Steps in Selling a Book

Can it possibly be almost three weeks since I approved The Sound of Caissons and made the paperback version available on Amazon, initiated the Kindle version, and updated my Amazon and CreateSpace Author Pages?   It hardly seems possible.  Expecting everything to fall into place, sales to take off like a shot, and feeling like my job is over however, is a big, big mistake!

The job of selling this book has just begun.  It is a job I’d wager that few authors want to deal with.  If you self-publish as I do, you need all the help you can get.  And it seems I am always waiting for something.  After I gave up waiting for permission to print the poem (still no word from Holt Publishing Company) I find myself waiting for other things, such as the conversion for the Kindle version; the Amazon “look inside the book” feature; the sales channels to Ingram and Baker & Taylor to open up so retailers can order copies; and the sales channels that make it possible for individuals to order the book at stores like Barnes and Noble, and most on-line book retailers, and on and on it seems to me.

So what have I done so far, besides giving up the thing I love most—writing my next novel? Well, I’ve sent emails to a very long list collected over the years, and postcards to others for whom I have no email address.  That took a lot of time and was done immediately after I was assured the title was available on Amazon.com.  You’d be amazed how many people however, don’t want to order on-line.  This kind of blows my mind because I’ve been ordering all sorts of things on-line for years, but I guess older people especially are uncertain and cautious about it.  So I ordered, and have received, 50 copies.  This took some household rearranging, but these are now in a bookcase awaiting orders.  I’ve sold some locally and sent off a few others.  Some will be used as review copies.

Another thing I’m doing is working on how to use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with the world.  I’m certainly not in love with the social networking stuff, but I can see how it is useful and almost necessary in today’s environment.  I’ve also joined some on-line author communities.  Since my book should especially draw readers interested in military history, and 20th century military life, I am preparing to contact outlets such as the Post Exchange systems, and military newspapers and publications, etc.  But this is also on hold until I’m assured the sales channels are open to retailers as I mentioned above.

In closing, the reason I have set aside my novel, Turn on No-Bridge Road, is because when I start writing again (hopefully early in the new year) I don’t want to be interrupted with the worry of marketing issues, which completely scramble my concentration, making it impossible to keep my mind on the story line.  I am always happy to be invited by book clubs or other groups to give talks or have book signings however!

 

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