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Mel Hopkins

Hey Indie Author! How can I get your book?

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Recently, an AALBC member asked how can I buy  your book?  

While we authors may think it's obvious how readers can buy our book - it's not as obvious as we may think.  

So, how can readers buy your book?
What's your most successful way to get your books into your readers hands? 

Social Media Sales? Handselling?  Direct Sales?  What's your selling Secret? 

 

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Urban Fantasy, Signed by the author
Buy Now $14.95 plus Shipping/Handling

 

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This is indeed a really good question. No one person as the answer, but collectively we do. Hopefully they'll be some good responses.

 

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On 10/21/2018 at 6:53 PM, Troy said:

No one person as the answer, but collectively we do. Hopefully they'll be some good responses.

 

@Troy , Yes I agree!  Getting books in front of readers was Amazon's specialty.

 

Amazon actually trained us, the readers, to go to them first when looking to buy a book. 

 

I had to break the habit and search out books from authors, then publishers, then independent book shops then chain bricks and mortar to finally online retail.  

 

Other readers may not go through the hassle and ultimately, the writer loses. 

 

We've learned the amazon process discourages some writers from participating at all.   So, yes I hope others will share their experiences.  

 

The bottom line in that case is when someone is printing off your book and selling to THEIR customers, you really can't be sure how many books you're actually selling. 

 

With that in mind, After my initial release in 2006, I also sold about 100 books on lulu.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  After 2008 through 2014, the numbers dwindle and averaged 3 per year - or at least that was what amazon was reporting. Lulu seemed to be more brisk in their reporting. 

 

I've since removed my title from all online retailers - and I buy my books so I can sell directly to others. This way, I can keep an eye on my inventory AND stay in contact with my customers.  

I've had the most success though Social Selling (social media) to my immediate network and their network.  Social Selling led to  promoters book me for their events where I found after a speaking engagement I was successful at  direct selling.  

 

 

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On 10/23/2018 at 10:38 AM, Mel Hopkins said:

when someone is printing off your book and selling to THEIR customers, you really can't be sure how many books you're actually selling.

 

Exactly.  Now one might think you'd have to be somewhat paranoid to be this be suspicious of Amazon for doing this, but one has not way to determining if this is happening. 

 

Plus Amazon takes the first $100 of all you sales, plus you earn less money for each sale, plus you can actually find less expensive printers depending upon the count. plus Amazon does not give a sh-t about you or your book.  

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"Finally! Five Secrets to Pitch Perfect (LY)" Podcast - uploaded Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Listening to Barbara Corcoran's (of Shark Tank) Business Unu$ual podcast,  I noticed independent authors could modify her "5 secrets to a perfect pitch" to successfully present their books.  

 

Corcoran's 5 secrets are as follow:

  1.   Good Hook
  2.  To the Point Short & Clear
  3. Good Backstory
  4. Look the part
  5. Cite the Next Steps

An Independent author can take these secrets and craft a pitch that will lay the foundation for selling a book or manuscript to anyone; anywhere.  

 

  1. (Good Hook) When I hear "hook," I think music, specifically Rap.  So, a book should have a catchy title.  My first book didn't.  #TitleFAIL  So, I made my title into a meme.  "You pray that love is heaven sent, but sometimes you end up Sleeping with a D-Man."  BUT look at the bestsellers here on AALBC! Check out how many words in the title?  Most have three words; 5 is the max.   Choose wisely.
  2. (To the Point Short & Clear) Tell your audience what your book is about in 2 sentences or less.   Who is this book about? What do they want?  How will they get it? Or what's preventing them from getting it.    Nicole, heart-broken and college-bound, will go to hell and battle demons for the man she loves. Literally.
  3. (Good Backstory)  Every author knows why they're compelled to tell their story.   My daughter was going off to college - I wanted to share with her how to avoid the perils of dorm and college life.  Here's where an author can share the benefits of reading their book. Let readers know how the author hopes this book can help.
  4. (Look the part)  Hire a successful book cover designer.  We do judge a book by its cover.
  5. (Cite the Next Steps)  An entrepreneur Next Steps is all "about the Benjamins" and funding. The same is true for independent authors, but our approach is a bit different.  Our goal is to develop a relationship with our readers and also have them buy our books every time we publish.  So, independent authors,  we have to let our readers know how they can buy our book. [<-link to buy my book] Do it the Amazon way and make it as easy and conspicuous as possible.  Remind them again of the benefit from buying directly from you, the author.  I read once, that most successful panhandlers tell those who put money in their cup how they will use their generous donations. 

For Example:

"Thank you for buying my book.  With your purchase you make it possible for me to continue to write books to positively influence and empower young women."  

 

By the way, Corcoran says, "the same five steps were shared by every great entrepreneur that ever left shark tank with a fist full of cash.

So, "Write On!"

 

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