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Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

Sell! Sell! Sell!

Sell! Sell! Sell!

 

We are bombarded daily with ads wanting us to buy this product, or that service. The ads come on our televisions, tablets, phones, billboards, and in the venues we frequent for shopping. It seems everyone wants to sell us something, and this can be tiring. Sometimes, it’s even downright annoying.

 

Before I began writing novels, my background was in commissioned real estate and mortgage sales, so I understand the concepts and drills of selling. I was never the “hard sell” type though, which is perhaps why I got out of that business. I loved working with people, and putting pieces of the puzzles together, and although I met some wonderful, conscientious sales reps, I got tired of dealing with so many disreputable “professionals”.

 

I also wasn’t driven enough to succeed. I liked the work, but didn’t love it. So, I quit. I drifted around a bit, unsure of what really fit me, my personality, and my skill sets. I kept looking for something that excited me and drove me to want to succeed. There were plenty of things I could do, just not a lot I wanted to do. As a result, my finances suffered, as did my self-esteem. I just couldn’t seem to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. I felt like a failure. I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did.

 

I was asking for a lot; I wanted to do something meaningful to me, but couldn’t figure out what. I wasn’t making the logical connections. Then I discovered writing, and all the pieces finally fit. This is what I’m meant to do. More than that though, I began to realize that all those years in sales weren’t wasted. Before that, I worked as an office administrator, so I can type and organize an office pretty well. I’d need my experience in sales and office admin to help me write, market and promote my books. I already had the basics, and I made another connection; it’s all about building relationships.

 

Making it all fit

Making it all fit

When I’d been in sales before, I loved building relationships with my clients and other industry professionals. I’m good at it, and it comes naturally to me. I don’t have to force it at all. Writing is just another way of building even more relationships. I’ve been able to do this not only through readers, which is fantastic, but with other writers and publishing industry professionals all over the world. Sure, I want book sales, who doesn’t, but I love connecting with others on various levels. I’ve discovered so many people out there who are like me; they’re connectors. They love to share the knowledge they’ve gained, and enjoy the connections they’ve built over time. Seth Godin posted on his blog recently about this very subject, which is what got me thinking. He’s absolutely right; it isn’t about the short term gain, it’s about the long term goal.

 

People like Jonathan Gunson, of Bestseller Labs, Molly Greene, Jane Friedman, and Joanna Penn all share the wealth of their knowledge and experience with others freely and openly on their blogs and websites. Well known writers like Hugh Howey, Sylvia Day, and many others are breaking down the walls and sharing industry insights and hard won know-how with other writers climbing the ladder behind them. They’re actively changing the face of publishing in very real, tangible ways, and are encouraging others to re-examine the options. They’re building relationships by sharing what they know. They provide real value in their writing, and in their websites and blogs.

Believe me when I say that when I see one of these remarkable individuals share something on social networks, I forward and share their words, reviews, comments, and upcoming books and events. It doesn’t matter if I personally read every book they write, although I’ll definitely purchase their work too, because I’ll share with my connections and many of them will.

 

Trust must be earned

Trust must be earned

That’s the power of relationship building. It really goes back to sales 101. We don’t buy things or services because we’re told to, but because we trust that what the vendor has to offer will fill a need we have, or solve a problem we’re dealing with. Books are no different. They educate and entertain readers the world over, and writers work hard to bring them to light. That’s why it frustrates me when I hear writers say they hate marketing and promotion. They haven’t made the connection between the product, which is the book, and the message they are trying to convey, or the story they’re trying to tell.

 

I look at sales from the stand point of making connections and building relationships. That way, book marketing, promotion, and learning about the industry I’ve become avidly interested in, becomes much more fun. Social networks have taken on a new meaning for me. Not only do I keep up with family and close friends there, but I also connect with others interested in the same things I am. I learn and grow from other writers, publishers, editors, and agents. Public speaking has given me a forum to talk about my writing, publishing, and my books, but it’s also opened doors to other topics I’m keenly interested in, such as overcoming the fear of failure, and women’s issues.

 

Again, it’s all about making the connections. First, to figure out what I was looking for in my work career, then how to use what I already know to advance that career and connect with others, and finally, to learn more about writing, publishing, and book marketing. I’m not selling anything; I’m simply sharing my work and my words with anyone who’s interested. I don’t have to do the hard-sell. I just have to be me, and that’s easy, flaws and all.

 

I welcome comments, so please do share your thoughts on this issue. If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it with your social circles. Thank you.

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Seth Godin

Thanks to a fellow author/blogger, Dee Dee Scott from The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing , I discovered that, in addition to us writers/authors, someone else is seeing epublishing and ebooks as a viable, sustainable business model. By partnering with some really big hitters, like Amazon and GE, and ShopifySeth Godin’s The Domino Project introduces a new kind of publishing, powered by the giant, Amazon.

Kudos to Godin and Amazon for pushing the envelope in book publishing and reader interactiveness. As Mr. Godin states, “The challenge of curation by an individual publisher is this: readers have no idea who publishes what books.”.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with traditionally published books, and of course I’d love to see my books in print on book store shelves. It’s the business model of traditional publishers, editors and agents that I believe are in need of tweaking. The old ways simply don’t always work the best, and with the advent of new technology, companies, including book publishing, need to keep up and change with the times.

Companies such as Amazon, and the newer Smashwords and Kobo have started aggressively courting the authors directly, allowing them to upload books directly onto their sites. It’s smart business. Not only does it feed the voracious appetite of readers, it keeps filling the funnel of new product, which translates into sizeable profit. They’ve opened the gates for new authors in a huge way, and taken down many of the old barriers. Does it mean some crappy work gets out there, of course it does, but there is some crappy traditionally published works out there too. Personally, I think I’d rather pay $5 or less and discover I don’t like the book, than pay $9.99 or more and discover the same thing. On the other hand, I’ve discovered a whole slew of new e-authors whose work I’ll definitely follow. A good author who wants to make this writing thing their life’s work, will to the best of their ability, pursue professionalism and turn out professional quality product, just as they would with a traditional publishing house. It’s a matter of pride and reputation.

I also truly believe the cream will rise to the top. The really good books will find their way into the hands of readers and readers will continue to buy them, thereby keeping the cycle going.

In a world of instant gratification, keeping up with the increasing demand by consumers has taken on a whole new meaning. Books are no different. If anything, it’s current almost frenetic pace is challenging to all involved in the book sales and writing industry.

One thing is for sure, it’s one of the most exciting times to be a writer.

Question: Do you pay attention to who publishes a book, or do you purchase based on author and/or storyline?

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