Marketing experts tell us the very best way to sell books is to gather a tribe on the Internet. You come up with a great short story that your ideal reader will love, and you use it as a carrot to get the right people to sign up for your newsletter.
Next problem: what do you say in your author newsletter? Here are some suggestions from Michael Bunker, interviewed on The Author Hangout, a podcast focusing on marketing for fiction authors.
- You can give away other people’s books. Make friends with other writers in your genre, and ask if they have an ebook you can give away in a single newsletter, a one-time thing. Maybe they’ll do the same for you. Authors in the same genre promoting each other can really generate some buzz.
- Be interesting. Set funny goals for yourself and report on your project. Decide to read the top 100 books in your genre. Learn Russian. Discuss your gardener’s war on rabbits.
- Talk about what you have to sell, but only once in a while. Give news of your next releases, reveal your covers, and announce when your books are on sale. Ask your tribe members to help spread the word about sales to their own friends. These sales pitches need to be seldom, or people will start to tune you out.