The quote above is by Anonymous but I thought it pertained nicely to this article.
Anyway, in my inbox this morning I found Jonathan Gunson’s article regarding the all-important email list that he says authors need to develop in order to sell their books in a huge way. I’ve been building my email list for a little while but haven’t used it much to promote my books. Why not? Well, many are my friends and/or former students and colleagues. Many others are Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ contacts that were developed under other circumstances (nothing to do with marketing) such as vegetarian issues or teacher issues or similar. And now I’m supposed to say, “Hey guys, how about buying one of my books now?”
That is the problem, I suspect, that many authors have about using their contacts for other than the original basis for the association.
How does one delicately exploit these associations (Buy my book! Buy my book!) without seeming pushy or intrusive. One of my online contacts who actually owns/operates a vibrant website for writers and who discourages most self-promotion tactics, argues that just meeting people on his website and offering something useful to them – sage advice or useful discussions about writing etc., etc., etc. – is the best way to get people to eventually (could be years!) check out your site and maybe even buy a book. Who knows? The owners of these websites who lay down the rules regarding self-promotion and related issues are, seems to me, the new gatekeepers. There must be 15,000 writers/aspiring writers/editors etc. on that site now but you must not try to promote one of your books to them even if you believe you have the next earth-shaking bestseller. (Just think if you could get all of their email addresses!) On the other hand, while some or many of those potential buyers/marketers, etc. might have influence with publishers etc., maybe trying to exploit – or rather cultivate – such individuals would be a big waste of time/energy for you. You need to ask yourself these questions when viewing or joining online groups with an eye toward selling (oh, what a bad word) your books: Do I want to spend my time advising others, for instance, on the multiple uses of a comma in a simple or a compound sentence? Do I want to spend years developing associations in the writing community (seems to me all of these authors must want to sell their own books too) with the unspoken goal (God forbid) of eventually marketing your books? Or (never start a sentence with a conjunction the nuns told us) should I go directly toward the goal that I really want – no pussy-footing around or (another great cliche) ‘beating around the bush.’
Anyway, if you would rather go directly to your market audience then perhaps you should read Jonathan’s miracle solution although that characterization might contain a bit of hyperbole.
Okay here it is. Oh wait, as long as we are discussing self-promotion etc. – you know, “Buy my book! Buy my book!” here’s a link ( www.silverlightwebstore) to our online store (really has nothing to do with this topic but there are some really interesting products there (we’re still developing it) and sometime soon my books will be on it and, who knows, maybe your books too.
All right here’s the link to the miracle solution to no-sales, low-sales and blah-blah sales. The Ultimate Book Marketing Tool For Authors | Bestseller Labs.
Also, I found this review interesting and useful as it contains some do’s and don’ts about email marketing: http://www.resonancecontent.com/blog/bid/155751/Book-Review-The-Rebel-s-Guide-to-Email-Marketing Happy Emailing!