It’s not often I talk about things writers do that make me shake my head, but I have to say this. Quite a while back I remember a certain writer blogging about how she wanted her readers to not pre-order her books, and to go to the store during the first week/month of release to buy it. Now, I’m seeing it again.
I understand why this is something said author wants. I even rememebr talking abotuthe business side of thigns here once. And it is the business of things. Publishers and booksellers look at a books sales in that first month as an inicator of how well all of that authors books will sell. Some authors stress this buying time to thier readers because that is also how they get on a best sellers list. Think of it as opening weekend for a movie.
But I think it’s tacky to do keep reminding your readers that you need them to buy your book during a specific time – to say to readers, “If you like this series, and want to see the next installment, but this one now, or the publisher won’t buy my next book.”
It seems too much like whining to me. I mean c’mon… I’m just thrilled readers are buying my books anytime. Do I want good sales? ofcourse I do! But I also believe that if I just keep writing good stories, readers will keep buying them.
As an author I do believe there a couple of things you can do to boost your sales. Things that don’t include pressuring/begging/ or guilting readers. Things like, promotions. By that I mean – yes, I am aware of how little most of us get paid -but if you want your book to do well, think of it as an investment in yourself. Spend some money, get those bookmarks, print ads, and flyers done up.
Giveaways. Yes, I want readers to buy my books. But money is tight for almost everyone these days, so free reads on a website, and giveaways of author copies is a great way to hook new readers without them spending any money.
Appearances. Online or in person. Booksignings, confrences, chats, whatever.
You wil not always sell books ata booksigning. I know I’ve done when at a big busy store andnot sold 1 book during that time. However, I talked to a ton of people, and handed out bookmarks and coverflaps and stuff that I hope will make people either drop by my website, or pick up the book later, when there is no pressure.
There are things we can do, and things we have no control over. I think the best way to insure your next contract with a publisher, and many sales to readers, is to write a good story. But I think talking to your readers about how much you need them to buy your book is not the way to go. In all honesty, it makes me not want to buy that particular book. Am I being too harsh? Maybe I’m just stubborn that way.
Just my opinion.