Do you wanna sell books?

Not really.

Some of you don’t really want to. You say you do, but you don’t.

Tiffany, you can’t tell me what I want. I want to be a successful self published author. I want to sell enough books to quit my day job.

– Disgruntled author who’s mad at me for presuming

Well, why you treating your books like a hobby then?

I’m not going to explain how I came to the sad conclusion that some of you don’t want to sell your books, I’m just gonna say, I got some inside info that makes me think a few authors are sabotaging their indie careers.

This is a tough love blog post. Leave now if you wanna be treated like a child.

First the facts:

  1. You don’t share your book enough.
  2. You don’t have LINKS to your books as a prominent part of your marketing.
  3. You think telling people about your book is “annoying” to them. (OMG, I’m hurt… cause now you’re calling me annoying and I thought we were friends.)
  4. You talk badly about your book sales or reviews in “public”.
  5. You have no web presence.
  6. You don’t have another book written or coming out.

And this list is not complete…

So, now to dissect.

  1. SHARE YOUR DAMN BOOK. How the hell am I supposed to find the 20th Indie book I bought this year if you don’t share it. I’ve PURCHASED more Indie books this year and last year than Traditional publishing, hands down! It’s probably a 20 to 1 ratio, Indie to Traditional. Not a joke. Indie books are affordable and when well written and MARKETED people are buying them like crazy. I bought all those books because of tweets shared by the authors. Throw your hat in the ring! If you Tweet or retweet 10-20 times a day and your feed is super active, you can share your book MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY or a few times a week. I do that, no one complains. I sell books. Make sure you interact with followers, Retweet for others and spread love too! That’s the real secret. One more thing, if you have 5,000 or more followers THEY ARE NOT SEEING ALL YOUR TWEETS EVERY DAY. Think on that.
  2. Okay, so you don’t want to share your book more. That’s cool. I’ll let you have that, BUT WHY AREN’T YOUR BOOK LINKS PINNED TO YOUR ACCOUNT?? Why can’t I find a link to your available marketplaces within the first 30 seconds I’m on your social media?? I’m killing myself trying to find your book link after seeing your super cool book cover and it’s NO WHERE. That’s the least you can do. Let interested people actually find your book links.
  3. Why do you think I’m annoying? Honestly, I thought we were friends. I tell people about my book all day. Not in a pushy asshole kinda way but like “Hey, do you like Crime Fiction books. Omg, me too! I even wrote one! Lemme tell you how to find it. No, it’s cheap, no worries.” These conversations open the door for soooo many opportunities, and no one has tried to murder my annoying ass yet, cause that’s the worst thing that can happen, right? When it comes to social media, sharing my reviews, cool book cover mockups and animations, trailers and what not is NEVER annoying to people and if it is, guess what, they unfollow me and we move on. I am appropriately proud of my work. Don’t let anyone take that from you. Again, don’t forget to share MORE than just your book.
    One more thing, if you have 5,000 or more followers THEY ARE NOT SEEING ALL YOUR TWEETS EVERY DAY. Think on that. Had to repeat that one, because I don’t know why some authors think that all 5,000 of their followers know about their book and have decided not to buy it. Some people who follow you don’t even look at your profile regularly… Think on that.
  4. I have done well with reviews and press, but even if I had not, I would NEVER talk about my bad reviews or tell people in a PUBLIC tweet how low my sales are. I get that sometimes it’s nice to vent about sales or industry bullshit, but I think that should be saved for a DM with your bestie. You want people to LIKE your book. Mentioning you got a bad review on social media is like passing that negative image to ALL your followers. Yeah, some people are going to see the review anyway, but some people may not even notice. Some people will also think your book is bad because you mentioned that bad review, and some people will think you are a loser if you take it too hard. Speak positivity into your books! Share those 5 star reviews, talk about the good things! Keep it positive and you’ll generate more sales.
  5. Okay. As an interviewer, this is the one that makes me batty, but understandably, this one is also not as serious in some cases. Web presence is important, but you can get it in so many free ways that it’s almost silly not to have it. Let’s say I’m a reader on Twitter (which I am) and I see a retweet for your book. Super cool cover, super cool description, I’m in! Now, I look at the Amazon page for the book and I get curious about who you are… Lemme see your Amazon author page. Huh… it’s not set up. Okay, lemme check for you on Twitter, back where this whole thing started. Lot’s of tweets about their pets but no links to an external website. Lemme search online for them. Oh! A facebook page. Oh, nothing has been shared in a year… Get the picture? Now, I’m a little turned off. Not totally turned off, I might still buy, but I feel kinda weird about buying from you now because, well, who are you? Don’t let Amazon define you. Some fans are curious about who you are. Don’t misunderstand that. Make sure you control your brand.
  6. This is a tough lesson to learn, but uh, you gotta be writing another book my friend. Probably well before you first one comes out. I have 9 manuscripts completely ready for editing. This is 9 books I could release to my fans at any time. Readers are always looking for more books to add to their TBR pile. ALWAYS. Also, readers are humans and they forget about old shit. If you haven’t released a book in 4 years (the amount of time between my first and second book), folks are not going to be checking for your new book, unless you are checking for them. Click here to see how fast my media and interviews changed when I released two books only one year apart. Went from one radio interview in 2014, to FOUR in 2019, and as I am writing this, I already have THIRTEEN media items including interviews, reviews and book features. People are talking about my books, and so am I! Making sure the books are flowing, updates are posted, covers are being made, etc, etc, readers will be on the edge of their seats and waiting to buy.

So, now that I’ve ranted, don’t be mad at me. I just want you to sell books, but I’m not your publisher, so what I want doesn’t matter. You have to want it, and you have to work for it. That’s what Indie and Self Publishing is all about.

Take the plunge.

-Tiffany

4 Comments

  1. Ichabod Ebenezer

    You are so mean Tiffany!

    But I still love you, and you’re right. I think my promotional tweets are annoying because people tell me they’re annoying. Those people can go to hell. If I was selling beer, they wouldn’t stop into my pub to tell me I shouldn’t have a sign outside advertising my beer.

    I’m going to take your advise and post about my book(s) on Twitter right now, and I’m going to point my whiny bitches your way. :D

  2. ShiraDest

    Ok, plunge taken, results should be visible on my blog page, and I hope my book is visible and clickable enough on my Twit. profile? Working on the rest, but I think I have all 6 points mostly down. Thanks, and wow, congrats!

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