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My father – in- law is a car salesman. I have been intrigued by the way he sells a lot of cars at the dealership. Through talking to him over the years, I have learned a lot about selling and making buyers feel respected and satisfied about their purchases.
I believe self- publishers will have to hone their sales/ marketing skills, if they are to make a decent living writing books. Selling eBooks is a lot different than selling cars, since there is no way to read the facial expressions of buyers online( for the most part). The internet has brought the buyer and seller closer, but it has also eliminated the need to meet in person.
I believe the fast paced world we live in, has also made it impossible for most writers to hone their soft selling skills. Soft selling can seem like a daunting task for most of us, but I believe it has its rewards in the long run.
We are all busy with our day jobs and families to engage every online contact to the best of our abilities. I can feel and sense that a lot of people are under a lot of pressure to sell their books when I read Direct Messages. Those DM are usually automated, not as a snub, but due to time constraints(just my take on it). The self publisher is faced with the unenviable task of not only being a writer, but being a marketer, so as to propel their business forward before it grinds to a screeching halt.
So what does a new writer like myself do when faced with such migraine sprinkling( I made that up) time constraints to make soft sells?
I suggest the following:
1. Take time to engage as many people as possible online. Even if it means a simple “Hi” on Twitter. It will go a long way. I still remember the people who took time out of their busy schedule to acknowledge me on Twitter.
2. Look at Social Media as a win- win situation for writers and readers alike. The readers will give you feedback and help you write the book they would like to read for free or for a fee. You as a writer will ask probing questions as to the direction of your book. I believe that approach, the online community will be ready to read your book when it is finished.
3. Focus on a few social media outlets. Time like energy, cannot be created nor destroyed(I made this up as well). We are all time strapped. Just focus on those outlets that you think will give you more bang for your time. I personally cannot afford to be on Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, Pintrest, Instagram, Tumblr ….. The list goes on!
The less Social Media outlets you engage in, the more time you have to nurture mutually beneficial relationships online.
4. Talking from experience, I am most receptive to sales pitches from people who show an interest to me as an individual. That interest could be from personalized direct messages or just a quick re tweet or favs of my tweets. Every effort is always rewarded. I know those people would have taken a precious few seconds from their live to pay me any attention.
I pose a question to all. Do you think automated Direct Messages are beneficial when trying to gain followers? They may be necessitated by our busy schedule, but are they effective?
Keep on writing, letter after letter until next time!