STEP 2 TO SKYROCKETING YOUR BOOK SALES: LEARN HOW TO KILL, I MEAN, HOW TO SELL ON YOUR OWN
To neatly fold this post into the conversation that we started in the previous post on Skyrocketing your book sales, let me present you with this timely question from Annie Pavese:
I'm just about to launch my own book (in December) and I'm looking at selling options. I know you sell your books directly off your website, and I've been wanting to do the same, but I wasn't sure exactly how the process works. I've heard if you sell them yourself, you get to keep 100% of the profits, as opposed to letting people go through Amazon and lose a huge cut.
So I'm guessing you just buy up your own books from Amazon (or where ever yours come from) and then resell your stock through your website? Do I have to have a license or anything to resell them? And do you have any wisdom on how to system the process out? I want to be as wise about it as I can from the start. If you could go back and tell your start-up self anything, what advice would you give?
Thank you for this wonderful question, Annie. I'd give myself one word of advice.
LEARN HOW TO SELL YOUR BOOKS YOURSELF.
This is precisely what I'm doing right now, not relying on Amazon or any other shiny online place that distributes books (yes!) but can change the rules of the game any time they want (no!), so you're really at their mercy. Which is kind of like having a job and believing you have security. You have none. You're disposable material and can be let go of at any time, for no reason. The only way to be secure in your job is selling your product yourself, whatever it is you sell for a living: deadly killer hedgehogs, dried neighbor meat, flowers that suck the blood out of those who dare to sniff them...you know, lovely things people can't live without.
How to go about? Just like you would go about setting up any other business.
Having an online store (and going places to set up tables and sell your books in person) and tracking every single customer, and following up with every single customer, and asking every single customer to buy more of your books as new ones come out, and so on (also, I buy my book stock directly from CreateSpace, not from Amazon). In other words, growing your tribe and making millions and living happily every after. Yes, you can do this. Why? Because I told you so. Because I'm doing it right now. Although I'm only in the beginning stages, I'm growing fast and I'll show you all my secrets. So stick with me, darlings. Good things to come.
Anyway. Back to selling.
Remember how in the previous post I said, to start changing your thinking toward selling you have to start asking questions? That was Step 1. Here comes Step 2. Ready?
Let your reader talk themselves into the sale.
If you do this right, you won't even have to ask for a sale. Your readers will talk themselves into buying your book, and buying they will. This step has two parts in it. Both will make your mind reel, and maybe even make you upset, or maybe you'll get so excited, you'll jump out of your pants. Either way, here they are.
Part 1. Make your reader feel good.
Part 2. "Agree" with everything your reader says. (Explanation below).