Now, so far during these daily prompt articles I have been focusing on writing tips, and that’s going to remain the case, but rather than focusing directly on the writer’s craft I’m instead going to talk about the parts of an author’s life that don’t require typing as much as they require working.
Tip 1: Now, vague beginnings aside I think this first tip should be about the internet, and the uses it can provide to fledgling authors (myself included). Unless you are writing for fun, in which case enjoy yourself, the ultimate aim of writing a book is to get it out into the world and sell it. Now, with the coming of the Ebooks this should be easier than ever, but don’t be deceived, there’s a lot of work to do. If potential readers are going to pick your book out of the thousands that are available, then they are going to need more than just a well-polished manuscript to convince them, they are also going to need to see you as an author. A facebook page which shows a little bit about yourself as well as your writing might be something that tips in your favour. Whatever medium you choose, the internet is a brilliant place to present yourself as an author, and if you can draw in potential fans through your online presence, then it will be that much easier getting them into bookshops to buy your books.
Tip 2: Now, having an online presence is a useful tool, it will get you noticed and help people pick you out of a crowd, but that is only the beginning. People aren’t going to flock to your website just because it is expertly designed with plenty of colourful graphics (although these things are useful for drawing people in). No, the reason people will come to your website, and keep coming back, is because you are offering them something that they want. If they are already established fans, then this will be information about future releases or signing events etc. which will bring them to your site. Another reason might be that, like me, you offer some kind of blogging or review service, offering pertinent and useful information in a style that is entertaining to read. Alongside this, your site might be a place where people can directly purchase your books, or find special offers to discount your products elsewhere. Regardless of what reason people come to your site, it will be because you have something they want, and even if it doesn’t link directly to your author career, getting people to walk passed your metaphorical shop window makes it more likely they will stop and buy.
Tip 3: Now, you have an online presence, and you have a useful service that draws people in, the last step is getting people to buy your books. You’ve got your cover, which is good, and a snappy blurb to draw people in, but you still need to take that step from browsing to bought. Deals are always a good way, especially if you have site traffic to let people know they are running. You’ll struggle more on Twitter and other sites as you are one of thousands screaming for your books to be bought. One of my favourite places to advertise my books are the review sites you will find scattered across the internet. These are people who, in exchange for a free copy of the book you are trying to sell, will post a review of your book for people to read. This is a brilliant deal because ultimately, the people who visit and read these sites are those looking for the next book to read. Gaining one or two of these reviews might do you some good, ten+ and you will find more and more people gravitating towards your work.
Tip 4: I don’t usually stretch to four tips but this needs saying. It’s better to have one dedicated fan than it is to have ten people buy your book. If you put yourself out onto the internet, you are going to receive communication of some kind. Make yourself easy to contact, fun to talk to, and you’ll soon find yourself with a small group of diehard fans. These are the best kinds of people to have behind your books because they will do more than just read it, they will rave about it. You might not think this is true, but there isn’t a person in my life who I haven’t talked about and tried to convert to reading the Dresden Files. This is my all-time favourite series and everyone in my life knows it. I’ve managed to convert at least two people to the series, and as we know from zombie movies, things can get exponential from there.
That’s it for this article. As always I appreciate comments, criticism, and similar tips you might have for me.
Until then, don’t be afraid to make that jump