This post, by G.P. Ching, originally appeared as a guest post on Blame It On The Muse on 12/2/11.
Our guest today is G.P. Ching a short fiction writer turned novelist and co-founder of DarkSide Publishing, an indie author cooperative. Her young adult series, The Soulkeepers, has garnered rave reviews and hit multiple bestseller lists. She lives in Illinois with her husband and two children. Visit her at www.gpching.com or www.DarkSidePublishing.com.
If you are a new or pre-published author, you might want to sit down for this. What I’m about to say may come as a shock, but you need to hear it and you need to believe it.
The best writers don’t sell the most books.
Notice that I didn’t qualify that statement with traditional or indie. No matter how you’ve been published, the barriers to sell are the same.
Price – Readers are sensitive to price, especially in regard to ebooks.
Awareness – Readers who don’t know about your book won’t buy your book.
Convenience -Readers need to know an easy way to find and obtain your book quickly.
Trust-Readers are hesitant to try a new author because they don’t yet trust they’ll like the writing.
Successful authors know how to eliminate their readers’ barriers to buy.
Indie authors are intimately aware of these barriers. In order to sell any number of books they need to create a relevant social networking presence, price their book competitively, form relationships for marketing purposes, and find advertising venues that are effective for reaching their target market. Because of the world we live in, traditionally published authors can no longer rely on their publishing houses to do those things for them. And in some cases, being traditionally published ties the author’s hands when it comes to adjusting price, artwork, and/or strategy.
What does this mean for you and the manuscript you are cradling like a newborn baby in your arms? Here are five ways to get in touch with your market now, no matter how you plan to publish.