will show that you're committed to your craft. Readers like that, and they like having a lot of reading options. Give it to them, and you'll sell more books.

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