Goals. We all have them. We all set them. But how many of us achieve them? Sometimes it's hard to wrap our minds around the big goals: I want to make a lot of money! or I want to go on a dream vacation to Europe! or I want to lose 50 lbs! or I want to sell thousands of books! Every author wants to be a best seller. But how do you make that happen? How do you go from from zero to best seller? Over the next few months, I'm going to be writing about goals and tackling them. I'll be interviewing best selling authors, literary agents, top editors and marketing gurus to get their insights on how authors can achieve their goals. I'll be sharing their advice in my weekly blog posts right here! I will also continue to blog about other fun stuff. But this will be my ongoing project for this blog. Note: I will "tag" these particular posts as "how to be a best-selling author" and "how to be a bestseller" along with other tags. But if you want to do a search for articles here - relating to this subject matter - type in "selling books" in the search area on the web site.
SELL! SELL! SELL!
Let's start by breaking things down. You want to sell a lot of books. But what does "a lot" mean? Well, if in your career you've only sold 500 books in total then "a lot" could mean 5,000 books in one year? So let's set that as a goal. "I want to sell 5,000 books in one year". That still seems like a big number. How do you get 5,000 people to buy your book? Let's break it down even more. 5,000 divided by 365 days is 13.6986301. Let's round that up to 14. Now, we're talking! 14 books a day. Okay, that sounds doable. So now you can visualize that. 14 books a day. That means getting 14 people to buy your book. Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a daunting task does it? Let's figure out how many books that would be per month? 14 times 30 days is 420 books. Exciting! Imagine selling 420 books a month for just one title! Okay, let's go back to 14 books a day. How do you get 14 people to buy your title? Ah, now the real work begins . . .
A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
It goes on to add the structural elements of a brand:
Brand contents, i.e. the persuasive and promotional message that consists of an idea, a message and the contents the brand conveys.
Publishers sell books. Authors sell themselves. Get used to it. You have something unique to offer - who you are is different than anyone else. And what you present to the world is going to reflect your uniqueness. (More on that in future posts). Publishers have a company "brand". They have a lot of different books to sell. You only have your books to sell. So your task is much easier than our task! :)
So how do you "brand" yourself? Again let's set up some goals. If you have the money to hire a marketing expert - that's great. But if you're like rest of us - you'll have to learn this on your own. There are a lot of books out there about branding and marketing. Why not start there? But let's do some research and create a simple check list. Google some top author names and see what makes up their presence online. Most likely you will find that most successful authors have the following: web site, blog, facebook page, twitter and then additional social networking sites. That's just for starters. (More on that in future posts). So, to start off, make a to-do list and set yourself up with all of these elements. Now, you have a list of smaller goals to get you to your bigger goal of "selling 14 books a day".
But what does that mean in terms of Jane Doe, author?
What it means is getting your potential audience to see you as the author who can give them what they want to read.
How do you do that? This is something I'm going to explore throughout this series. How do you get people to buy your books?
But for today, let's start with a few simple ideas:
Think about what you like to read. Mysteries? Romance? Horror? Anything with medieval Scottish Highlander warriors who are 6'5" with big muscles? (ahem).
Think about how you go about finding the books that you like to read. Do you like to go to a book store and hang out for a few hours perusing the shelves? Do you visit your local library and do the same thing? Do you ask librarians for their recommendations? Do you go onto book review sites such as Dear Author, Smart Bitches or RT Book Reviews? Do you pay attention to books by other authors that your favourite authors mention or write about on facebook, or twitter, or on their own blogs? Do you listen to suggestions by friends and family? Do you read book reviews in your local paper? Do you watch book trailers? Do you google "horror book authors" and then visit their sites? Do you "like" the facebook pages of the authors you enjoy? Do you subscribe to newsletters of authors you like? Do you visit blogs that feature Q and As with authors? Do you go on amazon and read the amazon reviews? Do you do searches on amazon for books in subject matters you like to read? Do you go to conferences or writing festivals or book signings and discover new authors that way?
Get it? Think about how you find those great books or discover authors you like and then figure out how to do what they did when they got you to buy their book! (See all of the above).
Start the process by breaking things down. That is your first goal. Otherwise you will feel overwhelmed and you won't be able to grasp the idea of becoming a best-selling author, let alone actually doing it. Break it down (to use a hip-hop term), so you can build yourself up and make your dreams a reality.
To be continued . . . (see what I did here - I'm getting you to come back to read my next post. heh heh).
Last month Kate Garrett was a Police Detective. Now she’s a Pet P.I.?
Kate recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.
Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?
READ AN EXCERPT:
Violent death was never pleasant. The cold hadn’t diminished the smell of blood, piss and stool—or if it had, I didn’t want to think about it.
A dart, the kind animal control officers use in their rifles, was sticking into the ribs. Instead of delivering a tranquillizer, its payload was poison. The feathery stabilizer at the end was red and green. Very seasonal.
