Selling books in order to make money from your fiction story writing efforts is easier said than done. You probably thought people just bought your book, right? Sorry to break it to you, but self-marketing is the only way you will ever make money from your writing.
Unfortunately, not all writers are business minded individuals and not all writers know the art of books marketing. How about you? Do you know how to sell your fiction stories to your target market?
Selling books has got to be one of the most challenging and difficult aspects of fiction writing and publishing. You may be comfortable with the entire writing process, manage through the process of publishing, but when it comes to sales and marketing, you as a writer just aren't wired up that way.
It's sad to say, but if you don't rewire yourself to correctly market your fiction, this unfortunate inability is what will make or break you in the writing business, especially if you are trying to make a living from your writing.
My goal is to help you understand the business side of your writing and how you can generate a manageable income from your writing that is capable of saving you from income sources that drain your time and effort (job income) by generating passive income and freeing up your precious time for more fiction writing.
The first key to sell a book is to get as much exposure as you can as early on as you can. Lots and lots of exposure. You must think of it this way, even if the best publisher in the business publishes your book, no one is going to carry out the responsibility of marketing your book except you, not even your publisher. That's why they give you large advances when they agree to publish your book; they are giving you enough money to properly market your fiction in expectation that you will sell, sell, sell.
A publisher may go as far as placing your book's title, description, and ISBN in online bookstores, book directories, and some major book outlets. There's just one thing to remember! But they aren't going to set up your book signings, readings, and tours.
They aren't in the book selling business; they are in the book publishing business. They are just giving you the opportunity to get your book into print for selling books to the general public allowing them to make money from the services they provided to you.
A publisher will possibly go as far as helping you advertise your book until they make their money back (if they happen to give you an advance and the marketing efforts don't cost them all that much), but from that point on, you are pretty much on your own.
You must be ready to take your published work to the next level even before it is published to help pay back that advance, a serious level that will make or break you as a writer. This involves more effort than most writers are willing to do, possibly even requiring them to quit their steady income jobs so they can sell books.
All of that is if you go through a publisher. What if you self-publish a fiction story? Well, you are, as you guessed it, on your own and you must take charge of selling books right away if you want to make a lot of money at it.
Plain and simple, selling books is on you and you alone. There are marketing experts and advertising agents out there that can help guide you in the right direction, but they too can't outright sell your stories to the public as easily and effective as you can.
When you get done writing that story and publish it, you are at the stage in the game where you need to start selling books. You, as the author, have three great advantages working in your favor. You created the story; you know everything about the story; you are excited about what you've written about. You know your product (your published book) better than anyone else in the whole world, a key factor in the successful sale of any product.
Your excitement alone is what will start everything going. It attracts potential readers, the media, and publishers, getting them curious about why you are so excited.
You do have to consider all forms of advertising, on and off line, otherwise you will seriously limit yourself and the sale of your book. There are hundreds of them out there. Your goal will be to try them all, see which ones work the best for you, then concentrate on four of them for most of your marketing efforts.
Most of all, you must consider your writing as a business when selling books, leveraging your book sales income to pay for more promotion and advertising to achieve more income. If you just pocket all of the earnings and spend it as part of your personal budget at the beginning, you will seriously limit your overall book selling income potential.
You have several book promotion methods at your disposal that you can use for selling books. You should be in the mindset to sell as many books as possible using as many advertising sources as possible, but concentrate most of your time and effort towards the four or five best methods that provide your book with the best sales results each month, such as book signings, social media marketing, book shows, and readings.
Hosting book signings is probably one of the fastest ways of earning money right away with your books. You should try to have as many signings as you can in the first month or two after publishing so you can fill your writing budget to fund other advertising avenues.
Methods and techniques for selling books have been bouncing around my brain for quite a while now. The reason I'm very passionate about this subject is because it is one of the most difficult areas of fiction writing to master. That's also why over ninety percent of new writers will make under $100.00 with their first published book and never want to bother publishing ever again because of these initial poor results.
Between all of my own marketing research with my first novel and observations I've made of other writers' success stories, I am starting to break the code to selling books that will put fiction book marketing for the unknown self-published authors on the map and enable writers just like you to have a fighting chance at business success as a writer.
With that said, you must treat your writing as a business. Changing your mindset to a more business mindset is one of the keys to selling more books, especially with fiction writing.
Fiction is a very aggressive and saturated market filled with lots of competition in all categories of fiction. The only thing breaking your story apart from the competition is your unique ideas, styles, plots and characters. Considering your writing as a business, even during the idea stage, will organize everything about your writing and set you up for ultimate financial success in the long run.
Once you create your writing business, you must immediately dive into your marketing plan, even while you are still in the process of writing. Most good writers start marketing their new fiction before they even start writing their first sentence. Telling all of your friends and relatives what you are doing and when they can expect to read your book is a great motivator and keeps you on track with your goals and deadlines.
Announcing a release date for your book before it's ready is a great way to set the publishing goal for yourself and hold you accountable for reaching this goal on time. You don't want to disappoint your audience, do you? It's never too early to start marketing your fiction to agents, publishers, friends, family, and potential readers within your target market.
Once you are published, whether you have self-published your work or had it professionally published, you must take action on your marketing plan. A marketing plan is your marketing road map which spells out a plan of how and where you will be selling books and at what stages you are going to apply leverage to make even more book sales. This is where establishing your writing as a business plays the most toward selling books.
Selling books to people you know well is not as difficult as selling them to people you don't know at all. While the initial marketing efforts are centered on all of the people in your immediate network (your friends, family, and people you are associated with on a regular basis), your long term aim will be at driving sales from the people in your indirect network (friends of friends, friends of family members, people in other countries, etc...).
One of the first marketing platforms you should establish for selling books is to make an author website you can send people to in order to find your books and will naturally attract customers to itself. A website for your published (or soon to be published) book will help too.
I don't mean settle for a one or two page website...you know, the ones that a publisher will give you after they publish your book. Those types of websites are straight sales websites that will not attract people from all over the Internet. They will work as a place to send people, but very rarely will people ever find them on their own unless they know the title of your book or your name.
You need to learn creative ways on how to make a website that will be found by people looking for information about the subjects you write about or about you as an author. You need to create a website that does more than just act as a place to send people to. You need a website that is going to naturally attract people to it (from all over the world) and that do most of the work for you so you don't have to.
Once established and noticed by all of the major search engine providers, your fiction and author websites will be working for you 24/7, giving you more time to write more books and to concentrate on more media options to get people to your website. Blogs are a great method for getting your name out there and marketing your stories to people who are interested in similar topics.
It takes dedication and determination to keep your business going once you start. Many publishers offer marketing assistance (for a price) that will help produce sales. A lot of these types of marketing require additional expenses you may not be able to afford right away. Even if you are professionally published or self-published, you will have to rely on your own book promotion ideas at the start in order to make enough money from your writing to even consider one of their marketing packages.
Getting others to talk about you and your books (called referral marketing) is the best way to get people you don't know to buy your books. Selling books on your own is one thing, but having other sell your books for you (and not even know they are doing it) is something even bigger.
This is everyone's perfect book selling dream. If you watch a great movie, do you tell other's about it? Well, that is you selling that movie to one of your friends. That is sales effort that the movie producers and writers didn't have to put forth. The same will happen to your book if it is really good, and if you encourage all of your buyers to tell others about it, it will make this viral effect more effective.
Never give up on your writing dreams because you are having trouble selling books. It is probably not because of your writing; it's probably because you don't know the proper way to market your fiction.
So, even if you are just starting your book, start your writing business now and create a fiction book marketing system to set yourself up for success as a fiction writer right away!