Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting People to Buy Your Book

Not too long ago I was researching ways to promote Knight of Runes. Many of my author friends have been helpful in giving me ideas (thanks to all of you) and pointed me to wonderful sources. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned in this quest, a personality trait that makes my kid’s eyes roll, but that’s a story for another time. My search led me to the March 2010 post by author Derek Haines.
I knew my search was a success when I read the blog title, Ten Golden Rules For Successful Writing And Getting People To Buy Your Books. Now I either had the answer to my search or a clever hook to entice me to buy someone else’s book. I knew a little bit about Mr. Haines but not much. I read on and wasn’t disappointed. I’ve included his post below. If you’d like to read his other words of wisdom for authors, here is Derek’s original post.
For those of you who are either contemplating becoming an author, or those writers who want to get to the bestseller status fast, I thought I would share what I believe to be the ten prime factors for success. Some are highly technical while others require hours and hours of practice and perfection, but I am sure you will see the benefits very quickly from following my Ten Golden Rules For Successful Writing And Getting People To Buy Your Books.
1. Always include blank pages at the back of the book. This makes the book thicker, so looks like better value.
2. Be consistent with spelling mistakes. The reader’s brain will adjust.
3. Always dedicate your book to your mother. This increases the ‘Awwww’ factor, and also gives you an opportunity to include another blank pager after it.
4. If you have a long name, change it. Bestselling authors must restrict both their names to five letters or less.
5. If you are under fifty, do not put a photo of yourself on the back cover. Writers must look mature.
6. Use a lot of dialogue. It takes up more page space. (Helps point one) Narrative tends to be in good solid paragraphs, so stay clear on neat economical space saving paragraphs as much as possible.
7. Get your very best friend, wife or sibling to write the blurb for the back of your book.
8. Use short and simple words. Long words reduce your market potential to only those readers with high IQs.
9. Always start a sentence with a Capital Letter, and try to remember the full stop at the end. It helps readers navigate better.
10. Make sure you have some sort of story to tell. Three hundred pages of:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet
has proven not to sell very well, even though it does speed up writing a lot.

Bonus Rule: Always include a 404 page not found link to help readers get back to where they were.

*** End of Post ***
Speaking of buying your books, Knight of Runes is now available for Pre-Order at Barnes & Noble.
What are some of your golden rules for writing and getting people to buy your book? I would really love to know.

29 comments:

  1. How fun! Always wondered why there were blank pages at the end of books. Selling my book? I'm thinking of changing my pen name to "Anonymous." Everyone wants to know what "Anonymous" has to say and my current name doesn't seem to be working! I'm dedicating my book to my dog. He's the only one listening to me anymore. Thanks Ruth. I needed a giggle before bedtime.

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  2. @J.Coleman

    Dear Anonymous - You're much to good to go un-noticed. You have a sparkling wit and wonderful voice. I'm glad I made you smile. Sweet dreams.

    ... R

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  3. A very timely post. My first mystery, Murder By Mistake, as of the 13th of September, is now in paperback at Amazon and I'm working hard to learn how to market and promote.

    I did have some luck when I gave a talk at the place where I used to work.

    Joan K. Maze
    writing as J. K. Maze

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  5. @J K Maze

    Congratulations! I've been quiet at my day job about my writing. My manager and the senior executive both found out about my book and visited my web site. They became my biggest advocates.

    Best of luck with your new book, may it be the first of many.

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  6. How funny. I wonder if blank pages on a kindle work.

    Marion

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  7. Mmm, I wonder if dedicating my book to my alien kitten would have the same effect as dedicating it to my Mother. Wookie, the alien kitten, is my muse, writing partner and evil overlord, after all ;-)

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  8. sure wish i'd known that thing about beginning a sentence with a captal letter and ending with a hard stop it would have made my book so much better this is a grate post i think i'll try some of these things in my neckst book

    wishing u much sucksess

    :-) Seriously, thanks for beginning my morning with a laugh!

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  9. Too funny! I actually thought you were serious at first. Wish I knew how to get people to buy -- if everyone who told me "I'm going to buy your book" actually bought one, I wouldn't have a box of books in the corner of my bedroom.

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  10. Lordy! I'm laughing out loud:)...When I first started reading, I thought, "what the?":) Sometimes it's good to take a break from all the do's and don't's (hmmm didn't look right)and just have a laugh.
    Thanks for the fun read, Ruth!

    Lo

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  11. I think the most important thing is to get your name out there! This means having a website (which I know you do), which is the number 1 rule for authors. Do other things for people to notice you name and your book as well-- bookmarks, advertisements, blogs, reviews--all can help.

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  12. @Ella Quinn

    I love it when they print "This page is blank on purpose." Well, it's not blank if you print something on it!

    Thanks Ella for the comment

    ... Ruth

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  13. @Lynda K. Scott

    Only if it increases the Awww factor!

    Thanks for stopping by,

    ... Ruth

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  14. @Roz Lee

    how much easier it would be to not worry about capital letters and hard stops I could just go on and on and on all day (wait a minute I need a breath)

    Thanks for smiling back!

    ... Ruth

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  15. @Sandy Bruney

    What I've learned so far - it's all about connecting with the reader. They want to know get to know us. They don't want a remote relationship but rather a congenial one.

    Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you stopped by,

    ... Ruth

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  16. @Loretta

    I had the same reaction when I read it. It did make me laugh out loud, I just had to share it with you.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    ... Ruth

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  17. @Roni

    You are so right Roni. Name recognition, branding, is an important part of the process. Of course I want readers to remember my stories but I also want them to associate my name with a good read.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. You always have sound advice.

    ... Ruth

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  18. @Victoria Roder

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I really laughed out loud myself.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ... Ruth

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  19. Especially liked number 2. I hope that works because I'm pretty consistent with making them.

    Fun post, Ruth.

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  20. @Christina Wolfer

    Hi -

    I'm so glad you like it. I had a great laugh when I read it.

    ... Ruth

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  21. Ruth, I have tried everything! I do blog tours, my own blog, team blogs, speaking engagements, teach online classes, put chapters or covers on free sites. There are probably other things, but I can't remember others except the social media. Lawsy, it never ends, does it? All I really want to do is write! But then I would like people to read my books too, hence the promotion treadmill.

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  22. @Caroline Clemmons

    Hi -

    Oh boy can I relate to that! First I was busy with edits and now preparing the promotion. I haven't written, I mean really written, it seems in months!

    Like the kids when they're ignored, my characters are pouting!

    Do we dare look into a virtual assistant? You know, someone who can take the burden of these tasks off our shoulders so we can get on with the writing?

    Today, the thought is very appealing. I'm not certain how financial feasible, but definitely attractive.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    ... Ruth

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  23. What an enjoyable post! I really needed a good giggle!

    Seriously, you gave a wonderful example of promotion by coming up with an enticing blog title and then connecting to the reader with humor in the post!

    Readers who enjoy what we write and who feel that sort of connection are much more likely to turn into fans and buy our books!

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  24. @Regina Mize w/a Rechelle Owens

    Hi - thanks so much for stopping by.

    Giggling is good. I left out a hearty chuckle when I read Derek's blog. Sometimes we take ourselves so seriously you have to step back and just laugh.

    Selling books would be nice too :-D

    ... Ruth

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  25. K- so I just sent this out to pretty much everyone I know save my awesome Divas- who already have it. LOL Loved this Ruth.

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  26. @Calisa Rhose

    I laugh each time I read this list. I'm glad you liked it to.

    ... Ruth

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  27. @Meredith Schorr

    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    ... Ruth

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