By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine
Bryan Tracy said, “From the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, you are continually negotiating, communicating, persuading, influencing and trying to get people to cooperate with you to do the things that you want them to do.”
When I read this, I realized he is 100% right. Think about it. If we have children at home we are constantly communicating to them what they need to do, what we want them to do. We wind up either negotiating with them to cooperate with us or persuading them to do what we want them to do.
It continues throughout the day.
Same with our spouses, only most of the time we are a little more direct with them, but we still use those skills.
At our places of employment, we are doing the same things…using these skills.
So why is it, that as writers, we are uncomfortable in using these skills to market and sell our books?
Perhaps it is our mindset of sales. We don’t like being sold to. You know the stereo types: the car salesperson following you around as you look at cars pushing information. You tell him you are just looking but he’s like a dog with a bone. Or the person standing at your door trying to convince you to buy while you are trying to get rid of them and close the door. And then my favorite, the salesperson at the furniture store following you around while trying to look at furniture.
This is the definition stuck in our brains as the “salesperson”. Thus, we aren’t crazy about trying to sell our books. This is bad selling.
Fortunately, authors have websites and draw people to the websites where they read about the author, see the books. Once they get to our website, it should be enticing enough to solicit sales. (Be sure and check your website, if you came to your website, would you like what you see and want to sign up for a newsletter if offered? Would you want to buy a book?)
What can we put on our websites to help our sales? Offer something free. Think about when you go to Costco or Sam’s; they offer free samples. This entices us to buy what we are sampling. Maybe you could let them sample a chapter…then put a button to buy the book.
Or perhaps you might think about a gift with their purchase. Maybe your fourth book in your series just released. You could gift a copy of your first book in the series if they buy your new release. You could do this for a set time like the first week of the month, or the first three days of a month or even run it for the first ten people who sign up.
The point is, being able to give something helps you sell. You can go in large department stores, you will see the perfume/makeup counters, they always are giving away something if you buy what they want you to buy. (This is one of the best ways to get people to buy.)
Another thing you can do is combine your efforts with another author and help each other sell their book using the methods above.
Think about some things you can do to entice along these lines. It gives the right mindset for selling.