Doing What Works

Guest post by Jeff Rivera

I’ve been at the indie publishing game before it became fashionable and long before Amazon’s KDP service became available. That is how I eventually landed my deal with Grand Central Publishing. I wrote an indie book and did so well with it that they became interested.

Since then, it’s been over ten years, I’ve been able test out good ideas and bad ideas to see what has worked for me. I’ve had some ideas skyrocketed my sales and other ideas that were so bad that I cringe at the aftermath.  So, if I were to give advice to new indie authors or authors who just want to see an increase in sales, then I would recommend the following:

1) Make a list of every little thing you’ve done that has actually led to direct sales. Buzz and excitement about your book are not sales.  Don’t think about promotion, think about what has led to sales.  Do that, and only that.  Leave the other stuff and anything you want to experiment with aside for now, until you’re making enough that you can afford the time.

2) Focus only on your audience, not the world.  The more specific you are, the better. Don’t just write a book for moms, but rather a book for moms 34-43 who live in Wisconsin and love One Direction. Once you’ve done that, it’s very easy to find out where they are through blog searches, Facebook Graphs, Twitter feeds, etc. Within seconds, you can find out whom those people are and start making an excel list of who they are. 

3) Stop pushing your book on people. If you’ve identified who your potential readers are, all you have to do is be nice to people.  Treat them like a human being not a potential sale and eventually, on their own time, they’ll discover you. They will search your Twitter profile or website from your email signature or your Facebook feed and discover that you’re an author.  It’s non-direct marketing and more accurately, relationship building. These efforts won’t bring you overnight sales, but it will bring you long term relationships and opportunities that you never thought you’d have.




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