“Do we know what the poison is, Chief?”
“Looks like cyanide. Samples were taken from the last victim. I’ll let you know when the latest batch have been processed and compared.”
Igor Thorsen, Chief of Detectives and my godfather, bent down and offered me his hand. I let him pull me out of the crouch I had been sustaining for several minutes while I examined the body. I didn’t need the help, but it was a warm gesture on a cold night.
“I could use your help on this, Kathleen. People are getting nervous but I can hardly free up a detective for a serial cat-killer. I can authorize support services for a week and the East Hills Neighbourhood Group will pay your fees.”
I stripped off my gloves and ran my fingers through my hair, pushing back the auburn strands that had blown into my face. Time for a cut. Or maybe not. I didn’t have to keep up the uniform code for keeping hair short or worn up.
I looked up at the Chief. Way up. And I’m not short. Or particularly tall.
My name is Kate Garrett. Up until recently, I had been a rookie detective in the violent crimes unit. The chief was my boss. Almost one month ago my father, the Joe Garrett of Garrett Investigations, was killed in a pedestrian-vehicle incident. Now I was the Garrett of Carmedy and Garrett Investigations.
Last month I was a homicide detective. Now I was a pet P.I.?
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.
and other Amazon sites worldwide Also available in paperback on Amazon.
ABOUT THE BOOK: In 2018, rookie detective, Kate Garrett lives in the shadow of her near-legendary father Joe. When Joe dies unexpectedly, he leaves Kate half interest in Garrett Investigations, his last case that ties to three murders, a partner she can't stand, and a legacy to live up to.
Jake Carmedy has lost a partner, mentor and friend, but grief will come later. First, he has a case to solve, one that has detoured from a simple insurance case to a murder investigation. If that isn't enough, Joe's daughter seems to want to take her father's place as his boss.
Each one is working on a different part of the puzzle. No matter how hard they try, Carmedy and Garrett can't avoid each other...and they might be next on a killer's list.
STELLAR REVIEWS: 5.0 out of 5 stars By Gail M Baugniet, Author of For Every Action Deadly Legacy is an honest to goodness Mystery patterned after early mystery writers Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Allan Poe. The story, however, is set on 21st century Canadian soil. http://tinyurl.com/bkrzwcr
Intriguing first episode of a new mystery series By Corinne H. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE™ VOICE Kate Garrett works as a police detective in a city in southwestern Ontario. She's in the midst of a drug-related homicide investigation when she gets the worst news possible: her father Joe has been hit by a car and killed. A retired police officer himself, Joe had since turned to running his own private investigation service. Was it his most recent case that put him in harm's way? Or was this merely a tragic accident? http://tinyurl.com/afgvtmo
5.0 out of 5 stars The first book of a new series. 2 Jan 2013 By AnneDon It's a very enjoyable book, with excellent dialogue and great characters. I look forward to the next in the series. http://tinyurl.com/amcp3bx
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read! July 10 2012 By DIC Alison Bruce has concocted a complex and very interesting plot and delivered it in a fast-paced story with well-developed and realistic characterization. I look forward to the next installment in this series. http://tinyurl.com/as44n4a
Bestselling western romance authors, Kat Flannery and Alison Bruce take you on an exciting journey...
Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love...
After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers' families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America's bloodiest war.
In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie's resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.
In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington's office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty's life becomes all about survival.
READERS LOVE THIS BOOK!
"Maggie and Matty Becker will enchant you as they struggle for respect, survival, and love in the Civil War’s troubled time. You’ll sigh with pleasure as you finish each story."
—Caroline Clemmons, author of Bluebonnet Bride
"Two very talented authors . . .The characters and the times are well depicted in this short novel. I highly recommend this novel to Civil War enthusiasts and readers who enjoy a well-written historical romance. If you like intrigue, mystery and romance, this book is for you. It will hold your attention and is a quick read that you won’t be able to put down." —Katherine Boyer, Tear a Page Blog
"Double your reading pleasure with twin passions—two novellas featuring twins Maggie and Matty, and heroes who’ll steal your heart. Alison Bruce and Kat Flannery penned stories that play on your senses like a sonata. A must read!" —Jacquie Rogers, award-winning author of Much Ado About Madams
ABOUT ALISON BRUCE:
Alison Bruce has an honors degree in history and philosophy, which has nothing to do with any regular job she's held since. A liberal arts education did prepare her to be a writer, however. She penned her first novel during lectures while pretending to take notes.
Alison writes mysteries, romance, westerns and fantasy. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity.
ABOUT KAT FLANNERY:
Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or in school, she enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.
Kat has had her writing published in numerous periodicals. She is now hard at work on the next novel. When not focusing on her creative passions, she is busy with her three boys and doting husband.