Sound Advice for Authors
When it comes to looking for wisdom about marketing and selling books, I’m constantly on the lookout for such experts. I want to hang on their every word and continually learn from them. I’ve found there are a number of wise counselors when it comes to this area. One of the people you need to have on your radar is Fern Reiss. Several years ago, I met Fern and there is plenty that any writer can learn from her. Recently I saw her again briefly at the American Society of Journalists and Authors conference.
Her self-published books on publishing are loaded with insight. Here’s just one example from The Publishing Game Bestseller in 30 Days. Before I give the example, this book gives you a game plan for marketing your book and creating a bestseller in a brief period of time. Often she is asked, “What if my book is already published?” She says you won’t be able to do all of the steps but can follow many of them. “Keeping your book active will keep it selling. And a good “backlist” title can sell forever—at the rate of several thousand copies per year. If this sounds impossible to you, take a look at my first book, The Infertility Diet: Get Pregnant and Prevent Miscarriage. It was first published in 1999–-and still sells at a steady rate of several thousand copies per year, bringing in at least $30,000 in net income each year. Not only that, but I continue to get new reviews for it, some of these in very prestigious publications. As long as I have the energy to market it, I expect to continue to sell for at least the next five years.”
If you are a novelist, make sure you check out Fern’s blog entry for April 24 on Amazon.com. She’s got five solid tips to help novelists generate increased sales.
You’d be surprised at the questioning looks or emails I receive from novelists when I ask for their personal marketing plans. Many of them are clueless—and I have a large pile of manuscripts to return as a result of their cluelessness. Yes, you have to craft an amazing, timely story. You have to motivate me to turn those pages so I can’t get enough of your story. My first appeal to any author is to learn the craft of storytelling and writing—then practice the craft over and over through books and magazine writing. After craft, the next step is for writers to understand the marketing and grow in their own active involvement. One of those steps to learn more about marketing is to read anything you can from Fern Reiss. She’s one of those people who knows how to sell books.